A Good Critique of Obama's Speech

A couple of days ago I did a brief blog post about Obama's speech on terrorism over at Sepia Mutiny. The speech has since been widely criticized, but the best takedown of Obama's misguided approach to Pakistan must be Sepoy's, at Chapati Mystery. It's a long post, but this part is especially good:

One should remind Barack Obama, and the US Congress which just passed such a conditional bill, that Pakistan is, in clear and evident fact, fighting a war in Waziristan - with scores of military casualties seemingly every day. One can also remind him that since the Lal Masjid stand off - July 3rd - there have been a dozen suicide bombings across Pakistan killing over 200 civilians - almost keeping pace with Baghdad. One can further remind him that Pakistan has indeed allowed US military strikes on its sovereign territory, even with questionable intelligence. On November 10, 2006, US missiles hit a madrasa in Bajaur aimed at killing the elusive No. 2 of Al Qaeda but managed mainly to kill children. They must all be casualties of Pakistan’s soft focus in the war on terrorism.

To be crystal clear, Obama suggests that a country that is a sovereign nation and ally, that has full nuclear capability, has the ability to carry out nuclear attacks, has the ability to give nuclear technologies to the card-carrying-member-of-the-Axis-of-Evil-next-door Iran, has an unpopular dictator supported and maintained by the United States, has deployed 100,000 troops across its North Western borders, has suffered thousands of casualties - army and civilians - carrying out the Global War on Terror, has seen its cities and deserts flood with the detritus from the forgotten war going on in Afghanistan, but has nonetheless maintained complete compliance by killing and capturing many key members of the Al Qaeda ... should be invaded. (link)

I think the salient critique of Sepoy's argument here might be that while all this may be true, there is a legitimate concern that elements in Pakistan's military and intelligence organizations may be playing a double game specifically with regards to Al Qaeda.

Still, I'm in agreement with Sepoy by and large. My earlier enthusiasm for Obama is starting to fade...