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Obama and Afghanistan

By Ayub Maftoon - posted Tuesday, 29 July 2008

United States’ presidential hopeful Barack Obama is on a foreign mission to prove his credentials as a diplomate and a frontline man.

On his European list are Germany, France and Britain, while in his Middle-Eastern leg he visited Afghanistan last Sunday and then Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and Israel.

Whereas his European visit is a pure gesture to the voters at home to show that he’s capable of dealing with foreign affairs and allies in Europe, his visit to the Jewish “state” is to assure Israelis that he is no different to previous US presidents. And to avoid any potential criticism he puts the names of some Arab states in the list too.


Afghanistan and Iraq’s visit is yet another premeditated tactic to respond to his criticism from voters and his Republican rival of having no military experience or credentials necessary for a commander-in-chief.

In Kabul, he held a meeting with president Hamid Karzai and assured him of full support and said the “war on terror” will be fought “with vigour” and called for extra troops for Afghanistan. Earlier in an interview with CBS Mr Obama said Afghanistan should be the main focus of the “war on terror” due to its “precarious and urgent” situation.

We have to understand that the situation is precarious and urgent and I believe this has to be the central focus, the central front, in the battle against terrorism.

Mr Obama’s visit to Afghanistan and Iraq is happening at a time when the US most senior commander in Iraq suspects of a shift in the anti-American forces strategy. While rejecting the idea of a complete abandonment of Iraq, General David Petraeus said:

What they certainly may do is start to provide some of those resources that would have come to Iraq to Pakistan, possibly Afghanistan.

It’s crystal clear that the whole Obama’s visit saga has a sole reason, and that is to remove every obstacle between him and the Whitehouse. Apart from being labelled as inexperienced in foreign and military affairs, Mr Obama’s identity has been questioned by some ranks of his opponents. Mr Obama is in a constant struggle to convince the American public that those who say that he is the son of a Kenyan immigrant, raised and got some education in a Muslim country, and even has a Muslim middle name are wrong.


His extreme statements about Jerusalem in favour of Israel and his comments, a while ago, to bomb Pakistan shows that the Illinois senator is trying to demonstrate that he is not what his opponents say.

His above mentioned comments about south-central-Asian region, which includes Afghanistan and Pakistan as “the central focus, the central front” is alarming and indicates that president Obama may will turn the already troubled region into a hell.

Thanks to George Walker Bush’s “war on terror” and invasion of Afghanistan the whole tribal belt between Afghanistan and Pakistan and some settled areas of North-Western-Frontier-Province (NWFP) of Pakistan, which were peaceful even during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, are now burning in a disastrous fire of fierce clashes between the Pakistani army and revolters.

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About the Author

Ayub Maftoon is a journalist. He got his bachelor degree in journalism from Monash and has recently completed his Masters in Film and Television at RMIT.

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