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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Andy Martin on Obama, Clinton and nuclear weapons

Executive Editor

"Factually correct,
not politically correct"




(CHICAGO)(August 5, 2007) Almost exactly fifty years ago, in July 1957, Senator John F. Kennedy caused a foreign policy commotion by condemning America's inaction on Algerian independence. The reaction from Paris was fast in coming. "Who is this Senator Kennedy and how is he making foreign policy?"

This past week Barack Obama let the cat out of the bag, and raised the obvious issue that our policy against Al Qaeda is a failure. The terrorist organization has regrouped in Pakistan, and poses an increasing threat to the United States. Obama said he would not hesitate to attack terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan's "tribal areas." He later fumbled over whether he would use nuclear weapons to do so.

Air Marshal "Bomber Harris," the British commander who bombed the Third Reich into ashes, must be smiling. General Curtis E. LeMay, my old commanding officer, who threatened to "bomb our enemies into the stone age," must be stunned. Hillary Clinton, wife of draft dodger Bill, will not rule out the use of nuclear weapons in Pakistan. What!

Well, well, well.

The use of nuclear weapons has not been in such vogue since the 1950's.

The Republicans look like tame tabby cats in comparison to the suddenly muscular bombardiers in the Democratic Party. Except for Republican congressman Tom Tancredo, who wants to bomb the holy sites of Islam. Fortunately, Tancredo is no-big-deal-o.

A few months ago, Senator John McCain was excoriated for singing a ditty "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iraq." There was no media criticism when Clinton put her finger on the nuclear trigger and said she would not rule out the use of those weapons. Was that Bill's advice? Nuclear pillow talk?

And, as Kennedy did in 1957, Obama is causing an overseas furor in 2007. The Pakistani government has condemned Obama's suggestions. George Bush apparently took notice. In a story with no major sourcing, the New York Post stated August 4th that Bush told Pakistani Dictator Musharraf that Bush condemned Obama's "unsavory" suggestions.

What is happening to the presidential campaign when the Democrats are suddenly falling over each other to appear tough guys, and the Republicans are sitting quietly on the sidelines?

Reality is setting in.

The "netroots" were in Chicago this weekend (more of them in a companion column). The Democratic Party's extreme lefties were singing songs of surrender in the Middle East, and dreaming of measuring their offices for carpet in a new Democratic administration. Well, well, well again.

Contrary to what mainstream pundits say, my instincts tell me that the American people are totally undecided. They are disgusted with the Republican incompetence and hubris in the Middle East. But they are equally skeptical of the Democrats. Forget what the polls say about Bush. The presidential race is wide open. For either Republicans or Democrats to win or lose.

Obama found that he could no longer namby pamby his way to the nomination. Hillary was stealing his bombs. And Clinton could not appear to be indecisive when Bombardier Barack was ready to launch into Waziristan.

The reality, of course, is vastly different from what Obama and Clinton suppose or propose. I know; I've been there. The "ungoverned" areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan are not a place to use nuclear weapons. So, Barry O doesn't have to worry. And, no, Hillary, you can release your trigger finger. Osama Bin Laden is not going to be brought down with nuclear weapons.

Rather, the United States and its allies will have to fight a counterinsurgency campaign in Pakistan using CIA troops and special operations units. The Democrats probably know that. Maybe they are just falling over themselves to honor the memory of General LeMay and Bomber Harris.

And poor, old Senator John McCain, who actually dropped bombs on Hanoi, is left behind as the Democrats zoom ahead with their nuclear weapons. Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb McCain.

But certain inevitable truths are slowly oozing to the surface in the Democratic Party's pre-primary season:

First, Pakistan--Musharraf's defenses notwithstanding--has totally failed to eradicate the terrorist threat, and he is completely incapable and unwilling to do so. The Taliban and Al Qaeda are increasing in strength.

Second, an open invasion of Pakistan is not in the cards. It won’t happen. Finding and killing Bin Laden & Co. is a classic special operations mission. That operation is already in progress from a control center at Baghram Air Base in Kabul.

Third, bravado sells. Obama got an honorable mention from the Wall Street Journal ("Barack Obama, Neocon") and from New York Post columnist John Podhoretz ("Thanks Barack").

Finally, the Democrats are coming to the realization that as tattered as the Republicans may appear to be, the American people are not going to turn the White House over to surrender junkies and screaming "netroots" sissies.

National security is still the first responsibility of the federal government. Neither party to date has convinced the American people. It remains to be seen whether the Democrats' current bellicosity will resonate with their primary voting base. I have my doubts. Most Democrats have come to conflate the failures in Iraq with the need to combat terror. They should be forgiven; George Bush made/makes the same mistake. But Iraq never was the terrorist hornet's nest. The terrorism threat is real. It will not go away. Not now. Not soon.

As for Obama and Clinton, Bombs Away. "Into the air junior birdmen…"
------------------------------------------Chicago-based Internet journalist, broadcaster and media critic Andy Martin is the Executive Editor and publisher of © Copyright by Andy Martin 2007. Martin covers regional, national and world politics with forty years of personal experience. He is America's most respected independent foreign policy analyst. Andy has been traveling to the Middle East and Asia since 1970, and served as a Baghdad Bureau Chief in 2003. Columns also posted at; Comments? E-mail: Media contact: (866) 706-2639. Web sites:;


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