Republicans and right-wingers are famous for beating their chests and labeling anyone who wants to get our troops out of the crossfire of Iraq's murderous civil war as cowards and surrender monkeys. It is highly ironic then that when it comes to pursuing the mass murderers of 3,000 of our fellow citizens, they are in favor of a kid gloves approach as illustrated by this Reuters story:
Despite calls for U.S. action against al Qaeda in Pakistan, the Bush administration is counting on Pakistani forces to cripple militant operations in a series of U.S.-backed raids, officials and experts say.
And they want to make lovey-dovey with the people who are harboring the mass murderers of 9/11:
The administration believes eliminating al Qaeda's influence in the region will require a long-term, multimillion-dollar, hearts-and-minds campaign to erode support for militants among a tribal populace known for its hostility to outside authority.
If there was ever a place in the world where we should consider using military force it would be Pakistan's northwestern frontier. This region is known to harbor Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists who routinely infiltrate across the Afghan border to attack US troops and Afghan civilians. Many analysts believe that the masterminds of 9/11, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri are hiding out in this area.
Attacking Pakistan would be an extraordinarily perilous action for us to undertake, but no responsible President or candidate for the Presidency should take this possibility off of the table. After all, if we receive good intelligence that a repeat 9/11-style attack is in its final stages and is being directed from Pakistan we would have no choice but to act regardless of the consequences to Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.
I've read Musharraf's book "In the Line of Fire" (how I wish you right-wingers would read more books and watch less television like that stupid "24" program), and I believe him when he claims he is strongly opposed to the Islamic extremists who want to take Pakistan back to the stone ages. Our support for him, however, can only go so far as it doesn't risk another 9/11-style attack. The now-defunct truce that Musharraf arranged with the tribes of Waziristan has allowed Al Qaeda to regroup in that region and has consequently adversely affected US national security. Musharraf, and any other world leader, must be on notice that if a terrorist group uses their soil to plan an attack on the US we will certainly take action as a matter of self-defense and that, in the words of our President, "we will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them".
The right-wing chickenhawks who are quivering in their boots about Barack Obama's statements on this matter need to stiffen up their spines and steady their weak knees. We should absolutely put Musharraf on notice that an invasion of his country is possible if something isn't done about the Al Qaeda presence there. In fact, the Bush administration's inaction in this regard may already be too late to prevent another disastrous terrorist attack on our homeland. It's amazing that the chickenhawks who were so eager to take on Saddam Hussein's crumbling and apathetic military in the invasion of Iraq are squealing like schoolgirls at a Backstreet Boys concert when it comes to Pakistan.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!