Obama Declares "Mission Accomplished"
White House officials are using optimistic and assertive language to frame their unconditional withdrawal from the Afghanistan war as a positive achievement, amid a continued offensive by the Taliban and their ideological soulmates in al-Qaida.
“We must finish the job we started in Afghanistan, and end this war responsibly,” Obama said, even though the U.S. withdrawal will help al-Qaida and the Taliban continue attacking Afghan government and villages.
The statements came as Obama signed a deal with the Afghan government that calls for the withdrawal of nearly all U.S. forces by 2014, in exchange for a still-unclear promise of future aid.
The administration’s positive portrayal of that result helps Obama downplay any suggestion that his policy will cause a Vietnam-like military defeat, and will likely boost his poll numbers among Americans as the November election nears.
Yet only hours after Obama left Kabul, a Taliban-led suicide car bomb attack in the eastern part of the city killed at least six people including five civilians. Kabul’s police chief told Reuters that the bomb targeted a housing complex popular with Westerners.