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October 02, 2006

Frist Claims He Was Misquoted: Will Address Issue Shortly

Via MKH, with her own post on the gaffe.

Frist's folks contacted her and claim the story is bullshit. We'll see.

The Statement... is what I expected. It's not that he was misquoted, though he claims to be. It's that he's now adding more "context" and "nuance" to make you try to think that negotiating with Al Qaeda's sponsors is a good idea:

I’m currently overseas visiting our troops in Afghanistan, but I wanted to take a moment to address an Associated Press story titled, “Frist: Taliban Should Be in Afghan Gov’t.” The story badly distorts my remarks and takes them out of context.

First of all, let me make something clear: The Taliban is a murderous band of terrorists who’ve oppressed the people of Afghanistan with their hateful ideology long enough. America’s overthrow of the Taliban and support for responsible, democratic governance in Afghanistan is a great accomplishment that should not and will not be reversed.

Having discussed the situation with commanders on the ground, I believe that we cannot stabilize Afghanistan purely through military means. Our counter-insurgency strategy must win hearts and minds and persuade moderate Islamists potentially sympathetic to the Taliban to accept the legitimacy of the Afghan national government and democratic political processes.

National reconciliation is a necessary and an urgent priority … but America will never negotiate with terrorists or support their entry into Afghanistan’s government.

With all due respect, those who are merely "sympathetic" to the Taliban aren't currently barred from serving in the government, having no record to disbar them.

So how to square this circle?

If Afghanistan truly cannot be de-Taibanized, it's time to pull up stakes there and simply begin bombing it as frequently as necessary to kill as many Afghans as possible.

They either reject Talibanism or bin Ladinism or they don't. They killed 3000 people. Before, one could claim they didn't know what the Taliban was up to. Now there are no such excuses.

If they still are unwilling to reject the Taliban, let them reap the whirlwind.

And as for Frist -- well, thanks for your service, and goodbye, and try not to say anything stupid in the next five weeks. As a Senator, you make a hell of a heart surgeon.

Let me do you a solid and let you know there's really, really no point sinking any time or money into that presidential bid.

Just a little political consulting for you. Gratis.


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posted by Ace at 05:52 PM

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