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Lindsey Graham calls for permanent US military presence in Afghanistan

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The US military will never leave Afghanistan if Sen. Lindsey Graham has his way.

The Republican senator from South Carolina expressed his hope Sunday that the country would invite the US to install permanent military bases.

“I hope that we can find an enduring relationship with Afghanistan that will make sure that country never goes back into the hands of terrorists,” Graham told NBC’s David Gregory. “The idea of putting permanent military bases on the table in 2011, I think, would secure our national interests and tell the bad guys and the good guy we’re not leaving, we are staying.”

“But that’s important,” observed Gregory. “You believe a permanent US military presence in Afghanistan is required to order to head off a potential failed state in the future?”

“I think it would be enormously beneficial to the region as well as Afghanistan,” Graham replied.

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“We’ve had airbases all over the world. A couple of air bases in Afghanistan would allow the Afghan security forces an edge against the Taliban in perpetuity. It would be a signal to Pakistan that the Taliban are never going to come back in Afghanistan. They could change their behavior.”

Graham continued: “It would be a signal to the whole region that Afghanistan is going to be a new and different place and if the Afghan people want this relationship, they are going to have to earn it. But I hope they will seek a relationship with the United States where we can have an enduring relationship, economic, militarily and politically.”

In December, Graham made similar remarks to CNN’s Eliot Spitzer.

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“Under the right circumstances I think it would really secure the gains we made to have a U.S. presence in Afghanistan, two airbases that would be beneficial to the Afghan security forces,” he said.

“I am appalled by Senator Graham’s comments,” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) said in a statement. “Rather than advocating for a permanent extension of the costly and counterproductive military occupation of Afghanistan, it is time to finally end America’s longest war and bring our men and women in uniform home.”

President Obama’s administration has vowed to begin a withdrawal of US troops starting in July of this year, but in recent months administration spokespeople have been backtracking on that deadline.

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This video is from NBC’s Meet the Press, broadcast Jan. 2, 2010.


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Trump’s racism is ‘disqualifying’ for him to remain as president: former White House lawyer

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Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal explained on MSNBC on Thursday why he viewed President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four women of color in Congress as disqualifying.

Anchor Brian Williams read a quote from Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.

"Half of the country is appalled but not really sure how to combat him; the other half is cheering, or at least averting its gaze. This is what a political civil war looks like, with words, for now, as weapons," Glasser wrote.

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Lawrence O’Donnell reports on the growing movement for the impeachment of President Donald Trump

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Anchor Lawrence O'Donnell reported on the growing movement for the impeachment of President Donald Trump during Thursday evening's "The Last Word" on MSNBC.

"The House of Representatives conducted a symbolic vote on a hastily written impeachment resolution by Democratic Congressman Al Green in reaction to the president’s tweeted comments that the House of Representatives voted to condemn as racist," O'Donnell reported. "The impeachment resolution had nothing to do with the [Robert] Mueller investigation and referred only to the president being unfit for office because of the language that he has used recently about members of Congress and immigrants and asylum seekers."

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Video proves how far the Trump’s GOP has gone from the era of Ronald Reagan and HW Bush

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The immigration policies of Donald Trump’s presidency would have no room for his GOP predecessors Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush—who both embraced work visas, family unification, easy border crossings and a better relationship with Mexico.

That counterpoint can be seen in a very short video clip from the 1980 presidential election where Reagan and Bush—who became Reagan’s vice president for two terms before winning the presidency in 1988—were asked about immigration at a campaign debate in Texas. Their responses show just how far to the right the Republican Party’s current leader, President Trump, and voters who have not left the GOP to become self-described political independents, have moved on immigration.

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