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July 23, 2008

Independent Veterans Group VoteVet Will Run Ad Against John McCain

The independent group VoteVets will start running the ad below against John McCain later this week.  The 30 second ad will run on CNN and MSNBC starting on Friday through next week.  The group plans to spend $100,000 on the ads.

 

One of their older ads:

July 20, 2008

Obama: Situation in Afghanistan is “Precarious” and “Urgent.” Is America Losing The Fight?

 Senator Obama says the situation in Afghanistan is “precarious” and “urgent.”  In an interview broadcast Sunday during his trip to Afghanistan, Obama said the U.S. needs to start planning now to send in more troops. He has called for an additional one to two brigades — or about 7,000 troops — to be sent to Afghanistan to help counter a Taliban that is rising again and supress rising violence.

Obama said that Afghanistan has to be the central focus in the fight against terrorists.

He said the Bush administration allowed itself to be distracted by a “war of choice” but now is the time to correct the mistake.

President Bush’s critics have long contended that the Iraq war has diminished America’s effort in Afghanistan, which the administration has denied, but an examination of how the policy unfolded within the administration reveals a deep divide over how to proceed in Afghanistan and a series of decisions that at times seemed to downgrade it to an afterthought as Iraq unraveled.

Statements from the White House, including from the president, in support of Afghanistan were positive, but behind them was a halting, sometimes reluctant commitment to solving Afghanistan’s many problems, according to dozens of interviews in the United States, at NATO headquarters in Brussels and in Kabul, the Afghan capital.

At critical moments in the fight for Afghanistan, the Bush administration diverted scarce intelligence and reconstruction resources to Iraq, including elite C.I.A. teams and Special Forces units involved in the search for terrorists. As sophisticated Predator spy planes rolled off assembly lines in the United States, they were shipped to Iraq, undercutting the search for Taliban and terrorist leaders, according to senior military and intelligence officials.

(more…)

Sunday: Details of Senator Obama Meeting With Afghan President Karzai

   Senator Barack Obama met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai for almost two hours Sunday in a friendly discussion that addressed some of the troubled country’s challenges but avoided confrontation over touchy issues such as civilian casualties, militants in Pakistan or Obama’s recent criticism of Karzai.

The president, several top Afghan officials and the congressional delegation talked broadly about progress and problems in Afghanistan since a U.S.-led invasion forced out the Taliban in late 2001, said Humayun Hamidzada, the spokesman for Karzai.

“The Afghan tradition is that you welcome your visitor and you focus on the positive,” Hamidzada said.

He said the government would welcome either Obama or McCain as U.S. president, but prefers to press policy concerns with the administration now in office, not the one that may be.

Obama and his two traveling companions, Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) met with U.S. troops, NATO officials, U.S. officials and a popular governor in eastern Afghanistan.

The two-day visit by Obama was his first to Afghanistan, a country that has become central to his presidential campaign and has struggled against an insurgency. Obama believes the U.S. should reduce troops in Iraq and instead focus on fighting militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Obama recently expressed disapproval Karzai’s government for spending too much time in the bunker and not enough on reconstruction. Hamidzada said the subject did not come up in Sunday’s meeting and that the Afghan government did not see it as a criticism.

“It is a reality of Afghanistan,” Hamidzada said, adding that the government’s resources have been sapped by the fight against guerrillas in southern Afghanistan.

The Afghan officials told Obama and the rest of the congressional delegation that more girls are in school and how health care has improved since the Taliban regime was toppled. But they also talked about Afghanistan’s significant problems: corruption, drugs and militants.

(more…)

Sunday: Senator Obama Has Lunch With Afghan President Karzai

  Senator Barack Obama met Sunday with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, a man Obama has taken to task for not doing enough to rebuild his war-torn country.

Obama and Karzai held talks and lunched together at the presidential palace in Kabul. Karzai’s office released video showing the two men seated in front of a marble fireplace, chatting and smiling. They made no public comment.

Earlier Sunday, Obama had breakfast with soldiers at Camp Eggers, a heavily fortified military base in the city.

“To see young people like this who are doing such excellent work, with so much dedication … it makes you feel good about the country,” Obama said.

“I want to make sure that everybody back home understands how much pride these young people take in their work here and how much sacrifice they are making. It is outstanding,” he said.

Details of the meeting will be released later.

 

Sunday: Obama Has Breakfast With US Troops; Will Meet With Afghanistan President

 

Obama, in Afghanistan as part of a congressional delegation, shared breakfast with US troops on Sunday and is expected to meet President Hamid Karzai later in the day.

It’s been reported that most likely President Karzai will discuss a string of Nato offensives that have resulted in civilian casualties with Obama.

“I think Karzai is going to make it clear that mistakes by Nato and the Americans are not acceptable. He says that each time there is a civilian casualty it just adds to the support for the Taliban,” a Kabul reporter said.

In the last few days, Karzai went to the scene of an incident where there were civilian casualties at a wedding party in the east of Afghanistan, to console survivors and give compensation from the government. I think civilian casualties will be on the agenda.”

Obama is expected to raise the issue of the quality of leadership in Afghanistan.

“Obama has been critical in the past of Karzai and the Afghan government. This is a government that many in the international community see as having too many corrupt elements to it. I think he will ask Karzai to do more to take control of the situation.”

(more…)

July 19, 2008

Videos: Obama in Kuwait with U.S. Troops

Excited US troops greeted Senator Obama at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait.  Sound quality isn’t great but the visuals are heart-warming! 

Camp Arifjan is a United States Army installation located in the State of Kuwait it also accommodates US Air Force, US Navy, US Marine Corps and US Coast Guard as well as military personnel from the United Kingdom, Australia, Romania and Poland. Camp Arifjan is located south of Kuwait City

AP Report:

 

 

Opening remarks:

Shooting Hoops:

White House Accidentally E-Mails Story That Iraqi Prime Minister Supports Obama’s Withdrawal Plan

  Oops! The White House this afternoon accidentally sent to its extensive distribution list a Reuters story headlined “Iraqi PM backs Obama troop exit plan – magazine.”

The story relayed how Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told the German magazine Der Spiegel that “he supported prospective U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s proposal that U.S. troops should leave Iraq within 16 months … ‘U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes,'” the prime minister said.

The White House employee had intended to send the article to an internal distribution list, ABC News’ Martha Raddatz reports, but hit the wrong button.

The misfire comes at an odd time for Bush foreign policy, at a time when Obama’s campaign alleges the president is moving closer toward Obama’s recommendations about international relations — sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, discussing a “general time horizon” for U.S. troop withdrawal and launching talks with Iran.

Story by Jake Tapper:

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/07/white-house-acc.html

 

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