Will Pakistan Choose Our President?

It's been a few hours since the Bhutto assassination, so it's time for political pundits to do their stuff and predict how this will affect the presidential primaries. The conventional wisdom: It's good for the candidates who have been running on their foreign policy experience (Clinton, McCain, Biden), bad for the guy who says he understands the world because he stayed at a Holiday Inn last night.

I'm speaking of Mike Huckabee, who partially botched his response (speaking to a crowd that was 88 percent his supporers, 12 percent Ron Paul supporters):

He made a bad choice of words when saying the U.S. needs to consider “what impact does it have on whether or not there’s going to be martial law continuing in Pakistan.” He should have said whether or not martial law will be reinstated – it was lifted nearly two weeks ago. A minor slip, maybe, but not a subject he wants to mess up on when he is already considered weak in the area of foreign policy.

Lucky for him, Jim Geraghty doesn't think the assassination will move Iowans.

Iowa has few military bases, defense contractors, etc. and has always had something of a pacifist or isolationist streak; national security issues just don't resonate in that state the way that economic and social issues do there. New Hampshire isn’t terribly different; I recall a high-level Republican official in that state telling me in summer 2004 that the war on terror just didn’t move voters in his neck of the woods; it was a faraway issue.

I don't know. It's not the same thing, but a month before the 2004 Iowa caucuses Saddam Hussein was captured in Iraq and there was an effect on the race: the long, hard fall of Howard Dean. He said (correctly, in retrospect) that it was still safe to nominate an anti-Iraq War candidate like him because "the capture of Saddam Hussein has not made us safer," and he got pummelled by... basically everybody, from the irrelevant but headline-grabbing Joe Lieberman to the desperate Dick Gephardt to the surging John Kerry.

This Democratic race isn't like that one (Obama, the closest thing they have to Dean, has responded with measure) and the stakes are very different. Democrats were cautious about nominating an anti-Iraq war candidate if public opinion turned on the war, as it started to after the Saddam capture. There's no comparable worry about the candidates' Pakistan stances. The only candidate in the old Dean position is Huckabee, who doesn't sound like he can handle these crises. The candidate who can use this: John McCain.

Ron Paul hasn't issued a statement yet, but I have asked for one from the campaign. I am truly interested in what he'll say, as the lone candidate who'd pack up our bases in Central Asia.

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  • Stakipani||

    So did Romney bankroll the bomber to keep Paul from getting third in Iowa?

  • ||

    Ron Paul hasn't issued a statement yet ...

    "That's none of our business."

  • ed||

    Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan...why are all the Stans so messed up?

  • Ali||

    I really think that the best statement that Paul can make is something along these lines.

    "We have withdraw troops from the region, but be prepared to form a very strong Department of Defense (including some of the functions of the CIA) that will ensure that no attack takes place against us. If a move towards an attack ever takes place, we will declare war on Pakistan or any other country in the region, and will bomb the hell out of them. In the meantime, it is in the best interest of the USA to stay away from the mess over there."

  • Ali||

    Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan...why are all the Stans so messed up?

    ed- You might have just found the problem with the region. Lets change their names! That'll do it.

  • ||

    Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan...why are all the Stans so messed up?

    You forgot Durkdurkistan. Now that place is a real fucking mess.

  • ||

    I know what the media will say: This Is Bad For The Democrats.

    And if poor Mrs. Bhutto rises from her casket, that too will be Bad For The Democrats.

  • ||

    Paul will also add that it is rather ironic that this entire mess is directly a consequence of US Foreign policy.

  • thoreau||

    And if poor Mrs. Bhutto rises from her casket, that too will be Bad For The Democrats.

    If Bhutto rises from her casket, I'd say that ordained minister Huckabee will be the one with serious job security issues.

  • xtrabiggg||

    Unless he stays on the script approved by Ed Rollins, Mike Huckabee reveals what an intellectual lightweight he is in regards to foreign policy. While Ron Paul can think on his feet and cite historical texts by learned authors about most major issues, Mike Huckabee has to sit with his crayons and juice at the kids table while his advisors 'formulate' a resonse.

    Do we really want another President who is merely a creation of his publicists, advisors and bankrollers? That's what you'll get with Mike (I'll say anything for a fundraiser) Huckabee, Fred (where's my script) Thompson, John (BOught and paid for by the military) McCain, Rudy 9-11!! 9-11!!! NONE-ELEVEN!!!!) Giuliani, and Mitt (I'd have to check with my lawyers) Romney.

    xtrabiggg
    +++++++++++++++

  • Brandybuck||

    The attack was internal by Pakistanis on Pakistanis. Our response should be limited to one of official condolences. Using it as an excuse to invade a third nation would be pure evil.

    The islamo-fascists may hate us for our freedoms, but this incident shows that they hate fellow Muslims every bit as much. They're crazy mofo bastards, and our proper foreign policy should be to stop stirring up that hornets' nest. Only Ron Paul is advocating a non-interventionist policy.

  • ed||

    They could try changing Stan to Ollie but I doubt that would help.

  • Kolohe||

    I said this in this last thread, and I'll say it here (minus the tasteless comment)

    This will have no effect on the US election. Furthermore, this will have a negligible effect on events outside of Pakistan.

    Within Pakistan, this will obviously be important for a while. However, a Bhutto presidency (prime ministership?) would have not caused dramatic changes to the political situation of Pakistan. Her party has many of the same allies and more importantly, the same enemies as Musharraf's, and she herself would have been beholden to much of the same institutional inertia that causes the baseline amount of corruption present in most developing countries. I find it hard to believe that she would or could serve as an agent of change since she has an actual track record of being in power.

  • Dark Cloud||

    I know what the media will say: This Is Bad For The Democrats.


    Silver Lining !

  • Copyeditor||

    "It's been a few hours since the Bhutto assassination, so it's time for political pundits to do their stuff talk out of their asses and predict how this will affect the presidential primaries."

  • ||

    It's good for the candidates who have been running on their foreign policy experience (Clinton. . . .

    Seeing as she didn't have any security clearances as First Spouse, exactly what foreign policy experience does she have (other than picking up the right fork at state dinners, of course)?

  • Mr. Chartreuse||

    If Bhutto rises from her casket, I'd say that ordained minister Huckabee will be the one with serious job security issues.

    Begin geek post

    That depends. If Bhutto rises as a zombie* then any old person with a boomstick will be in good shape for business. If she rises as a vampire, then minister Huckabee will be in good shape job security wise (blessing water, holding crosses, etc.).

    *this rules out fantasy-RPG zombies where all undead can be hurt by holy water type attacks

    This concludes the geek post for this thread.

  • Guy Montag||

    Where is that Madaline Albright poster to ask if anybody thinks that bin Laden is being kept someplace so his capture can be announced right before the election?

  • ||

    "The islamo-fascists may hate us for our freedoms"

    Actually, a poll was taken among Middle Easterners which showed that one of the things they most admired about us were our freedoms. What they most despised about us was our meddling in their affairs.

  • ||

    Are you saying Mike Huckabee can turn undead?

  • ||

    "Mike Huckabee has to sit with his crayons and juice at the kids table while his advisors 'formulate' a resonse."

    That would be his "Jesus juice."

  • ||

    *this rules out fantasy-RPG zombies where all undead can be hurt by holy water type attacks

    Just promise me there are no invincibility hacks in this game.

  • ||

    I know what Guiliani will say.

    "9/11"

  • ||

    Now I'm confused.

    What are the candidates' policy recommendations for fighting zombies?

  • VM||

    Was this the Paki Caucus? And why weren't people waving "Ron Paul" signs on little sticks?

  • Bryan||

    I don't know. I certainly appreciated it when Pakistan invaded us after President Lincoln was assassinated. Same with President Kennedy. And Bobby. The Pakistanian army providing security in those moments of crisis were just what we needed.

  • Bryan||

    Blue,

    Either you are with us, or you are with the zombies.

  • ||

    "I find it hard to believe that she would or could serve as an agent of change since she has an actual track record of being in power."

    Are we talking about Bhutto or the "broom rider".

  • ||

    Jake,

    Did you seriously just mean to refer to all Middle Easterners as Islamo-facists? Or are you just really bad at interpreting poll questions?

  • Middle Class Worker||

    See? All of this unrest benefits BushCo and his cabal of neocon minions.

    If they can't win, they manufacture events to influence the election in their favor. This is another Reichstag Fire.

  • ||

    I do not see the link
    It is not like the president of USA is responsible for the protection of a foreign politicien !!
    Butto was hated by literaly everyeone in pakistan because she stole a loooooots of money.
    Further more the pakis of pakistan are easily influenced because more than half its 160 million people are illiterate and listen to their uneducated sheiks(religious figures) that come up with crap called fatwas (Religion type of duty) all the time.
    Those fatwas are tradition related and range from terrorism to stupidity but they call it Islam because they add the name of god to it.

    Most of the educated pakis are living la vida loca in USA.

    Between us it is no surprise to anyone that she got killed !!
    I hope Ron Paul will not be next.

  • ||

    "Did you seriously just mean to refer to all Middle Easterners as Islamo-facists? Or are you just really bad at interpreting poll questions?"

    I was quoting an earlier poster. I believe Islamo-fascists make up a very small percentage of Middle Easterners.

  • ||

    Why is this sleazy, crooked bitch being treated like Georgina Washington? She didn't deserve to die, but now that it has has happened, why I am supposed to give a colossal damn? Pakistan may go into the shitter? It was heading there before she ever came back, and she was certainly guaranty that it would not wind up there anyway. So, at worst, we are back to the status quo of a few months ago.

    The bottom line is this: our chosen crooked asshole was becoming less and less tenable every day, so we had a replacement crooked asshole lined up, and now she is dead. Maybe Ron Paul's response would be that we should get out of the crooked asshole business. In any event, it is mine.

  • Guy Montag||

    Side note: I am interested to hear what my Pakistani bartender buddy has to say about this. He really did not like this woman.

    BTW, he is quite traditional. For Rhamadan he fasted on Tequila, no beer at all.

  • ||

    "NO guaranty"

  • alan||

    Are you saying Mike Huckabee can turn undead?


    No, he just puts them to sleep with speeches expressing the most banal of human sentiments.

  • ||

    Just promise me there are no invincibility hacks in this game.

    Bhutto's corpse rising from the dead is, by definition, an invincibility hack.

  • ||

    I believe Islamo-fascists make up a very small percentage of Middle Easterners.

    Honestly don't mean to go Godwin here, but what percentage of Germans were members of the Nazi party? Or Soviets of the Communist party?

  • ||

    by the way Pakistan is not part of the midle east and Islamo fashist is a term invented by the Media.

    There is Muslim and there is terrorist
    Terrorists kill innocent people
    Islam forbiddes the killing of innocent people
    especially women and kids even at war.

    By the way trowing bombs and killing innocent civilians is terrorism for the people getting killed.

    So please!! Stop using that word.
    That is why I respect Ron Paul.He knows it is not a religion problem it is a political and economical problem

  • ||

    In a celebrity death match-type fight who would you pick? The Islamozombie or the Islamofascist?

    The winner gets to take on the Islamoyuppie in a winner take all Ultimate Islamo Fighting Championship match.

  • ||

    "Honestly don't mean to go Godwin here, but what percentage of Germans were members of the Nazi party? Or Soviets of the Communist party?"

    As I said before, what are the chances that the Middle East will start up a war against as powerful a country as us. They may engage in terrorism against us, but only because of our meddling over there.

  • Mr. Chartreuse||

    Are you saying Mike Huckabee can turn undead?

    If he rolls high enough.

  • ||

    "By the way trowing bombs and killing innocent civilians is terrorism for the people getting killed."

    When it's done deliberately to provoke terrorism among the public as we did in Hirshima and Nagasaki and Churchill did in Germany.

  • Guy Montag||

    Or Soviets of the Communist party?

  • thoreau||

    I was thinking more about the spiritual implications of a Muslim woman rising from the dead after being killed by religious leaders, perhaps with help from agents of an empire.

    That event would seem to render Huckabee's job description moot.

    OTOH, if she just rose as a mundane monster, yeah, I guess Huckabee would be in a good position to use his clerical powers and turn her away.

  • Guy Montag||

    RJ,

    Bombing industrial centers is not terrorism, especially with the bomb accuracy at that time.

  • ||

    Islamofascist is a term coined by early supporters of the Iraq War, for the purpose of confusing people into thinking that the Ba'athist government in Iraq (the fascist part) and the the religious fanatics in al Qaeda (the Islamo- part) were part of the same political movement.

  • Guy Montag||

    Let me try that again.

    Or Soviets of the Communist party?

    Soviet Communist Party members were about three percent of the Russian population, not sure of the other 'Republics'.

    USA Party membership (all Parties) was around three percent at that time too.

  • ||

    "Bombing industrial centers is not terrorism, especially with the bomb accuracy at that time."

    Churchill stated that it was his purpose to kill civilians. And I'm saying that as a relative of his. He was nothing but a warmonger.

  • Mr. Chartreuse||

    I was thinking more about the spiritual implications of a Muslim woman rising from the dead after being killed by religious leaders, perhaps with help from agents of an empire.

    That event would seem to render Huckabee's job description moot.


    Yes it would, but I have to admit I wasn't thinking anywhere near that deeply (as if my original post wasn't enough evidence of that).

  • ||

    Bombing industrial centers that you know have nothing to do with the war effort, for the purpose of cowing the population by demonstrating your ability to slaughter them, is terrorism.

    Dresden was a terror bombing, just like the blitz.

  • ||

    I'd vote for Zombie Churchill over Zombie Bhutto.

  • Guy Montag||

    Dresden perfectly stopped the use by the Germans of the rail yard, without destroying the yard for the Allies later use.

  • ||

    Islamofascist is a term coined by early supporters of the Iraq War

    On the same note, I think I first heard the term used extensively by Michael Savage.

    Something like, "grrr, roar, rrr, Islamofascists, plllt, grrr, snarl."

  • ||

    This ought to be a golden opportunity for Obama to say WAR on terror is like pouring gasoline on a fire. What more proof do we need? War is not the right approach. (As if it ever had been.)

    The revolting developments in Pakistan make Hillary look foolish.

  • thoreau||

    Does she have to be dead?

    Couldn't they do a "Weekend at Bhutto's" thing?

  • ||

    I'd vote for Zombie Churchill over Zombie Bhutto.

    I'd support a third-party run by Zombie Thomas Jefferson.

  • VM||

    ooh! Doktor T from way downtown!

    *Swish*

    two snaps and a circle for that one! :)

  • ||

    "The revolting developments in Pakistan make Hillary look foolish."

    How is that, Ruthless?

  • Episiarch||

    Are you saying Mike Huckabee can turn undead?

    When he's ready, he won't have to.

  • ||

    "Dresden perfectly stopped the use by the Germans of the rail yard, without destroying the yard for the Allies later use."

    People can make up excuses to justify anything. The fire bombing of civilians is never justified.

  • ||

    And then Pervez Musharraf will say "7/11."

    I know what Guiliani will say.

    "9/11"

  • ||

    Rattlesnake Jake,
    It's frightening you have to ask how it makes Hillary look foolish.

  • ||

    It makes her look foolish for sniping at Obama when he said that we might attack Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan.

    But that's probably not what Ruthless was going for.

  • ||

    "Rattlesnake Jake,
    It's frightening you have to ask how it makes Hillary look foolish."

    I give up. I can't think of any reason why it makes her look foolish, although, I'm all for her looking foolish.

  • Guy Montag||

    RJ,

    The fire bombing of civilians is never justified.

    When they are Nazi German Bastards it is!

    Diddo for Illinois Nazi Bastards!

  • Guy Montag||

    er, ditto

  • ||

    Hillary is Bush's Gunga Din, except she carries gasoline.

  • ||

    "The fire bombing of civilians is never justified."

    "When they are Nazi German Bastards it is!"

    How many German citizens were Nazi German Bastards? You're sounding like Dondero now when he justifies killing innocent Middle Easterners for what the terrorists did on 9/11.

  • ||

    If we let the Pakistanis choose our president, in exchange for allowing us to choose theirs, we'd probably all be better off.

  • Guy Montag||

    RJ,

    All of them! Are you some sort of Illinois Nazi sympathizer(sp?) or something?

  • Guy Montag||

    You're sounding like Dondero now when he justifies killing innocent Middle Easterners for what the terrorists did on 9/11.

    There is one kee difference. I don't want to kill the innocent ones, I just want to nuke the bastards.

  • Guy Montag||

    ugh, kee == key

  • ||

    There is one kee difference. I don't want to kill the innocent ones, I just want to nuke the bastards.

    Because when I think precision weaponry, I think nukes.

  • VM||

    Mo - nuke the site from orbit. To be sure.

  • Guy Montag||

    If they were innocent they would not have been hiding in that terrorist cave now would they?

    NUKE IT!

  • VM||

    Guy -

    probably in caves you'd want some sort of gas or something like that, dontcha think?

  • Guy Montag||

    VM,

    Vaporizing the mountain from the inside out looks so much cooler. Haven't you ever heard of "the art of war"?

  • VM||

    oooh - performance art!!!

    (as long as it's sans NEA grants, that is)

  • Guy Montag||

    DoD and DoE grants all the way baby!

  • VM||

    heh!

  • Dave W.||

    So do they know why the assasin assinated her yet?

  • Guy Montag||

    So do they know why the assasin assinated her yet?

    Some speculate that it is a plot to prevent Dr. Ron Paul form winning the Republican nomination.

  • Dave W.||

    Have you formed an opinion on the matter yet yerownself, Guy?

  • Guy Montag||

    Yes.

  • ||

    If we let the Pakistanis choose our president, in exchange for allowing us to choose theirs, we'd probably all be better off.

    Yes, joe, I can totally see how having a homocidal islamic theocrat who hates Americans and wants to kill all of us and the Israelis too being the commander-in-chief of the most powerful military possessing the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, while Pakistan is governed by a moderate statist female warhawk for a few months before she is assassinated by Islamic extremists, would be an improvement over the status quo.

    I will grant that you probably intended a bit of snark there, but ferchrissakes, think before posting.

  • ||

    Ron Paul's response was all over CNN and Fox, currently on YouTube and Digg.

    CNN: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EidPmOpDJ08
    FOX: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etQDCrd584s

  • ||

    I had no idea you were so bigotted towards Pakistanis, prolefeed.

    Pakistanis have never - not once, in the entire history of their nation - elected a homocidal islamic theocrat who hates Americans and wants to kill all of us and the Israelis too. Not once.

    Why don't you look into yourself and try to figure out what it is about Pakistanis - who elected a female head of state before us, you ignorant fool, you might have heard her name before, "Benazir Bhutto" - would choose an Islamist fundie?

    Them people, huh?

  • ||

    I guess I have to coin a second law.

    joez Second Law of the Intertubez: if you write a lengthy post insulting someone's intelligence, you won't just make a spelling error, but an error of a factual nature that is glaring, obvious, and demonostrably fatal to the point you thought you were making.

    Tell you what, let's call it prolefeed's Law.

  • Robert||

    Islamofascist is a term coined by early supporters of the Iraq War


    You obviously don't listen to Dave Emory. I'm not saying you need to, but at least there's one source who'll set you straight. The terms "Islamofascist" and less widely "Islamonazi" have long been in use by critics mostly from a "left" perspective warning of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ba'ath, and other specific and nonspecific connections between Moslem organiz'ns and actual Nazis. Not neo-Nazis, authentic ones.

  • Guy Montag||

    Bill Richardson was calling for Pres. Musharraf to step down this morning? WTF? Isn't that like calling for Lyndon Johnson to "step down" because Bobby Kennedy was murdered? Like calling for the Speaker of the House to "step down" when JFK was assasinated?

    The guy was just elected on 6 October 2007 and now he needs to "step down"?

    At least Chris Dodd made some sense this AM.

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