Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Democrats Assail Frist's Afghan Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democrats accused Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of waving a white flag of surrender for saying the Afghan war against Taliban guerrillas can never be won militarily and favoring bringing "people who call themselves Taliban" into the government.

Frist, who was traveling in Afghanistan, said Monday that Taliban fighters were too numerous and too popular to be defeated. "You need to bring them into a more transparent type of government," he said. "And if that's accomplished, we'll be successful."

The comments from the Tennessee Republican, a potential 2008 presidential candidate, come as President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have accused Democrats of being weak on national security and adhering to a policy of retreat.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the United States went to war in Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban for its role with al-Qaida.

"Senator Frist now suggests that the best way forward in Afghanistan is to coddle the Taliban by welcoming Taliban members into a coalition government, as if 9/11 had never happened," Pelosi said Tuesday in a statement.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in responding to Bush's criticism of Democrats, said: "His Republican leader in the Senate thinks America should empower the Taliban terrorists who aided and abetted Osama bin Laden."


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