The primary campaign has turned into a very long dance for Barack Obama, who seems determined to prove at every opportunity that he has two left feet. In New Hampshire, Obama told a crowd that the US military effort consists mainly of "air raiding villages and killing civilians" -- which his tone-deaf campaign confirmed moments later to reporters (via The Corner):
Obama defended his push to prosecute a tougher military effort to root out al-Qaida on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, which drew criticism from primary rivals for sounding too bellicose.
“Now you have narco drug lords who are helping to finance the Taliban, so we’ve got to get the job done there, and that requires us to have enough troops that we are not just air raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there,’’ Obama said.
Campaign spokesman Reid Cherlin said Obama was not endorsing the current Bush policy, which consists solely of air raids and bombing of civilians.
The NATO troops in Afghanistan would beg to differ. They don't have a policy of bombing civilians, and the ground troops play a very important role in defending Afghanistan's villages from the depravities of Taliban control. Perhaps Obama can explain his analysis of military strategy and tactics to the ground troops that get wounded in these battles -- or to the families of the dead soldiers who died holding ground against the radical Islamists.
In fact, as posited by the Obama campaign, such a strategy would amount to war crimes. This sounds perilously close to the same kind of accusations that Vietnam War veterans faced when they came back from their service -- that they indiscriminately wiped out villages, killing women, children, and babies. And Obama offers this as a defense of his previous pronouncement that he would invade Pakistan as a positive step, presumably as an improvement on indiscriminate attacks on villages in Afghanistan.
Obama started this primary campaign looking like a man with a future in the Democratic Party. His asinine pronouncements on military affairs and foreign policy now make him look like someone drowning in two feet of water. Besides having a nice voice and a pleasant disposition, the man has nothing to offer. He's an empty suit, a man who doesn't engage his brain before activating his jaw.
Another part of his speech provides an example. He claims that he will settle the Iraq War by having Saudi Arabia and China occupy Iraq. How exactly will the US convince China to send troops to Iraq -- and why would the Iraqis want the Chinese there at all? Why would we want to put Chinese troops in the center of the Middle East, with all of the critical energy interests we have there? And while some Sunni Iraqis might consider Saudi troops as allies, the majority Shi'ites will see it as another Sunni attempt to dominate them. They would almost certainly appeal to Teheran for troops, and the regional war would flash into existence.
Does Obama think before making these statements? Does he think at all? He's not just blowing his chances in this election, but he's making an argument for his long-term exclusion from any position with foreign policy or military issues under his control.
UPDATE: The AP's Nedra Pickler tries to run interference for Obama with a ludicrous "fact check," which requires its own fact check. I provide it here.