Another Foreign Dignitary for Obama
Sam Stein at the Huffington Post finds that Said Jawad, Afghanistan’s ambassador to the U.S., is “trumpet[ing] major portions” of Barack Obama’s Afghanistan policy around town. Ain’t just Maliki anymore.
Sipping occasionally from a glass of mint-flavored iced tea, the ambassador argued that the war in Iraq had diverted military and material resources from Afghanistan. He described the border his country shared with Pakistan as “the central front of the war on terror, certainly,” stressing the need for additional American forces. And he offered what amounted to a heartfelt endorsement of Obama’s proposal to target high-level al Qaeda figures in northwest Pakistan, even without that country’s acquiescence.
“We would appreciate it if Pakistan could take full responsibility in dealing with them,” he said. “But if they can’t, if they don’t have the resources, they should allow the international community to take these elements out, for the sake of Pakistan, for the sake of Afghanistan, and for the sake of the world. These are criminals. We should allow the humanity to go out and eliminate these enemies of humanity. We should not fool ourselves with the legal questions such as sovereignty.”
With Maliki, Bush really was taken by surprise, even though Bush had spent nearly a year strong-arming him into signing away all meaningful aspects of Iraqi sovereignty ahead of elections guaranteed to be dominated by candidates hewing to a certain kind of Iraqi nationalism. But with Jawad, absolutely no one should be surprised. I interviewed Jawad last year for Talking Points Memo and found him eager to the point of desperation to get anyone in Washington interested in his country’s dire straits. McCain treats Afghanistan as an afterthought while Obama argues it’s the central front of the war on terror.