September 17, 2008

Obama's War

mandrakemag-1.jpg Christopher Hitchens notes, not without irony, that

"American liberals can't quite face the fact that if their man does win in November, and if he has meant a single serious word he's ever said, it means more war, and more bitter and protracted war at that—not less." -Pakistan is the problem. Slate Magazine

Of course, that may not be so much of a problem since so much of Obama's allure depends on either not meaning exactly what he says, or not meaning anything he says. Obama communicates to his supporters in the "beyond the linear-verbal mode." What he says is not what you get, it is what you see that you get. But you are only buying the visual not the verbal.

His supporters "believe." They believe that after he is elected, the "real Obama" will emerge from behind the curtain and lead them to the promised land. The real policies of Obama are not to be spoken before the election, but left to come along after in classic Manchurian Candidate mode. Mandrake the Magician has done less hypnotic gesturing in his whole career than we have seen from Obama in this campaign.

At the same time, the thing for his supporters to worry about when it comes to Afghanistan-Pakistan is

1) this is the major foundation for Obama's "foreign-policy" experience, and 2) that experience is 27 years old.

Barack Obama’s Pakistan Connections : ALL THINGS PAKISTAN.As a college frosh... Obama had an international circle of friends _ “a real eclectic sort of group,” says Vinai Thummalapally, who himself came from Hyderabad, India. As a freshman, he quickly became friends with Mohammed Hasan Chandoo and Wahid Hamid, two wealthy Pakistanis.

In 1981, Obama transferred from Occidental to Columbia. In between, he traveled to Pakistan - a trip that enhanced his foreign policy qualifications, he maintained in a private speech at a San Francisco fundraiser last month.

Obama spent “about three weeks” in Pakistan, traveling with Hamid and staying in Karachi with Chandoo’s family... “He was clearly shocked by the economic disparity he saw in Pakistan. He couldn’t get over the sight of rural peasants bowing to the wealthy landowners they worked for as they passed.”

Of course you have to ask "Why Pakistan?" for an overseas summer sojourn. Well, to begin with there's nothing like having some wealthy in-country connections to ease your way overseas as an impoverished student. Another factor might be the curiosity about the country stimulated by those late college evening bull-sessions that are the fate of any college student.

In any case, Pakistan is the one country that Obama really feels he knows something -- even if it is a little and very outdated something -- about, and in a President a little knowledge can be a very dangerous thing. He might even decide to help those "rural peasants bowing to the wealthy landowners." And not just with the Peace Corps.

Posted by Vanderleun at September 17, 2008 11:22 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

The thing I wonder is if Obama himself lives in his little disconnected fantasy world or if he knows what he is doing. I am leaning towards the former.

Posted by: chuck at September 17, 2008 1:00 PM

I'm leaning towards the latter. The international Left wants nothing more than to see America weakened, humbled, and prostrate before the UN.

Posted by: rickl at September 17, 2008 10:51 PM

There's a whole bunch of those Chandoo brothers, Gerard. Two are major fundraisers for Obama, and another (also a fundraiser) lives in Karachi, where he's active in politics. Seeing as how Obama's a "pay to play" kind of guy, his interest in Pakistan might just be's just not very clear whose interest that is.

Posted by: JBean at September 18, 2008 5:37 AM