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Taliban roiled by Graham idea of bases in Afghanistan

Jan 7, 2011 8:12:00 AM - thestate.com
A senator's suggestion that the United States consider establishing permanent military bases in Afghanistan has drawn the ire of the Taliban.

In an online message released Tuesday, the Afghan Taliban said Sen. Lindsey Graham's comments proved that the U.S. is intent on occupying Afghanistan and depriving its citizens of their rights.

"His remarks definitely lifts the curtain from the colonialist motives of America," the Taliban said in a statement detailed by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant websites. America, the Taliban said, wants to establish dominance over the region.

Graham, R-S.C., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that having a few U.S. air bases in Afghanistan would benefit the region and give Afghan security forces an edge against the Taliban.

Graham responded to the Taliban critique Thursday, saying that he wants to have an enduring relationship with the Afghan people that would benefit both the U.S. and Afghanistan. And he said the majority of Afghan people don't want to return to Taliban control.

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