Obama Camp in Disarray with Axelrod On Damage Control After
|Bhutto, Clinton and Chelsea in Pakistan in 1995.
Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
The Obama campaign is in a panic. Mr. Axelrod’s reprehensible statement is
meant to deflect the spotlight and rescue his candidate, because as people think
about the implications of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination one thing comes to
mind and it isn’t the leadership experience of Barack Obama.
Bhutto’s death will “call into issue the judgment: who’s made the right
judgments,” Axelrod said. “Obviously, one of the reasons that Pakistan
is in the distress that it’s in is because al-Qaeda is resurgent, has become
more powerful within that country and that’s a consequence of us taking the
eye off the ball and making the wrong judgment in going into Iraq. That’s
a serious difference between these candidates and I’m sure that people will
take that into consideration.” … ..
… .. “(Clinton) was a strong supporter of the war in Iraq, which
we would submit, was one of the reasons why we were diverted from Afghanistan,
Pakistan and al-Qaeda, who may have been players in this event today, so that’s
a judgment she’ll have to defend,” Axelrod said. “I know
Woody Allen said that 80% of life is just showing up but there’s actually
more to being proficient in foreign policy than just having been around for
a long time. You also have to have good judgment. Obama was willing to split
with the conventional wisdom on Iraq and many of these other issues and I
think events have borne out his judgment.”
has made Barack Obama and his campaign desperate for fear their paper thin experience
in foreign policy will be weighed as voters ready for the Iowa primaries. It’s in moments of crisis you find out what a candidate has and the strength of his character to respond to real dangers in the world. Another
example of Mr. Obama’s campaign of “hope,” no doubt.
But Mr. Axelrod has stepped into it now. Blaming Clinton? This statement is not only beyond the
pale, but it is made even more reprehensible, not to mention ridiculous, by
Obama’s campaign turning from the very serious subjects of Afghanistan-Pakistan-al
Qaeda to the pop culture filmmaker Woody Allen, equating the two in a statement
that is so ignorant you have to wonder if the Obama camp actually understands
the possible ramifications of what happened today. I assure you, it does not
come close to resembling or reflecting Woody Allen’s wisdom on life. Seriously,
the celebrity candidacy of Barack Obama, now threatened by a foreign policy
emergency, has slipped into the nonsensical.
It reminds me of what Mr. Obama said himself about Pakistan in September, which
now looks equally ignorant.
In 2004, Obama said that if president Pervez Musharraf were to lose power
in a coup, the United States similarly might have to consider military action
in that country: As for Pakistan, Obama said that if President Pervez Musharraf
were to lose power in a coup, the United States similarly might have to consider
military action in that country to destroy nuclear weapons it already possesses.
Musharraf’s troops are battling hundreds of well-armed foreign militants and
Pakistani tribesmen in increasingly violent confrontations.
“… I think there are elements within Pakistan right now–if Musharraf
is overthrown and they took over, I think we would have to consider going
in and taking those bombs out, because I don’t think we can make the same
assumptions about how they calculate risks.” [Chicago
Tribune, September 25, 2004]
Maybe Obama and Bill Richardson should have a conference call, since both want to eject Musharraf, then replace him with…. what, exactly? I guess Mr. Obama hasn’t gotten that far in his thinking.
“I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges. But let
me make this clear. 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. ” – Senator
No thank you, I’ll stick with the grown ups.
Zbig BRZEZINSKI: I think the United States should not get involved in Pakistani
politics. I deplore the absence of democracy in Pakistan, but I think admonitions
from outside, injecting exile politicians into Pakistan, telling the Pakistan
president what he should or should not wear, that he should take off his uniform,
I don’t really think this is America’s business and I don’t think it
helps to consolidate stability in Pakistan. As far as India’s concerned,
obviously it’s very important that the Indians exercise restraint because
any intensification of tensions between India and Pakistan might very well
inflame conditions even within India which is about 160 to 170 million Muslims.
And the state of Gujarat, which is India but is close to Pakistan is heavily
Muslim and there are already very acute religious, ethnic tensions in Gujarat.
Too bad Mr. Obama isn’t listening to Zbig. The ramifications of Mr. Obama’s
foreign policy ideas, especially on Pakistan send chills down my spine.
Once again, Barack Obama and his campaign not only prove that they are willing
to say anything and take any opportunity to point a finger at a fellow Democrat,
but they do so revealing their abject amateur status of their own national security
The politics of hope was always a mirage, but today it revealed what an unmitigated
fraud the notion was from the start. It also reminds us all that hope in regions
like Pakistan will only get people killed and make the world a more dangerous
place through thinking of politicians like Barack Obama who obviously is offering no insight, while hoisting speculative solutions that are in their infancy of formation.
UPDATE: Axelrod comment goes wide, very quickly. He tries to back away from his offensive remarks, but makes matters worse. Here’s the video. More posts on the disarray of the Obama campaign at Tom Watson, my good friend SusanUnPC over at Larry Johnson’s NoQuarter, TalkLeft.