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McCain Calls Obama 'Naive'


Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., accompanied by his wife Cindy, left, former Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine, right, and others, visits Young's Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs, Ohio, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008. (AP.)

By Glenn Kessler
YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio -- Sen. John McCain intensified his attacks on Sen. Barack Obama, saying he was "naïve" for publicly suggesting several months ago he would attack targets in Pakistan.

"The best idea is not broadcast what you are going to do. That's naïve," McCain said at a news conference in Columbus.

"You make plans and you work with the other country that is your ally and friend, which Pakistan is," McCain added. "You don't broadcast and say you are going bomb the country without their permission or without consulting them. This is the fundamentals of the conduct of national security policy. I believe in working with the other country."

The Bush administration, however, did not follow that strategy last month, when on Jan. 29 a CIA Predator aircraft flew over the Pakistani town of Mir Ali and fired Hellfire missiles that killed Abu Laith al-Libi, a senior al-Qaeda commander.

According to an article in The Washington Post this week, "Having requested the Pakistani government's official permission for such strikes on previous occasions, only to be put off or turned down, this time the U.S. spy agency did not seek approval. The government of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was notified only as the operation was underway, according to the officials, who insisted on anonymity because of diplomatic sensitivities."

Asked about that account as he drove to this small town to address a snowbound crowd at Young's Jersey Dairy, known for ice cream, McCain demurred, saying he did not know the facts of the situation. But he said Obama was still wrong in speaking publicly about the option.

"The one thing you want to do is not embarrass them," he said. "I've known these people and I have known them for many years. I know I can work with them for the good of the security of the United States. I would not broadcast to the world that I am going to bomb a sovereign nation in order to accomplish my goal."

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 20, 2008; 1:33 PM ET
 
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Comments

If I were Senator Obama, I would point out that he wasn't in the position to actually attack anyone at the time that he made those comments about targets in Pakistan. He wasn't President. McCain and Bush can rightfully argue that Bush wasn't stating his real intentions for strategic or tactical reasons, but they can not argue that Obama was wrong in his assessment as to attacking targets in Pakistan. It was the right assessment and what actually ended up happening.

I think Obama nailed it on the head, and he should thank Mr. McCain for pointing that out.

I would also suggest that Mr. Obama point out that it was rather naive to think that invading Iraq would not cause all the problems that it has. These same issues of civil war and unrest were predicted under the first Bush administration and even by Dick Cheney himself during the first Gulf War.

Posted by: art234 | February 28, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Some Americans sound really silly here. Are the posters here Obama supporters? You criticize Bush but then you don't criticize one of the dumbest comments by Obama. Pakistan is an ally. That is a major difference from Iran which is not. You don't villify an ally. How dumb are the Obama supporters...I thought there were some college educated amongst you. I guess none had degress in foreign policy and national security. Obama needs to admit he made a mistake by suggesting that. There are no two ways of looking at it.

Posted by: bhatttt | February 20, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Must read articles "Ready on Day One?" http://savagepolitics.com and "Barack Obama;s Apostasy" http://savagepolitics.com/?p=101.

BRILLIANT analysis!

Posted by: elsylee28 | February 20, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

McCain "I've known these people (the Pakistani govt) and I have known them for many years. I know I can work with them for the good of the security of the United States."

Er, John, the Pakistani govt is in the process of being replaced this week, by people you don't know. The dictator you do know seems to be on his way out.

McCain: "I would not broadcast to the world that I am going to bomb a sovereign nation in order to accomplish my goal."

Sure, John, you would never, for example, let yourself be publicly broadcast on the airwaves singing "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran."

That would be naive and childish.

Posted by: kevrobb | February 20, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Is Cindy McCain really taking pot shots at Michele Obama? Wouldn't Cindy's time be better served if she was preparing to tell the world again why she stole drugs from her own charity to support the painkiller addiction she has for many years?

Posted by: soonipi6 | February 20, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Yeah sure thing, Mr McCain. Pakistan is our "ally and friend", even though the vast majority of people in that country despise us and adore Bin Laden ... who, by the way, is still there, 7 years after 9/11. Wasnt HE the reason that almost all of us supported striking Afghanistan in 2001? And wasnt that attack the reason that we "allied" with Pakistan's dictator in the first place, so that we would have a base of operations to strike at the Taliban from?

Pakistan is about as much of an "ally" to us as the Russians were in WW2 (ie, the "lesser of two evils" syndrome that we always end up regretting afterwards like a bad hangover). Bush bought their "friendship" with multi-million dollar jets, the same way that Reagan and Bush Sr bribed Saddam with chemical weapons to use against Iran in the early 80s, since at the time, we considered Iraq to be the "lesser of two evils", and we wanted our blustering gung-ho arrogant nationalist payback at the Iranians for the 1979 hostage crisis. Check out the infamous clip of a grinning Rumsfeld shaking hands with Hussein. That's your Republican administration at work, "keeping us safe" by making deals with the Devil.

Pakistan is no friend to the US, and McCain is no president for the US. Obama had the guts to state the truth about them, and that is the kind of president we need, not a lunatic like McCainiac who wants to continue down GW's blood-stained path to Armageddon. These are the kind of statements that will seal the Madman's fate in November.

And here's the deliciously ironic part: when Obama wins in November (and he will), itll be a nice reversal to tell all the furious Republican wingnuts what theyve been telling anyone who disagreed with them for the last decade: if you dont like it, find another country to live in. ;)

OBAMA / RICHARDSON in 2008
because they are there

Posted by: saintsubversive | February 20, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I guess singing bomb Iran isn't telegraphing your intentions. Any guy who would suck up to Bush after what Bush did to him has serious emotional issues that I don't want to see resolved in the White House.

Posted by: thebobbob | February 20, 2008 02:34 PM
===================================

Isn't that the truth!

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 20, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Barack just picked up another 3 Super-delegates.

Nice!

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 20, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

George W. Bush's overall job approval rating has dropped to a new low in American Research Group polling as 78% of Americans say that the national economy is getting worse according to the latest survey from the American Research Group.

Among all Americans, 19% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 77% disapprove. When it comes to Bush's handling of the economy, 14% approve and 79% disapprove.

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 20, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I guess singing bomb Iran isn't telegraphing your intentions. Any guy who would suck up to Bush after what Bush did to him has serious emotional issues that I don't want to see resolved in the White House.

Posted by: thebobbob | February 20, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"Asked about that account as he drove to this small town to address a snowbound crowd at Young's Jersey Dairy, known for ice cream, McCain demurred, saying he did not know the facts of the situation. But he said Obama was still wrong in speaking publicly about the option."

Again, the old school style of politics! Condemn others, yet shrug off as uninformed when the camera turns back on them. If a country that we prop up and give millions (if not billions) of USD taxpayer cash too, "only to be put off or turned down" when requesting permission to attack terrorist military targets in their porous border zone, then they are fools to think we will not attack.

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 20, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

The more Senator McCain talks the more naive he sounds. Is he being naive when he thinks he will get the support of the hard right or was he being naive when he was kissing Bush's a$$.

No, what is naive is Senator McCain's notion that America will allow her children to fight a 100 year foreign war that has nothing to do with America!!!!!!

Posted by: SteelWheel1 | February 20, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Careful Senator - keep using that line and the Clinton campaign will accuse you of plagiarism.

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

This just goes to show you how outdated McCain truly is. After Obama made his statement about going after Al-Qaeda targets in Pakistan without the Pakistani government permission back in October/November of 2007, news has surfaced that the CIA bombed and killed a senior Al-Qaeda leader without Pakistani government permission on Jan. 29th of 2008. This makes McCain looks like a 71 year old reading last month's newspaper.

A McCain vs Obama matchup, I am looking forward to it!

Obama in 08!

Posted by: ajtiger92 | February 20, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, this from the guy who was caught on tape singing "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran".

This from the party that dispatched Richard Armitage to Pakistan, where he threatened to "bomb them back into the Stone Age" if they didn't bow to all US demands.

This from the GOP which put all its eggs in the Musharraf basket, where they have just been shattered by the voters of Pakistan.

The GOP was sure Pakistan was full of extremists and could only be held down by a dictator. The extremists just got THREE seats in the parliamentary elections - I'll bet the Pakistani Gay Rights party got more than that.

So it now emerges that all this time, the US wasn't propping up Musharraf against al-Qaeda types. The US has been propping up the dictator against an opposition of civilian democrats led by moderate lawyers.

If the GOP had deliberately set out to foment extremism and weaken Pakistani moderate civil society, they couldn't have done a better job.

Posted by: kevrobb | February 20, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Obama Naive for his proposition of attacking without authorization--this coming from someone who has publicly suggested--perhaps facetiously, perhaps not--about bombing Iran.

Posted by: lieb666 | February 20, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

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