Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Reactions To The Assassination

It's truly difficult to ascertain, from his/her reaction as a candidate to a foreign policy crisis, how a President will react when danger erupts abroad. Still, it's interesting to note how some of the major candidates reacted upon news of the assassination of Benazhir Bhutto. Mike Huckabee made the rather curious link between Pakistan and illegal immigration, contending "and it happens if people can slip across our border and we have no control over it." Although Mitt Romney conceded "we don't know who is responsible for this attack," he breathlessly argued "we must come together in an effort in great haste and with grat earnestness to help overcome the threat of the spread of radical, violent Jihad." And John McCain, sensing a political opening in a tragic event, commented "I’m the one with the experience, the knowledge and the judgment, so perhaps it may serve to enhance those credentials." Classy.

Over on the more rational side of the aisle, Hillary Clinton appropriately remarked “I am profoundly saddened and outraged by the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, a leader of tremendous political and personal courage....my family and I extend our condolences and deepest sympathies to the victims and their families and to the people of Pakistan.” Unfortunately, as Ben Smith reports on politico.com, the New York Senator, unaware that the upcoming elections are for Parliament and thus President Musharraf won't be on the ballot, on December 28, 2007 told CNN's Wolf Blitzer "if President Musharraf wishes to stand for election, then he should abide by the same rules that every other candidate will have to follow." Oops.

John Edwards was able to get President Musharraf on the phone soon after the assassination and, the Washington Post opined, delivered "words the Pakistani president needs to hear from as many Americans as possible," in encouraging Musharraf "to continue on the path to democratization [and] to allow international investigators to come in and determine what happened, what the facts were."

And as for the Great Uniter, Barack Obama? Senator Obama contended in part "we join with them in mourning her loss and stand with them in their quest for democracy and against the terrorists who threaten the common security of the world." The Illinois Senator was not content to jump to a Bush-like conclusion, without confirmation, that terrorists were the culprits. Obama drew a connection among the war in Iraq, the subsequent increase in terrorism, a strengthening of Al Qaeda in Pakistan (reasonable, so far)- and the assassination (debatable, at best). The Washington Post editorialized that Obama's spokesman, David Axelrod, said Ms. 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 the event today." The Post concluded "when questioned later about his spokesman's remarks, Mr. Obama stiffly defended them -- while still failing to offer any substantive response to the ongoing crisis. Is this Mr. Obama's way of rejecting 'the same Washington game' he lambasted earlier in the day? If so, his game doesn't look very new, or attractive."

Yes, it is the same Washington game. Blame "terrorists" without specifying the terrorists, and look for facts later, fitting the same pattern we've grown accustomed to over the past seven years.

No comments:

This "R" Stands for More than "Reprehensible"

He's not insane but if Jim Steinman was right that "two out of three ain't bad," three out of four is quite good. Th...