Frist Says We Can't Win, Should Bring Taliban Into Afghan Government (Update: Frist Says He Was Taken Out of Context)

Mary Katharine Ham

10/2/2006 4:27:47 PM - Mary Katharine Ham

Give me "angry estrogen" over the GOP excuse for testosterone any day.

"A political solution is how it's all going to be solved," he said.

In violence on Monday, a suicide bomber blew himself up next to a NATO convoy in the capital Kabul, wounding three soldiers and three civilians, while a roadside bomb in the eastern Paktia province killed three Afghan soldiers and wounded three others, officials said.

Well, by all means, invite them into the process, then. Perhaps we should send self-addressed, stamped explosive belts with which the Talibanis can R.S.V.P.

Issue No. 1, the national security issue, toughness, the only issue left for the GOP. Hand it to Frist and he fumbles it with a vengeance. Whaaat?

H/t Allah.

This is the Taliban:

"The barbarity of the Taliban plumbed new depths when troops shot dead eight boys for daring to laugh, sickened refugees revealed yesterday. The teenage lads had been chuckling at the soldiers who suddenly raised their Kalashnikov rifles and gunned them down. It was one of a string of atrocities in the besieged Afghanistan city of Kunduz, which was last night poised to fall to the Northern Alliance. At least 300 frightened Taliban were killed by men from their own side because they wanted to surrender." (Source: The Sun [U.K.], 11/19/01)

"'They burnt some of us alive.' It was almost the first thing he said to us. In the dust and squalor of a refugee camp, Salahuddin told yesterday how the Taliban burnt an entire family to death in their own home in revenge for the American bombing. He says he saw them bringing out the blackened bodies of the children. Then the Taliban took Salahuddin and the other villagers to the front line, where they ordered them to gather up scattered bits of bodies, all that was left of Taliban soldiers killed by the American bombs." (Source: The Independent U.K. 11/9/01)

September 1996 -- Upon capturing Kabul the Taliban castrated President Najibullah, dragged his body behind a jeep for several rounds of the Palace and then shot him dead. His brother was similarly tortured and then throttled to death. (Source: Department of Defense)

Massacre in Mazar-I-Sharif -- In August 1998, the Taliban captured Mazar-I-Sharif. There were reports that between 2,000 and 5,000 men, women and children -- mostly ethnic Hazara civilians -- were massacred by the Taliban after the takeover of Mazar-I-Sharif. During the massacre, the Taliban forces carried out a systematic search for male members for the ethnic Hazara, Tajik, and Uzbek communities in the city. Human Rights Watch estimates that scores, perhaps hundreds, of Hazara men and boys were summarily executed. There were also reports that women and girls were raped and abducted during the Taliban takeover of the city. (Source: State Department)

This is the Taliban (graphic images).

This is the Taliban (graphic images).

This is the Taliban.

This is the Taliban.

The day was much like any other. For the young Afghan mother, the only difference was that her child was feverish and had been for some time and needed to see a doctor. But simple tasks in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan today are not that easy.

The mother was alone and the doctor was across town. She had no male relative to escort her. To ask another man to do so would be to risk severe punishment. To go on her own meant that she would risk flogging.

Because she loved her child, she had no choice. Donning the tent-like burqa as Taliban law required, she set out, cradling her child in her arms. She shouldn't have.

As they approached the market, she was spotted by a teenage Taliban guard who tried to stop her. Intent on saving her child, the mother ignored him, hoping that he would ignore her. He didn't. Instead he raised his weapon and shot her repeatedly. Both mother and child fell to the ground. They survived because bystanders in the market intervened to save them. The young Taliban guard was unrepentent -- fully supported by the regime. The woman should not have been out alone. 

We can only hope that Hamid Karzai is smarter than Sen. Frist.  

Maybe there's a full transcript that will shed more light on exactly what Frist was saying, but the quote sounds pretty complete. Grrrr. Is this guy a plant or something? He's got Ace and Allah (and undoubtedly other security-cons) giving up entirely on the GOP and he's doing plenty to suppress any activism I was feelin'. Well done.

Update: What's the over-under on a "clarification" of this statement?

Update: Stop the ACLU has reaction round-up. It is not good. It is wretched. It is explosively, corrosively bad. I just sent an e-mail to the only person I know in Frist's shop asking for a full transcript of the conversation in questions. Maybe he was outta context? Ugh.

Update: Related.

Update: From a spokesperson at Frist's VOLPAC:

The Senator was misquoted. We will have a blog post addressing the AP story very shortly.

Hmm, I'm gonna need a pretty good explanation on this one, but check the VOLPAC blog for updates. I'll have it up here as soon as I get it, too.

Update: Frist is backing off the statement, saying his remarks were distorted and taken out of context:

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. 

Well, that's more like it, but dang, you can't let that kind of headline get out a couple weeks before an election (or ever, if you want to keep the security cons who don't cotton to the Republican Party on any other issues). It kinda smells of defeatism no matter how you slice it, which is why all of us got up in arms so quickly.