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Pakistan strategy

August 11, 2007

Re "Strategic silence," editorial, Aug. 7

Certainly, even "Pakistanis of many stripes" must know that countries do not have "friends," fair-weather or otherwise; countries have "interests."

What you tout as President Bush's "strategic ambiguity" has been shown to be confusion and incompetence. The opportunity to capture Osama bin Laden and top Al Qaeda leaders within the borders of our "friend" Pakistan has been squandered by Bush. Should Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton carry on this regime's tradition by playing stupid?

Carol Sils

Woodland Hills

You write, "It is widely believed that U.S. Special Forces and CIA operatives have been plying their arts inside Pakistani borders, with the understanding that they will do their best not to embarrass [Pakistani President Pervez] Musharraf by being too obvious or killing too many civilians." How do you determine how many slaughtered civilians are "too many"? Why are these violent deaths, however much you carelessly dismiss them as few and insignificant, not viewed as acts of terrorism?

Glen Motil

San Diego

Re "Bush, Karzai hold summit on strategy," Aug. 7

Bush declined to say whether he would seek permission from Musharraf prior to invading Pakistan to attack top Al Qaeda leaders if intelligence indicated they were hiding there.

Last week, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said he might do just that if he were elected president. Obama was harshly criticized by many on the right for taking such a reckless position.

I wonder if there will be the same amount of outcry from the right regarding Bush's position?

Greg Bristol

Santa Barbara

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