Thursday, January 23, 2020
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Jul 3

Written by: Diana West
Saturday, July 03, 2010 11:50 AM 

RNC Chairman Michael Steele's comments on Afghanistan -- Afghanistan is a war of Obama's choosing, and if Obama is a student of histroy (who said?), he should know that you don't engage in a land war in Afghanistan -- have triggered calls for his resignation from Bill Kristol, Liz Cheney, Charles Krauthammer and no doubt others by now. Aside from the fact that Afghanistan is not a war of Obama's choosing  -- he has merely chosen to intensify and prolong the nation-building policy (agony) begun by George W. Bush -- the main point of neocon/con concern here is Steele's disavowal of the war effort. Kristol writes:

It’s an affront, both to the honor of the Republican party and to the commitment of the soldiers fighting to accomplish the mission they’ve been asked to take on by our elected leaders.

There are, of course, those who think we should pull out of Afghanistan, and they’re certainly entitled to make their case. [Thanks, Bill.] But one of them shouldn't be the chairman of the Republican party.

It's regrettable that Steele made such a clumsy and ill-informed showing, although his record as chairman has not been what you might call deft. Still, if it's the "honor" of the Republican party that's at stake, as well as "committment of the soldiers fighting," both that honor and that commitment are ill-served by a truncated debate over the mission -- the fundamentally flawed, counterinsurgency (COIN) mission,  a mission now directly commanded by COIN guru Gen. Petraeus, whose confirmation hearing, not incidentally, went by without any such COIN debate, or even discussion.

Liz Cheney writes:

The chairman of the Republican party must be unwavering in his support for American victory in the war on terror — a victory that cannot be accomplished if we do not prevail in Afghanistan.

War on terror. Amazing to hear that hoary, politically correct phrase that never made sense, not even in the beginning, trotted out as insta-justification for the impossible infidel dream of nation-building in the umma. I would agree that the chairman of the Republican party must be unwavering in his support for American victory but I would prefer, for starters, to see that unwavering support at our own borders to prevent the illegal masses from crossing; and at other points of entry to halt immigration and travel from jihad-source nations, at least for the duration of "war on terror" hostilities.

Not another cent, not another man, for Islamic nation-building madness, and all the support necessary to ensure the military is capable of neutralizing threats against NY, NY, not Marja, Afghanistan. Would that the RNC chairman had said so.

July 4 update: Conservative standard-bearer (not) John McCain has weighed in to express displeasure over Michael Steele's comments, calling them "wildly inaccurate" and saying "there is no excuse for them," although he stopped short of calling for Steele's resignation.

McCain, not incidentally, was commenting from Baghdad, scene of another fabulous American intervention that has immeasurably enhanced and advanced American strategic interests and security....Now, that (the latter) is what I call wildly inaccurate but that's just me (almost literally, at least among conservatives).

Joining the Resign Now campaign are GOP Reps. Tom Cole and Duncan Hunter. Steele, meanwhile, has clamped a lid on his comments, having issued the following statement on Friday:

“As we enter the Fourth of July weekend, I proudly remember standing with Maryland National Guardsmen on their way to the Middle East and later stood with the mothers of soldiers lost at war. There is no question that America must win the war on terror.

“During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Barack Obama made clear his belief that we should not fight in Iraq, but instead concentrate on Afghanistan. Now, as President, he has indeed shifted his focus to this region. That means this is his strategy. And, for the sake of the security of the free world, our country must give our troops the support necessary to win this war.

“As we have learned throughout history, winning a war in Afghanistan is a difficult task. We must also remember that after the tragedy of September 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 General Petraeus’ confirmation. The stakes are too high for us to accept anything but success in Afghanistan.”

Ain't orthodoxy grand?

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