"As commander-in-chief, I will have no greater priority than taking out these terrorists who threaten America, and finishing the job against the Taliban," Obama said.
He said he would add two U.S. combat brigades, 7,000 fighters and support staff, and would provide an additional $1 billion in non-military assistance for Afghanistan....
..."Six years ago, I stood up at a time when it was politically difficult to oppose going to war in Iraq, and argued that our first priority had to be finishing the fight against Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan,'' he said. "Senator McCain was already turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, and he became a leading supporter of an invasion and occupation of a country that had absolutely nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks."
Do you, dear reader, really thing that this election is about a tactical surge in Iraq that happened last year?
Insurgent activity in Afghanistan has risen fourfold this year, and militants now launch more than 600 attacks a month, a rising wave of violence that has resulted in 3,700 deaths in 2006, a bleak new report released Sunday found.
This is what happens when the proverbial eye is taken off of the proverbial ball.
Meanwhile, in the volatile border area near Pakistan, more than 20 Taliban militants — and possibly as many as 60 — were killed during several days of clashes, officials said Sunday.
The new report said insurgents were launching more than 600 attacks a month as of the end of September, up from 300 a month at the end of March this year. The violence has killed more than 3,700 people this year, it said.
Maybe the Taliban should be told that they've been sidelined in the "front lines on terror." After all, Iraq holds that title, according to President Bush — presumably for all its civil-war violence between different Iraqi factions.
Muslim extremists are planning at least 30 major terrorist attacks in Britain, according to MI5. The head of Britain's internal the security service, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, says some of the plots might involve chemical or nuclear materials.
Some of the potential attacks may involve young British Muslims who are being groomed to become suicide bombers, Manningham-Buller said.
MI5 agents are watching 1,500 suspects, most of them British-born and with links to Pakistan.
[NPR audio link]
Will more American soldiers and Marines dying in Iraq really help? Or is the real front line on terror not in some dusty, broken country reeling from decades of dictatorship, but rather in the police work done in cities and countries all over the world?
"The notion somehow for eight months the Bush administration sat there and didn't do that is just flatly false - and I think the 9/11 commission understood that," Rice said during a wide-ranging meeting with Post editors and reporters.
This coming from the former National Security Advisor who pushed aside Richard Clarke, the in-house expert on al-Qaeda. This coming from the White House staffer who pretty much ignored the presidential briefing memo about Osama bin Laden's plans to strike within the U.S. This coming from a key player in the Bush Administration, which fought against even having a 9/11 Commission look into 9/11. They didn't want anyone looking into it.
"What we did in the eight months was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years," Rice added.
She also whines about analyses by our own U.S. intelligence agencies that what the Bush Administration is doing is making things worse.
Transitioning to the global war on terror, an animated Rice questioned, "When are we going to stop blaming ourselves for the rise of terrorism?"
This is the perspective problem the entire Bush Administration seems to have: More concern about criticism of them, more concern about the political prospects of the GOP, more concern about spinning themselves into hero status, than any concern in actually doing something effective or at least making sure they're not just making things worse.
When, Condi? When you stop being a major cause of the rise of terrorism.
Asked about recently leaked internal U.S. intelligence estimates that claimed the Iraq war was fueling terrorist recruiting, Rice said: "Now that we're fighting back, of course they are fighting back, too."
"I find it just extraordinary that the argument is, all right, so they're using the fact they're being challenged in the Middle East and challenged in Iraq to recruit, therefore you've made the war on terrorism worse.
"It's as if we were in a good place on Sept. 11. Clearly, we weren't," she added.
Except, Condi, that the terrorists weren't even in Iraq until you and Bush invaded there. The terrorists were in Afghanistan.
Remember Afghanistan? That's the place where Osama has been, by many accounts, all this time. That's where al-Qaeda planned 9/11. That's where the Taliban government sheltered these terrorists.
We do not know what you have done, to prevent another 9/11.
You have failed us — then leveraged that failure, to justify a purposeless war in Iraq which will have, all too soon, claimed more American lives than did 9/11.
You have failed us anew in Afghanistan.
And you have now tried to hide your failures, by blaming your predecessor.
And now you exploit your failure, to rationalize brazen torture — which doesn’t work anyway; which only condemns our soldiers to water-boarding; which only humiliates our country further in the world; and which no true American would ever condone, let alone advocate.And there it is, sir:
Are yours the actions of a true American?
Here are some relevant videos via YouTube:
Clinton refuses to roll over for Chris Wallace on Fox
Olbermann on Clinton, and the Bush Administration's passing the buck
"If we leave Iraq before the job is done, it will create a terrorist state in the heart of the Middle East, a terrorist state much more dangerous than Afghanistan was before we removed the Taliban, a terrorist state with the capacity to fund its activities because of the oil reserves of Iraq," Bush said.
And yet, despite five years since 9/11 and over four years since invading Afghanistan, that country is still a state that produces and harbors terrorists. And the Taliban is back on the rise there. Gee, maybe we should have taken Afghanistan more seriously, instead of running off to invade a country run by a dictator who pretty much hated Islamic terrorists.
What goes better with fried chickenhawk than pie in the sky?
Promising victory in Iraq, Bush said: "The stakes are high. it's very important for the American people to understand that the security of the United States of America, the capacity of our children to grow up in a peaceful world, in large part depends on our willingness to help this young Iraq democracy succeed. And we will succeed."
We will win ... the Iraqi civil war? The obliteration of political moderates in the Middle East?
Oh, yes: King George's own sense of self-importance.
"They are not political speeches," Bush said earlier Wednesday outside a restaurant in Little Rock, Ark., where he made his first campaign stop of the day. "They're speeches about the future of this country and they're speeches to make it clear that if we retreat before the job is done, this nation will become even more in jeopardy.
"These are important times, and I would seriously hope people wouldn't politicize these issues that I'm going to talk about."
Oh, no. We wouldn't want to politicize Bush Administration neo-con militarist adventurism! Nooooo.....