THE BLOG
02/20/2009 11:25 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Antiwar Rep. Waters to pressure Obama on Afghanistan

First published at WashingtonTimes.com

It's not very often news breaks on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, but the season premiere Friday night did just that.

Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat who co-founded the Out of Iraq Caucus, told Maher she is concerned about President Obama's announcement he is sending 17,000 more troops and support to Afghanistan.

She was a Hillary Clinton backer during the primary fight, but said lots of complimentary things about Obama on Maher's show until she started talking about Afghanistan.

Waters said the members of Congress' Progressive Caucus plan to tell Obama about their fears.

"We don't want to substitute Afghanistan for Iraq," she said.

"We don't want to send our young people off to war without really understanding what we're doing ... what I'm worried about is an expansion," Waters said.

She said the caucus wants to "caution against sending these troops to Afghanistan and not expanding this war in the name of fighting terrorism."

Waters said she does not want to get "drawn in" and continue to lose "all of this money and all of these lives."

She said she is not for "total" pullout, and would like to see the United States use diplomacy and help the Afghan economy.

Waters also said she thinks Afghanistan should be "getting rid of the poppy fields," a statement Maher mocked.

"Are you kidding? 90 percent of their economy," he said.

"Dream on! You must be getting high with Ron Paul," Maher joked of the Texas libertarian who had been a guest on the show earlier.

At the top of the program, Maher told Congressman Paul, "In this country people like pot."

Paul then said he doesn't like pot, but because he hates the war on drugs, "I would repeal all the prohibition, people have the right in a free country to make important decisions in their own lives. I believe in freedom of choice in all that we do. ... I would dispose of the drug war.

Maher's response, "Amen, stoner. You say you don't like pot, but it ended up like you look like you did."

Paul also blasted Obama: "What about sending 17,000 troops to Afghanistan? That's not the way to have change. I don't want to expand the war in Afghanistan."

Maher also noted that he will soon be debating Ann Coulter.

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 Christina Bellantoni, White House correspondent,

The Washington Times

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