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Ed Koch: Obama Failing on Healthcare, Afghanistan

Thursday, 15 Oct 2009 06:21 PM

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, one of Barack Obama’s biggest backers during the election campaign, now questions Obama's performance regarding the war in Afghanistan and contends the president is selling out to drug companies on healthcare.

“I believe we should be getting out of Afghanistan,” Koch declared in an interview with Newsmax.TV correspondent Kathleen Walter.

“I believe (the war in Afghanistan) is definitely not winnable. When you’ve won it — if you were to win it — what have you won? Nothing! Before we get thrown out, we should get out. There’s nothing to be gained in Afghanistan.”

See Video: Former New York Mayor Ed Koch takes on Obama on heathcare, Afghanistan - Click Here Now

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Despite criticism that Obama has not defined the mission in Afghanistan clearly, growing numbers of Democrats have indicated they would consider sending more troops there. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top American commander in Afghanistan, has asked for at least 40,000 additional U.S. troops in support of the 68,000 already there. The president is considering the request.

However, Koch said boots on the ground doesn't guarantee stopping the Taliban and terrorists from plotting against the United States.

“There is no basis for believing we are protecting ourselves simply by being in Afghanistan,” Koch said.

“What I’m saying is, I don’t care for them to engage in terrorism, and we can prevent it as well by bombing them from offshore and sending in special forces where it’s thought appropriate to capture people and take on special missions. But to continue the bloodletting — and it’s American blood primarily — doesn’t make any sense.”

Especially when Afghanis themselves work at cross purposes, he said.

“We were right to go in and respond, but the fact is we know there is nothing there. The Afghani population cooperates with the Taliban. . . The country is corrupt from top to bottom.”

Walter asked Koch about another threat in the Middle East: Iran and its nuclear capabilities. This week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Russian officials the United States would back off pushing for sanctions against Iran despite mounting evidence it has the potential to develop a nuclear bomb.

“I believe if Iran is allowed to get a nuclear bomb, it is a huge threat to not only Israel but (also) the United States — parts of it — to Europe and to our Arab allies: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states. The problem we are facing is that the Russians and Chinese do not want to cooperate with tough sanctions.

“What we have to consider is permitting Israel or any other state that feels in danger (to act in) self-defense, but they cannot do it by themselves. They need the cooperation of the U.S. and NATO states as well, and they’re entitled to it."

Regarding healthcare, Koch said: "I believe that we're being sold out by Obama and the Congress, and I'm a supporter of the Democratic Party and President Obama. But they're selling us out to the drug companies.

"Imagine that Obama and the Congress have agreed that Medicare may not exercise its right to a volume discount which — if they just got a 30 percent discount, and they probably could get more — would give them each year $114 billion on the current purchases by Medicare.

"Instead, Obama and the Congress have agreed to limit the discounts to $8 billion a year. Contrast that with a 30 percent discount. Medicare could save $114 billion a year. Obama and the Congress say no.

"It's a sellout. There's no question about it.

"And there's also a sellout on eliminating the opportunity to have a government vehicle, a government option" for buying healthcare insurance.

A public option "should not be given any special subsidies other than those given the private sector," he said.

See Video: Former New York Mayor Ed Koch takes on Obama on heathcare, Afghanistan - Click Here Now

Special: Get Sarah Palin’s New Book – Incredible FREE Offer -- Click Here Now.

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