Michael Steele: Afghanistan is a “war of Obama’s choosing”

posted at 3:56 pm on July 2, 2010 by Allahpundit

It’s been, what, ten weeks since his last gaffe? Let’s be fair: He was overdue.

“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,” he said. “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 be in Afghanistan. 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?”

Do I need to run through the problems with this or are we all on the same page? Afghanistan invasion was actually … ordered by Bush … nine years ago, in response to 9/11 … and was supported by none other than Michael Steele as recently as last December. Everyone up to speed? Okay, here’s the RNC spin:

The RNC said that Steele did not say the troops should not be in Afghanistan, instead that he was calling for a better war strategy.

“The chairman clearly supports our troops but believes that success of the war effort in Afghanistan requires the ongoing support of the American people,” RNC Communications Director Doug Heye said. “The responsibility for building and maintaining that strategy falls squarely on the shoulders of the president. Like so many Americans, Chairman Steele wants to hear an explanation from President Obama on what his strategy is for winning the war in Afghanistan. The Petraeus hearings were an opportunity – a missed opportunity – to do that. Instead, all we hear from the president is criticism of his predecessor for doing exactly the same thing.”

Yeah, that’s a valiant effort by Heye but (a) it doesn’t really address what Steele said and (b) the Petraeus hearings were clear enough. We’re going to continue to follow a counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan in hopes of turning the public against the Taliban while building up Afghan security forces to the point where they can take over. It’s not a strategy that’s likely to succeed, perhaps, but then that wasn’t really Steele’s complaint.

Perhaps unsatisfied with Heye’s attempt at spin, Steele himself put out a new statement this afternoon:

“There is no question that America must win the war on terror,” Steele said. “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.”

If a “land war in Afghanistan” is a fool’s errand, why give the troops any support to continue it? Again, he’s not really addressing what he said earlier.

Bill Kristol’s had enough:

You are, I know, a patriot. So I ask you to consider, over this July 4 weekend, doing an act of service for the country you love: Resign as chairman of the Republican party…

Needless to say, the war in Afghanistan was not “a war of Obama’s choosing.” It has been prosecuted by the United States under Presidents Bush and Obama. Republicans have consistently supported the effort. Indeed, as the DNC Communications Director (of all people) has said, your statement “puts [you] at odds with about 100 percent of the Republican Party.”

And not on a trivial matter. At a time when Gen. Petraeus has just taken over command, when Republicans in Congress are pushing for a clean war funding resolution, when Republicans around the country are doing their best to rally their fellow citizens behind the mission, your comment is more than an embarrassment. 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.

Two grand ironies to this clusterfark. One: It’s high-larious to see the idiots at the DNC turning super-hawk on Steele for wanting to “walk away from the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban without finishing the job” and for daring to “undermine the morale of our troops when what they need is our support and encouragement.” After year upon year of screeching at Bush over every setback in Iraq, with Democrats as prominent as Harry Reid declaring the war lost, the sheer balls needed to call him out in those terms are astounding. And am I mistaken or aren’t there an awful lot of liberals who oppose the war and might not care to have the DNC describing them in those same terms? Good work, hypocrites: You’ve done your job of distracting attention today from our pitiful president’s pitiful economy. Make sure to bookmark their statement too, because we’ll be revisiting it — repeatedly — next year when The One inevitably gives his order to start a massive drawdown.

Two: This is actually a rare case of Steele saying something stupid that arguably — I stress, arguably — makes the public better disposed to the GOP. Hawks may hate it, but (a) 58 percent of the public supports Obama’s withdrawal timeline next year and (b) prominent conservatives are growing bolder about speaking up against the war. George Will has been against it forever, of course, and just this morning Byron York hint-hinted that it’s time to go; in Congress, Ron Paul (of course) and Jason Chaffetz are big-name Republicans who oppose continuing the mission. It’ll be awfully interesting to see who else comes out of the woodwork in December, when the Pentagon conducts its review of operations, and then again next July, when Obama has to decide on his next step. Exit question: Is Steele simply ahead of the curve of the Beltway GOP?


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I think Steele said it badly, but I get the impression that he meant that Obama made a big deal out of Afghanistan because he was demonizing Iraq and wanted to act as if the US was fighting the wrong war and was not fighting the right war the right way.

But Steele should have been more careful about what he said and how he said it.

Terrye on July 2, 2010 at 6:17 PM

Steele is RIGHT! dang it all yall closet hater fake conservatives! New Jersey, Mass and Virgina are GOP controlled because of Michael Steele… .Stop hating

Actually “controlled” is a very very generous term for the GOP in those states.

New Jersey – 1 Repub. Gov., 2 Dem Senators, 8 Dem Reps., 5 Repub. Reps. That’s a TIE at best.

Massachusettes – 1 Dem. Gov., 1 Repub. & 1 Dem. Senator, and 10 Dem. Reps. We definitely DO NOT control anything in Massachusettes or it’s codel.

Virginia – 1 Repub. Gov. 2 Dem Senators, 6 Dem. Reps, 5 Repub. Reps. Another TIE at best.

I’m being generous with the ties, because the 2 Dem. Senators in each case are probably doing more harm to the United States than the Governors can counter.

We also lose the State Legislatures of all three, with best case considering Virginia almost a tie.

It’s not “hatin” Steele to recognize that he isn’t up to the job. I can summarize this with one word, Scozzafava.

Jason Coleman on July 2, 2010 at 6:17 PM

After letting DL Hughley skate on his conservative/brownshirt comparison, he has . . . yes Allah . . . massive balls to talk this crap, which sounds pretty disconnected from reality to me. Someone in his position has to be able to comprehend political and military realities without massaging their tonsils via big toe, and Steele’s not doing it.

Ryan Anthony on July 2, 2010 at 6:19 PM

If a “land war in Afghanistan” is a fool’s errand, why give the troops any support to continue it? Again, he’s not really addressing what he said earlier.

It was a poor attempt at sarcasm on his part. That is the problem with smarting off like that, if people do not get it, and you have to explain it, then you have obviously made a mistake.

Terrye on July 2, 2010 at 6:21 PM

This is the only piece I’ve read on this topic so far. The way I interpreted Steele’s words mean that Obama should have stuck to an AIR war as opposed to a land war. Any one else see that?

jstjoan on July 2, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Steele can rephrase it until the cows come home, but the other side is going to run with his first statement. They will say he’s divisive, unamerican, hyperpartisan. And for once, they will be telling the truth, and they deserve the traction they are going to get. This guy is a jerk of herculean proportions, and I hope not one dime goes into RNC coffers as long as he is tolerated simply because he is black. It is feckless cowardice not to remove him ASAP.

paul1149 on July 2, 2010 at 6:40 PM

Steele will be removed after the November midterms, not over this issue though. This was just a poor phrasing of words, he’s done far worse.

scotash on July 2, 2010 at 6:56 PM

This is the only piece I’ve read on this topic so far. The way I interpreted Steele’s words mean that Obama should have stuck to an AIR war as opposed to a land war. Any one else see that?

jstjoan on July 2, 2010 at 6:27 PM

I heard it that way, too.
Under President Bush, the Democrats continually bothered him about sending more troops to Afghanistan and he always said that if the generals recommended it, he would.
They never did.
Then, under Oilbama, Barry fires McKiernan (made head of the Afghan front under Bush) and puts in McChrystal and all of a sudden, he wants 100,000 troops but gets 30,000 (?) I’m sure with the understanding that if those extra troops didn’t work out (and with the current ROEs and mission of non-victory, why should they?), he could ask for more troops later.

During the campaign when Oilbama would yap about Afghanistan, I always got the impression that as Precedent, he would launch his own “surge” (BTW, the trolls here call it a surge), look like a hero and take all the credit.
So, yes, I do think he’s turned it into a land war and that, I’m pretty sure, is Steele’s point.

Jenfidel on July 2, 2010 at 6:59 PM

One: It’s high-larious to see the idiots at the DNC turning super-hawk on Steele for wanting to “walk away from the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban without finishing the job” and for daring to “undermine the morale of our troops when what they need is our support and encouragement.” After year upon year of screeching at Bush over every setback in Iraq, with Democrats as prominent as Harry Reid declaring the war lost, the sheer balls needed to call him out in those terms are astounding.

This is pretty great stuff, AP.
You’re like a fine wine that just improves with time! ;-)

Jenfidel on July 2, 2010 at 7:01 PM

The additional troops were sent because that is what the commanders on the ground said they needed. This is one of the few examples of President Obama doing the right thing.

Steele has been a minor embarrassment to the party for quite some time, but this is over the top. This wasn’t just partisan politics, it was stupid partisan politics. I expect much more from the titular head of the party.

thuljunior on July 2, 2010 at 7:04 PM

If Steele were white he would have been fired a year ago….He just can’t shut his big mouth.

therightwinger on July 2, 2010 at 7:04 PM

Two words: Jeri Thompson.

We want her on that wall, we NEED her on that wall!

SuperCool on July 2, 2010 at 7:24 PM

Well, count me as one who has Formally changed my registration from Republican to Independent. With idiots like Steele running the GOP, they deserve to loose the elections in NOvember. And they will do so in grand style with Steele, Behner, and McConnel leading the way.

Hey GOP, here’s and idea – STFU and GBTW repealing Health Care!

jackal40 on July 2, 2010 at 7:51 PM

And then gives Al-Q a blank check to set up training camps, etc. Which goes a long way to their getting back to where they run all too well organized operations against us. Last time we did that, we lost the World Trade Center.

LarryD on July 2, 2010 at 6:02 PM

Why would al Queda want to go back to Afghanistan when they can plot from much better digs in Pakistan? Probably Iran too and have you heard about that new giant mosque that will be going up in dhimmi New York City?

Tav on July 2, 2010 at 7:52 PM


this wa is a warhore of Obama the Republican’s choosing.

chickasaw42 on July 2, 2010 at 7:56 PM

Bill Kristol is a neo-con hack. Real conservatives know that we need to leave Afghanistan. It’s doing nothing but enlarging our debt. Those savages WILL NOT be won over!

RightXBrigade on July 2, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Paulnut on house floor last night, voting against troop funding

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skWt4uUwzSs

there is no enemy over there according to him, they are impotent according to him, thus we should withdrawal.

oh, and gut the military(see his Bill co-sponsored by Barney Frank)

jp on July 2, 2010 at 4:04 PM

RON PAUL 2012! Semper Fi!

RightXBrigade on July 2, 2010 at 8:32 PM

It’s a really sorry state of affairs when “conservatives” pick up and spread socialist spin, talking points.

Michael Steele is doing the job of RNC Chairman. No more, no less. Raising a ton’o money near as I can tell. So WTF are D’rats attacking him for? They always tell us who they fear. And planting distortions (and I’m being polite here) is standard MO. Just the facts, m’am as usual.

And it’s totally nauseating when folks who should know better pile on. And AP you have, this past week been the worst of the lot. Two NRA scams and you went for both. Now this. Figure it out, guy. Gullible is not your usual attitude.

Caststeel on July 2, 2010 at 8:39 PM

BTW Michael Steele has set up and is operating a fund for 2012 at a time when DNC must still steal. Ya’ think success is the reason for this attack?

Caststeel on July 2, 2010 at 8:44 PM

Don’t get me wrong, Steele sucks, but isn’t he right in that democrats like Obama have been saying “Afghanistan good war, Iraq bad war” all along?

What’s with the piling-on? This is Obama’s “good war”, isn’t it?

ebrawer on July 2, 2010 at 8:44 PM

Brothers in Harm: Petraeus=McChrystal on the ROEs

An endless ROE of them would never equal a single Curtis LeMay

General Petraeus’ depressing testimony yesterday confirmed yet again that the era of real US warrior leaders – like Curtis LeMay — is over.

LeMay, so unlike his post-modernist “successors,” such as Petraeus and McChrystal, actually possessed both the moral rectitude and abiding faith in American exceptionalism to value his own troops above all else, certainly any inhabitant of the enemy domain, military or civilian. LeMay’s military, and simultaneous moral calculus, was that crushing the enemy and therefore his abiding, motivating ideology, saved the lives first and foremost, of his own troops, his fellow citizens, allied citizens, and even those of the enemy.

Tav on July 2, 2010 at 9:01 PM

I say we get Marine General James Mattis to do the job.

RightXBrigade on July 2, 2010 at 9:49 PM

Actually “controlled” is a very very generous term for the GOP in those states.

New Jersey – 1 Repub. Gov., 2 Dem Senators, 8 Dem Reps., 5 Repub. Reps. That’s a TIE at best.

Massachusettes – 1 Dem. Gov., 1 Repub. & 1 Dem. Senator, and 10 Dem. Reps. We definitely DO NOT control anything in Massachusettes or it’s codel.

Virginia – 1 Repub. Gov. 2 Dem Senators, 6 Dem. Reps, 5 Repub. Reps. Another TIE at best.

I’m being generous with the ties, because the 2 Dem. Senators in each case are probably doing more harm to the United States than the Governors can counter.

We also lose the State Legislatures of all three, with best case considering Virginia almost a tie.

It’s not “hatin” Steele to recognize that he isn’t up to the job. I can summarize this with one word, Scozzafava.

Jason Coleman on July 2, 2010 at 6:17 PM

Ok, and?

Scozzafava would have won, instead we got a wanksta in Doug Hoffman who played the role of spoiler. Sure Scozzafava is garbage but now NY23 is DEM controlled. Sometimes you use use incrementalism, sometimes you storm the gates.

Winning elections is Steele’s job. He has done this well. Bob McDonnell, a seriously hardcore Regent university grad with 700club credentials appeared like the most centrist guy on earth during his election. Landslide. Scott Brown took “the people’s seat.” Christie is busting up the teachers union, flashing a 37% budget reduction. THESE are the fruits on Steele’s labor. Everything else is just chatter. Give him his props

conservador on July 2, 2010 at 9:56 PM

Steele needs help. The RNC Chamber of Commerce thugs that installed him should have gotten him a writer so he could read from the teleprompter like Hussein. Why show case his stupidity?

borntoraisehogs on July 2, 2010 at 10:31 PM

It’s not “hatin” Steele to recognize that he isn’t up to the job. I can summarize this with one word, Scozzafava.

Jason Coleman on July 2, 2010 at 6:17 PM

That might be apt if Steele and the RNC had chosen Scozzafava, but they didn’t.
She was the choice of the NY state Republican party.
Look it up.

Jenfidel on July 2, 2010 at 10:45 PM

MICHAEL ‘JOE BIDEN’ STEELE.

The Dems have their gaffe king……and the GOP has Steeley!

PappyD61 on July 2, 2010 at 10:55 PM

Steele accidentally lets the truth slip out there.

The Dean on July 2, 2010 at 11:01 PM

How many passes does this guy get? Resign already, we’re trying to rebuild the party, not destroy it. Go away.

scalleywag on July 2, 2010 at 11:14 PM

He’s had enough chances. Step down or get out. He really is a loose cannon.
Randy

williars on July 2, 2010 at 11:17 PM

I’m beginning to think Steele is actually a Democrat plant or at least a RINO one who’s to make sure the Republicans look inept and lib ass kissing as always—oh ,oh what am I saying. They don’t need a plant to do that.

chickasaw42 on July 2, 2010 at 11:40 PM

My new England liberal pal said that W lost the war in 2006. Eugene Robinson said so on Keith O’s Countdown. They also allowed that poor Mike had tied a Gordian knot somehow.
He was therefore done in his job.

My suggestion is to give Steele another Cabana night at the Beverly Hills Hotel for every time he savages a Democrat. If he can tolerate their weird decor and striped stuff, let him have at it. And that $9,000 bill there was peanuts. I still don’t understand that scandal a bit.

First broadside for Mike: The One can’t win that war but A Republican could, well, maybe.

IlikedAUH2O on July 3, 2010 at 12:07 AM

I just got an email. The BHH calls them bungalows and not cabanas. But they do have weird decor and even the notepads can freak you out. They had peach or reddish stripes and look like cash register tapes which were running out. Worse than that, I was mistaken for an actor by two separate ladies in the bar and beat the snot out of some guys at golf. You can’t imagine how stoned or mentally deranged I found those people to be. They could make great investors or campaign contributors. SEND MIKE BACK!!!

IlikedAUH2O on July 3, 2010 at 12:19 AM

What do we get if we “win” in Afghanistan?

Cultural access? A wonderful new set of friends? Guidance on raping 9 year old girls and boys? How-tos on keeping women as property? Guidance on the proper way to behead anyone who leaves our new religion?

Afghanistan should not be cultivated and watered, it should be quarantined. If quarantine proves lacking to the task then it should be scorched.

Tav on July 3, 2010 at 12:24 AM

Steele is the payoff for affirmatively actioned stupidity in Republicans. He has the arrogance that goes with unmerited status. What up?

Feedie on July 3, 2010 at 12:35 AM

Bill Kristol’s had enough:

lol. Bill Kristol is David Frum in drag.

Tav on July 3, 2010 at 1:05 AM

It’s an affront, both to the honor of the Republican party

It sounds like Billie Krstol is ready to hit someone with his purse.

and to the commitment of the soldiers fighting to accomplish the mission they’ve been asked to take on by our elected leaders.

What mission? The COIN/Hearts and Minds/Unicorns and Lollipops “mission”? Must be as that is now the mission. The entire COIN strategy is a fraud perpetuated on the American people on a level with Al Gore’s Global Warming. The idea that we are going to spend a trillion dollars to reshape the culture of the Islamic world, particularly in Afshitistan, is utter nonsense.

Tav on July 3, 2010 at 1:12 AM

Hawks may hate it

Hawks? Gross insult to Hawks as the allegory bird for someone who supports the COIN tragedy farce that is going on in Afshitistan is a Turkey, not a Hawk.

Tav on July 3, 2010 at 1:18 AM

It wasn’t a gaffe, he was trying to cash in politically on the war’s growing unpopularity, picking loose change off the sidewalk when he thought no one was watching.

Seth Halpern on July 3, 2010 at 1:20 AM

Bill Kristol is a neo-con hack. Real conservatives (which I am not) know that we need to leave win in Afghanistan. It’s doing nothing but enlarging our debt upsetting paultards. Those savages mental patients WILL NOT be won over!

RightXBrigade on July 2, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Fixed it for you. Now take your anti-psychotic meds and be quiet.

Hard Right on July 3, 2010 at 1:36 AM

BTW, the fundraising and victories would happen without Steele since the dems have screwed up so bad even the obliviots can see how we need to get rid of the dems.

Hard Right on July 3, 2010 at 1:39 AM

Wow! Just wow!

This article has certainly separated the wheat from the shaft. The sane from the insane. The people that can comprehend vs. those that can’t. A pox on your house CJ for upsetting those lizards that bolted and showed up here. Wish there was some way to “kill filter” some commenter’s.

Bill Blizzard on July 3, 2010 at 2:33 AM

I liked Michael Steele a lot more before he took this current job…

MikeknaJ on July 3, 2010 at 2:42 AM

and (b) the Petraeus hearings were clear enough.

They were clear enough alright – he will, at least essentially, continue the same anti-American ROE that his predecessor See no Islam, hear no Islam, speak no Islam, know no Islam general instituted.

Tav on July 3, 2010 at 2:54 AM

Anyone who thinks that General Petraeus intends to significantly change the anti-American ROE in Afghanistan didn’t have their ears turned on during his Senate confirmation hearing.

Petraeus: “It’s really about the implementation of the rules of engagement and the tactical directive, both of which I think are fundamentally sound. I don’t see any reason to change them in significant ways. … … I have pledged to continue to do that, to continue the great work that General McChrystal did in that regard.”

Tav on July 3, 2010 at 3:03 AM

Why is this moron still the head of the RNC? Does it really come down to race? How pathetic is that? I thought we were above bogus affirmative action PC tripe? He should have been gone, years ago. Not that the Republican leadership overall is much better — but Steele has been a walking embarrassment and somehow continues to have his job.

jjraines on July 3, 2010 at 5:02 AM

Allah is criticizing Steele? What a RAAAAAAAAAAAACIST!

Bush did order an invasion of Afghanistan, bombed the hell out of them, then he invaded Iraq and made Iraq the battleground against al-Qaeda. Jihadi’s from far and wide went to Iraq, where our soldiers kicked the living snot out of them.

All the liberals got up in arms about Iraq and kept screaming ‘We should be focusing on Afghansitan!’ Obama said it in 2007. He said this waws the ‘good war’. A war we ‘must win’.

Then he sent in more troops, told them they couldn’t fire on anybody who wasn’t actively trying to kill them (even if 5 minutes earlier they actually were trying to kill them).

This is certainly Obama’s chosen war. Steele is right again, and some racists don’t like it one bit.

Mr Purple on July 3, 2010 at 5:17 AM

MS is the result of the ever more ignorant GOP trying to beat the Godless left in playing the (us too)race card. Try fighting for principle -explaining why – moral choices – constitution -family – sound economics – all fall by the wayside with this party. Inept and unconvincing.

The GOP ruling class: they love being in Washington and their lives don’t change when the other side takes temporary charge -same luxuries, pensions, black tie parties etc. Their world is DC and they care not a bit for the folks back home – merely crafting some buzzword positions to get re-elected every four years.

It’s our fault! Toss them all out and cut their perks to zero – jail a few -iompeach a few and watch the change take place.

Don L on July 3, 2010 at 5:18 AM

If Steele were white he would have been fired a year ago….He just can’t shut his big mouth.

So true. MIchael Steele has this job until he quits on his own – the GOP leadership is sooooooooo scared of the PR that they would have to do when its first black Chairman is fired… gee,who wants to deal with that?

Michael Steele exists just so that we can all clearly see that Joe Biden is not the only one who suffers from perennial attacks of foot in the mouth disease

nagee76 on July 3, 2010 at 5:52 AM

Because it’s become painfully obvious that Steele did not get his current job because of his cranial capacity, one has to wonder what minimum qualifications he did possess.

Perhaps it’s that one same minimum qualification that Obama and Holder were born with that overrules the requirement of having either experience or brains to be hired, appointed, or elected for a particular position.

Rod on July 3, 2010 at 5:56 AM

I like Mr. Steele but he has fallen into the ‘morons need lessons’ category.

If you don’t like the way we are fighting a war here is what you do: suggest a better way to fight, a way to fight harder, a way to eliminate our enemies and a way to establish peace once we are victorious.

That is a duty to our Nation, and the Left and Democrats have forgotten that. You may not like the war, but the only, and I do mean only, good end is victory.

I have disagreed with the COIN strategy in Afghanistan as it is not a Nation where that is a feasible strategy: it is not a true, modern Nation State. Thus they have a more primitive system of governance that does not enshrine our values nor give the basis for COIN. These people do appreciated killing your enemies, and doing so well, with skill, bravery and audacity. I have written about that before both here and elsewhere.

That wins ‘hearts and minds’ in Afghanistan, but not in Congress and not amongst the squishy Left and those on the Right who prefer isolationism and appeasement against our enemies.

Winning in Afghanistan is essential to the start of dismantling the larger terror organizations that stretch from western China to our shores and many, many points between. We cannot Nation Build there nor should we try to: getting a stable multi-factional buy-in suffices so long as we kill off the head and major organs of the largest terror groups opposing us. That requires hitting hard and deep into Pakistan and some other neighboring countries… not just drone attacks, but real attacks on the ground. You cannot win a ground war from the air unless you deploy devices rated in kilotons and megatons.

That is the other option if we cannot succeed the humane way: glassification.

Because once we leave we will not send another soldier to die for us in that region. But missiles can do a wonderful job of ruining large masses, which is why they are called weapons of mass destruction. Very utilitarian. And if we leave with this job not finished, then that cost in humanity will be left for those willing to pay it or agree to have our Nation become the major target of every terrorist organization on the planet because they shall see we lack resolve to oppose them.

We don’t get a third option in this. There is no semi-civilized USSR running the other side anymore. We can fight better, harder and make sure the Afghans see that we are fighting in a way they understand and better than they ever can do. I like that. I don’t like the glass option but that will be our remedy for what will hit us if we leave a job unfinished.

ajacksonian on July 3, 2010 at 6:57 AM

Winning to prove we are winners is mighty courageous of us. But since there is no way to win there,having the will power to win becomes a self destructive trap. A victory in those mountains will take 20+ years and happen only when the locals are converted to anther religion. In the meantime we are under financial attack from all the usual enemies and abandoned by the allies The Lawless One abandoned first. Let’s get our pride issues satisfied by our NFL favorite teams and stop the useless sacrifice of our military in the Mountains Of IEDs and Ambushes. We can think, can’t we?

jimw on July 3, 2010 at 8:08 AM

When Clintoon masterminded the Bosnia War from 30,000 feet, AP and all the other squishies proclaimed it a stroke of military genius.

Now, Steele speaks what is essentially the truth and he’s the next Typhoid Mary.

Get it the f*ck together.

Mr. Grump on July 3, 2010 at 8:17 AM

Steele is a genius. He has officially made the DNC OWN the Afghanistan War, just because they were so outraged that he could criticize their golden god.

Speedwagon82 on July 3, 2010 at 8:32 AM

Steele’s right. Everything O has said confirms this. I don’t kow who these ‘conservatives’ are but they must have some kind of protective agenda where O is concerned.

jeanie on July 3, 2010 at 8:41 AM

Why is Rove defending Steele? STEELE MUST BE FIRED NOW!!!!!!!

madmonkphotog on July 3, 2010 at 9:19 AM

“So long, farewell, auf widersehen, adieu” – Maria

WordsMatter on July 3, 2010 at 9:51 AM

Sorry, but Steele is absolutely correct. Obama was the ONLY candidate to wish to accelerate this war in Afghanastan. Even McCain did not, and that’s one reason he won my vote.

It was, indeed, Obama’s need to show he was experienced as commander in chief, I guess.

Steele is quite right to point this out. I always thought people didn’t quite believe Obama.

They should have.

AnninCA on July 3, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Steele’s right. Everything O has said confirms this. I don’t kow who these ‘conservatives’ are but they must have some kind of protective agenda where O is concerned.

jeanie on July 3, 2010 at 8:41 AM

I take it they don’t like admitting Steele is right and making an excellent point with the general public.

AnninCA on July 3, 2010 at 9:56 AM

God bless Steele for a perfectly timed statement to open minds and re-assess the fantasy of winning a peaceful Afghanistan. The US forces best efforts for 10 years couldn’t find the Olympic’s bomber Rudolph in the Smokey Mountains. The US Army fresh from the Civil War training could not find and defeat the Apache Indians in the Arizona/New Mexico/Colorado border area for 20 years.

jimw on July 3, 2010 at 9:59 AM

It is time for Steele to go, but I’d bet he’s being actively dissuaded from bowing out by a number of senior Republicans, who see it as an unsustainable blow during the summer before the biggest off-year election we’ve had maybe ever.

Ideally, the RNC would replace him with an outta da park homerun guy who’d get the base cheering. Frankly, no one comes to mind.

Meanwhile, conventional-thinking GOPers would regard a Steel step-down as a sign of weakness at precisely the wrong time.

J.E. Dyer on July 3, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Wait — boy, was I wrong at 11:03. Liz Cheney for RNC Chair!

J.E. Dyer on July 3, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Steele is actually very much a touchstone for the old guard versus the new direction of the GOP.

The old guard has no reason to win this one. They have completely failed, utterly, I think is the word.

Nobody is about to vote for them again.

AnninCA on July 3, 2010 at 11:09 AM

I’m beginning to think that he just doesn’t have any real opinions, and is just trying to make up stuff on the fly that he thinks people want to hear. Occasionally, he might actually get it right, which might make him sound refreshing, until you realize that it’s all just some nonsense idea he came up with 5 minutes ago.

RINO in Name Only on July 2, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Dead on.

baldilocks on July 3, 2010 at 11:17 AM

He should choose his words carefully are not say anything. Obummer did choose the Afghan war and made it his talking point during the campaign while bashing Bush. It’s all about politics with him, all the time.

Kissmygrits on July 3, 2010 at 11:29 AM

So the gist of this Hot Air post is that Allahpundit read a DNC push piece with no transcript and no context.

Somebody is getting old.

percysunshine on July 3, 2010 at 1:20 PM

But is Michael Steel right? I’ve posted a longer piece about this on my personal blog, but the question is this. How do you win in Afghanistan? What are the conditions of Victory that we can hope to meet? Is it a strong Democratic Republic that will have first and foremost in it’s laws the rights of individuals so that the Taliban and other radical groups can not get in and take over? Is it the destruction of radical Muslims, or at least the elimination of that threat?

Can anyone see us reaching either of those goals in less than 100 years? Are you willing to commit the nation to a hundred years war, and more than that, do you expect the next five generations of our citizens to carry that war into the future with the same determination that you have?

Snake307 on July 3, 2010 at 1:55 PM

Mr. Grump on July 3, 2010 at 8:17 AM

Hear hear ! I have been disappointed by some of Steele’s comments as of recent, now he says something that makes sense and all hell breaks loose ! WTF !?

cableguy615 on July 3, 2010 at 7:54 PM

Steele needs to go and go now! He’s an ever increasing embarrassment to the GOP and does nothing but damage the Republican party. He’s our Joe Biden. Get rid of him.

simkeith on July 3, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Can anyone see us reaching either of those goals in less than 100 years?

Snake307 on July 3, 2010 at 1:55 PM

David “COIN” Petreaus can. But then he knows nothing about Islam and like his predecessor, Colonel Nicholson, in The Bridge on the River Kwai, is quite mad.

Tav on July 4, 2010 at 2:31 AM

With apologies to Mr. Kristol whom I admire and Ms. Cheney whom I love, has anyone bothered to take the time to understand what Chairman Steele said?

If I read him correctly, he said that Zero was the one who insisted that Iraq was the wrong war and that all of our efforts should be concentrated on Afganistan, even though experience tells us that it would be virtually impossible to succeed. A thousand years of history is tough to argue with, but Obie got most of his wishes, and without any particular plan other than what we had been doing for the past several years and no particular change in support levels for the troops who had to go in and do the bidding of the morons in Washington.

If the sixties should have taught us anything it would be you cannot proscecute a war from the oval office. You cannot bring your generals in for “consultation” and you sure as hell can’t run a war when you’ve never been so much as a Boy Scout.

It’s all going according to Barry’s plan…his plan for failure and defeat.

Mr. Grump on July 4, 2010 at 2:46 AM

Hey “Hard Right”. I joined the Marine Corps and fought in Iraq multiple times, am going to Afghanistan in a few months and have been a REAL conservative for as long as I can remember. Read your history. REAL CONSERVATIVES are traditionally anti-imperialist, anti-policing the world, Americans. Barry Goldwater, Robert Taft, etc. Welcome to the bandwagon. Too bad you learned conservatism from fakes like Bill Kristol and John McCain. I’ll stay true to the ways of the old Right. You can have your old school Dem-light beer and keep talking trash buddy. Maybe I’ll see you in Afghan… Actually, probably not…

RightXBrigade on July 4, 2010 at 4:00 AM

The NINE-YEAR and still counting Afghan War IS Obama’s chosen war. Wedging the Afghan War under Obama voters’ skin, reminding them of Obama’s obvious broken promises to THEM, is better than I’d expect from Steele. But as others have pointed out, Steele functions as Mr. Hit ‘n Miss.

NINE YEARS IN AFGHANISTAN ALREADY…the neoconservative never ending war bolstering a most inept and CORRUPT government.

I’m with Michael Savage on this one.

BTW, Gates has issued new media protocol, gag order, no more Afghan war military interviews without direct Pentagon advance permission granted per interview.

maverick muse on July 4, 2010 at 7:57 AM

NINE YEARS IN AFGHANISTAN ALREADY…the neoconservative never ending war bolstering a most inept and CORRUPT government.
maverick muse on July 4, 2010 at 7:57 AM

I’m sick of the word “neocon” being used a dirty, perjorative word when it most certainly is not.
And this isn’t the war Bush started, which is Steele’s point.
The Afghan front of the WOT, at least under Bush, wasn’t meant to be “never ending.”
Nor was Karzia regarded as “corrupt and inept” until Obama took power.

Jenfidel on July 4, 2010 at 9:29 AM

Steele needs to go and go now! He’s an ever increasing embarrassment to the GOP and does nothing but damage the Republican party. He’s our Joe Biden. Get rid of him.

simkeith on July 3, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Pretty much…

Khun Joe on July 4, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Can’t understand what he said was SOOOO … wrong !!! As a Presidential candidate “0″bama did say that “Afghan war was just” !!! So why all the fuss now ??? But the Republicans are PUSSY CATS … they will eat their own at the first chance, and let the Democrats say anything they want !!!

aniladesai on July 4, 2010 at 1:40 PM

Ok, and?

Scozzafava would have won, instead we got a wanksta in Doug Hoffman who played the role of spoiler. Sure Scozzafava is garbage but now NY23 is DEM controlled. Sometimes you use use incrementalism, sometimes you storm the gates.

Winning elections is Steele’s job. He has done this well. Bob McDonnell, a seriously hardcore Regent university grad with 700club credentials appeared like the most centrist guy on earth during his election. Landslide. Scott Brown took “the people’s seat.” Christie is busting up the teachers union, flashing a 37% budget reduction. THESE are the fruits on Steele’s labor. Everything else is just chatter. Give him his props

conservador on July 2, 2010 at 9:56 PM

WTF?????

Scozzafava was to the LEFT of the Marxist-democrat candidate!!!!

That was the REASON Doug Hoffman got in, and why Sarah Palin, and every conservative worthy of that label was behind him.

What makes more sense, especially now: Having a Marxist-democrat incumbent that will lose this fall, or Scozzafava who would vote like the Marxist-democrat (or worse) and either stay, on the strength of being a Republican in a Republican year, or get beat by a sure ’nuff Marxist-democrat, pretending to be a “conservative.” ?

Either way you’d be stuck with a dangerous subversive in that seat. With a Marxist-democrat in the seat now, there’s a damned good chance he will be replaced by a conservative Republican this November.

Losing NY-23 to the Marxist was a hell of a lot worse than if we have won it with a “Republican” Marxist like Scozzafava!!!

This ain’t rocket science!!

gary4205 on July 4, 2010 at 7:42 PM

If I recall correctly, Obama chose Afghanistan as a “righteous war”, while simultaneously poo-poo’ing Iraq and the surge.

SouthernGent on July 4, 2010 at 9:02 PM

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