Sympathy for Musharraf
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who was criticized for declaring in a foreign policy speech last week "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will," yesterday defended the Pakistani leader and said it was important that America maintain strong relations with him.
"President Musharraf has a very difficult job, and it is important that we are a constructive ally with them in dealing with al-Qaida," the Illinois senator said to reporters in Oakland, California. At the same time, 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."
His shift in rhetoric came after Obama's statement about Pakistan last week, which were defended by many foreign policy experts but questioned by the several of his rivals, who said he should not have made the remark publicly. The Pakistani government also slammed the remarks, saying they upset Pakistani citizens.
--Perry Bacon Jr.
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