Michael Steele: Obama Started Afghanistan War, America Never ‘Wanted to Engage in It’
July 2, 2010
(ChattahBox)—OK, RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s propensity for making bumbling clownish gaffes is well known. But his fact-challenged remarks about the Afghanistan war made at a Connecticut fundraiser on Thursday, have members of both parties scratching their heads. Steele seems to have forgotten when and why we invaded Afghanistan. Steele inexplicably, said the war in Afghanistan “was a war of Obama’s choosing.”
And that America had not “actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in” the Afghanistan war? Huh? Well, despite the bizarreness of his remarks, Steele also contradicted the stance of the entire Republican Party, whom supports the war in Afghanistan so much, they want to keep our troops there forever. Republicans are furious with Steele AGAIN. And Bill Kristol, the editor of the ultra conservative Weekly Standard, is calling for Steele to resign.
Steel’s exact remarks: “Keep in mind again, federal candidates, this was a war of Obama’s choosing. This is not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.”
Just as a quick primer for the very confused Michael Steele—the War in Afghanistan began in 2001—after the terrorist attacks of 9/11—during the Bush administration—well before President Obama took office. And America very much wanted to actively prosecute the war to defeat al-Qaeda and the Taliban and to capture Osama bin Laden.
During his meandering remarks at an outdoor fundraiser (did he have a few too many?) attended by a bunch of well-heeled Republicans, Steele also declared that the U.S. should not be engaging in a “land war” in Afghanistan:
“But it was the president who was trying to be cute by half by flipping a script demonizing Iraq, while saying the battle really should be in Afghanistan. Well, if he’s 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? All right, 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.”
Kristol, the mighty chicken hawk and neo-conservative to beat all neo-conservatives is just beside himself, and demanding that Steele do the right thing as a Patriot and resign as RNC Chairman:
“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.”
And Kristol didn’t stop there, pointing out that until now, he has ignored Steele’s embarrassing blunders:
“Your tenure has of course been marked by gaffes and embarrassments, but I for one have never paid much attention to them, and have never thought they would matter much to the success of the causes and principles we share.” [...]
“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.”
Steele’s spokesperson tried to explain the confused chairman’s remarks, without much success. And he didn’t even attempt to address Steele’s remarks directly.
“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, said RNC spokesperson Doug Heye.
Oy. Is this finally the end of Michael Steele?