Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bhutto Assassination Renews Concern About Huckabee's Foreign Policy

Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's first reaction to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto was a diplomatic blunder. Huckabee expressed "our sincere concern and apologies for what has happened in Pakistan." After criticism, Huckabee's campaign said he meant to say "sympathies" not "apologies." In the same statement, Huckabee revealed that he was unaware that martial law was lifted in Pakistan about two weeks ago.

Huckabee is not any better at geography than he is with diplomacy:

And in a morning TV appearance, Huckabee said Bhutto's slaying brings "a new level of instability to the Middle East, and particularly to Pakistan."

Pakistan is in South Asia.
As if those gaffes weren't bad enough, Huckabee decided to tie Bhutto's assassination to illegal immigration in the U.S.:
On Thursday night he told reporters in Orlando, Fla.: “We ought to have an immediate, very clear monitoring of our borders and particularly to make sure if there’s any unusual activity of Pakistanis coming into the country.”

On Friday, in Pella, Iowa, he expanded on those remarks.

“When I say single them out I am making the observation that we have more Pakistani illegals coming across our border than all other nationalities except those immediately south of the border,” he told reporters in Pella. “And in light of what is happening in Pakistan it ought to give us pause as to why are so many illegals coming across these borders.”

[. . .]

Asked how a border fence would help keep out Pakistani immigrants, Mr. Huckabee argued that airplane security was already strong, but that security at the southern United States border was dangerously weak.

“The fact is that the immigration issue is not so much about people coming to pick lettuce or make beds, it’s about someone coming with a shoulder-fired missile,” he said.
The Associated Press reports that many more illegal immigrants living in the United States are from India, Korea, China and Vietnam than Pakistan:
Homeland Security officials say there are more people in the U.S. illegally from the Caribbean, China and Canada than from Pakistan. Officials deported 435 Pakistanis in the 2007 fiscal year, which ran from Oct. 1, 2006 to Sept. 30, 2007, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement statistics. During this time, 766 people from China were deported, as were 521 from the Philippines.

[. . .]

Homeland Security does not publicize the number of people from each country who are caught trying to enter illegally or are turned away at legal border crossings, said Customs and Border Protection spokesman Bill Anthony. But without providing specific details — because they are considered sensitive for law enforcement — Anthony said Pakistanis do not top the list after Latin American countries.

In fiscal 2007, about 600 Pakistanis were turned away at the border or arrested in between entry points.

A senior aide to Mike Huckabee admitted Friday that the former Arkansas governor had "no foreign policy credentials:"

This isn't the first time Huckabee has been caught unprepared on foreign policy/national security matters. Early this month, after the release of a National Intelligence Estimate concluding that Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003, Huckabee told journalists that he wasn't aware of the report, even though it had been widely reported in the news for more than 30 hours.

After the NIE gaffe we witnessed Huckabee do a Kerry on Cuba. Then there was the brouhaha over Huckabee's infamous "bunker mentality" quote, which earned him a rebuke from Bob Dole.

Huckabee is not ready for prime time when it comes to foreign affairs and national security. That's not acceptable with the nation at war.

Thanks to Justin Higgins at Stop The ACLU for the video.

No comments: