Steele Garners Flack for Afghanistan Comments


The McChrystal incident, to me, was very comical. I think it’s a reflection of the frustration that a lot of our military leaders has with this Administration and their prosecution of the war in Afghanistan. Keep in mind again, federal candidates, this was a war of Obama’s choosing. This was not something that the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.

But it was the President who was trying to be cute by half by building a script demonizing Iraq, while saying the battle really should in Afghanistan,” he continued. “Well, if he is such a student of history, has he not understood that you know that’s the one thing you don’t do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? Alright, because everyone who has tried over a thousand years of history has failed, and there are reasons for that. There are other ways to engage in Afghanistan.

The above statement made by RNC chairman Michael Steele at a small Connecticut fundraiser apparently has neoconservatives in the Republican Party up in arms. Garnering the top headline on Politico, the story now reads “Steele Faces New Resignations Calls.”

But what exactly  did Steele say so wrong that would make party insiders call for his head on a plate? On face, other than a few statements (namely being the Afghanistan War is one of Obama’s choosing), Chairman Steele essentially stated the truth. 

Are we really at the point where stating fact and the obvious outside the normal motions of line-by-line party rhetoric will cause an uproar? By trying to distance the party away from the unpopular wars and Obama’s management of them, Steele somehow crossed a line. 

As far as anyone is concerned, what Chairman Steele stated was just obvious known fact with regards to  Afghanistan. History is in fact against the United States. But where in that statement did Steele imply he wanted the US out?

Everyone’s favorite neocon Billy Kristol apparently thought Steele’s remarks were appalling. “There are, of course, those who think we should pull out of Afghanistan, and they’re certainly entitled to make their case,” scolded Bill Kristol in calling for Steele’s resignation Friday. “But one of them shouldn’t be the chairman of the Republican Party.” 

Ok… so where did the Chairman say he wanted to leave, again? One would think Steele’s last sentence would put this to rest because it blatantly implies further American commitments. This is what Steele’s office sent out in response to the uproar:

“As we have learned throughout history, winning a war in Afghanistan is a difficult task,” he said. “We must also remember that after the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, it is also a necessary one. That is why I supported the decision to increase our troop force, and, like the entire United States Senate, I support Gen. Petraeus’s confirmation. The stakes are too high for us to accept anything but success in Afghanistan.”

All I can possibly see where he went wrong was that he somehow challenged the capabilities of the US military and the leadership of neo-con Saint General Petraeus. Which then somehow challenged American exceptionalism. Which then is a BIG NO-NO in the minds of the “intellectual” neoconservatives.  

Permit me to clarify:  I do not agree with Steele’s views on Afghanistan. Steele, as far as I am concerned, is still a politically convenient neocon who likes war but simply wanted to politically distance his party from a war that is now considered Obama’s war.   

I just wanted to point out the sheer ridiculous nature of the party insiders, and how far a statement can be blown out of proportion just to oust somebody that the Weekly Standard has obviously never liked. Simply suggesting a departure or a change of course from ground troops in Afghanistan will get anyone in the Republican Party a firestorm. 

The only questions remain now will be how long Steele will last and how long will neoconservatives dominate the Republican party? The latter unfortunately, and obviously, is rhetorical. 

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