Frist Draws Criticism for Comments On Taliban

Associated Press
Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Democrats criticized Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) yesterday for saying that the Afghan war against Taliban guerrillas can never be won militarily and for favoring bringing "people who call themselves Taliban" into the government.

Frist, who was traveling in Afghanistan, said Monday that Taliban fighters are too numerous and too popular to be defeated. "You need to bring them into a more transparent type of government," he said. "And if that's accomplished, we'll be successful."

Democrats accused Frist of trying to "cut and run" in Afghanistan, something Republicans have been accusing Democrats of seeking to do in Iraq.

"Senator Frist now suggests that the best way forward in Afghanistan is to coddle the Taliban by welcoming Taliban members into a coalition government, as if 9/11 had never happened," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said yesterday in a statement.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company