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On the October 20 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity suggested Sen. Barack Obama does not "sound like someone that understands our military" because in August 2007, Obama said that the military mission in Afghanistan "requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there." Fox News contributor John Bolton said: "I think he's very naïve. I don't think he understands how to represent or defend American interests. And I think we're going to learn at our -- to great pain, if he's elected, how much at risk we really are." Neither noted that in a September 17 statement, Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged and apologized for Afghan civilian deaths caused by coalition airstrikes, saying: "I offer all Afghans my sincere condolences and personal regrets for the recent loss of innocent life as a result of coalition airstrikes. While no military has ever done more to prevent civilian casualties, it is clear that we have to work even harder. I have asked for a detailed briefing this afternoon about our close air support as well as our intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations."
Moreover, U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan and accounts of resulting civilian casualties have been widely reported in the media and have reportedly provoked criticism from Afghan President Hamid Karzai and a British commander stationed there. Additionally, the Associated Press reported in a "Fact Check" the day after Obama's remark: "Western forces have been killing [Afghan] civilians at a faster rate than the insurgents."
From the October 20 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:
HANNITY: Iran is a tiny country and not a serious threat. Those are Barack Obama's words. He said would you meet in your first year with people like Hugo Chavez and Ahmadinejad without preconditions? Yes, his answer was. He hasn't been held accountable, really, for a lot of these statements. And then he accused our troops of air-raiding -- this is Obama's words -- he accused our brave men and women of air-raiding villages and killing civilians. Does that sound like somebody that understands our military?
BOLTON: I don't think they do at all. I think he's very naïve. I don't think he understands how to represent or defend American interests. And I think we're going to learn at our -- to great pain, if he's elected, how much at risk we really are.