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Condi Rice supports Obama on necessity of Afghan war

September 24, 2009 |  6:04 am

Condoleeza Rice with Joe biden and Barack Obama 2008

After the 2008 presidential election, a funny thing happened on the way to the good war.

That's the one in Afghanistan, which Democratic candidate Barack Obama argued was the real central front in the war on terror that Republicans had lost sight of with their military distraction in the bad war in Iraq.

However, now that it comes time to prosecute the good war with a new Obama-like strategy, possibly more troops and certainly more casualties, many of his Democratic friends on the left are having third thoughts. Poll support for the war is waning sharply.

Here's the irony. The Republican Party, which happy Harry Reid likes to call the party of "no," is fast becoming the only group of folks who are saying yes to the Democratic president on Afghanistan.

On national security grounds naturally and, of course, you don't hear the president talking much about this silent alliance with his party's political opponents because, well, he's gonna need all of his own folks to pass this healthcare reform business you may have heard a little about in recent months.

Forbes' Nina Easton had a good interview the other day with Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush's former national security advisor and secretary of State, who unlike ex-VP Dick Cheney has been pretty Representative Joe Wilson You Lie talking dollquiet in recent months back at Stanford.

But with congressional Democrats starting to mumble the W word -- withdrawal -- Rice didn't mince words.

"The last time we left Afghanistan, and we abandoned Pakistan," Rice says, "that territory became the very territory on which Al Qaeda trained and attacked us on Sept. 11. So our national security interests are very much tied up in not letting Afghanistan fail again and become a safe haven for terrorists.

"It's that simple. If you want another terrorist attack in the U.S., abandon Afghanistan."

As for recent mounting criticism of the Afghan regime and election, Rice noted, "Our democracy wasn't so perfect at the beginning either. My ancestors were three-fifths of a man."

Although Republicans could use a fresh face, no sign of interest from Rice in seeking elected office -- yet.

However, if there was any doubt in anyone's mind over the 2012 presidential intentions of ex-Gov. Mitt Romney, they were dispelled the other day with a simple e-mail to supporters from Romney's Free and Strong America PAC.

It announced the opening of a PAC store chockfull of political campaign doodads and paraphernalia about Romney, including, just in time for fall, a Romney PAC fleece pullover, caps and buttons ("Stimulate the Economy, Not the Government").

So that's settled.

Also new on the market -- no doubt in response to overwhelming demand --is the Rep. Joe Wilson action talking doll (see photo). He actually says, "You lie!" Perfect for your next cocktail party political debate.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Condoleezza Rice with Joe Biden and Obama in 2008. Credit: Associated Press