Please read “Why this lifelong Republican may vote for Obama” by Michael Smerconish. The excellent article points out the failing of the Bush and McCain party in the hunt for Osama bin Laden since September 11, 2001:
Where the hell are Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri? And why does virtually no one ask anymore? What’s changed since the days when any suburban soccer mom would have strangled either of them with her bare hands if given the chance? And what happened to President Bush’s declaration to a joint session of Congress nine days after 9/11 that “any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.” Doesn’t that apply to Pakistan?
Smerconish saw some hope in Obama:
Things changed somewhat on Aug. 1, 2007, when Barack Obama delivered a speech at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars: “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets, and President Musharraf won’t act, we will,” he said.
“We can’t send millions and millions of dollars to Pakistan for military aid, and be a constant ally to them, and yet not see more aggressive action in dealing with al-Qaida.”
Finally, I thought, a presidential candidate saying something about this foreign-policy failure.
The reaction? Ridicule.
Smerconish interviewed Obama on March 21, 2008 regarding to Taliban and Pakistan:
“What’s clear from … what I’ve learned from talking to troops on the ground is that unless we can really pin down some of these Taliban leaders who flee into the Pakistan territories, we’re going to continue to have instability, and al-Qaida’s going to continue to have a safe haven, and that’s not acceptable.”
“And al-Qaida is stronger now than at any time since 2001, and we’ve got to do something about that because those guys have a safe haven there and they are still planning to do Americans harm.”
Smerconish interviewed McCain on June 13, 2008:
“I have promised that I will get Osama bin Laden when I am president of the United States, but … you can go on the Internet, and look at that countryside, and there’s a reason why it hasn’t been governed since the days of Alexander the Great. They’re ruled by about, it’s my understanding, 13 tribal entities, and nobody has ever governed them, not the Pakistani government, not the British — nobody, and so it’s a very, very difficult part of the world.” He added, “I agree with you that we should’ve gotten Osama bin Laden, but I can’t put all of it at the doorstep of the Pakistani government.”
Smerconish concludes with frustration and disappointment:
But it’s about 2,555 days late and $11 billion short. Seven years after 9/11, the country is stoking what was supposed to be a complete and consuming “war on terror” with faint signs of a sustained operation in the country where the bad guys have been hiding for years.
How appalling. I doubt the families of the 3,000 innocents murdered on 9/11 — and of the 4,000 Americans killed in Iraq — are content with it. After all, it’s seven years, thousands of troops and billions of dollars later, and our country has failed to deliver on what we really owe them: justice.