“Blessing” Obama (yes, that’s what “Barack” means in Arabic), who believes that radical Islam is a product of failed US foreign policy, reacts to rumors that jihadis are flocking to Afghanistan. “Obama Urges Increase in U.S. Forces in Afghanistan on ‘Face the Nation’,” by Dan Balz for the Washington Post, July 20:
Calling the situation in Afghanistan “precarious and urgent,” Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama urged the Bush administration Sunday to begin building up U.S. forces there to combat the growing strength of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
In his first interview since arriving in Afghanistan on Saturday, Obama said on CBS’s “Face The Nation” that conditions now warrant reducing the number of troops in Iraq and shifting them to Afghanistan.
“I think we have to seize that opportunity. Now’s the time for us to do it,” Obama said. “If we wait until the next administration, it could be a year before we get those additional troops on the ground here in Afghanistan and I think that would be a mistake. I think the situation is getting urgent enough that we’ve got to start doing something now.”
Obama sought to use his time in Afghanistan to underscore his criticism that the Iraq war has distracted the United States, repeating his belief that the Bush administration had made a key mistake in failing “to finish the job here.”
Obama said the goal of U.S. policy should be a stable Afghanistan and the disabling of the Taliban and al-Qaeda. “Losing is not an option when it comes to al-Qaeda and it never has been,” he said, “and that’s why the fact that we engaged in a war of choice when we were not yet finished with that task was such a mistake.”