Senator Barack Obama speaks out against Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf
Senator Obama spoke out today against Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and the lack of action against the terrorists and training camps in the tribal areas of Pakistan. I found this speech very interesting because i said something very similar on 21 July in my post “Bumper sticker “support the troops” slogans mean nothing to US military personnel“. On that post I said (in part):
Supporting the troops is about stopping this ridiculous funding that’s being sent to Pakistan while Al Qaeda is growing and operating freely in the tribal regions of the country. On September 20, 2001, President Bush addressed a joint session of Congress and said (in part)
“We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (Applause.) From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.”
and yet the administration has looked the other way as Al Qaeda has restrengthened itself in the safe-haven sanctuary of the tribal regions of Pakistan.
I find Obama’s speech inspiring and right on target. It’s going to be a hard choice to choose between Obama and Edwards during the Presidential primary.
Below are exerts from the article. The full article can be found here.
Obama said he would send troops into Pakistan to hunt down terrorists even without local permission if warranted – an attempt to show strength when his chief rival has described his foreign policy skills as naive.
The Illinois senator warned Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf that he must do more to shut down terrorist operations in his country and evict foreign fighters under an Obama presidency, or Pakistan will risk a U.S. troop invasion and losing hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military aid.
“Let me make this clear,” Obama said in a speech at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “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-Qaida leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.”
Thousands of Taliban fighters are based in Pakistan’s vast and jagged mountains, where they can pass into Afghanistan, train for suicide operations and find refuge from local tribesmen. Intelligence experts warn that al-Qaida could be rebuilding here to mount another attack on the United States.The Bush administration has supported Musharraf and stressed the need to cooperate with Pakistan, but lately administration officials have suggested the possibility of military strikes to deal with al-Qaida and its leader, Osama bin Laden.
Congress passed legislation Friday that would tie aid from the United States to Islamabad’s efforts to stop al-Qaida and the Taliban from operating in its territory. President Bush has yet to sign it.