More importantly his rhetoric - about using violence in Pakistan's peripheral regions (NWFP - North West Frontier Province) if Musharraf didn't cooperate to clean out 'terrorists' -
has created a furor. But why wouldn't it?
I read in Ultrabrown blog extolling Obama's declaration, or should I call it an Adrenaline-invoked, ill-thought-out statement like:
There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will.Though Obama differs substantially from Bush's policies, the above statement clearly indicates an inexperience and foolhardiness in dealing with foreign policies. The following is my response to the blog entry. Read this Ultrabrown blog entry before you read the following response.
It seems more like he’s acting on his adrenaline than a balanced state of mind. Just because contextually he says something agreeable doesn’t mean you can declare to act like a rogue. You CAN’T just declare you will use violence to ’save’ America and get your revenge. This is purely an extension of Bush’s agenda except that it has a contextual subtlety.
First of all, this kind of a war rhetoric HAS to stop. I mean, how long are you gonna be using the fact - that America has lost 3000 lives over and over again - to advance your agenda. Yeah right, everything has to revolve around fear and America. When America bombs the bajeezus out of other countries and kills thousands of people it’s never a matter of aggression…because America supports democracy and all that bull.
Foreign policy is not something that just comes out of a unilateral viewpoint or a few seemingly intelligent nerds who claim to know every damn thing about every country that poses a threat. And what the hell does he mean by “actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets”, I mean, isn’t that BS especially since we all know how “actionable” the “intelligence” of US was in the case of WMDs. Who is this intelligence? Who verifies? Who cross-checks?
There has to be a paradigm shift in the way we think of foreign policy. We have to move away from using FEAR to instill peace and security. Obama seems controversial just for the sake of it and even if he did mean whatever he said about using violence, and he becomes the President, America has a long way to go before it can salvage whatever’s lost.
My point about what the world thinks of American policy has to do a LOT with American interests…it’s far from tertiary. Especially when the world has become much much smaller in terms of information exchange, porous borders, immigrants’ cultures who have become part and parcel of countries they immigrate into and much more. Whatever you do unto someone comes back with the same intensity to you - think of it as global karma in this case.
You can’t really separate America in terms cultural influences because it is becoming a global melting pot and this is exactly when it has to be more tolerant. You see, foreign policy is not just something that can be taken at face value. You can’t declare statements aggressively when you haven’t even tried multilateral diplomacy in the first place. Especially not when you are not even in office.
In fact, if you truly want security/peace in the long-term then there are specific ways you approach the problem. See the Israel-Palentine issue, where did they reach until they were using an eye-for-an-eye approach? But what’s happening now, a multilateral peaceful approach, at least both the parties are open to talks.. You don’t want to learn things the hard way when somebody has already done it for you.
Look at Britain now, where there are so many home-grown fundamentalists popping up. Where do they all get their ideas? Where do they get the hate? It’s directly or indirectly related to the foreign policy that we adopt. In the current world scenario, you can’t talk about unilateralism again when you have failed miserably at it. Learning from mistakes is what should shape foreign policy.