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I'm a Minnesota Girl, living in the south. I tell my friends I try not to talk and think like a Yankee, but sometimes I slip up!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

It's About Time

US presidential contender Barack Obama today said the situation in Afghanistan was the "precarious and urgent" as his overseas tour took him to US troops and the country's US-backed president.

In an interview broadcast after his meeting with Hamid Karzi, Obama also described Afghanistan as "the central front in the battle against terrorism".

His comments came amid conflicting reports about civilian casualties in a Nat air strike. An Afghan official said as many nine people were killed, Nato said four died.

The deaths could damage popular support for the Afghan government as well as for foreign forces operating in the country. Karzai has pleaded with the US and other nations fighting resurgent militants to avoid civilian casualties.

On the third day of his international tour, Obama and other American senators held two hours of talks with Karzai in his palace in the Afghan capital.

Obama has chided Karzai for not doing more to build confidence in the Afghan government.

US embassy spokesman Mark Stroh said the senators discussed the painstaking rebuilding of the country's government and economy, the security situation and corruption with Karzai.

The Afghan presidency said Obama's message was positive.

"Obama conveyed ... that he is committed to supporting Afghanistan and to continue the war against terrorism with vigour," said Humayun Hamidzada, Karzai's spokesman.

Both Democrats and Republicans "are friends of Afghanistan and no matter who wins the US elections, Afghanistan will have a very strong partner in the United States," Hamidzada said.

While officially part of a congressional delegation on a fact-finding tour also expected to take him to Iraq, Obama was travelling in Afghanistan amid the security accorded a likely Democratic nominee for president rather than a senator from Illinois.

Media access to Obama was limited, and his itinerary in the war zones was a closely guarded secret. The tour will include stops in Europe and the Middle East.

Note: Obama has long been a supporter of shifting at least two brigades from Iraq to Afghanistan (see his position papers in the summer of '07) Perhaps, just perhaps, we will get refocused on exactly WHERE we need to do battle to prevent the resurgence of the Taliban and Al-Queada. Good god. We've been running in place in Afghanistan since 2003. Note that Dubya has met with Karzai twice in the last year - once in the US and once in Egypt. You don't see him in Afghanistan.


Algernon said...

I can buy the argument that we have an important mission to accomplish in Afghanistan. Afghanistan, under its former regime, offered safe harbor to Osama bin Laden and presumably would do the same for others.

I hate to splash cold water on Senator Obama, but there IS no central front on the "war on terrorism." (Sometimes called the "war on terror," which doesn't mean the same thing at all.) It makes me shiver to hear Obama adopt any part of the deceptive and meaningless rhetoric employed by George W. Bush. No, I want a clear break. I don't want him speaking the Orwellian language of the GOP.

The war in Afghanistan has a clear enemy: the Taliban, a brutal regime that was overthrown in 2001 by a legitimate military alliance. It's not a war on a tactic or a concept, the kind of open-ended military mission that is the legacy of George Bush and Richard Cheney (may God forgive them both).

Donna said...

I agree that I want a clean break (or should I say about face?) from the current administration; I'm just not looking that closely at the words. Obama has the right idea - that's the part I care about. I'm not seeing the use of a common word to hold significant meaning.

Right of Center said...

But I will not accept some of the 'words' a politician trying to gain momentum uses.
I agree w/ algernon, we have no 1 front on terror..we have them everywhere..why is Afganistan a hotspot? because we and the Iraq fighters have driven them out of Iraq, and they are going back to Afganistan..and we will shift more troops as needed.

Just think what we might be saying today, If Bill C had the balls to get Bin laden when he had the chance...

Donna said...

LOL! (That's all I'm saying.)