For a few days people must have noticed that I have starting sporting a button on my blog which loudly proclaims ‘I Support Obama‘, and consequentially many friends have questioned my reasoning to opt for the Democratic candidate instead of the sweet talking McCain. Firstly I accept the fact that as a non-American whatever I say or do will not matter on the outcome, but if there are still any undecided voters and are willing to be swayed by my position then so be it, but I feel its important to support the candidate which I feel could be best for Pakistan
The conclusion I have achieved is most definitely debatable, I choose to look beyond mere words and see a possible solution for the mess in Pakistan. For me Obama represents a fresh change in the White House, it is my understanding that they both propose ‘approximately’ the same line of action for Pakistan. Obama wishes to quickly clean up the terrorism threat in Pakistan, while McCain proposes a slow but extensively drawn out plan of action, which I feel actually means a long term American presence in Pakistan. If they are both generally coming with the same mindset then I feel I would carefully put my eggs into Obama’s basket.
My reasoning is based on a couple of articles that I contributed to Al-Jazeera Election coverage. The first was written immediately after the First Presidential debate while the next one just recently after the Vice Presidential face-off. I must admit that I was unable to physically watch the second presidential debate, but the transcripts I have read on Pakistan show the general position is fairly the same
Al-Jazeera English: Global voices: US foreign policy: In recent terms Pakistan has come under an extensive scrutiny and was important enough to come into discussion during the first presidential debate. McCain kicked off by offering a more soft and understandable approach. He suggested taking the people of Pakistan into confidence on the “war on terror” and moving forward hand-in-hand to eradicate the menace of terrorism.
“We’ve got to get the support of the people of Pakistan … he [Obama] said that he would launch military strikes into Pakistan,” he said. Obama quickly reacted: “Nobody talked about attacking Pakistan. If the United States has al-Qaeda, bin Laden [and] top-level lieutenants in our sights – and Pakistan is unable or unwilling to act – then we should take them out.”
McCain is definitely on the right track to talk about confidence building measures with the people of Pakistan, which at the moment is at its lowest in ages, but contrary to what he suggests, Bush administration has repeatedly failed to do exactly that in eight years, for which he must also accept responsibility. Might we suspect these to be glamourous words just to win an election? I hope not, but eight years of uselessness will not salvage a sinking boat.
Committed to change?
Senator Obama on the other hand seems more committed to change, he suggests a strong hand to remove the terrormongers once in for all. It took the Americans a few months to hunt down Saddam Hussein, but it’s been seven years and the mountains in Afghanistan have yet to cough up Osama Bin Ladin and his deputies only to now have them hiding in Pakistan.
If this was not gross mismanagement then I wonder what is. It was good to see Obama lash out at McCain for supporting a dictator in Pakistan, saying “We had a 20th century mindset that said ‘well, you know, he may be a dictator, but he’s our dictator’ and as a consequence, we lost legitimacy in Pakistan.”
McCain responded “I don’t think that Senator Obama understands that there was a failed state in Pakistan when [former president Pervez] Musharraf came to power. Everybody who was around then, and had been there, and knew about it knew that it was a failed state.” This was a very lame response by McCain, as it definitely displayed the failures in the Bush administrations, failure to gauge the problem and the wrong decision to support the wrong individuals.
They continued to fork over billions of dollars without proper accountability and supported ‘their friend’ till he coughed up his last breath and succumbed to democracy.
No clear ‘victor’
I must admit that apart from picking apart a few statements from within the debate, I do not come forth with a clear victor in regards to the issues of Pakistan. Only in an attempt to bring this presidential debate into a wider perspective for the people in Pakistan, one just feels there is a desperate need for change.
Pakistan stands at a fork in the road. If the same old policies are followed, with the same blind-sighted relationship maintained with crooks and dictators running our country, the menacing war on terror will only get worse. Obama represents a fresh change, as per my neutral review of the debate, it is my understanding that if they both support approximately the same line of action for Pakistan, I would carefully put my eggs into Obama’s basket.
He talks with more commitment to the challenges ahead while simultaneously suggesting a “tough guy” approach on Pakistan.
The write up again for Al-Jazeera was written immediately after the Vice Presidential debate which was a shoot out between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin
Al-Jazeera English: Global voices: The women’s vote: The debate between the US vice-presidential nominees Sarah Palin and Joe Biden went without a hitch. Strong punches were thrown by Joe Biden right from the start, many of which landed as an upper cut on to Sarah Palin.
In response she tried some feeble attempts but the years of experience of Joe Biden came threw and many of her punches barely brushed his jaw line. Somehow the abundantly winking hockey mom ploy did not swing across the swinging voters. Biden instead sent a strong message to the voters that he was a far better vice-presidential choice than the hot blonde on the other side.
Sarah lost, but the important part is that she lost gracefully, performing well above the low expectations. If this encounter were to be examined for its impact on McCain’s run for the White House it would have little impact, he will not gain any momentum from Sarah Palin at his side.
But one thing is for sure, McCain would be far better off with someone else as his vice-presidential nominee. Politics aside it was a good to see women taking the front stage in the US presidential race, sadly Hillary Clinton missed the final boat and instead in all bewilderment McCain plucked Sarah Palin out of the blue.
Women leaders in Pakistan are not a new concept as we have had our share of women politicians to have made their presence felt in a largely conservative society. The most famous woman of course is the recently assassinated Benazir Bhutto. Bhutto was not a product of classical democratic growth but instead can be said to have been born with a silver spoon in her mouth as daughter of ex-prime minister of Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
It is since the arrival of Benazir Bhutto that women have continued to feature as strong political forces to reckon with, which has even been doubly ensured since more than 300 seats are specifically reserved for women in the Pakistani parliamentary system to ensure adequate and equal representation. But one still waits to see a women head the top office in the United States.
Pakistan has already had a women in its top slot, so we could easily say “been there, done that” but then again with Sarah Palin as one of the possible choices, let us pass up on the challenge for now. Maybe next time!
Reading my thoughts on why I choose to support Obama for the upcoming Presidential elections in the United States of America, we must have to admit, Pakistan stands at a very critical juncture and possibly the US Presidential elections could make or break the country. For the sake of Pakistan I hope I am right to inch my support Obama, would you agree or disagree
I’m siding with Obama for simply the fact that Republicans have a habit of dragging us in to unnecessary wars. That said, Obama and McCain are both going to follow the same strategy on Pakistan. The only difference between their stance, as I see it, is that Obama is more vocal about it.
Obama seems much tougher and harsher when you listen to him from a Pakistani/Muslim ear. However, from what I’ve seen, at least he sticks by what he says and a lot of his policies make sense compared to past US presidents.
McCain is softer, but keeps forgetting what he said (hence isn’t reliable) and his VP candidate’s stance is hawkish, putting it mildly.
Obama seems to be well prepared and as you have said yourself, would definitely be going for a change and to bring into light new workable policies. I myself support Obama but again, it becomes senseless to violate a Nuclear-Nation Sovereignty.
As for the McCain’s campaign, Sarah Palin for me is a major letdown and a big failure for the campaign itself
I think Obama is the safest choice for Pakistan. I have watched all the debates and read many of the position articles for both candidates and while Obama has cleared said that he, “as President, will work with the Pakistani government,” is more assuring to me than McCain, who continually refers to the “real mistake of pulling out of Pakistan after the Soviet conflict.” If I recall, the Soviet conflict ended at the end of the 1980s, what has John McCain done for Pakistan or Afghanistan since then.
Also, if we look at the back of the ticket, Senator Biden is one of the sponsors of the US$ 15 billion socio-economic, pro-democracy package for Pakistan.
My real concern with John McCain is that he is old and may not complete his elected term in office, which leaves us with a more inexperienced and extreme version of George W. Bush in Sarah Palin. While I know the same concerns were put forward when Ronald Reagan ran, he was at least smart enough to choose a qualified, capable No.2 (George Bush Sr.). Sarah Palin is too inexperienced and untested to take a chance with the Republicans.
It’s like John McCain said in the last debate: “This country faces alot of difficult challenges and we don’t have time for on-the-job training.” Seems he should look at Sarah Palin when he says things like that, not Barack Obama.
“Actions are louder than words”, Obama can be given slight preference as he says clearly what he want to do i.e. attack Pakistan, but republicans have done it several times but deny to take responsibility and then our Army and polititions have to twist words to owe the attacks.
I never knew that Pakistanis follow the US election so closely. I have a feeling that no matter who becomes US president, third world countries such as Pakistan and my country (Indonesia) need to clean up their messes by themselves.
If you ask me
Q) Should we be more scared of Obama or McCain?
A) I’d say Zardari. He poses a bigger threat than U.S troops, Indian troops and Afghan militants combined.
With the aforementioned forces we’ll die an instant death BANG shot in the head… DEAD. But with AZ, he’ll reach in your pockets empty them first, cut all supplies of foriegn investments to Pakiland, he’ll freeze your bank accounts and lockers and you will die a S.L.O.W D.R.E.A.D.F.U.L D.E.A.T.H by hunger, starvation, depression, hatred and what not.
…umm what was the topic again? oh yes…OBAMA ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!
Pakistan se ZINDA Bhag!
US policies are long term and it realy doesnt matters who is in office…yes, except some domestic issues of USA, the president follows long term agenda of CIA.
An outright war with Pakistan is out of question in present economic conditions of USA and it will be like this for another ten years.
The economic squeez we have to face, and also US will be helping destability in Pakistan…..Obama or that stupid brainless bitch, doesnt matter.
@Nadcracker – ROTFL – you have perfectly presented Pakistans ultimate nightmare to the letter – if Zardari spares us we should consider ourselves lucky
It doesn’t really matter in the long run, policy doesn’t change overnight. One will attack us quietly, the other will do it openly. Zardari, on the other hand, seems to acknowledge that he has given the thumbs up to American interference (on Pakistani soil), and so HE and not Obama or McCain, have really set the agenda.
Totally agree with Silence!
The long term plans remain long term (and firm) regardless of who comes in as the new President. Presidents, though not pawns, have little to do with overall strategies. Most of the internal and external affairs are decided by Jewish lobbies, Army Generals, Intelligence agencies, Dem and Rep advisors etc. But having said all this I still believe a US President plays an integral role in how America performs each term. The bigger picture however is painted by bigger, more influential and dormant people.
Having read so many of Teeth’s articles I’m fully aware that my rant is but just rant for Teeth as he knows all this already, and probably better than I do. But I’m just laying it down for others who have commented on this topic.
It is ALL A Flea Circus!!!
I don’t know if you’re just plain ignorant or naive. The last 8 years of a Republican president preceded by 8 years of a democratic administration have shown us that their foreign policy, especially when it comes to dealing with the Muslim world, remains the same. It just so happens that Musharraf’s years coincided with a Republican president. Americans will always deal with the head of a country whom they deem as pro-American, irrespective of whether it’s a dictator or a monarch. Biden, OBAMA’S running mate, in his VP debate, said that holding elections in Palestine was a mistake since it brought Hamas to power!! So they (Republicans OR Democrats) only want democracy if it helps THEM. Obama’s advisors have publicly praised Gates, the current US Defense Secretary who has recently issued several anti-Pakistani statements. And Obama in several interviews keeps up bringing the $10 billion that they’ve given to Pakistan over the last 7 years (btw, they spend that much in Iraq every week), and says that it’s been used to bolster up Pakistan army’s capabilities to deal with India! Someone ought to tell him how many Pakistani soldiers and civilians have died in the last few years. He, probably like Albright in a DEMOCRATIC administration, also thinks that this loss of human life is worth it. I don’t understand why Muslims in the US, and in particular abroad, have been supporting Obama. I don’t think there’s any reason to believe that Obama will do anything different.
Thank you for having the courage to share the truth. Most Pakistanis and Muslims are ignorant, with weak memories of the past.
I also support Obama…
Zardari made the right decision http://www.newzonfire.com/2008/10/10/mrzardari-decision/
I am amazed how you and many fellow Pakistanis continue to rationalize your own emotional leaning toward Obama by suggesting that Obama doesn’t really mean what he says about Pakistan, that he’s just talking tough and he will not follow through.
I think you are making a very dangerous leap of faith in the face of repeated Obama statements that he will send US ground troops into FATA. Not only that, he continues to show hostility toward Pakistan by spreading false Indian propaganda that Pakistan is preparing for war with India. He has a chip on his shoulder to prove that he is not Muslim. He seems to think that Islam is a “disease” that he must fight. He’s willing to bend over backwards to distance himself from the “Muslim” label, as if it were an epithet.
The truth is that Obama doesn’t know much about diplomacy, foreign policy or national security. If elected, he will be Bush 2000 clone. He doesn’t have a clue about the history of foreign interventions in FATA. He will get the US bogged down in a long, dangerous war there that will make Iraq look like a picnic.
As far as dealing with radicals in FATA, I absolutely agree with it. But there is a smart way and stupid way to do it. Collective punishment of all FATA people will badly backfire. I have written extensively about this subject of FATA, Taliban and AQ on my blog http://www.riazhaq.com and I invite you to read it.
McCain has not only been to Pakistan but he’s been to FATA many times. Being on the ground there gives you a sense of how tough it is to deal with the folks there. You hear about Tora Bora a lot. Most of FATA is like Tora Bora with thousands of caves and lots of tunnels. NO one has been able to prevail on the natives there by bombs and bullets. McCain knows this history, Obama does not.
Obama, all the way……..He might not win due to racist electorate of USA, but he will go down in history, win or no win.
Jolting some memories here. I know Obama says he’ll ‘Take pakistan out’ and he most probably will. But people above who have been ranting about short memories and stuff, kindly regress to the past 3-4 month if you will (i’m not even requesting you go beyond), it is the Bush’s Administration REPUBLICANS who has been bombing our asses over and over. Obama hasn’t steeped in the oval office as yet!
It was the REPUBLICANS who in Bush Sr’s term waged the gulf war. It was the REPUBLICANS who in Bush Jr’s term waged God knows how many wars (“crusades” as they put it, which in itself should be enough to shit ones pants as that means they’re directly saying they’re targeting muslims all over the world).
My point is simple BUSH ALONE DID NOT WAGE THE WARS…BUSH’s ADMINISTRATION DID!!! the same administration that if McCain is elected will come back in office and wouldn’t do much different.
If you think McCain wouldn’t screw us just because he doesn’t say it in-so-many-words then you have another thing coming. He actually agreed with Obama what he talked about ‘taking em out’ but told him “even if we are to take them out we don’t say it out loud!!!”. So YAY McCain doesn’t “say” he’ll kill us, so lets all support him.
I’ll end by quoting Basit “I don’t think there’s any reason to believe that Obama will do anything different.” Agreed! but for the same lack of reasons you should agree that McCain won’t do anything different either.
It is all a flea circus… Some one else is running the puppet show. Jew all know very well Jew…uh…i mean… YOU all know very well WHO!
Oh and Pakistan se ZINDA Bhag!
Why you folks are fighting to choose btw Obama and McCain? while Henry Kissinger once cynically noted “Being America’s ally is more dangerous than being its enemy”
We’re just choosing between who do we want our asses bombed by.
It’s a fun game, you should join too.
One one corner we have McCain who is holding a knife behind his back with intentions to slaughter us to graves but has a scotch tape on his lips so that he doesn’t spill the beans before carrying out the plan.
On the other corner we have Barack Obama who is holding a knife to our necks ready to slit our throats and basically is pretty blunt about his intentions.
McCain has a history behind him to tell us he has backed muslim genocide and various wars and has more than once voted in favor of war in IRAQ and Afghanistan.
Obama has a slightly less violent history (more so because he’s kinda new to the arena and hasn’t had time to spread his wings). He too like McCain has a very clear inclination towards ‘war on terror’ in Pakistan, but brings to the table slightly better economic strategies for U.S’s own benefit and thus in the bigger scheme of things may even alter the stance on the war on terror in Pakistan if U.S is heading towards an economic avalanche (Although I would be naive to believe this myself).
Bottom line, we know we’re screwed, we now just need to choose our favourite player who’d screw us.
It’s a fun game…HOP ON!
Pakistan se ZINDA Bhag!
forgive my example below not that good at english but its like befriending a snake.
either its obama or Mc Cain there wont be any fresh perspective that you expect.
whole political system in US is a mess and in my opinion worst in the world its the zeal of US society that its still a superpower.
“If you ask me
Q) Should we be more scared of Obama or McCain?
A) I’d say Zardari. He poses a bigger threat than U.S troops, Indian troops and Afghan militants combined.”
Now that is “gorgeous” 🙂
“US policies are long term and it realy doesnt matters who is in office”
And that’s a fact, as well.
“Also, if we look at the back of the ticket, Senator Biden is one of the sponsors of the US$ 15 billion socio-economic, pro-democracy package for Pakistan.”
Well, I hope you watched the Biden-Palin debate. In this case too Biden was more hawkish as far as Pakistan is concerned.
By the way here’s exactly what was said:
IFILL: Let’s move to Iran and Pakistan. I’m curious about what you think starting with you Sen. Biden. What’s the greater threat, a nuclear Iran or an unstable [Pakistan]? Explain why.
BIDEN: Well, they’re both extremely dangerous. I always am focused, as you know Gwen, I have been focusing on for a long time, along with Barack on Pakistan. Pakistan already has nuclear weapons. Pakistan already has deployed nuclear weapons. Pakistan’s weapons can already hit Israel and the Mediterranean. Iran getting a nuclear weapon would be very, very destabilizing. They are more than – they are not close to getting a nuclear weapon that’s able to be deployed. So they’re both very dangerous. They both would be game changers.
But look, here’s what the fundamental problem I have with John’s policy about terror instability. John continues to tell us that the central war in the front on terror is in Iraq. I promise you, if an attack comes in the homeland, it’s going to come as our security services have said, it is going to come from al Qaeda planning in the hills of Afghanistan and Pakistan. That’s where they live. That’s where they are. That’s where it will come from. And right now that resides in Pakistan, a stable government needs to be established. We need to support that democracy by helping them not only with their military but with their governance and their economic well-being.
There have been 7,000 madrasses built along that border. We should be helping them build schools to compete for those hearts and minds of the people in the region so that we’re actually able to take on terrorism and by the way, that’s where bin Laden lives and we will go at him if we have actually intelligence.
IFILL: Governor, nuclear Pakistan, unstable Pakistan, nuclear Iran? Which is the greater threat?
PALIN: Both are extremely dangerous, of course. And as for who coined that central war on terror being in Iraq, it was the Gen. Petraeus and al Qaeda, both leaders there and it’s probably the only thing that they’re ever going to agree on, but that it was a central war on terror is in Iraq. You don’t have to believe me or John McCain on that. I would believe Petraeus and the leader of al Qaeda.
An armed, nuclear armed especially Iran is so extremely dangerous to consider. They cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons period. Israel is in jeopardy of course when we’re dealing with Ahmadinejad as a leader of Iran. Iran claiming that Israel as he termed it, a stinking corpse, a country that should be wiped off the face of the earth. Now a leader like Ahmadinejad who is not sane or stable when he says things like that is not one whom we can allow to acquire nuclear energy, nuclear weapons. Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il, the Castro brothers, others who are dangerous dictators are one that Barack Obama has said he would be willing to meet with without preconditions being met first.
And an issue like that taken up by a presidential candidate goes beyond naivete and goes beyond poor judgment. A statement that he made like that is downright dangerous because leaders like Ahmadinejad who would seek to acquire nuclear weapons and wipe off the face of the earth an ally like we have in Israel should not be met with without preconditions and diplomatic efforts being undertaken first.
I have more trust in Joe Biden because of the amount of information and knowledge that he has about Pakistan. Biden knows what Pakistan is about, the challenges that we are facing and ways to overcome them. If Obama is unsteady, Biden can give mine strong advice on how to best work with Pakistan. Whereas, McCain has already flip-flopped on numerous issues and is showing more and more that his temper and judgment are questionable, as if selecting Palin wasn’t enough.
Realistically, Democrats have been bad for Pakistan as a whole, but Republicans have been no better. In this case specifically, I would rather have an Obama-Biden White House than a Palin one. 😉
Why are we behaving like a slave nation?
Are our political leaders and Army men and Intelligence(????)so stupid rather imbecile that we are expecting others(enemies)to solve our problems?Shame!!
whoever is going to be the president of United States i think this should not be our headache.Our main focus should be on the interests of our country.
Now lets say Mr.Obama gets elected,then what does this mean-should we prepare ourselves to
Receive casualties every day?
To see dead bodies around us?
To see Ugly American armymen around us for the rest of our lives?
The situation of Pakistan will be no different from that of Iraq or Afghanistan.
“whoever is going to be the president of United States i think this should not be our headache.”
And no matter who is going to be the president of United States he is going to be our headache.
BTW remember not only the Pakistani but muslim community in America overwhelmingly voted for George W. Bush. 🙂
certainly,he is going to be our headace,so probably we should keep some aspirin tablets with us as well.
To me,it is just like participating in a game.
“kis k hathon se qatal hona pasand karo gay?”
well,obama has the ability to change whereas McCain on the other hand want to hot the show by bringing a hot women from the cold of Alaska,so funny.
While Obama is clearly the better choice to lead the American people but I’m afraid when it comes to Pakistan, sometimes he just pisses me off. Specifically, I’ve had it with his constant whining about Pakistan “not doing enough” in the war on terror when we’ve seen more violence in Pakistan in the last couple of years than ever before! So I resent whenever he implies that somehow we are not doing enough for them, when in fact we’ve been dealing with the mess they’ve created in Iraq / Afghanistan all along. Also, some of his statements have been downright careless and irresponsible, like Riaz Haq mentioned above about “Pakistan preparing for a war with India”. I mean here we are on the brink of bankruptcy, fighting a war against militants inside our own territory, and not a month goes by without a deadly suicide bombing resulting in dozens of deaths and in return what does Mr. Obama say? that somehow still we’re not doing enough? Screw him I say!
As an American citizen, I plan to vote for McCain based largely on my anticipation that he will act more cautiously when it comes to dealing with Pakistan. He is neither a neocon nor an extreme right-wing Republican. In fact, he has always been disliked within his own party and was written off as a candidate last year. So, it is not fair to lump him with George W. Bush.
In spite of my vote for McCain, I am afraid that Obama will most likely be the next president. If there is a silver lining I see, it is the fact that Bruce Reidel, Obama’s point man on South Asia, is talking a lot of sense about Pakistan. For example, he said recently, “Pakistan is an extremely dangerous and unstable country. We need to tread carefully. We need to get the Pakistanis to see this as their war. And that’s going to require some major new initiatives on the American side. Commando raids and Predator strikes are not a long term solution to this problem”.
please add another option in your poll.
1. Barak Obama
2. John Mccain
3. None of Above
Then the results might be look like below.
Lke pretty much everyone I support Obama. McCain promised more wars and that’s all he seems to talk about. McCain definitely wants more wars with Islamic countries as he implied this in his “war on Islamofascism.
Obama’s “policy” is the policy that will be adopted in the U.S. regardless of whether he will be elected or not. Senator Obama is merely being truthful whereas John McCain is being deceptive. Also, I think a lot of people tend to forget that Senator Obama is giving the Pakistani government a clear indication of American expectations instead of just violating the country’s status as a sovereign nation (as the current president has already done).
May I remind those who intend on voting for or support McCain that he sang the song, “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran” at a public gathering about six months ago. Don’t be fooled by McCain’s false portrayals regarding Pakistan. He doesn’t care about Pakistan AT ALL. At least, Obama is attempting to resolve the issue by creating a dialogue. At least, he shows enough respect for the Pakistani people to be honest with them about the stance he has chosen I don’t think we can say the same for McCain
He doesn’t care about Pakistan AT ALL. At least, Obama is attempting to resolve the issue by creating a dialogue. At least, he shows enough respect for the Pakistani people to be honest with them about the stance
Is saadgi Pay Kuan Na marjaye Aye Khuda
Obama Threatens Dire Consequences if Iran Doesn’t Change its Ways
…Both McCain and Obama said they would come to Israel’s aid against an attack from Iran during the debate, with McCain saying he would not wait for UN approval to intervene militarily, and Obama saying that the U.S. cannot take the military option off the table or allow the Islamic Republic to acquire a nuclear weapon…
Soon Allah swt will make this true INSHALLAH_
“American Empire is nearing the end of its road”
Have you ever listen this Guy “Ron Paul”
He is another Candidate for president.
Think of Ron Paul as the American Imran Khan. Would be an excellent choice as president. Him, or Ralph Nader would be my picks…
Obama to stiffle speech on the web? Well, you decide:
New AG Choice Advocated To Stifle Speech On Web