RNC Chairman Michael Steele suggests Afghan war unwinnable, prompting calls for him to resign

In a speech caught on tape at a Connecticut fundraiser Thursday, National Republican Committee Chairman Michael Steele blamed the war in Afghanistan on President Obama and suggested it could not be won, leading to calls for his resignation.

“This was a war of Obama’s choosing,” Steele said of the war in Afghanistan, which just concluded its deadliest month since the 2001 invasion. “This is not something the United States has actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.”

Steele seemed to blame the president for decisions that were made before he took office, and called on Obama to seek other means to tackle the problems facing the war-torn country.

“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, alright, because everyone who’s tried over a thousand years of history has failed,” he said.  “And there are reasons for that. There are other ways to engage in Afghanistan.”

Steele’s comments do not line up with those of other Republicans who have spoken out in favor of continuing the war effort. In television interviews last week, a number of ranking Republicans blasted Obama’s announcement of an Afghanistan withdrawal date. Arizona Sen. John McCain, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss all spoke out against the president’s call for a timetable on the war.

In reaction to Steele’s comments, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, a stalwart supporter of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, called on Steele to resign immediately.

“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,” he wrote on the magazine’s blog Friday afternoon. “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.”

In a statement released Friday, RNC spokesman Doug Heye defended Steele’s remarks.

“The responsibility for building and maintaining that strategy falls squarely on the shoulders of the President,” said Heye. “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.”

The United States invaded Afghanistan under the leadership of former President George W. Bush after the attacks of September 11, 2001. President Obama tripled the number of troops in the country since taking office, and says the United States will begin to withdraw by July 2011.

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  • JoeSmithDefend

    Obama lies every single day – and gets to keep his job. He opens his mouth and lying worms and maggots crawl out. He has committed high crimes and misdemeanors and fails to protect and defend our borders…refuses to follow federal laws.

    Why does Obama – the Great Affirmative Action president – get to keep his job?

    I’m sick to death of Affirmative Action in politics. No more.

    • SolipsisticToo

      Insightful defense of Michael Steele.

    • SolipsisticToo

      “the Great Affirmative Action president”

      Clearly, you are just a racist ahole.

      • thephranc

        So saying some one got elected because of his colour is racist now?

        • SolipsisticToo

          Look up the definition of affirmative action and then, perhaps, you will understand my comment.

          • thephranc

            Oh I know what it means. My comment is perfectly fine. But I like how you dodged the question. Not that I expect much from some one who tosses out the racist slur so quick and easily.

      • truebearing

        Clearly you are a racist ahole, and moron. If you weren’t such a dolt you would recognize that Affirmitive Action is just another form of racial injustice. Why white people have put up with this form of idiocy this long is more than I can figure out.

        • SolipsisticToo

          and suggesting that Obama got the presidency based on affirmative action is…simply racist. You right wing douchebags toss this crap out and simply refuse to own it.

    • truebearing

      A lot of whites voted for Obama, and supported Steele because they are black and were trying to be politically correct.(actually, Obama is half black, not to mention half assed)

      After NerObama’s performance, and Steele’s, I wonder how many whites will vote for black candidates in future elections, if there are any.

      • thephranc

        I would if it was Thomas Sowell.

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  • truebearing

    Steele seems to have forgotten his job description, and babbling isn’t part of it. He had no business commenting on the winnability of the war, and he was wrong about the history of the war. Has he forgotten 9/11 and the reason we were there in the first place? Obviously, and just as obviously, he has to go, NOW!
    I have always liked Steele, and wasn’t strongly opposed to his getting the RNC chair, despite the predictable, and perhaps accurate criticism that it was a foolish attempt to by the RNC to look diverse. The problem with Steele is that his speaking ability is impaired so often by his foot being wedged in his mouth. He is failing at his primary responsibility, raising money, and it is because he keeps making verbal blunders.
    Steele has his strengths, but he and the RNC better find a better use for those talents because he is hurting his own cause right now.

    • scorpioman

      They used him as a token and now he’s biting the hands that feed him. LOL

      • thephranc

        Like how the dems used Obama as a token and now it’s coming back to bite them.

  • emem

    I don’t really think it can be won either.

    But that doesn’t excuse his gaffes and general deportment for someone in that position.

  • thephranc

    He is right that it can’t be won. At least not in the way it’s being fought, or not fought. Until solders are allowed to be solders and the ROEs are changed no outcome that is a win will happen.