by Jim Nintzel
Republican National Chairman Michael Steele has come under fire for comments yesterday about Afghanistan:
Keep in mind again, federal candidates, [Afghanistan] was a war of Obama’s choosing. This is not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in. ... It was the president who was trying to be cute by half by flipping a script demonizing Iraq, while saying the battle really should be in Afghanistan. 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? All right, because everyone who has tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed.
The Range has asked Congressional District 8 GOP candidates for their reaction.
I disagree with him. My first reaction is this was not a war of Barack Obama's choosing, it was a war of the Taliban's choosing. They're the ones who provided aid and comfort to the 9/11 hijackers. We have to win in Afghanistan. We can't afford to fail.
While our troops are on the ground risking their lives for freedom, the least we can do is stand united behind them as Americans.
I find this quote to be irresponsible and ill-informed. There really is no excuse for it. The war in Afghanistan is one we have to win and one we have been actively engaged in for almost nine years. To make those comments was disrespectful to our troops who are over there getting the job done. I join William Kristol in calling for his resignation as this is not the first time Mr. Steele has opened his mouth and inserted his foot.
The continued war in Afghanistan absolutely is "a war of Obama’s choosing." With a new administration, we had a golden opportunity to refocus on the unconventional al Qaeda threat that exists diffusely around the world. Instead, we sent more conventional ground troops to prop up one of the most corrupt governments in the world—the Karzai government—and further destabilize the most dangerous country in the world—Pakistan.
A Constitutional conservative cannot support the continued war in Afghanistan.
I favor an orderly withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan as quickly as possible. It's was our lingering military presence in the Middle East after the first Gulf war which began fueling Islamic anger toward America in the first place. The best strategy for exiting both countries is to conduct a plebiscite of the people in Iraq and Afghanistan to determine if they want us to stay, or leave, and for how long.