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O’Reilly: Taliban Resurgence In Afghanistan Is A ‘Myth’

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"O’Reilly: Taliban Resurgence In Afghanistan Is A ‘Myth’"

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Yesterday on Fox News, host Bill O’Reilly tried to argue that Afghanistan has been “successful” and that “there’s no danger at all of the Taliban reclaiming that country.” At the worst, he said, the Taliban will be “annoying.” When his guest, Harvard University professor Sarah Sewall, pointed out that people on the ground disagree, O’Reilly dismissed her, stating, “I talked to everybody.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2006/10/oreillyafghanistanmyth.320.240.flv]

Supreme NATO commander Gen. James Jones recently stated that Afghanistan is close to becoming a “narco state,” whose $3 billion dollars in annual drug profits are financing the Taliban. Council on Foreign Relations Afghanistan expert Dr. Barnett Rubin said that Afghanistan Afghanistan is at a “tipping point” and that the Afghan people believe “trends are going in the Taliban’s favor.” Gen. David Richards, a British officer who commands NATO’s 32,000 troops, warned that unless coalition forces begin stepping up reconstruction efforts, 70 percent of the country could decide to back the Taliban.

Doesn’t sound like O’Reilly talked to everybody.

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Full transcript below:

O’REILLY: But look, we were successful in Afghanistan. And nobody thought –

SEWALL: Well, the jury’s still out on Afghanistan.

O’REILLY: — overthrow the Taliban in that way. So we were successful.

SEWALL: Unfortunately, Afghanistan’s going backwards.

O’REILLY: That’s a myth.

SEWALL: — which I think speaks –

O’REILLY: That’s a myth.

SEWALL: — to part of the problem with the focus of effort on Iraq. We risked losing the progress that has been made in Afghanistan.

O’REILLY: Now you’re just – that’s not true. There’s always going to be a Taliban insurrection.

SEWALL: It is true.

O’REILLY: As long as they have mountain – now it’s not. Every military analyst working for our team says most of that country is pacified.

SEWALL: Maybe you should be talking to the people on the ground –

O’REILLY: I talked to everybody.

SEWALL: — because they’re concerned about the situation.

O’REILLY: You’re just parroting the left wing line that America doesn’t know what it’s doing.

SEWALL: I’m parroting conversations with commanders who are in uniform serving in Afghanistan.

O’REILLY: All right, so have I. Our information is that there’s no danger at all of the Taliban reclaiming that country, none. They’ll be annoying. There will be a guerrilla warfare. It will not happen. I believe that.

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