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Barack Of Waziristan

But if Barack is talking about sending U.S. ground forces into Waziristan or Baluchistan, why would this not leave us in another mess like Iraq, with the U.S. Army bleeding and no way out? Would not Osama bin Laden rejoice in a border crossing by U.S. troops into Pakistan, enraging the Pakistani nationalists as well as the border tribes?

After half a decade of fighting in the Islamic world, has not the lesson sunk in with the hawks of both parties? U.S. troops in an Arab or Muslim country are more likely to create an insurgency than quell one. ~Pat Buchanan

Quite right.  This confirms my sense that Obama has taken this position because he was guessing that it is the position he needs to take to appear “serious” in the eyes of the media and the public.  He never gave much thought to what it might involve to do the things he has proposed, what the consequences might be and whether it had any realistic chance of succeeding.  Presented with hard and difficult realities, Obama retreats to the optimist’s dodge: “Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it.”  Well, no, but if something has a low chance  of success and significant costs, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there may be a better alternative.  Hope, as they say, is not a strategy–unless your name is Bush…or Obama.  

A great one for trumpeting his own prescience in 2002-03 when he happened to be right about Iraq, he seems now to demonstrate none of the same caution, deliberation or intelligence that I thought informed his views about that invasion then.  Someone must be telling him that he has to overcome the perception that he is some wobbly, wimpy dove and has to appear strong and decisive and supportive of military action, which is strange because Mark Penn is already employed by someone else.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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