Republicans, Democrats trade charges over Afghanistan
Washington: As US President Barack Obama inches closer to finding the "right strategy" for the Af-Pak region, the ruling Democrats and opposition Republicans are engaged in a bitter war of words on Afghanistan, blaming each other for the deteriorating situation in the war-torn country.
While Democratic leaders, who are in majority in both the chamber of the Congress, are charging the previous Bush regime with ignoring Afghanistan and causing the present mess, Republicans are accusing Obama of deliberately delaying a decision to send more troops to the country.
"They say that elephants don't forget, but it looks like many members of the Republican Party have a mass case of amnesia," Democratic Senator Jack Reed told reporters at a news conference.
Elephant is the symbol of the Republican Party.
"The same politicians who were demanding that the current President stop dithering and do whatever his Generals suggest forget that the previous administration ignored and under-resourced our commanders and soldiers in Afghanistan for nearly eight years," he said.
"Indeed, Republicans have developed a troubling habit of blaming President Obama or trying to fix all the problems they created," Reed said.
His outburst against the Republicans came a day after former vice president Dick Cheney said the White House "must stop dithering while America's armed forces are in danger."
"It's time for President Obama to do what it takes to win a war he has repeatedly and rightly called 'a war of necessity," Cheney said.
Reed said Cheney's comments were "very puzzling" and asked "why didn't the former vice president ask George Bush to just do what it takes to win in Afghanistan for the seven years when he was in office, instead of blindly rushing into Iraq and allowing Afghanistan to drift into chaos?"
House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, too joined the war of words, saying that "the President has a very difficult decision to make". She said Cheney's comment was not constructive.
Another Democratic Senator, Ted Kaufman, charged that the previous Bush Administration and the Republican party cannot run away from their responsibilities, in which they failed miserably.
"But every once in a while, it is good to kind of look at the fact that vice president Cheney was Vice President of the United States for eight years, and what he did in Afghanistan, you know, as the kids say, you know, words speak – actions speak louder than words. What did they do in Afghanistan for eight years?" he asked.