Pakistani Bloggers on the McCain-Obama Debate

Pakistani bloggers found much to analyze in last night's televised debate between United States presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain.

What the US approach to Pakistan should be was a core part of discussion, since Pakistan has come under greater scrutiny in recent times and is considered a hot-spot.

In roughly 37 days, the United States of America will be electing its 44th President. Though the elections are limited only to the US, the outcome of the election will have a far greater global impact.

Riaz Haq writes on Haq's Musings blog:

There is a significant concentration of Muslim vote in Florida and Michigan. If, as the anecdotal evidence suggests, Obama gets the lion's share of the Muslim American vote, then he could win the presidency by a thin margin of Muslim votes. Is an Obama win good for Muslim-Americans or Pakistani-Americans?

He summarizes the result of the debate in favor of McCain:

it is clear that Sen McCain is far more knowledgeable about Pakistan than Senator Obama. Mr. McCain has also repeatedly stressed diplomacy and close working relationship with Pakistan and demonstrated his commitment by his actions such as several visits and phone conversations with Pakistani leadership recently and in the past. On the other hand, Mr. Obama has made aggressive statements about Pakistan without making serious effort to understand the issues faced by Pakistanis in FATA.

Pakistan Policy Blog argues extensively for and against both sides:

OBAMA GOOD FOR CIVILIANS, BAD FOR MILITARY Obama’s support for Pakistan’s fledgling democracy and appropriation of the Biden plan, which calls for vastly increasing development aid, is excellent. It is an integral part of a transition toward a full-fledged Pakistan policy. But Obama seems unaware of the clear and present economic danger in Pakistan

MCCAIN GOOD FOR MILITARY, BAD FOR CIVILIANS McCain has yet to really come to terms with the existence of a civil, democratic government in Pakistan. He fails to include Pakistan in his proposed League of Democracies. He seems in denial — or his talking points have yet to be updated — so much that he is confused as to what the president’s name is. “Kardari.” …. it also demonstrates the greatest flaw in McCain’s Pakistan policy: he has failed to adapt it to a post-Musharraf Pakistan

Interestingly Pakistan Policy Blog coins a keyword “McBama” which could potentially be a mash-up of both policies:

MCBAMA GOOD FOR COMPREHENSIVE U.S-PAKISTAN RELATIONS neither the candidates, nor most in the U.S. policy community, truly understands the comprehensive failure that is Afghanistan. In respect to a Pakistan policy, Obama’s is more promising. McCain offers strengths vis-a-vis relations with Pakistan’s military and respect for its sovereignty that Obama fares miserably on.

Temporal at Baithak shares his frustration at McCain mispronouncing names:

John McCain, the “expert” in foreign policy mispronounced Ahmadinejad's name four times in a row and screwed up Zardari's name to boot.

On my own blog Teeth Maestro I also commented on the mispronunciation puzzle:

Probably the most interesting surprise was when McCain could not properly pronounce the name of our President Mr. Asif Ali Zardari to utter a mumbling Kirdari (sic), its not a crime by any standard to fumble with a difficult pronunciation, but when dealing with foreign dignitaries you try your damnedest to ensure that you pronounce their name correctly, lest they be offended. If this was just the start then the Iranian would have a field day ripping him apart since a few minutes later McCain made minced meat out of pronouncing Ahmedinejad’s name to utter something like Ahmadinenene (sic) – Definitely a diplomatic PR disaster awaiting to happen.

Desi in DC writes:

Who would have thought that I would say this but after yesterday’s US presidential debate it seems maybe McCain may be better for Pakistan. I disagree with most of his policies except his foreign policy, In Obama’s case his domestic policies make sense but his foreign policy shows his lack of experience.

Changing up Pakistan discusses the debate extensively to say:

It was a victory, albeit a narrow one, for Democratic candidate Senator Barack Obama. Regardless of political posturing, the U.S. will always act according to its national security interests. If Coalition forces are being killed by militants in cross-border attacks, it inherently threatens U.S. security; that would be true for any country. The difference in this presidential election is that Obama openly acknowleges this reality, while McCain merely chooses to equate it to an attack on Pakistani sovereignty. Ultimately, however, there isn’t an easy answer to this issue, and the next president will be forced to respond to the realities on the ground. Therefore, it may come down to how they tend to respond to major issues rather than their current political stances.

summarized his LiveBlogging coverage to say that, “I would rate it a draw. Obama didn’t land any knockout punches” and later pipes in with a CBS poll swinging in favor of Obama to say, “That sounds good for Obama & CNN Polling is even better.”

On Teeth Maestro, my analysis is in favor of an Obama-Biden victory:

Pakistan stands at a fork, if the same old policies are followed, the same blind sighted relationship maintained with crooks and dictators running our country the menacing war on terror will only get worse surely something both America and Pakistan wish not to happen. Obama on the other hand represents a fresh change, as per my neutral review of the debate, it is my understanding that if they both support the approximately the same line of action for Pakistan, I would carefully put my eggs into Obama’s basket, he talks with more commitment to the challenges ahead while simultaneously suggesting and a tough guy approach on Pakistan. He wants to solve the issue of War on Terror and not let it linger on longer then necessary. With Senator Biden as his side who has been the only American bureaucrat to fully understand the problem in Pakistan, I feel that an Obama-Biden presidency will be a brighter future for Pakistan.

Photo above, of a television screen showing the presidential debate is by Captain Alcoholica.


  • Chief_Cabioch

    that takes some nerve, Pakistan is harboring binladen, he is responsible for much of the terroist activities world wide, to compare what the US is doing in Iraq, to the actions of Islamic Extremists strapping bombs to themselves getting on an Israeli Bus, and killing innocent people is Absurd, and Outrageous, to make excuses why the Senate Banking, Finance, Housing and Urban Developement Committee run by the Democrats couldnt forsee this, means THEY, the Democrats went doing their Jobs, pure and simple, spin this anyway you want, still comes up they failed, they and Chris Dodd should be replaced, and if the American people would listen to sources Other than the Left Media, they would see, the Democrats, …Not the republicans caused this, Bush doesnt spend Money, the Congress does,….it is a Democratically controlled congress. is it not ?…

    did Obama and Chris dodd recieve Large amounts of money from freddie, and fannie ?,,,records show.,..Yes they did

  • […] Pakistani bloggers found much to analyze in last night’s televised debate between United States presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain… [read more] […]

  • Braden

    come now in all likelihood he’s dead of kidney disease as reported by the C.I.A. in 2001. maybe that’s why we only receive video of his second in command or an audio tape that’s supposed to be Bin Laden. this is not a statement in support of terrorism, just reminding people that the issue is far more complicated than Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda. the Israeli situation is complicated in its own right and the only thing they have in common is their religion and they all practice it differently. meaning we shouldn’t provoke hostilities with an ally over a foolish presumption. also America is responsible for much more horror than Iraq. how about the funding and training of South American death squads(Bolivian rangers or in El Salvidor). these are not conspiracy theories this is declassified information.
    Also those committees your referring to are bipartisan. they contain republicans and democrats both. Also they don’t create policy. They discuss the issues and then submit their recommendations before the house. whether its voted in is another thing 2006 Obama was on such a committee and stated something needed to be done in regards to these companies lending practices. Also democrats possess a slim majority in the house(233D-202R). it didn’t occur until 2006 in a system that has primarily gone republican for the last 40 years. it was recommended to Allen Greenspan in 1996 to regulate sub-prime mortgages. Also in 2005 Paul Krugman(NY times op-ed writer, also Princeton university professor)wrote an essay called “that hissing sound” about the upcoming burst in mortgage value. but the common republican philosophy was to have little market interference. also in 2006 when Paulsen was put in place by a republican president, he didn’t see it coming either because by 2006 it was already too late. also any significant democratic policy that could have prevented this, goes against that very republican principle of little government regulation. so even if the house passed it the president would veto it. in order to surpass this veto the house would have to get 2/3 of the vote. the congress would have to get 290 votes in order to pass it. so even if every democrat voted for the change it still wouldn’t pass, that’s what i was referring to in regards to checks and balances.
    McCain’s campaign manager Rick Davis owns a lobbing firm and from 2005 to just last month he received almost 2 million dollars even after his campaign denied any involvement with the company.

  • Golden-Eagle-Eye

    This is another twist in the US presidential elections. The most vocal anti-Islamic section of the US media is perpetrating cyber-terrorism/crimes and media smear campaign to sway innocent, simple, ordinary swing voters to beef up support for a wayward McCain-Palin combination.

    If Obama and Biden wins it will be big insult and perhaps a deathblow for the Islam-haters whose one and only mission is to smear the ever-swelling freedom and peace-loving Islamists in the eyes of a section of the Americans. The hate-mongers must realize that Islamists are getting stronger day by day constituting a major share of the US melting pot.

    The following article and more can be found at:

    Media’s Obsession
    10/08/2008 by isabel

    Over the past several weeks, 28 million copies of an anti-Muslim propaganda film, Obsession, have been delivered to the doorsteps of newspaper subscribers in swing states.

    Unfortunately, as a new report by FAIR documents, the media’s complicity in smearing an entire religious group goes far beyond the role of the 70 newspapers that participated in the distribution of the Obsession DVD.

    FAIR’s report, “Smearcasting: How Islamophobes Spread Fear, Bigotry and Misinformation,” profiles 12 top anti-Muslim pundits who regularly use misinformation and innuendo to broadcast hate against Muslims. From talk radio host Michael Savage openly advocating killing 100 million Muslims to CNN’s Glenn Beck stating that Muslims “will be looking through a razor wire fence at the West” within 10 years, the report unmasks the pundits who have done the most to spread anti-Muslim fear and bigotry in the media.

    Other members of the report’s “dirty dozen” list include talkshow hosts Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity; activists like Michelle Malkin, Daniel Pipes and David Horowitz; and influential writers like Mark Steyn and Robert Spencer.

    Notably, some of the leading members of this network have gone well beyond outrageous statements. From Pipes’ campaign against the principal of an Arabic-language public school in New York City, whom he erroneously painted as an extremist, to Malkin’s crusade against a Dunkin Donuts ad featuring a scarf that Malkin dubbed a “symbol of the murderous Palestinian jihad,” the leading Islamophobic pundits have also translated their hateful message into action.

    The full report is available for download at

  • McCain is demonstrating that the surest way to make a frustrated old dog show his true colors is to back him into a corner (*snarl* *bite* *growl*)

  • Chief_Cabioch

    speaking the truth about obama is seen as hate speech on the left, yet it is indeed the truth, obama doesnt dispute it, he just tries to minimize it, he was rubbing elbows with Ayers, his preacher rev Wright, his other issues, trouble is, most on the left believe the ends justify the means, thats why we have Acorn under investigation in over a Dozen states, and guess whi’s side they are on ? the Democrats support them infact there was money in the additional Bailout funds that were “earmarked to go to Acorn”, acorn and the democrats will go to any lenghts to regain power here, and I predict if obama is elected, he will later be impeached for illegal activities and campaign financing among others.

  • If history is any guide, it can be fairly safely predicted that the a Democratic administration will pursue a punitive policy toward Pakistan while tilting heavily toward India, much more so than the Bush administration. Given the caution sounded by Obama’s advisor Bruce Reidel about Pakistan, the hope is that better sense will prevail in the potential Obama administration on policy toward Pakistan. However, if \President\ Obama does follow through on his tough talk on Pakistan, there will be an expanded regional war involving Afghanistan and Pakistan leading to massive destabilization of the entire region and extremely dangerous consequence for the world. In the words of famous neocon Christopher Hitchens, \He (Obama) began using this rhetoric when it was much simpler to counterpose the \good\ war in Afghanistan with the \bad\ one in Iraq. Never mind that now; he is committed in advance to a serious projection of American power into the heartland of our deadliest enemy. And that, I think, is another reason why so many people are reluctant to employ truthful descriptions for the emerging Afghan-Pakistan confrontation: American liberals can’t quite face the fact that if their man does win in November, and if he has meant a single serious word he’s ever said, it means more war, and more bitter and protracted war at that—not less.\

  • Pakistani bloggers are as concerned as African American. Only time is going to tell how things unfold…

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