President Obama made a closely guarded visit to Afghanistan to sign a pullout agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to define the role of U.S. troops after the end of combat operations in 2014.
The trip was kept a secret, with the Drudge Report asking “Where’s Obama?” and the White House denying rumors.
The president plans to deliver an address to the nation Tuesday evening, which also marks the ninth anniversary of President Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech about the Iraq invasion.
The agreement says that the United States will continue to provide military advisers and other aid after U.S. combat troops leave.
Obama’s appearance in Afghanistan comes in the aftermath of criticism from the people on the left and the right attacking a seven-minute video touting the president’s role, suggesting that Mitt Romney would not have done anything. This led opponents to accuse the president of “spiking the football”, something he said he would not do after Osama bin Laden was killed a year ago.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Obama’s 2008 rival slammed the video, saying that any sitting president – even Jimmy Carter – would have done the same thing to bin Laden, instead choosing to highlight his refusal to intervene on behalf of pro-democracy protesters in Iran in 2009.
Even Arianna Huffington, foundress of the reliably liberal Huffington Post, denounced the ad as “despicable”.
“I think its one thing to celebrate the fact that htye did such a great job (with television specials). All that is perfectly legitimate. But to turn it into a campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do,” Huffington told CBS This Morning.
Huffington went on to say Obama’s actions prove Hillary Rodham Clinton’s claim he wasn’t ready for the “3 a.m. phone call” .
His effort to highlight his success getting bin Laden comes at a time when the American public’s faith in his job performance holds at under 50 percent.
“Obama may have travelled to Afghanistan for the same reason he has been talking about a year old decision to kill Bin Laden—to focus on anything other than the economy,” Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, told Red Alert Politics. “Or Obama maybe in Afghanistan visiting the $1 trillion the U.S. has spent in a country with a GDP of $14 trillion.”
Terror expert Steven Emerson, who heads the Investigative Project on Terrorism, says that the Obama administration doesn’t get the real problem, which goes beyond bin Laden – namely radical Islamic theology.
Obama is blinded by political correctness and refuses to acknowledge that a violent interpretation of Islam is responsible for the threat to national security, according to Emerson.
The administration has forbidden talk about radical Islam and has engaged in dialog with the Muslim Brotherhood even though it has given birth to al-Qaida and every other Sunni Muslim terror group.
“The problem since then is that the people who have been arrested since [the bin Laden killing] are not members of al-Qaida but subscribe to radical Islamic theology,” Emerson said.
Of the 26 Muslim terror suspects apprehended last year, only four had al-Qaida ties based on Emerson’s research.
Updated to include Islamic terror suspect statistics.