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Afghan President To Face Challenge...

by Blake Cook / July 22, 2004 5:58 AM PDT

(CBS/AP) A powerful Afghan warlord will challenge President Hamid Karzai in the country's historic October elections, his spokesman said Thursday, clouding the U.S.-backed incumbent's chances of a clear victory.

Abdul Rashid Dostum decided to run after securing support across the war-riven country's deep ethnic divides, his spokesman Faizullah Zaki said -- and after thousands of supporters feted him at a rally in a northern city.

"He didn't want to depend on his own movement, he wanted more people to support him, and today the people showed that," Zaki said. "He will run for president."

There was no immediate reaction from Karzai.

Meanwhile, U.S. Marines have pulled out of a Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan on their way out of the country, their commander said Thursday. It's reported they killed more than 100 enemy fighters during their deployment.

The 2,000 strong force, which lost just one Marine, has withdrawn to an American air base in the southern city of Kandahar and is preparing to leave the country, Col. Frank McKenzie said. The withdrawal already had been announced.

The Marines were returning to American warships "to await further orders," military spokesman Maj. Rick Peat said. He said there were no indications that the Marines would be redeployed in Iraq but said he didn't know where the ships were.



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Re: Afghan President To Face Challenge...
by Dan McC / July 22, 2004 6:10 AM PDT

Why are the marines leaving? I know they haven't run out of things to do. We could double our forces in Afghanistan and still not be carrying out our responsibilities there.



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Paying The Piper...
by Blake Cook / July 22, 2004 6:23 AM PDT
Why are the marines leaving? - Dan McCullough

The article didn't say. But if you think about it, it's not surprising. The war against terrorism was in Afghanistan. But Iraq is distracting us in ways GW never imagined...

So our troops are being asked to "volunteer" to stay. There is a "Stop-Loss" order forcing thousands to stay against their will. Retired soldiers are being called back into service, including musicians and doctors of all ages. We have pulled thousands of our troops out of South Korea and sent them to Iraq. And now, we are pulling our troops out of Afghanistan even though Karzi desperately needs them to stay...

These actions don't surprise a great many who warned about how unnecessary a war in Iraq would be. Now "we" are paying the piper for our stupidity and misguided aggressions and it is likely to get worse...

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Good Luck to Karzai
by Chorus-Line A1-QMS / July 22, 2004 6:25 AM PDT

If he loose....
Talibans will be back....
Question..... who will be stealing the ballots in this country's election?
Stayed tuned Happy

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