President Obama today made a surprise visit to Afghanistan to speak with U.S. troops and meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign a "Strategic Partnership Agreement." The right-wing media have responded by claiming that the visit constitutes an example of Obama "spiking the football" and "celebrating" the death of Osama bin Laden.
Obama Visits Afghanistan To Visit Troops And Sign Agreement
ABC News: President Obama Makes Secret Trip To Afghanistan To Thank Troops, Sign Strategic Partnership Agreement. From a May 1 ABC News blog post:
President Obama has arrived at the Afghan Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan for meetings with President Karzai and to sign the Strategic Partnership Agreement, outlining the U.S.-Afghanistan relationship over the next decade.
The president will then fly to Bagram Air Field to speak with US troops and address the nation in a speech that is scheduled to begin at 7:31:30 ET, and last 10-11 minutes.
The Strategic Partnership Agreement provides the framework for the U.S./Afghanistan partnership after the transition and drawdown of US forces, from 2014-2024. The agreement will detail how the partnership will be normalized as the war comes to an end, senior administration officials told pool reporters traveling on Air Force Once. Afghan forces are scheduled to take the lead on security in 2013, with U.S. troops scheduled to withdrawal from the country in 2014. [ABC News, 5/1/12]
Right-Wing Media React By Claiming Obama Is "Spiking The Football"
Hannity: Obama's Trip To Afghanistan "Is Political" And Obama Is "Spiking The Football." On his radio show, Sean Hannity claimed that Obama's trip to Afghanistan was "political" and constituted "spiking the football" over the death of bin Laden. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 5/1/12]
Todd Starnes Calls Obama's Afghanistan Visit "Excessive Celebrating" And Predicts He Will "Spike Football" During Speech To Troops. From Todd Starnes' Twitter account:
Hot Air: "Football Spiked: Obama To Address Nation On Bin Laden Anniversary Live From Afghanistan." From a May 1 post by Allahpundit on Hot Air headlined "Football spiked: Obama to address nation on Bin Laden anniversary live from Afghanistan":
The official reason for the trip is to sign the new strategic partnership agreement with Karzai, but of course that doesn't require his physical presence in Afghanistan. We all know why he's there and why he chose today to visit. One word: Scoreboard. [Hot Air, 5/1/12]
Drudge: "Gloating In Afghanistan." The Drudge Report linked to a CNN report on Obama's trip to Afghanistan under the headline "Gloating in Afghanistan":
[Drudge Report, 5/1/12]
But Prominent Conservatives Say That People Shouldn't Attack Obama Over Afghanistan Visit
CNN: McCain Says That Obama's Trip To Afghanistan Is A "Good Thing" And Doesn't Constitute "Spiking The Football." From a May 1 interview by CNN senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ):
Sen. John McCain, who earlier this week leveled harsh criticism at President Barack Obama for what he said was the politicization of the killing of Osama bin Laden, said Tuesday he did not believe the president's trip to Afghanistan was a political move.
"Well I think it's a good thing," McCain said when asked about the president's surprise trip to Afghanistan. "I think it's always good when the president goes to where our young men and women are in harm's way and I think that many of us who have been involved in Afghanistan are very involved in the strategic partnership agreement, which I'm sure he will be talking about, and we think that the agreement is good and we obviously would like to know the details."
On Tuesday, McCain said the president's Afghanistan visit did not constitute "spiking the football."
"No, I don't see it as that," McCain said. "And I wish the president would explain more often to the American people why Afghanistan is important, that Afghanistan not return to a base for attacks on America." [CNN, 5/1/12]
Ari Fleischer: The "GOP Should Not Criticize" President Obama For His Visit To Afghanistan. From the former White House Press Secretary for President Bush, Ari Fleischer's Twitter account: