1/03/2008

Between Barack and a Hard Place

As the primary season kicks off, our thoughts turn to the presidential candidates, and how they would lead the United States through the horrors of a dangerous world. We only need to look at the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan to reaffirm that the terrorist threat is still very much with us. So let’s take another look at one candidate in particular - one who seems to have foresight that I had not previously credited.

Much was written about Barack Obama’s suggestion several months ago that we should invade Pakistan in search of Al Qaeda. On the surface, the thought of 15,000 members of the 82nd Airborne darkening the skies over one of our allies seemed na├»ve at first, or even breathtakingly insane. But upon further reflection, including a look at some recent worldwide poll numbers, I have now come to believe that we may have in Mr. Obama, an intellect of the first magnitude, and perhaps our best hope in making the United States the unchallenged leader in public opinion polls.

As an expert in history, Mr. Obama has taken the results of a poll showing which countries around the world are best liked, and crafted a truly inspired strategy to improve our standing by using tried and true methods. In this poll, those with a positive opinion of the United States varied, ranging from numbers in the teens to some in the 70 percent neighborhood. However, one must look into the regional numbers to get a glimpse into Mr. Obama’s brilliance.

He first realizes that it is safe to discount the high end, where countries like Uruguay or Ghana, while nice that they like us, just don’t have that certain something we should get all excited about. Like Massachusetts, Europe runs around 50/50, and was Canada even listed? Anyway, the real linchpin of the strategy centers around the Middle East, where our approval ratings run around 20% among those who were able to take some time away from their busy day of jihading and answer a few questions. This in and of itself is only half of the story. Russia simply blew us away in these polls. They just love the Russians!

Now you may ask yourself why the Russians are so loved, and if you do have to ask, you are clearly not a strategic thinker in the class of Barak Obama. For years, while in control of the Soviet Union, Russia regularly invaded their allies. In fact they did it every ten or fifteen years or so – Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, Afghanistan in 1979…..I mean, there’s an actual list. Whenever one of their allies was thought to be slacking off a bit, the Russians would roll the tanks. After all, nothing says love like a fully mobilized armored division crossing your border.

However, the one point that I must disagree with Mr. Obama about his choice of implementing this strategy in Pakistan. For one thing, when it comes to invading allies, we must be honest with ourselves and admit that without any prior practice, trial and error in Pakistan would be a costly affair. The terrain is mountainous, the infrastructure is almost nonexistent, we only have a few thousand troops nearby, and most importantly, we’ve never been there before. Why Pakistan? To make this strategy work, we don’t really need Pakistan. Any ally will do when it comes to sending this kind of message. Therefore, I am going on record and making the case that we invade France.

I know, I know, you say that France is not really an ally. But I think that with the right p.r., we can probably make a case that there’s still some lingering goodwill left over from all of that World War II business. Now let’s look at the facts: first of all, we’ve definitely been there before. I’m sure even Mr. Obama has watched Patton on A&E. Also, we know that we can beat the French. Heck, the Germans did it, and look what we did to the Germans. And speaking of the Germans, we’ve still got armored divisions in bases all over Germany. Armored Divisions! Remember the Russians?

The more I think about it the better this gets. Half of Congress wants to redeploy our troops in the Global War on Terror. Why practice this in Iraq where people are shooting at us? We can redeploy from Germany into France in perfect safety. You know they won’t shoot back. And think what this will do for our poll numbers!

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