The Washington Post reports that “helicopters carried U.S. and Afghan commandos many miles into Pakistan on Wednesday to stage the first U.S. ground attack against a Taliban target inside the country”:
Pakistan filed a formal protest with the U.S. government, which had no comment on what appeared to be a new escalation of U.S. pressure on Taliban and al-Qaeda sanctuaries in Pakistan’s mountainous border regions.
Back in August 2007, Barack Obama stated that his policy toward terrorists in Pakistan thusly: “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets, and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.”
John McCain attacked the statement as “naive,” claiming that Obama had “suggested bombing our ally, Pakistan.” National Review’s Rich Lowry dutifully picked up this line of attack, saying that Obama had “detailed his willingness to bomb suspected terrorist cells in Pakistan.” NRO’s David Freddoso claimed Obama was irresponsibly advocating “an act of war,” which is curious, considering National Review’s long-standing editorial policy of advocating irresponsible wars.
Quite inconveniently for McCain and his conservative water-carriers, the very same week McCain made his charge, the Washington Post ran a story detailing a recent secret CIA strike on an Al Qaeda leader, describing the operation as “the first successful strike against al-Qaeda’s core leadership in two years.” in other words, the U.S. had scored a victory against Al Qaeda by following precisely the policy that McCain derided.
Undeterred by the fact that actual events had contradicted his boss’s foreign policy — or perhaps just hoping people had forgotten about it — a few weeks ago McCainblogger Mike Goldfarb undertook to mock Barack Obama again for his “ill-advised comments” on Pakistan, and attacked Obama for — Goldfarb claimed — having “threatened to send troops across the Afghan border.”
John McCain has consistently misapprehended the threat of international terrorism. He supported diverting troops and resources away from where Al Qaeda was — Afghanistan — in order to invade and occupy a country where they were not — Iraq. (In four days of the Republican National Convention, Afghanistan has not been mentioned once.) With today’s report on the cross-border strike against Taliban insurgents in Pakistan — a policy that McCain and his surrogates have derided — real-world events have again conspired to put John McCain on the wrong side of this issue.