July 2, 2010

Steele's Afghanistan Hackery

Marc Comtois

Look, I know that for the first time in eons, a GOP chair visited the state and threw the RI GOP some red meat and there was much rejoicing. But it looks like he's engaging in some purely disingenuous political hackery here:

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...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?
Apparently he forgot the part that it was President Bush--with the broad support of the American people--who correctly got us into Afghanistan because the government in power--the Taliban--aided and comforted a terrorist organization that killed 3,000 Americans. In what has become a regular routine since Steele took over, some are calling for his resignation. We'll see, but one thing is for sure: this sort of hackery is what turns people off to politics (and specifically the GOP). Unbelievable.

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Steele is a funny guy......

But it is sad that the GOP does not have some kind of an intelligent and reasoning person as their top dog. Surely they can do better.

Although it would be smart to fire him, at the same time I wonder if many sane people are lining up for the job. The GOP has gone so far right that only a clown like Steele would take the job.

Posted by: Stuart at July 2, 2010 4:52 PM


Good for you to point out when even the GOP "acts stupidly".

Posted by: Patrick at July 2, 2010 5:04 PM

Aw, cut the guy some slack.

He has Leader Boner comparing the financial crisis to an "ant", GOP Energy Chair Joe Barton apologizing to BP for us making them put some money where their mouth is, and GOP candidate Rand Paul pining for the good old days of segregation.

No wonder he's confused.

I mean, the way Republicans went after SC icon Justice Thurgood Marshall given the slightest of opportunities, it won't be surprising to find they are willing to let go their Chairman in the middle of an election, one who happens to be among the few blacks in the country still willing to support them.

Posted by: Sammy at July 2, 2010 7:31 PM

Good for you Marc. You deserve credit for this.

Posted by: Pat Crowley at July 2, 2010 9:07 PM

Sammy: "GOP candidate Rand Paul pining for the good old days of segregation."

Let's apply this same warped line of logic to other situations:

Supporting free speech is supporting racist rhetoric.
Supporting gun rights is supporting violence.
Supporting gay rights is supporting AIDS transmission.
Supporting public defense is supporting murder.
Supporting Girl Scouts Cookies is supporting obesity.

You've at least proven with your post that Republicans don't have a monopoly on hackery.

Posted by: Dan at July 2, 2010 10:11 PM

Obama's war?No.
Iraq was a bad move,because without that campaign,we might possibly have completed the mission in Afghanistan-or not-it's one of the toughest places in the world to fight a war.
In any event,Obama does enough things I despise without saddling him with it being "his" war.
Steele doesn't make any sense on this.
The rules of engagement need to be changed.Petraeus is a good choice in light of how he corrected the mistakes of Rumsfeld&Co.Obama was smart to keep Gates on too.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 3, 2010 12:56 AM

If it wasn't Obama's war to begin with, I think it's safe to say that it's his now. He's the leader, or at least he's supposed to be.

I think I know what Steele intended to say. However, it's clearly not what came out of his mouth, which has definitely been a continuing problem. Not everyone can be a mind-reader.

When he said it was of "Obama's choosing," I know he didn't mean that Obama literally chose to have a war in Afghanistan, because history tends to run chronologically. However, I'm pretty sure he's referring to the fact that during the presidential campaign, Obama referred to Afghanistan as the "necessary" war (and the Iraq one as unnecessary) and the one that we should be putting our main focus on winning. However, since that time, Obama hasn't really done much in the way of actually allowing the military to "win", or even really defined winning, but rather has maintained a sort of status quo, and there has been an uptick of violence.

Anyway, it would be good for Steele to try to watch what he says, and how it might be taken by others -- and always assume that the microphone is on. At this point in the election cycle, I don't see it was particularly helpful for him to step down, simply for the reason that I don't see anyone on the horizon really wanting his job. I'm sure that he'll be gone after the elections, which is about as good as we can all expect.

Posted by: Will at July 3, 2010 2:20 AM

"Supporting free speech is supporting racist rhetoric.
Supporting gun rights is supporting violence.
Supporting gay rights is supporting AIDS transmission.
Supporting public defense is supporting murder.
Supporting Girl Scouts Cookies is supporting obesity."

... wait, whaaat??? All of that is true, isn't it ...???

Posted by: Monique at July 3, 2010 7:30 AM

Will has the unenviable task of cleaning up after the party chairman much as the one who is stuck with the job of shoveling the elephant manure after the circus has left town. I think that Marc has it right.

Posted by: Phil at July 3, 2010 9:40 AM

We had a family friend in the 1950's from Afghanistan.He was a naturalized citizen who emigrated from there in the 40's.His stories of home were fascinating and cautionary.he described the internicine clan fighting and even allowed as how his brothers were plotting to have him killed,which hastened his departure.
he was hardly what one would call a radical Islamist.Matter of fact,he never brought the topic up.
A real nice guy.
Stuart should taste test the medicine he prescribes so enthusiastically to others.
Ever notice how Stuart makes some odd usages of language-"heck","funny guy",etc repeatedly?Kind of forced casualness.
Could Stuie be another of the "left behind"Russian spies?LOL.Just kidding(I think).

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 3, 2010 12:04 PM

Joe, you make your own point! The reasonable guy left, the ones who stayed are dead or warlords or warriors, etc.......

I am not degrading Afghans. I'm pointing out that making them into Westerners there....in their home country...is not going to happen.

BTW, checked the calculations and if we gave them the same money in cash that we are gonna spend on all this BS, they would be by far the richest country in the world. American families are worth less than $100,000 apiece, while we could hand them about $500,000 for each family.........if we didn't dump it down the drain with this war BS.

BTW, General George Marshall once said that a democracy can't fight a seven-years war.....meaning we have a choice -fight long wars or be free ourselves. I'll take the later.

Posted by: Stuart at July 4, 2010 1:06 PM

Stuie-Of course.that's the point I was trying to make-you cannot graft Western democratic values onto a tribal/warlord society.The best you can do is kill a lot of enemy combatants and leave.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 4, 2010 5:26 PM

>>The best you can do is kill a lot of enemy combatants and leave.

Let me translate that into Afghani.......

You can kill a lot of fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, civilians and everyone else....all of who have lots of other relatives and tribal alliances and none of who are going to forget what you did for generations.

If that is "best", I have to question the wisdom of the whole deal...which I have since the beginning.

Posted by: Stuart at July 5, 2010 1:24 PM

I'm not saying that in some supercilious way-there certainly is nothing funny about any war.
What I was saying is that we won't change Afghanistan,nor have we any right to.If the Taliban idiots hadn't given safe harbor to Al Qaeda we wouldn't be having this discuassion.
Stuie-should we just suck up the WTC attacks and that on the Pentagon?
Sometimes there is no GOOD choice in life.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 5, 2010 3:11 PM
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