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Michael Steele clarifies again: Yes, we must win

In a mark of just how serious a threat Michael Steele's Afghanistan comments pose to his tenure as RNC chair, he has just released a statement in his own words trying to clean up the mess -- the second of the day, after an earlier one from a spokesman. Steele:

"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."

This appears designed to address the two most controversial aspects of Steele's earlier assertions: His suggestion that we shouldn't be in Afghanistan, and his claim that history shows we're all but certain to lose.

To the first, he says: "There is no question that America must win the war on terror," adding that we must win in Afghanistan "for the sake of the security of the free world."

To the second, he says: The war is indeed "difficult" but "necessary."

It seems unlikely that this will quiet calls among conservatives for his resignation, though. His earlier statement is on video. He dramatically undercut the entire case for an open-ended presence in Afghanistan, just when conservatives are working hard to push the administration towards dropping talk of a drawdown timetable.

And the magnitude of this political screw-up (at least in the context of GOP politics) is so large that it's the final straw after a long string of more forgiveable gaffes -- incontrovertible proof (to Republicans and conservatives) that he doesn't belong in the job.

As one Republican emailed me when I asked for a reaction to the whole mess: "What can you say?"

By Greg Sargent  |  July 2, 2010; 2:35 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Dems say Steele is "rooting for failure." Really, Dems?
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War is not a laughing matter. But Michael Steele? Hysterical.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 2, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

this will not help in the least, primarily because, as greg notes, the original is on video.

that has much more currency than this insipid statement.

while i do agree that it's wrong for the dems to claim steele was rooting for failure, his remarks on video do seem, albeit implicitly, to fit with the larger republican party strategy of rooting for failure.

but the dems don't need to explicitly draw the connection; it will be obvious to all but the most self deluded partisans.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 2, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Hope you Huckabees find this as amusing as you did with Cantor's version about Obama:

Steele, the token Negro visited Street C

And prayed along with Robertson and old white Huckabees

Little Erik Cantor loved that rascal Steele,

And let him run the RNC and turn the steering wheel.

Oh, Steele, the token Negro ran the RNC

And blamed Barack for Bush's war which everyone can see

Together they would travel on a jet with private sail

Eric prayed his token Steel would never, ever fail,

“Racists!” he would snivel whene’er his critics came,

Fox RNC would give prime time when Steele roared out his name.

Oh Steele, the token Negro ran the RNC

And sneered along with Rome’s Bishops and old white Huckabees

Oh Steele, the token Negro ran the RNC

And ogled topless waitresses with old white Huckabees

Posted by: areyousaying | July 2, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Has Barry the incompetent boob Obama ever uttered the word Victory when talking about Afghanistan? Hmm?

Barry has however sent 509 American soldiers to their deaths in Afghanistan in 17 months in office.

Posted by: screwjob16 | July 2, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

In previous gaffes, Steele would usually half-explain himself, then basically say "get over it" to whoever was complaining.

You can tell he's seriously worried about this one, because he's actually trying to fix it.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | July 2, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

CT: "Now I'm just deeply depressed."

I know. Every day is a struggle.

But on this Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend, let me offer you this encouraging ditty snippet:

If life seems jolly rotten/
There's something you've forgotten/
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.

Feel better? :-)

Posted by: jzap | July 2, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I just don't see how he stays. Not because he pointed out the obvious: countries have been trying to "tame" Afghanistan for centuries, and have failed, for centuries, but for the "The US wasn't interested in being there until Obama chose to"--it's clear he makes stuff up as he goes along, so who's going to believe anything out of him from this point forward?

He just had the bad luck (for his job prospects) to make stuff up about war.

I don't see how he stays.

But maybe that's just the way the RNC rolls.

As for the Dems using the "root for failure" language, did the DNC even consider that when Dems in Congress oppose this way, Republicans will now be able to counter with "Even Dems consider that rooting for failure"??? Stupid.

Oh, and my previous comment got totally eated by the system....

Posted by: CTVoter | July 2, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse



Thanks for making me smile....

Posted by: CTVoter | July 2, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

But...he "be da man!". We have this on the very best of authority.

No small irony here that the GOP's exercise in affirmative action netted them an individual of diminutive ability.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 2, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse


Stop making such an ass out of yourself. Really, EVERYONE thinks you are a moron except YOU!

Posted by: gene11 | July 2, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

What fascinates me is how Republicans have a hold on everything that comes out of everybody's mouth.

No free speech there.

If a Republican isn't careful, they may actually say what they mean, as opposed to repeating Republican talking points.

Posted by: lindalovejones | July 2, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"the two most controversial aspects"????

No. The most controversial aspect should be his ignorance of history re who started this war. His party's president. That's the biggest problem - the notion that the Republicans can lie so blatantly and think that they can get away with rewriting history!

Posted by: DaveR1 | July 2, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Josh gets to what I think is the important point here in whether this one will end Steele's tenure...

"But I think this is the first time Steele has really gotten crosswise with the neocons and various Central Asia/Mideast militarists. And that can be a different thing. Maybe I'm forgetting some but I don't think Bill Kristol really cared one way or another about Michael Steele until now. It's just not his thing. But I figure he's genuinely on fire about it now. Because this is a really big deal to those guys.

I wonder if that changes the equation at all."

Posted by: bernielatham | July 2, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: sbj3 | July 2, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Bernie: To answer Josh's question, yes, it does change the equation. But not enough, I think, to make Steele want to resign. And the spectacle required for the GOP to oust him is just unthinkable.

But... I do wonder what kind of leverage the GOP might have with Steele to make him want to quit.

Posted by: jzap | July 2, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

This is freakin phenomenal:

In an early draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson wrote the word "subjects," when he referred to the American public. He then erased that word and replaced it with "citizens," a term he used frequently throughout the final draft.

The Library released news of the struck word for the first time on Friday.

Fenalla France, a research chemist at the Library, said her lab made the discovery last year by using hyperspectral imaging, using a high resolution digital camera that compiles a series of images to highlight layers of a document. Some of those invisible layers — like erased text and even fingerprints — pop into view on a computer screen.

In switching from "subjects" to "citizens," France said it appears Jefferson used his hand to wipe the word out while the ink was still wet. A distinct brown smudge is apparent on the paper, although the word "subjects" is not legible without the help of the digital technology.

"This has been a very exciting development," France said, calling the findings "spine-tingling."

Historic, handwritten documents reveal clues about the past that word processors cannot illuminate, said James Billington, librarian of Congress.

"It shows the progress of his mind. This was a decisive moment," Billington said. "We recovered a magic moment that was otherwise lost to history."

God, I love science.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 2, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Has Michael Steele run out of feet to put in his mouth yet?

Sounds like this time Steele just told the truth and we all know that's something Republicans are NEVER supposed to do.


Posted by: DrainYou | July 2, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

@jzap - Given Steele's prior blunders but his tenacious hold on the position, it clearly isn't easy for others to move him out. Even Josh, who'll understand this stuff far better than I, doesn't know if the equation will change, as he said.

So, it's an interesting look into Republican internals. The neoconservative camp has been very influential and that's surely due in no small part to the alignment between their foreign policy ideas and the war industry machine in the US. I think the pressure on Steele (and his allies) will now be kicked up about three levels. One imagines that part of what is being communicated to him now includes positive career options.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 2, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

All, some amazing poll numbers on the Dems' lack of enthusiasm:

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 2, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

screwtop is a classy guy:

screwjob16 wrote:

Elena Kagan the homely mannish brute was picked only because she is a lesbian. Barry the inept bungler needed another check-the-box identity based selection.

7/2/2010 11:36:08 AM

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 2, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

... and boom goes the dynamite.

I believe we've finally reached our level of incompetence. Surprised it took this long but, oh well.

Posted by: tslats | July 2, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

ps- with little to support my guess other than what I've said above, I expect this will end his tenure.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 2, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Michael Steele leads the party of, "No!" with all the thoughtfulness and clarity the GOP has within it. Perhaps he was just trying to take some of the heat off of John Boehner and Rand Paul who have said things nearly as idiotic.

Smile America, this is your GOP!

Posted by: kcbob | July 2, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Michael Steele is just the chairman of the Republican Party. He is not an elected official, he's not even a political commentator. He has no role in government and therefore has no clue as to what he is talking about when he tries to insinuate himself into policy discussions. He tries to be insightful but he's not and that isn't even his job. Steele is trying to be more important on the national stage than his position calls for. I'm not a fan of Republicans but it still offends me when this guy tries to perform outside of his resume. Haley Barbour was a much better RNC Chairman even though I disagreed with most of what he stood for. I appreciate depth in political arguments and Steele is incapable of that.

Posted by: DCRangerfan | July 2, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Lol, the one time Steele gets something right he has to turn right around and take it back...

Posted by: ozpunk | July 2, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Steele is not my favorite, but I do believe he said we could not win a GROUND war (which puts us in the company of about 50 nations over 1,000 years). AND, since BH O'Carter has stated that 'to win' is not the objective, Steele seems to have stumbled upon a rare, single point of agreement with our incompetent commander in chief.

Posted by: IQ168 | July 2, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for yet another gaffe Steele, it will be very useful on tv this fall. Keep 'em coming!

Posted by: hairguy01 | July 2, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

To paraphrase that Wonderfully pithy Country Song: "I'm gonna miss him,He's been good this far At showin' republicans For just who they are.....".

Posted by: dbrown52 | July 2, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

There is an old Turkish proverb: "Tell the truth and run."

Posted by: skytrain36 | July 2, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

He's incompetent as a politician, which isn't necessary an indictment of his character. He blurted out some truths about this ill-advised, ill-fated, illegal, destructive war. What he forgot is that he's a party hack who isn't supposed to be interested in truth, but politics.

Posted by: luckymud | July 2, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Once again, Mr. Steele has allowed his mouth to overload his backside. When the party of jerks needed a Supreme Jerk, they found the right guy. No amount of backpedaling is going to get him out of this. This is but one more brick in his canoe, and soon there will be more than he can float around. But then, who would replace him? The likes of Glenn "I don't know what I'm doing" Beck, or maybe the half governor of Alaska, that lady who hunts from a helicopter, and don't know jack from beans on anything Palin, would be just about as big a bumbler a Steele, and they do have a Fox Noise inside connection.

Steele should just get a sign, hang it around his neck, and it should read I M Stupid.

Posted by: ronjeske | July 2, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

While I've never agreed with Michael Steele said before, I agree with him on this. Not because of anything left, right or in between. Because the War College, made up of Generals and strategists who have been there and hate war.
They told both Cheney/Bush and Obama that a conventional war there was futile.
78,000 of our children are being mutilated over there, let's remember that as we celebrate the anniversary of our freedom.

Posted by: lesliekorshak | July 2, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

While I've never agreed with the man on anything, I sure do on this. Not because of anything left or right (in what has become a pretty bi-polar country) But because The War College told both Cheney/Bush as well as Obama that our kind of war was un-winable there. As usual, nobody listened.
We have 78,000 of our children fighting wars we don't belong in - maybe we should all consider that as we celebrate our anniversary of freedom

Posted by: lesliekorshak | July 2, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

One would say "Hoof and mouth disease" but in the case of Mr. Steele it is "foot in mouth disease".

Posted by: mcdonalsherry | July 2, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I should have mentioned that "hoof (foot) and mouth disease" is highly contagious by animals but rarely humans but humans have been known to catch it. Also, ELEPHANTS CAN CATCH IT so I suggest Mr. Steele, Chairman of the RNC get the vaccine for it.

Posted by: mcdonalsherry | July 2, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

To Ethan2010: Thank you for the interesting comment.

Posted by: mcdonalsherry | July 2, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

To Screwjob16:
It wasn't "Barry" that sent the US into Afghanistan after 9/11, it was George Bush. As far as the number of deaths in Afghanistan since "Barry" took office, (17 months) how many men and women did Bush send to their deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan in his 8 years in office (96 months) - more than 509 - more like 3000+ if your counting and you seem to be counting.

Posted by: mcdonalsherry | July 2, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

OK, Michael Steele, I've supported you for a long time; I wanted you to have the chance to be a Moderate Republican voice. If what is reported is correct, it's time for you to go.
One too many truly horrific gaffes, cumulatively giving the Dems real ammunition to hurt Reps chances in Novermber.
Who would you recommend as your replacement?
Maybe newly-elected Sen Brown from Mass?
Steele has blown the chance for a moderate to move the Republicans more to the center, and away from the Right, which would have been to the good.
Not the Righties have a new opportunity to lead with their chin in terms of foisting an un-electable Republican candidate because the new head of the Republican party will surely NOT be a moderate.
As long as the Republicans are held hostage to the religious righties, there issn't much of a chance to get moderate Dems to "back our play."
The fiscally conservative, socially moderate tea party candidates are looking better all the time.

Posted by: washpost1bwd | July 2, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

People - journalists laugh at anyone who takes the so-called "news" on WaPo seriously.

Give it up. You don't need to have an emotional response - or even to waste your time reading this rag. The writers are all about twisting the truth and manipulating their readers.

They laugh about it on Wonkettte.

I'm not reading this garbage anymore.

Posted by: joesmithdefend | July 2, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Steele was put in place because the Republicans thought he would be some kind of counter weight to our black President. Shows they like black people too.
Turns out he is completely unfit for the position because all the Republicans really looked at was his color.
Haley Barbour is going to see to it that this guy is gone before the end of summer and the election cycle really begins.

Posted by: cms1 | July 2, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Someone needs to remind that "Uncle Tom" Steele who started the war -- Bush & Cheney -- and bungled it badly.

Posted by: abbydelabbey | July 2, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

"Truth comes like a bastard into the world, never without ill fame for he who gives it birth"

Posted by: crunkcar | July 2, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

What prompted this latest correction? Of course, they hauled him into a back room and told him they'd strip him of his chairmanship if he didn't grovel his way out of this.

They're getting pretty good at this chicken dance:

You put your right foot in,
You pull your right foot out,
Now we'll drag you in the back room
And we'll beat you with a knout
Till you do the Jokey GOPey and you turn yourself about,
'Cause that's what we're all about!

Posted by: laboo | July 2, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Pity Steele didn't stick to his guns. Plenty of Republicans realize Obama's Afghanistan escalation is foolishness. Fight with local troops to keep Al Qaeda off balance, sure. Send in a bunch of U.S. troops - bad idea.

Posted by: WarrenDew | July 2, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Republican congressmen and women for the most part are seriously out of touch. Some like Steele are totally out of their minds.
Case in point, Steele said Afghanistan is a war of Obama,s choosing. It was where 9/11 was planned and carried out and the cowards hid out. Nothing was done about it until President Obama rightly sent some Marines over to straighten out the situation which will be clear in the coming weeks and months now that all the Troops are in place. G-d Bless America and G-d help the republicans. "If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem". Apologizing to BP for making them financially responsible for the Gulf mess they made, comparing the Wall Street Financial crisis to an "Ant" and now this. This is beyond any political reasoning or strategy and falls in the realm of reckless and careless sabotage.

Posted by: dmscontractor | July 2, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

It's no surprise a politician was caught pandering. What is surprising is the rhetoric used was diametricaly opposed to what the base of the GOP perception has been built.

The question: is the GOP actually trying to build a bigger tent or was the chairman just getting carried away in the attempt to craft the narrative where the President and Dems can shoulder all the blame for a policy not very popular, at the moment?

dhhhh, dohhh, duhhh...

Posted by: retidd | July 2, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

It's a sign how politically charged every little word mentioned has become so that nobody dares say what they really believe. Everyone must speechify to the mob - get people worked up and crazy. Running our Nation has become more like a football game. Who can hit the hardest, who can score the most points. Never mind th at the stadium is slowly being covered in oil, the owners spending all the money for players, vacations and personal favors.

Anyway, I;m a "progressive" I guess, and I agree with Steele's first comment: we can't win this "war." But nobody can say that or anything definite without being thrashed by the knuckle heads on their "side" and everybody on the other side. Points scored against Steele. Whoopee.

So nothing gets done, the war drags on, people die, we go broke etc etc etc. but nobody really cares as long as the Republicans/Democrats win in November.

Our forefathers had a pretty good idea. Many died for it. Now we pay those ideas lip service but really, we don't give a dam. The only thing that counts is our side winning. Rah rah.

Posted by: thestoryplease | July 2, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

It's a sign how politically charged every little word mentioned has become so that nobody dares say what they really believe. Everyone must speechify to the mob - get people worked up and crazy. Running our Nation has become more like a football game. Who can hit the hardest, who can score the most points. Never mind that the stadium is slowly being covered in oil, the owners spending all the money for players, vacations and personal favors.

Anyway, I'm a "progressive" I guess, and I agree with Steele's first comment: we can't win this "war." But nobody can say that or anything definite without being thrashed by the knuckle heads on their "side" and everybody on the other side. Points scored against Steele. Whoopee.

So nothing gets done, the war drags on, people die, we go broke etc etc etc. but nobody really cares as long as the Republicans/Democrats win in November.

Our forefathers had a pretty good idea. Many died for it. Now we pay those ideas lip service but really, we don't give a dam. The only thing that counts is our side winning. Rah rah.

Posted by: thestoryplease | July 2, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Steele was a mistake from the beginning. He hired his friends (which is OK) at salaries way above the folks they replaced (which is not OK).

He has treated the job like he was royalty, with private jets, limos and entertainment in gay bars, etc. Steele forgot that he is spending our contribution money which we want spent on the mid-term elections -- the most important in many, many years.

This gaffe, the most recent of many, should lead to his exit, so we can get in the campaign mode to win or die on November 2, 2010.

We can do better. Why not recruit Blackwell from Ohio, who lost the governor's race there. Since he is black, no one can complain about "racism" being the cause of his dismissal -- and he is savvy.

I'm a frustrated Republican from New York and tired of reading about Steele -- and not about Republican ideas and strategies.

Posted by: RonKH | July 2, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

The truth of the matter was spoken off-the-cuff. No apology is necessary.

I give the new general about a year before he more openly and willingly admits that we WON'T win in Afghanistan. No way; no how (unless we go nuclear).

WE may as well admit to ourselves that we've chased and killed them about as much over the last decade as well as we could and would ever achieve in the future.

The war with Afghanistan is a never-ending version of the Vietnam war.

Posted by: bwshook1 | July 2, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

If its really Obama strategy, we'd be out of Afghanistan in a heartbeat.

Let's not forget who asked our senators to allow attacking Afghanistan and presented some fake evidence.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | July 2, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately... this guy should have been gone a YEAR AGO.

The GOP is only keeping him around to appease the black voters.

He was given his job when OBAMA won..

This should be the last straw.

He needs to go ASAP or at least he is BOOTED on the day after the mid term elections.

Posted by: miller515501 | July 2, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

It' s very clear to me that Obama is not a leader. A perferct example is the late and poor effort to clean up the oil spill. James Carville, a democrat strategist, was there since the start and has been screaming at Obama to provide leadership.

Posted by: farmsnorton | July 2, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

The Afghan war is the result of bad US policy. In fact mostly incompetent policy dominated by republican presidents.

To be honest about this while republican presidents were flying around on Air Force one doing big shot diplomacy causing traffic jams and angry locals from Geneva Switzerland to Timbuktu democrats in congress were busy taking campaign donations too busy to take notice of foreign policy being satisfied letting the media make decisions on what was good for the nation.

Posted by: bm66535 | July 2, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Michael Steele is right, correct as well! The chances of the U.S. "winning" the war in Afghanistan are slim. The Afghans have said, We beat the French, we beat the English, and we beat the Russians, and we'll beat YOU! They are tough, determined fighters, fighting a guerilla war on their own turf. They know every nook and cranny, and are brutal and excessively mean. They'll kill their own family members, slay their daughters, behead their sons, emasculate their friends.

And the "government" we're supporting there to take over is a joke! -- That's why we can't really win. We're trying to fight fair against evil incarnate, and scorched earth is the only path left open to us.

Then we have Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Somalia, and a dozen other "holes in the wall" to conquer.

Hey, don't forget, it was the Democrats who said we were fighting a war we couldn't win when Bush was President!!!

Posted by: bmetler | July 2, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

It is OK for Obama to rip on the Republicans but it is not OK for Michael Steele to have an opinion about how incompetent Obama is?

Obama pulls this garbage all the time.

Posted by: mlemac | July 2, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

This is what this liberal paper has to do to take the heat off Obama for his pathetic handling of our economy. Actually I agree with Steele that we will not win this war if we have Obama's silly rules of engagement and interrogation. That is like a monty python skit where they tie their hands all up and say, now go get them. Now that we have found connections between the Taliban and Al Qaeda we better win. Since Obama sure is not keeping our borders safe. He told us yesterday that it was impossible. Well it is impossible for him since he sure is not doing anything. We better all realize with this administration that it is every man for himself since these inept space cadets are sure not going to get off their behinds for anything from the economy, the falling dollar, the deficit, the border crisis, the illegal immigration crisis, the gulf crisis, or job creation.

Posted by: greatgran1 | July 2, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

The United States followed the French into Indochina, was that wise? And now Russia into Afghanistan is that wise too?

Posted by: edmundsingleton1 | July 3, 2010 4:25 AM | Report abuse

The Russians could not defeat Afghanistan. Yet, Mr. Obama thinks HE can. It is amazing what happens to a persons mind when he get a few(millions) fools to worship him(Obama). He begins to think he is god. One BIG problem. The Muslims do not give a crap about you and your christian family, they are happy to blow you, your family, your friends AND themselves to kingdom come. Christians love to create "rules" of war. This helps them to justify it and makes them feel better(less guilt). Anyone with religious beliefs can find it easy to justify murder.

Posted by: markypolo | July 3, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

This is probably the smartest statement Mr. Steele has ever made. Russia tried for 10 years and went home with their tail between their legs and we are not doing any better. It could be won but the repubs want to drag it out and Obama is not smart enough to see what is really going on. The very first move is to seal the borders and we have enough drone planes and other equipment to do the job but this would screw up the long range plans laid out during the Bush Adm.

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | July 3, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Steele is right !!! No one has won a war on Afghan turf in 1,000 years and unfortunately we won't be able to break that skein. We have guys clearly visible, running around in 110 degree heat with 40 lbs of gear on. No one knows who the enemy is.. is it that guy with the mule, how about that guy herding sheep. Maybe its those folks gathered outside their homes..We have 12 months to turn it around...hand it over to the Afghan army, who by the way desert at a 40 p/c rate and sell the weapons and ammo that they have been issued to who knows whom. Do you think any of these guys are going to stick their necks out so that after we leave they get rounded up by the Taliban and have their necks severed from their shoulders. Afghan justice is not easy.. No simple waterboarding here..I think he has every right to say what he thinks. Look back at some of the things Dr. Dean said as DNC head... The weak Republicans are so afraid of the media or the administration so they condemn him..This is still America, or so it is for the time bring and he still has a right to his opinion. Are we not supposed to have a dialogue on different matters that concern the county to study and examine them. Or are we to march forward like lemmings following the administrations lead. I can understand why many on the left do not want to call attention to this war as it could easily shape up to be a muddled Viet Nam redo. This could be a thorn come 2010 elections along with a large increase in residential mortgage failures, over 10 p/c unemployed. Higher taxes, border wars, huge unsustainable budget deficits, the mess in the gulf.. and always expect the unexpected..Keep your head down, your eyes open and don't come out til you hear the "all clear"!!. watch what happens!!

Posted by: james_m_reilly1 | July 3, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Nicely Done Mr. Steele!!!

Posted by: T-Prop | July 4, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

The Petraeus plan is to move away from the "war on terror" into more of a "police action on terror". This validates the progressive position that criminal groups like Al Quieda should be tracked and treated as criminals and not as sovereign players. The war concept has only distracted America to look for enemies organized into armies instead of concentrating on the terrorists which are a threat. The sooner we get out of Iraq and Afghanistan the better, the better to go after the international criminals behind 9/11 and other real threats to our country.

Posted by: TigerPaw1 | July 4, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

If Steele resigns the GOP will lose its one black vote!

Posted by: hairguy01 | July 4, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

First, some numbers; second, a suggestion; third, an argument.

1. In nine years of Operation Enduring Freedom, from 2001 through 2009, the US body count has risen: 12, 49, 48, 52, 99, 98, 117, 155, 317. In this year, 2010, 203 US soldiers have already died.
2. The highest monthly counts were in the 70's for July, August, Sept., and Oct. of last year - the four months that have just begun. Before those four consecutive 70's, the highest count was 46, in June and August of 2008. Guess what: this July, just ended, had 102 US soldiers dead – more than the yearly totals for the first six years.
(stats from

Suggestion: Get the GI's out; let the Afghans and Iraqis settle their own differences. Have our troops conduct extensive war games along the Mexican border until Congress comes up with some, any, immigrant and drug smuggling policies. Use the saved $$ to pay down the debt.

Argument: A hypothetical analogy (doubly damned, but here goes): Imagine if, during our Civil War, to save the factories of the North and the raw materials of the South, European powers had sent in troops to patrol the Mason-Dixon line. Insurgents and terrorists, aka The Blue and The Grey, would have gleefully joined forces to exterminate those foreign invaders. Then gone back to destroying each other. Eventually, exhausted, they reached an agreement.
Ditto for Al-Queda, the Taliban, the Shi’ites, Sunnis, Kurds, moderates, extremists, Jihadists ……

Posted by: princeton67 | July 4, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

I dont get this at all. believe what you say and say what you believe beyond any party and you just might be a humanbeing.

Posted by: robertajkaufman3 | July 4, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that Steele is just stating what most Americans --whether they're Republican or Democrat -- are thinking.
And the absence of the left-wing anti-war protestors is very noticeable, too.
So, in other words, "Obama's war" is ok because he's a Democrat?

Posted by: ohioan | July 4, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Who's stupider - Steele or Palin? They should be the GOP ticket in 2012.

Posted by: hamishdad | July 4, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

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