At a fundraiser in Connecticut yesterday evening, the hottest story was whether Rob Simmons and Linda McMahon, who'd had a heated primary battle for the Republican Senate nomination that Simmons lost, would run into each other and, if they did would they be cordial. That is, until Michael Steele showed up. Michael Steele, sounding disturbingly like a leftist European politico, said that the war in Afghanistan "was a war of Obama's choosing. This was not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in." Then, transforming into the infamous American isolationist Eugene Debs, he intoned "Well, if he's (Obama) 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."
I gave you that paragraph break to let his words sink in. On the eve of the high holy day of everything American, July 4th, Michael Steele stated that Afghanistan was a war of Obama's choice and that everyone who has tried to fight in Afghanistan in the last millennium has lost while ironically impugning Obama's grasp of history. The implicit points being made in his remarks are that either September 11, 2001 did not happen (and we all know what sane people think about people who believe that) or that the fact that the command and control for al Qaeda, which carried out the attacks, was located in Afghanistan and that the Taliban refused to hand over the men from the group responsible was not a sufficient reason to engage in hostilities with the Taliban. As best put by another Republican, the war in Afghanistan was the choice of al Qaeda. In an insult to the United States that I find equally offensive, Steele says that everyone in the last thousand years (read: the Soviet Union and the Mongols) that has fought in Afghanistan has failed to win there. I suspect that Ronald Reagan was twirling like Kristi Yamaguchi in his grave when Steele suggested that we could fare no better than the Soviets at this.
I am curious if any Republicans actually agree with Steele, that the situation in Afghanistan is hopeless and that it is time to pack it in and come home. I had previously thought all those who believed that resided on the left of the Democratic Party.
We'll do this one up or down: should Steele step down for being out of line with Republicans on a life-or-death policy issue or are there Republicans that actually do agree with him that he is speaking for?
Furthermore, is this the beginning of the movement towards equilibrium that hands the current ongoing wars off to the current administration and the party out of power contorts itself however it must to make political hay out of the unpopularity of sending American men and women to fight a very long war regardless of the principles involved? I have wondered if Republican core voters would maintain their allegiance to the war in Afghanistan when a Democrat began running it. Will they?