Saturday, July 19, 2008

Obama in Afghanistan and Kuwait (UPDATED WITH PICTURES and VIDEO)

Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama started a campaign-season tour of combat zones and foreign capitals, visiting with U.S. forces in Kuwait and then Afghanistan _ the scene of a war he says deserves more attention and more troops.

The Illinois senator arrived Saturday in Kabul as part of an official congressional delegation and then flew to eastern Afghanistan. Staff. Sgt. David Hopkins said Obama and two other senators were making a brief stop in Jalalabad airfield, in Nangarhar province, to visit with soldiers stationed there.

The delegation also met with top military leaders and troops at Bagram Air Base, the main U.S. military base in the country, according to a U.S. military officer who spoke on condition of anonymity because the officer was not authorized to release the information.

Obama's first visit to Afghanistan, coming less than four months before the general election, was rich with political implications. Republican presidential rival John McCain has criticized Obama for his lack of time in the region. Obama is also expected to stop later in Iraq.

En route to Afghanistan, Obama stopped Friday at Camp Arifjan, the main U.S. military base in Kuwait and a major gateway for U.S. soldiers moving into and out of Iraq.

Lt. Col. Bill Nutter, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Kuwait, said, "He talked to soldiers and constituents and met with senior military leadership."

During the two-hour visit, Nutter said, the officers gave him an overview of operations. Obama shook hands, answered questions, posed for photos and played a little basketball during the visit.

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Obama Sited in Kuwait
NY Times
Al Jazeera
Ben Smith
BBC News

obama along with Sens. Chuck Hagel and Jack Reed in Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul

Jalalabad east of Kabul

with the troops in Jalalabad east of Kabul

in conference in Kabul

obama in kuwait

obama in kuwait

obama in kuwait

h/t al rodgers

and more video in Kuwait

and the AP take...

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James E said...

I think it shows courage for Sen Obama running for the presidency to go into an active war zone during a time of declared war! When has our current president or sen McCain actually been to a war zone? Not a safe zone but a place were fighting is actually taking place?

I would like to see Sen McCain do the same and take the press with him the way the news media is all over senator Obama?

Question is would the news media want to go with Sen. McCain? Would it be worth it to there precious ratings?