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Helen Thomas: "Only The Beginning In Afghanistan" [WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES]
TheBostonChannel.com ^ | 8 Oct 09 | Helen "Cut and Run" Thomas

Posted on 10/08/2009 1:12:15 PM PDT by seanmerc

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama has no plans to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. After eight years of war there, withdrawal is not among the options the administration is considering as it designs a new strategy.

Also not being considered is any exploration of possible peace talks with the Taliban, the indigenous Islamic group that once controlled large swaths of Afghanistan.

When asked whether the U.S. could withdraw from Afghanistan -- a country known as the "graveyard of empires" -- White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said: "That’s not something that has ever been entertained."

"I don’t think we have the option to leave," he added. "I think that’s quite clear."

Both Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. Stanley McChrystal -- the commander of U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan -- have indicated that the Taliban has the momentum and is gaining ground.

Eight American soldiers lost their lives in fighting at an undermanned outpost in Afghanistan last weekend. NATO said in a statement that the insurgents -- that is, the Afghan fighters -- lost 100 men in the same battle.

Obama is reviewing his war strategy in Afghanistan at a time when American public opinion is becoming skeptical about U.S. efforts there. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll last month showed that 59 percent of those polled said they are feeling less confident that the war will come to a successful conclusion, while 51 percent said they would oppose sending more troops to the conflict.

Obama has been conferring with Pentagon officials, commanders on the ground and congressional leaders as he takes his time to make what could be the toughest decision of his presidency.

Obama’s big dilemma now is to decide whether to approve McChrystal’s request for 40,000 more troops in addition to the 68,000 there now.

Another option -- one pushed by Vice President Joe Biden -- is to reduce troop numbers and instead rely on bombing and raids by Special Forces to keep any al-Qaida elements on the run.

Obama has been conducting a series of not-so-secret meetings to decide his next move. Somehow, the White House has managed to change the theme -- lawmakers emerge from their White House meetings proclaiming that Obama had ruled out a large reduction in troops. Nice going. The issue is whether to increase the number of troops.

In a speech in London, McChrystal went public with his position and was later slapped down by Gates who reminded military leaders that their advice to the president should remain private.

"In this process, it is imperative that all of us taking part in these deliberations -- civilians and military alike -- provide our best advice to the president candidly but privately," Gates said.

I think it’s good to have the debate out in the open and for the American people to know what the stakes are.

The president has called the war in Afghanistan a "necessary war" and it behooves him to explain why we must pay such a human cost, not to mention billions of dollars to keep it going.

Are there any lessons from the past, especially the Vietnam War? Is there anything to learn from the experience of the Russians, who were forced to withdraw from Afghanistan in the 1980s, despite their high-tech military? (Back then, the U.S. was a big help to the Afghan fighters and other anti-communists, including Osama bin Laden, the wealthy Saudi heir who later led al-Qaida.)

Where are the Pakistanis? They know the terrain. I thought it was interesting that the Pakistanis decided it was their fight, too, when Taliban forces reached striking distance of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, before being pushed back.

If Obama goes with the military leaders on the ground, there will be many more years dedicated to defeating the Taliban and to U.S. efforts at nation-building in Afghanistan.

I say we should pull up stakes, let United Nations peacekeepers try to stabilize the Afghan government and support it with a new, non-narcotics economy.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; barackobama; bho2009; bho44; cabanaboycougar; cutandrun; democrats; dims; helenthomas; infobabe; liberalmeathead; military; obama; obamalamadingdong; obamarama; rats; senileoldbat; surrendermonkeys; wot
Who's your mommy?
1 posted on 10/08/2009 1:12:16 PM PDT by seanmerc
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To: seanmerc
Stars and Stripes today inferred that John F’n Kerry thinks he is going to be the one deciding how many to send and how much to spend.
2 posted on 10/08/2009 1:14:30 PM PDT by gov_bean_ counter (Is it too soon for real conservatives to launch a "We Tried to Warn You Tour"?)
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To: seanmerc

Come on guys, I thought I could get through a day without seeing that.


3 posted on 10/08/2009 1:14:36 PM PDT by equalitybeforethelaw
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To: beckysueb; DirtyHarryY2K; holly go-rightly; Jet Jaguar; Lauren BaRecall; LucyT; machogirl; ...
Yoo-hoo, Helen Thomas ping list members! Here's this week's liberal lunacy from FR's fave infobabe. FReepmail me if you'd like to be added to the list.
4 posted on 10/08/2009 1:14:48 PM PDT by seanmerc
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To: equalitybeforethelaw

Not on my watch.


5 posted on 10/08/2009 1:15:09 PM PDT by seanmerc
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To: seanmerc

GOOD GOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


6 posted on 10/08/2009 1:16:27 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (Pray for, and support our troops(heroes) !! And vote out the RINO's!!)
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To: seanmerc

my new screensaver...from HELL!


7 posted on 10/08/2009 1:17:14 PM PDT by bigbob
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To: seanmerc

I’d hit that. With a stick.


8 posted on 10/08/2009 1:17:40 PM PDT by GOP_Party_Animal
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To: seanmerc

She looks like an ostrich.


9 posted on 10/08/2009 1:18:06 PM PDT by DallasDeb (USAFA '06 Mom)
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To: seanmerc

Helen better check with the White House, ‘cause they just said the Taliban is part of Afghanistan’s future.


10 posted on 10/08/2009 1:18:57 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2 million for Sarah Palin if she runs; What will you do?)
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To: seanmerc

Drop leaflets of these all over the place there and then tell them you will drop her next and more like her!


11 posted on 10/08/2009 1:19:22 PM PDT by jroneil (2010 is all that matter now!)
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To: gov_bean_ counter

Heaven help us!


12 posted on 10/08/2009 1:20:03 PM PDT by seanmerc
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To: seanmerc

AAAIIIIIEEEEE!!!!

What has been seen cannot be unseen.


13 posted on 10/08/2009 1:21:13 PM PDT by CAD Daddy
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To: jroneil

1. The Constitution/Bill of Rights prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.

2. That certainly wouldn’t endear us to the civilian populace.

3. There aren’t any more like her (I hope)!


14 posted on 10/08/2009 1:23:12 PM PDT by seanmerc
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To: CAD Daddy

15 posted on 10/08/2009 1:24:04 PM PDT by seanmerc
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To: seanmerc
You can be arrested for war crimes if this web page loads in Gitmo.
16 posted on 10/08/2009 1:24:23 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (riO)
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To: seanmerc

Well if we drop her she may act like a MOAB! (Mother of all Bombs)


17 posted on 10/08/2009 1:29:13 PM PDT by jroneil (2010 is all that matter now!)
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To: seanmerc
EMERGENCY ANTI TOXIN!


18 posted on 10/08/2009 1:37:10 PM PDT by Dallas59
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To: Dallas59

Bless you. I nearly lost a year off my life on the first pic.


19 posted on 10/08/2009 1:39:27 PM PDT by DesertConservative
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To: seanmerc

Send Helen to Afghanistan. The Taliban will surrender immediately.


20 posted on 10/08/2009 1:43:44 PM PDT by rightwingintelligentsia (I have a white lab coat--can I do surgery now?)
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To: GOP_Party_Animal

Outstanding!


21 posted on 10/08/2009 1:45:29 PM PDT by La.daddyrabbit (Born and bred in the briar patch. Liberalism is the sickness, the Democratic party is the asylum.)
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To: Dallas59

LOL! I needed this laugh, Helen Thomas is a hag!


22 posted on 10/08/2009 1:58:34 PM PDT by Cathy
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To: seanmerc

Yikes! On halloween, Frankenstein wears a Helen Thomas mask.


23 posted on 10/08/2009 2:14:39 PM PDT by CowboyJay (RiNO - It's 'what's for dinner'...)
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To: seanmerc
Believe it or not, this is one of my favorite threads! It never fails to give me a good laugh, especially during these dark mournful days in America! OBTW, where do I line up for my free BUCKS?!!
24 posted on 10/08/2009 4:00:31 PM PDT by RoseofTexas
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To: Dallas59

Thank you! My eyesight is starting to return.


25 posted on 10/08/2009 4:10:35 PM PDT by Eagles6 ( Typical White Guy: Christian, Constitutionalist, Heterosexual, Redneck. (Let them eat arugula!))
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To: Dallas59

Bless you, my son.

I’m resting comfortably now.


26 posted on 10/08/2009 4:22:21 PM PDT by SnuffaBolshevik
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To: Dallas59

Thank you, I have regained my eyesight....


27 posted on 10/08/2009 4:31:19 PM PDT by Born In America ("O.B.A.M.A.: One Big A** Mistake, America....")
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To: seanmerc

Oh, Helen. Do you really think the UN peacekeepers are up to the job? I need no further proof you are off your rocker. It is official: you have started raving.


28 posted on 10/08/2009 4:51:26 PM PDT by Melian ("frequently in error, rarely in doubt")
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: seanmerc

yow, what about anne curry’s idolization of HT? ;)

is there a FR rule about how many HT threads can be posted in a week, so the FR eyeballs have time to recover?


30 posted on 10/08/2009 5:55:06 PM PDT by machogirl (First they came for my tagline.)
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To: seanmerc

Andrea Tantaros

IS THIS, ENOUGH EYE WASH?
Helen of Thomas: The face that launched a thousand quips.
Helen of Thomas: The face that launched a thousand lunches....from Dr.Zoidberg

31 posted on 10/08/2009 8:13:52 PM PDT by skinkinthegrass (Zer0 to the voter: "Welcome to 'MY' DeathCARE ® Plan"...Sucker! ...now just die. :^)
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To: Dallas59

You’re the best!


32 posted on 10/08/2009 8:20:13 PM PDT by CaptRon
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Comment #33 Removed by Moderator

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