Graham: I Want An Enduring Relationship With Afghanistan Past 2014

(h/t Heather at VideoCafe) Despite Vice President Joe Biden's assurances that we will not continue our occupation of Afghanistan past 2014, Senator Lindsey Graham has other ideas. I want an enduring relationship with Afghanistan past 2014

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(h/t Heather at VideoCafe)

Despite Vice President Joe Biden's assurances that we will not continue our occupation of Afghanistan past 2014, Senator Lindsey Graham has other ideas.

I want an enduring relationship with Afghanistan past 2014 politically, economically, and militarily, so that country never goes back into the hands of a Taliban or al-Qaeda.

The two words that will be talked about in 2011 with Afghanistan are "corruption" and "Pakistan." I am hopeful the Pakistani Army will be more bold in attacking safe havens across the border that lie in-- Pakistan. I hope the Karzai government will better address corruption. I hope we can find an enduring relationship with Afghanistan that will make sure that country never goes back in the hands of terrorists. And the idea of putting permanent military bases on the table in 2011, I think, would secure our national interests and tell the bad guys and the good guys, "We're not leaving, we're staying in a responsible way if the Afghan people want us to stay."

Nothing like the Republicans to hold two mutually opposing thoughts simultaneously without a trace of irony. Not ten minutes before, Graham was talking up austerity and cutting costs and refusing to raise the debt ceiling, and now he's calling for a permanent military presence in Afghanistan. What does he think that will be paid with? What does he think that will do to our debt?

And it ignores--as Republicans are wont to do--what Afghanistan wants. Graham argues that it's in our national interest to have an "enduring relationship" with Afghanistan, but the Afghans see that as a foreign (and violent) occupying force. They are rightfully resentful of it and by staying, we're radicalizing even more Afghans against us, providing us with a non-stop stream of "insurgents" (or freedom fighters, from their point of view) to battle, costing us more and more in blood and treasure.

Of course, that doesn't fit into the carefully crafted narratives the media keeps pushing. Over the weekend, I watched a documentary on Netflix streaming entitled "Independent Intervention" on the corporate glossing over of the realities of war (or occupation, if you want to be semantic about it). For those without a Netflix account, this little preview gives you a flavor of the documentary. THIS is what Graham is calling for...the destruction, the devastation, the losses. Costs far too high for the benefits reaped.

Transcripts (courtesy of NBC) below the fold:

DAVID GREGORY: Final area, with just a-- just a moment left-- I wanna talk about Afghanistan. You've traveled there extensively, and you think a lot about the war. Vice President Biden was on this program in the last couple of weeks.

SENATOR GRAHAM: Yeah.

DAVID GREGORY: Was in-- emphatic in talking about the endgame for the United States. This is a portion of what he said. […]

DAVID GREGORY: If that holds, that means there's a level of confidence that the primary challenge can be overcome, which, to you, is what?

SENATOR GRAHAM: Well, at the end of the day, I think the vice president has walked back that statement. The President, rightly, has said, "We're gonna start transitioning this year. By 2014, the Afghan Security Forces will be in the lead." I want an enduring relationship with Afghanistan past 2014 politically, economically, and militarily, so that country never goes back into the hands of a Taliban or al-Qaeda.

The two words that will be talked about in 2011 with Afghanistan are "corruption" and "Pakistan." I am hopeful the Pakistani Army will be more bold in attacking safe havens across the border that lie in-- Pakistan. I hope the Karzai government will better address corruption. I hope we can find an enduring relationship with Afghanistan that will make sure that country never goes back in the hands of terrorists. And the idea of putting permanent military bases on the table in 2011, I think, would secure our national interests and tell the bad guys and the good guys, "We're not leaving, we're staying in a responsible way if the Afghan people want us to stay."

DAVID GREGORY: But that's important. You believe a permanent U.S. Military presence in Afghanistan is required in order to head off a potential failed state in the future?

SENATOR GRAHAM: I think it would be enormously beneficial to the region, as well as Afghanistan. We've had air bases all over the world. A couple of air bases in Afghanistan would allow the Afghan Security Forces an edge against the Taliban in perpetuity. It would be a signal to Pakistan that the Taliban are never gonna come back in Afghanistan. They could change their behavior.

It would be a signal to the whole region that Afghanistan is gonna be a new and different place. And if the Afghan people want this relationship, they're gonna have to earn it. But I hope they will seek a relationship with the United States before we can have a enduring relationship, economic and militarily and politically.

And a couple a air bases in Afghanistan will give us an edge militarily, give the Afghan Security Forces an edge militarily, to ensure that country never goes back into the hands of the Taliban, which would be a stabilizing event throughout the whole region. That has to be earned by the Afghan people. And it has to be requested by them.

About Nicole Belle

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Mom, Wife, Media Critic/Political Analyst, Blogger, Austen Fanatic, Unapologetic Liberal NicoleBelle@crooksandliars.com

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