For some reason Barack Obama has never mentioned his three week stay in Pakistan in any of his writings. On the infamous San Francisco trip in which Obama called small town Americans “bitter” he also bragged that he had more foreign policy credentials than Hillary Clinton and John McCain. One of the things he listed on his resume was his extensive foreign travel including a 1981 trip to Pakistan. However since this admission, slip of the tongue, or however you would characterize it, Obama has never mentioned this trip again.
Although his campaign manager did discuss it when pressed:
As a freshman, he quickly became friends with Mohammed Hasan Chandoo and Wahid Hamid, two wealthy Pakistanis
In 1981, Obama transferred from Occidental to Columbia. In between, he traveled to Pakistan - a trip that enhanced his foreign policy qualifications, he maintained in a private speech at a San Francisco fundraiser last month. Obama spent “about three weeks” in Pakistan, traveling with Hamid and staying in Karachi with Chandoo’s family, said Bill Burton, Obama’s press secretary.
The Chandoo he was referring to is Mohammed Hassan Chandoo which this website claims is now a major campaign bundler for Obama:
Bundler: Hasan Chandoo
Oppenheimer & Co
Bundler Status for 2008:
Bundler for Barack Obama, raised at least $100,000.00
Chandoo is one of the Chandoo Brothers, Mohammed Askari Chandoo has his own website entitled www.chandoo.com. He lists his brother’s email addresses:
Welcome to the Chandoo.com website. The following pages are available on this site:
Bush News Network (BNN)
Khoja News Network (KNN)
Knights Alumni Society (The Alumni Society of Karachi American School)
Mohammed Askari Chandoo’s homepage.
To get in touch with us:
Ahmed Ali Chandoo ahmed at chandoo dot com
Hasnain Chandoo hasnain at chandoo dot com
Mohammed Askari Chandoo askari at chandoo dot com
Mohammed Hasan Chandoo hasan at chandoo dot com
Also contained in that homepage is links to other pages of Chandoo’s website including The Bush News Network which is an anti Republican website.
On the Politics page he has this picture of President Bush:
Under the picture he lists 14 defining characteristics of fascism.
On the Bush News Network he has this entry:
George W. Bush Receives Key
The Organization for Incestuous Living (OIL) threw its firm support behind President George W. Bush in his bid for a second term.
OIL said that the President was just like them:
“We’re both from the south; we love beer; we love our families (only we love them literally); and we have the same IQ.”
The NY Times have invaded Wasilla, Alaska talking with any person they can find who knows Sarah Palin. Why have the NY Times not interviewed the Chandoo Brothers? Why have they not asked Barack Obama what he was doing in Pakistan.
Who are these brothers?
UPDATE: The NY Times is aware of the Chandoo Brothers, they wrote about them here:
During the speech, Mr. Obama also spoke about having traveled to Pakistan in the early 1980s. Because of that trip, which he did not mention in either of his autobiographical books, “I knew what Sunni and Shia was before I joined the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,” he said.
Over all, Mr. Obama’s remarks seemed directed primarily at his Democratic rival, Mrs. Clinton. But some of his digs, including the one about distinguishing Shias from Sunnis, also apply to Mr. McCain, whose campaign offered a sharp, mocking response to Mr. Obama’s claim to expertise.
“When John McCain travels on official business, he meets with presidents, prime ministers, foreign and defense ministers, members of parliament, human rights leaders, N.G.O.’s, business leaders and journalists so that he acquires a full understanding of the country he visits and the issues at stake in our relations,” said Mark Salter, a senior adviser to Mr. McCain. “Oh, and as Senator Obama may know, he has actually spent some time living abroad as well.”
Even more than a gap on specific policies, Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain’s respective positions represent a fundamental philosophical difference. Mr. Obama’s advisers argue that “there are multiple aspects to experience, each of which can be relevant.” Mr. Obama’s experience “provides a different kind of insight” than the traditional résumé, said Susan E. Rice, a former assistant secretary of state for African affairs and a National Security Council official who is one of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy advisers.
“At a time when our foreign policy and national security have so obviously suffered from a simplistic, black-and-white interpretation,” Ms. Rice added, having “an American president who spent part of his formative years and young adulthood living in a poor country under a dictatorship brings an understanding of the complexity of things that others may not have. I’m not saying that official travels and Congressional delegations are without value, but there are limits to what you can glean from that.”
Mr. Obama’s advisers acknowledge that there are gaps in his experience — he has never traveled to Latin America, for instance — but they maintain that the sound judgment they say he has demonstrated on foreign policy issues, like Iraq and Pakistan, where he wants the United States to distance itself from Gen. Pervez Musharraf, more than compensates for any such shortcomings.
According to his campaign staff, Mr. Obama visited Pakistan in 1981, on the way back from Indonesia, where his mother and half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, were living. He spent “about three weeks” there, Mr. Obama’s press secretary, Bill Burton, said, staying in Karachi with the family of a college friend, Mohammed Hasan Chandoo, but also traveling to Hyderabad, in India.
Mr. Obama appears not to have previously cited his travel in Pakistan in speeches during the campaign. In “Dreams from My Father,” he talks of having a Pakistani roommate when he moved to New York, a man he calls Sadik who “had overstayed his tourist visa and now made a living in New York’s high-turnover, illegal immigrant work force, waiting on tables.”
Mr. Obama, the campaign and his publisher have not provided any details about the identity of Sadik.
During his years at Occidental College, Mr. Obama also befriended Wahid Hamid, a fellow student who was an immigrant from Pakistan and traveled with Mr. Obama there, the Obama campaign said. Mr. Hamid is now a vice president at Pepsico in New York, and according to public records, has donated the maximum $2,300 to the Obama campaign and is listed as a fund-raiser for it.
Mr. Chandoo is now a self-employed financial consultant, living in Armonk, N.Y. He has also donated the maximum, $2,300, to Mr. Obama’s primary campaign and an additional $309 for the general election, campaign finance records show.
This website does not support the harassment of people related to or friends of the candidates. All we are asking for is a fair media. If you are going to question people who went to college with Sarah Palin, then certainly you can call up the Chandoo brothers and ask about Obama’s trip to Pakistan. This is perfectly fair, also consider that it is alleged that Mohammed Hasan Chandoo is a major bundler of Obama, bundling is the way in which the Obama campaign has taken lobbyist money while claiming to be lobbyist free.
For all we know Obama and Chandoo were just taking a simple tourist trip through Pakistan, all Obama has to do is answer what he was doing there.
More on Hasan Chandoo’s brother, Askari Chandoo here, includes his work for Barack Obama:
Askari Chandoo is a self-employed finance wonk in Karachi, Pakistan. His living in Pakistan, Greece, the United Arab Emirates, England, and the U.S. has given him an understanding for cultures and points of views other than his own. He has been active in politics for several years, having organized voter registration drives at masjids; helping to raise money for Barack Obama’s (D-IL) successful senatorial campaign; and serving on the executive committee of the satirical protest group Billionaires for Bush, where, in his alter ego of Cassius King, he headed up the group’s messaging effort as the Minister of Rhetorical Rhetoric and also served as its treasurer, better known as the Minister of Theoretical Finance. He currently sits on the board of Friends Welfare Trust, a non-profit providing housing, medical, and education assistance to poor Shia families in Karachi. Askari is a card-carrying member of the ACLU and a non-card carrying member of the Khoja (Pirhai) Ithna-Asheri Jamaat. His applications for country club memberships have been consistently rejected. Askari holds a BA from Brown University, where he graduated at the top of his class, and an M.Phil. with honors from the University of Cambridge.
In fairness to Mohammed Askari Chandoo he posted this on the LA Times website:
In response to Mr. Fred Berg’s comments: Wow! What a generalization you make regarding Muslims. Muslims have tried very hard to integrate into the U.S., and are as supportive of our country as anyone. As a very small example, a group of us Muslims goes to soup kitchens in New York City on Christmas day to serve meals to the needy. We do this because of humanity and because our faith commands us to treat everyone kindly, which is far more than I can say for your comments.
Posted by: Mohammed Askari Chandoo | July 16, 2008 at 01:52 PM
He seems to be involved in very charitable and peace minded organizations but I see no reason why he can’t elaborate on Obama’s trip to Pakistan and the allegations that his brother is a bundler for Obama.