Fred Thompson, the actor and former Republican Senator, told listeners of his radio show Thursday that the war in Afghanistan is “already lost,” and put the blame on President Barack Obama’s delays in making a decision on a troop surge for the war effort.
Thompson’s salvo “seem[s] to lay the groundwork for Republican opposition to further American engagement in Afghanistan,” suggests Ben Smith at Politico, but the former presidential candidate’s words have roiled some critics, who note that, during the Bush administration, Thompson was a fierce opponent of those who painted the war effort negatively.
“It’s becoming increasingly apparent with every passing day that it really doesn’t matter how President Obama divides the Afghan baby, how he splits the difference between [Gen. Stanley] McChrystal and [Vice President Joe] Biden, because the war in Afghanistan has been lost,” Thompson said on his radio show, The Fred Thompson Show. “It didn’t have to be that way, it doesn’t have to be that way, but that’s the way it is.”
Thompson took up a now-familiar theme among critics of the Obama administration’s foreign policy, attacking the White House for taking its time with a decision on a troop increase for the war effort.
“This delay will not in and of itself do irreparable harm to the war effort — it’s much worse than that,” Thompson said. “This delay is evidence that the war is already lost. So take your time on the new troop numbers, Mister President. Unless you have total change of heart and mind on this, it really doesn’t make any difference.”
But one of Thompson’s points in his polemic — that “our enemies are emboldened” and “our friends are discouraged” because of Obama’s delay — has critics accusing the former Republican presidential contender of hypocrisy.
Thompson until recently considered criticism of the war effort to be detrimental because it emboldens the US’s enemies. As Matt Corley pointed out at ThinkProgress, Thompson fiercely criticized Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2007 when Reid declared outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace to be “incompetent.”
“The problem is that every one of Reid’s comments I’ve noted here has also been reported gleefully by Al Jazeera and other anti-American media,” Thompson said at the time. “Whether he means to or not, he’s encouraging our enemies to believe that they are winning the critical war of will.”
“According to Thompson’s own logic, his declaration of defeat today — “whether he means to or not” — is “encouraging our enemies to believe that they are winning the critical war of will,” Corley writes.
The following audio was broadcast on The Fred Thompson Show, Thursday November 19, 2009, and uploaded to the Web by Politico.com.
Kris Kobach ridiculed after losing comeback bid in Kansas: ‘Adios amigo’
Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is the projected loser of the state's Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Kobach, a longtime crusader against immigration, headed up President Donald Trump's so-called "voter fraud commission" before it was disbanded after failing to identify any widespread instances of fraud.
Kobach unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2018.
Here's some of what people were saying about Kobach's defeat:
Maddow reveals the ‘shocking sign’ the White House may be betting Trump is going to lose in 2020
MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow returned from vacation to host the Tuesday evening edition of her MSNBC show.
Maddow noted, "in 91 days we all get to decide if the guy who's currently in charge of how we're responding to this epidemic should stay in the job for four more years or if Democratic candidate Joe Biden would do better at this."
"It's honestly hard to know what it will be like for a president to stand for re-election with 200,000 dead Americans as a key metric from his first term, while he asks for a second term, but we're going to talk tonight about how some of that is going to work and some of what we can see coming down the pike," she explained. "And a lot of it is very worrying, in terms of the institutions of our democracy and what we count on to keep us a constitutional republic."
Trump may break with ‘presidential norms’ and give GOP convention speech from the White House lawn: report
On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that Republicans are exploring the possibility of President Donald Trump giving his presidential re-nomination speech from the South Lawn of the White House.
"The decision to stage the most high-profile political event of Trump’s reelection campaign at the national seat of presidential power would be just the latest break by Trump in presidential norms, which have historically drawn clear lines between official business of the president and campaign events," reported Michael Scherer and Josh Dawsey. "People involved in the planning said that no final decision had been made on the location of the Republican convention’s celebratory events. Trump abandoned plans to hold the full convention in Charlotte, and later Jacksonville, Fla., over concerns that large crowds could spread the novel coronavirus."