Friday, July 2, 2010

Liberty: The American Revolution











Michael Steele needs to resign the chairmanship of the RNC

HERE Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard is responding to this amazingly ill advised exhibition of partisanship by Michael Steele. I concur with Kristol's call for Steele to resign the chairmanship of the RNC.



Transcript from the YouTube page:

Around 3:30 Michael Steele starts discussing the Obama Administration's prosecution of the war in Afghanistan. "The [General] 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. It was one of those areas of the total board of foreign policy [that was at least?] that we would be in the background sort of shaping the changes that were necessary in Afghanistan as opposed to directly engaging troops. 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. 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..."


Kristol's Open Letter to Mr. Steele:

Dear Michael,

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.

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. But now you have said, about the war in Afghanistan, speaking as RNC chairman at an RNC event, "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." And, "if [Obama] 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?"

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.

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

Sincerely yours,

William Kristol


and Steele's response:

“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.”


That's a serious backtrack. But the gaffe is simply too serious to let go.

And, no, the 'they did it to our guy' defense is not good enough justification, if by chance you are thinking it might be cited at this point. Childish tit-for-tat politics should stop when it comes to national security and providing our fighting forces with what they need to attain victory with minimal loss of life.

Those of us who are Republicans and who supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan didn't like people playing politics with these conflicts when our guy was President, and I for one fumed on more than one occasion when such politicization was shamelessly indulged.

But, now that 'their guy' is in office, it simply makes no sense to turn your back on the wars, if you seriously believe they are justified military endeavors. The party identity of the CIC should make not a damn bit of difference. Tailor your arguments and public pronouncements accordingly. Argue strategy, funding and the like, but save the partisan sniping for Supreme Court nominee hearings.

Sheesh.