Friday, October 20, 2006

Did Ken Mehlman Really Suggest The U.S.-Led Coalition "Cut And Run" From Afghanistan?

What did Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman mean when he said today on NBC's Today Show that the Bush Administration doesn't want Iraq to become "another Afghanistan"?

(Video available here. It's the third option under "Today Show Video.")

Here's the exchange with host Meredith Vieira:

VIEIRA: Do you gentleman believe that the administration will have no choice but to change its strategy?

MEHLMAN: Uh, Meredith, I think that what you're going to see is that there's a continued focus on the goal, and the goal is defeating the terrorists and making sure that Iraq is able to not be another Afghanistan, which would become the consequence if we, if we were to "cut and run."

Is Mehlman suggesting that the U.S.-led coalition "cut and run" from Afghanistan -- by focusing our attention on Iraq, and by no longer considering Osama Bin Laden's capture crucial to winning the war on terror?

Or is Mehlman suggesting that the U.S.-led coalition is no longer "defeating the terrorists" in Afghanistan, because -- unlike what President Bush said in 2004 -- the Taliban is very much in "existence."

Considering Mehlman is the top Republican spokesman, the snippet from Today either qualifies as the biggest blunder of the year, or the biggest admission.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Dave G. said...

There's one other possibility. Melman could have been referring to our brief foray into the country in the 80s, and how it then turned into a failed state in the 90s. It's a reach and I have certainly no reason to defend him, but it's a possiblity.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didnt realize we had American soldiers fighting in Afghanistan back in the 80's. You learn something untrue everyday here at JABBS.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Show me where JABBS said that US troops were fighting in Afghanistan in the 1980s, dumbass.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

MEHLMAN: Uh, Meredith, I think that what you're going to see is that there's a continued focus on the goal, and the goal is defeating the terrorists and making sure that Iraq is able to not be another Afghanistan, which would become the consequence if we, if we were to "cut and run."

Although I would agree that Mehlman's response was not worded very clearly, I think what he meant was that if we leave Iraq prematurely, without a sound government and capable military in place, it will become a terrorist playground for al Qaeda and regress to a Taliban-like state, much like Afghanistan was before we went in there in October of 2001.

1:55 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Good catch, JABBS. But Mehlman's comment was too nuanced to light any fire under the ass of the mainstream media. It subsequently can allow Bush apologists like Trinity to attempt to forward her suspect interpretation above.
I mean, we're talking the Bush apologists and the Republicans refuse to see a problem with Cheney's CLEAR and unambiguous lies (See JABBS post directly below).
You think then they could ever grasp the meaning of something as nuanced as Mehlman's response?
But isn't Mehlman commenting out of the Republican playbook?
"In order to obfuscate the truth, simply say something so ridiculously ambiguous or subject to so many multiple interpretations (maybe one of them might possibly be true?), it will surely placate the Republican base while knocking the mainstream media off the scent."

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I would agree that Mehlman's response was not worded very clearly>>

That's an understatement.

12:27 AM  
Anonymous trinity said...

When speaking extemporaneously, people very often fall short of 100% clarity. Why didn't Meredith Vieira simply ask an intelligent follow-up question?

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

Trinity said:
Although I would agree that Mehlman's response was not worded very clearly, I think what he meant was that if we leave Iraq prematurely, without a sound government and capable military in place, it will become a terrorist playground for al Qaeda and regress to a Taliban-like state, much like Afghanistan was before we went in there in October of 2001.

That's pretty much what I meant to convey in my first comment.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Dave G. said...
"That's pretty much what I meant to convey in my first comment."


Believe it or not, I thought that might be the case. ;)

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

Yeah, I figured, Trinity. Anonymous certainly didn't understand, however, but then again, that's a lost cause.

6:12 PM  

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