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The Obama administration is going to have to work overtime to control this mess...

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by vta, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    It's important to pay attention to these developments, because his administration and it's intention to address domestic turmoil is going to be hampered by just this kind of distraction.

    Regardless of how I felt before he was elected, since he is in fact our President, I do hope he can accomplish good things for our country, because with a little foresight I can see that his legacy, for some, may very well be marred because of this kind of situation.

    He's inheriting one hell of a complicated situation.

    Link

    WASHINGTON— As evidence mounts that last week’s attacks in Mumbai may have originated on Pakistani soil, American officials’ aggressive campaign to strike at militants in Pakistan may complicate efforts to prevent an Indian military response, which could lead to a conflict between the bitter enemies.

    In December 2001, when Pakistani militants attacked India’s Parliament, and again this summer, when militants aided by Pakistani spies bombed the Indian Embassy in Afghanistan, the Bush administration used aggressive diplomacy to dampen anger in New Delhi.

    This time, however, the Indian government might not be so receptive to the American message — and that could derail the coming Obama administration’s hopes of creating a broader, regional response to the threat posed by Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already faced months of criticism from political rivals in India about his government’s decision not to respond forcefully to past acts of terrorism, and domestic anger over the carnage in Mumbai has increased the pressure on his government to strike back.

    Officials in New Delhi might also feel less compelled to follow calls for a controlled response from the Bush administration, which has steadily escalated a campaign of airstrikes on Pakistani soil using remotely piloted aircraft. The Pentagon has even sent Special Operations forces into Pakistan to attack suspected militant targets, partly in an attempt to stop the militants from crossing the border into Afghanistan, where they are helping fuel an increasingly robust Taliban insurgency.

    The White House has adopted a clear position to justify those attacks: if a country cannot deal with a terrorism problem on its own, the United States reserves the right to act unilaterally.

    Should it become clear that the men who rampaged through Mumbai trained in Pakistan, even if the Pakistani government had no hand in the operation, what will stop the Indians from adopting the same position?

    “In some ways, it doesn’t even matter whether this attack was hatched in some office in Islamabad,” said Paul Kapur, a South Asia expert at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., and Stanford University. “The provocation in this case is orders of magnitude more than anything that’s happened before.”

    Even if the Bush administration can keep the situation from escalating, President-elect Barack Obama will find his administration trying to broker cooperation between two aroused and suspicious regional powers.

    An important element of Mr. Obama’s plan to reduce militancy in Pakistan and turn around the war in Afghanistan has been to push for a reconciliation between India and Pakistan, so that the Pakistani government could focus its energy on the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan that are controlled by Islamic extremists.

    Mr. Obama’s advisers have spent the past few days watching the unfolding crisis for hints about how the situation might look after Jan. 20. While they said they understand that the tensions unleashed by the Mumbai attacks might hobble the new president’s aspirations, they held out hope that the attacks might, instead, open the door to increased cooperation between Pakistan and India to weed out militants intent on more attacks.

    Some in the Bush administration, as well as outside experts, agree that an Indian military response is not a foregone conclusion. Mr. Singh’s government has long believed that the instability caused by a conflict with Pakistan would act as a brake on the rapid economic growth India has enjoyed. Mr. Singh has also seen Pakistan’s new civilian government as a hopeful departure from the militarism of President Pervez Musharraf’s government.

    Washington could use Mr. Singh’s past hopes for better relations to try to shape a modulated Indian response. Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University, said one possibility was that the Indian government could decide to strike Kashmiri militant training facilities in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, rather than facilities in the heart of the disputed territory of Kashmir, where Pakistan’s government has a greater presence.

    Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani author whose work has been studied by the Obama team, said that any hint of a military mobilization by the Indians will give the Pakistani military the excuse it wants to shift forces away from its western border areas and back to its eastern border. If that happens, he said, it could cause a repeat of 2002, when a standoff between the nations forced the United States to turn at least some of its attention away from fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda to work to avoid war between Pakistan and India.

    That time, the impetus was an assault on the Indian Parliament in December 2001 that India said was the work of Kashmiri militants.

    So far, Mr. Obama has tried to walk a careful line during the latest crisis, expressing support and concern without appearing to get in the way of President Bush. Even as Mr. Obama was preparing to host several dozen guests for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, a foreign policy adviser, Mark Lippert, and a Central Intelligence Agency official arrived at his house in Chicago to brief him on the latest from Mumbai, according to an aide. Mr. Obama ushered them into a side room as the rest of the house buzzed with dinner preparations.

    Mr. Obama also called Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice three times over the last few days seeking information. But he waited until after Mr. Bush called Mr. Singh to place his own call to the Indian prime minister late Friday night. (The call was patched through the State Department operations center.)

    Advisers to the president-elect said that while they were not aware of everything the Bush administration has done during the crisis, they knew of nothing that Mr. Obama would have necessarily done differently.

    Given the disastrous implications of any armed conflict between India and Pakistan, it is not hard to envision the Obama administration following a similar playbook to the one the Bush administration followed during the two countries’ occasional flare-ups.

    As some experts see it, though, there is a danger in the United States’ continuing to intervene directly when tensions between India and Pakistan escalate.

    “If both sides think they can afford to go closer to the edge because the U.S. is always going to keep them from going over,” said Mr. Kapur, “then they are more likely to edge up to the precipice.”
    Mark Mazzetti reported from Washington, and Peter Baker from Chicago.
  2. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    No problem. Just send the terrorists a complete set of commemorative Obama plates. Their hearts will swell with pride and joy.
  3. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    I have had a feeling for years that sooner or later India and Pakistan are going to go at each other with nukes. Horrible thought, but its been my hunch of a long time.
  4. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    :lmao2: :lmao2:

    Dammit bbgun, this is no laughing matter.
    Stop making me laugh.

    :lmao:
  5. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Both sides tow the line in cooperation with the U.S., but how long is that going to be a factor?

    I think nukes, for all of their horrendous potential consequences, do play a good part in deterring war. I don't get the impression that India is full of zealots willing to die and Pakistan isn't ruled by that either.

    I hope so, anyway.
  6. Cajuncowboy

    Cajuncowboy Preacher From The Black Lagoon

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    I hope for the good of the country he is up to the challenge but I highly doubt his vast experience as a community organizer is going to help him much.
  7. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    For something like this, no less than an experienced foreign ambassador would be well equipped to handle such a mess.

    I hope he fills his administration with shrewd and experienced people. And no, I don't count Hilary among them.
  8. Cajuncowboy

    Cajuncowboy Preacher From The Black Lagoon

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    What, you don't have confidence in this...

    [IMG]
  9. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Horrible.
    It smells like a concession move and something that shouldn't have happened. Hilary has nothing outside of being first lady and coasting as a Junior Senator behind Chuck Shumer.

    Garbage politics.
  10. The30YardSlant

    The30YardSlant Benched

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    :lmao2:

    I heard someone on the radio today suggest we drop body wash and deoderant on them. They'll run the other way faster than if you dropped a thousand slaughtered pigs.
  11. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    All it takes is one person in the position to lose control or go nuts and it can happen. Remember that religion is part of all this and fanatics will use it to justify anything.
  12. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    As will those with no religion...

    Radicals are radicals... regardless of belief...
  13. kristie

    kristie Well-Known Member

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    that's funny. :lmao2:
  14. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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    I am pretty sure that they will actually have a number of contingency plans thought out in advance.....
  15. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, people who know they are absolutely right are dangerous. They don't have to worry about listening to any dissenting voices, as those are, de facto, wrong.
  16. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Its the persistent viciousness of this current attack that is striking. The killers walked around pumping bullets methodically into people over a period of DAYS. Not a quick blast or even a quick shooting: steady carnage.
    How anyone can possibly condone or excuse it is beyond me. And yet some will try= probably try and blame the US and Bush or something like that. Those that do are so blind as to never be able to see that there are so called humans that committ these acts. Like pedophiles and serial rapists and serial killers= all you can do is execute them like rabid skunks, only with less sympathy.
  17. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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    Early morning reports say that the survivor has admitted links to a radical islamist group very active in Kashmir. Lashkar-e-Toiba. Supposed to have had ties into the Army/intelligence community there. If so, the Pakistanis are really going to have some problems. I think they will be forced to turn someone over as sacrificial scapegoat. Preferably dead, from their point of view.

    These weren't the usual types with bombs strapped on and delusions of glory. They were trained. It appears it may have been just 10 guys, in 3-4 teams, hitting 10 targets sequentially, to cause maximum havoc. It seems to be similar to a tactic used in Kashmir.

    It will be creepy to watch the Indian reaction, because you know the masterminds responsible for this were trying to get a particular reaction. Maximum havoc.....
  18. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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  19. VCDefectors

    VCDefectors Benched

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    I'm amazed at some of you who are trying your hardest to put some political spin on this event. For once, let's get past the past political bickering and unite to support whatever actions need to be taken by our government.
  20. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    coming from you that is rich VC.

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