As I hope I’ve made clear, I wasn’t a huge fan of Barack Obama’s Pakistan gambit. Nor, though, do I think much of Jerome Armstrong’s somewhat unhinged reaction to the same: “Adding Pakistan to the list of countries that the US does unilateral military action in isn’t going to solve a damn thing. The only real solution for our role in their region is to get off their oil, get out of their countries, and work with other nations to promote global accord.”
I’m quite sympathetic to Armstrong’s overall diagnosis of the strategic situation, in that I regard de-imperializing our role in the Middle East as vital. Nevertheless, though killing or capturing high-value al-Qaeda targets isn’t sufficient as the be-all and end-all of American foreign policy, it’s surely worth doing all the same. Helpful, even! Letting Osama bin Laden get away really was a giant Bush administration screw up, and nailing him and his colleagues really should be an important priority.
Jason Zengerle, in a related post, refers to Armstrong as a “netroots grand poobah,” which reminds me that one big question I want to write on during YearlyKos is the issue of to what extent the erstwhile netroots leadership really commands any troops. Obviously, I think, the views of online political junkies and activists have some weight, but when Armstrong takes an against-the-grain view like that only Chris Dodd has an acceptably pacifistic view of al-Qaeda, does that move anything? I’m pretty skeptical.