July 2, 2010

Michael Steele must resign.

Sheer stupidity/incompetence.

116 comments:

Montagne Montaigne said...

Err, but what if he's a secret genius, and anti-war conservatism is the new dominant political movement?

Nah, you're right, he should resign.

peter hoh said...

Finally.

peter hoh said...

Steele should try out for the role of Dunder Mifflin's new boss in Scranton.

Scott M said...

Probably the last thing, politically speaking, the GOP needs in a crucial election year is to get rid of the HNIC.

MM, you keep mentioning conservatism and anti-war like those two things are supposed to be either diametrically opposed or axiomatically coexistent. Thus, once again, making the mistake that all conservatives are monolithic, unthinking vote-givers. You know, kind of like your side views blacks.

Tidy Righty said...

What did you expect? He was an Affirmative Action hire.

The Drill SGT said...

Althouse,

While I happen to think Steele should have resigned long ago, I'm still a registered Republican, and therefore have a vote or at least a stake in the matter.

You on the other hand likely aren't registered Republican.

Those that aren't shouldn't be allowed to vote our idiot in or out, regardless about what the SCOTUS may say about the freedom to associate.

Rich B said...

Actually, this would be a perfect time to unload this turkey. Reason: "Insufficient respect for the President".

Old Dad said...

Monty,

You are such a racist. Let's make a clean sweep of incompetent black leaders--Steele, Obama, and Holder.

Fair and balanced.

rcocean said...

Bill "Wrong-way" Kristol has a track record of giving bad advice on just about everything - so I hope Steele stays.

LarsPorsena said...

"Probably the last thing, politically speaking, the GOP needs in a crucial election year is to get rid of the HNIC."

He's expendable. Your appendix is more vital to you than he is to the Republicans

rhhardin said...

I imagine Steele calculates a narrow political advantage, and that's the extent of his understanding.

LarsPorsena said...

Fee, fie, foe, fum, I smell moby.

AST said...

He's always seemed a little odd to me, kind of like a cheerleader who's not quite in sync. He sent out an email called The Weekly Trunk. What kind of image is that supposed to convey? Nasal? Luggage?

If he really is against fighting in Afghanistan, he sure doesn't represent me.

As for respecting the President, that's become a dead letter in this country. The left has no standing to lecture anybody about civil.

Scott said...

J. C. Watts is available. He would be a good replacement.

peter hoh said...

Lars, I've long suspected that Steele was a Moby.

Or perhaps you meant someone else.

Brian said...

@MM:

You can be anti-war and conservative. I think that would describe the Pope. You can be liberal and pro-war, e.g. LBJ.

I'm thinking Michael Steele was bringing up not fighting a "land war" in Afghanistan to make the point that Obama is trying to fight a conventional war there with the addition of 30K troops.

At best the statement is incoherent. Obama isn't planning on a conventional war in A-stan. Frankly, I'm not sure what he wants to accomplish there with the addition of 30K troops. It's not enough to occupy the country, and he just fired his general. It started as a conventional war, but it hasn't been a conventional war in a long time.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LarsPorsena said...

Lars, I've long suspected that Steele was a Moby.

Or perhaps you meant someone else.

All of the above.

garage mahal said...

I'm dense. What is HNIC? Something "In Chief" I presume

Scott M said...

Scott M - did you really write "HNIC"? Why would you do that?

Because that single acronym encapsulates the bullshit surrounding any political considerations of the GOP actually getting rid of Steele. The color of his skin should have nothing to do with it, but it will weigh heavily on any decision made if for no other reason than the fodder it creates for people like MM to scream 'racist'. This is PC reality the left has pushed us into. The same people that gave the GOP no credit for putting Steele in place to begin with. Just as they always do for black Americans that don't toe the Democratic line.

If Steele is an effective steward of the RNC and has an effective plan to use the momentum given to his party going into the mid-terms, I'd say he should stay in place.

Scott M said...

@garage

Ask Danny Glover, Sidney Poitier, and Morgan Freeman. They've all been party to it at one time or another. Frankly, it's a ridiculous phrase, but it's one of those that fall into the "hey, that's OUR word..." category.

garage mahal said...

So the left made you type that?

(and I still don't get it. what does it stand for?)

Synova said...

Not having seen the larger context, I don't know that Steele is necessarily wrong.

Firstly, yes, Obama did *choose* Afghanistan. Afghanistan was the good war, the one that we were supposed to fight. It's not a factual error to portray it as such.

Secondly, yes, we were in Afghanistan and fighting in Afghanistan because that was unavoidable... but Bush did do his best to avoid it. Bush did his best to chose a different battle ground and *move* the conflict out of Afghanistan as much as possible. Thus, " This was not something that the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in." is also a factual statement.

Brian said...

@garage:
This link will enlighten you:
Robert Guillaume in Lean on Me.

sunsong said...

Bill Kristol is a war monger. He'd like someone else's kids to be fighting in Iran, Syria, Afghanistan - maybe Lebannon - and who knows where else.

We ought to be getting out of Afghanistan, imo. Even though what Steele said doesn't really make sense - to talk of this being Obama's war and getting out pleases me.

peter hoh said...

So Synova and Steele think that the Bush administration did not actively prosecute the war in Afghanistan.

Good to know.

Brian said...

@peter_hoh:
I guess Steele figures if Obama could win running against Bush, so can the Republicans.

garage mahal said...

Ahh. I got it.

Synova said...

Well, Peter. I'm not alone, nor even just me and Steele.

Or what was all the criticism of Bush for NOT paying attention to Afghanistan?

That just sort of fell down the memory hole?

edutcher said...

Montagne actually thinks somebody other than his little circle of National Socialists cares about this as some devastating repudiation of Conservatism.

Steele and his band of Assistant Democrats have been pointing toward this for some time. This is what not only the Tea Partiers are mad about, but Conservatives and real Republicans. If there was a time to show this crowd the door, it's now.

Original Mike said...

Assuming Steele said what Kristol said he said, yes, he should resign for being brain-dead-stupid.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Much more of this and people are going to start calling him Joe Biden.

Synova said...

So what is the larger context? Does anyone know?

Steele was saying that Republicans running for office should feel free to lay Afghanistan on Obama?

Has all of Obama's campaign bluster about how Bush should have been paying attention to Afghanistan, to really pursue that including going after Pakistan, has *all* of it fallen down the memory hole?

It's true enough that the situation existed before Obama took office, but it's not exactly like Bush was any less forced by circumstance to undertake that "land war in Asia".

Bush was also far more careful and far more savvy about what it took to maintain access and resupply, but he got trashed for that, too, because it meant making nice with un-nice regimes in order to secure access for supply by air and other practicalities. First thing Obama did was lose a good deal of that access.

So Obama, like Bush, is stuck with Afghanistan. There is no "this was a Republican thing" that Obama has no control over. He has every bit as much control over our being in Afghanistan as Bush ever did. Plus he has all the tough talking and good-war bluster that was all his.

Now he has to either decide what to do there and what our goal there is, or he has to take us home. At this point it IS his war, 100%. The bleed over into Pakistani territory has never really been anyone else's war *but* Obama's.

Let him own it.

junyo said...

I saw a post about a black guy on Althouse and made a mental bet with myself; how many comments before Affirmative Action came up? Even expecting so little (I said 11) 4 is amazing. And "HNIC" before that.

Lord it is hard to vote Republican. And so epically, deeply, and truly tragic that the only other choices are staying home and Democrats.

Scott M said...

Lord it is hard to vote Republican.

Only for a completely tool that generalizes entire swaths of people. Feel confident in your party line vote, I suppose, as I'm most definitely not a Republican.

You do know what happens when you assume, right?

Scott M said...

d'oh...complete, not completely. Damn my careless snark.

PunditJoe said...

Sadly, I have to agree with Bill Kristol. Michael Steel’s comment was terribly separated from the history of the situation and only serves to create an opening for the opposition to exploit.

I had supported his rise to chairman of the RNC, but I cannot continue that support when his actions hurt the party more than they help.

c3 said...

He's always seemed a little odd to me, kind of like a cheerleader who's not quite in sync.

Yes...someone finally puts there finger on it.

Steele has never been great with the turn of a phrase but it does seems this is, to some extent, a conflict between a neocon who's a bit more interested in policy than politics.

Though poorly phrased I believe Steele's trying to make a partisan point to the partisan faithful regarding election strategy.

Do I like it? No. But when have we ever looked to party chairs for policy analysis.

rick said...

Scott M...disappointing comment and unnecessary. You can make your point without using these words or acronyms. I believe you have violated the Althouse comment policy covertly. You should at least receive a game misconduct if not a 10 gamer.

reader_iam said...

Sometimes a quack does mean you've got a duck on your hands.

Revenant said...

Probably the last thing, politically speaking, the GOP needs in a crucial election year is to get rid of the HNIC.

Could we not use that term, please?

Anyway, I don't care if it hurts the Republican Party's chances for victory in 2010. It is better, in the long term, if the party isn't led by an idiot. The Afghanistan comment is inexcusable.

bagoh20 said...

This has nothing to do with color, but of course it must. Steele simply is not a committed conservative of sufficient vigor or conviction to lead the Republican party at such a time of opportunity and change in direction. He's another dinosaur working the 2008 fight, not the 2010 one.

mtrobertsattorney said...

It's perfectly logical to term this war "Obama's War". To be sure, he inherited it from Bush, but he accepted the inheritance. He could have ordered the troops home as his first act as president. He didn't.

Now, as commander and chief, he manages it, and he controls it; he fires the general that he does not want to lead his troops and appoints the general that he does. If the war is successful, he will be the first to take credit for the victory.

"Obama's War", that has a nice ring to it doesn't it?

AJ Lynch said...

3 Comments:

Steele is the 1st candidate I ever gave a donation to.

I wonder what % of Americans know who he is and what he does?

I may be the kiss of death - never gave money to a winning candidate [0 for 5 I think]. Heh.

Calypso Facto said...

Steele does come off sounding like an idiot for blaming the war on the current President, but we shouldn't forget that then candidate Obama really did encourage an expanded war in Afghanistan and criticized Republicans for opposing it:

"It is unacceptable that almost seven years after nearly 3,000 Americans were killed on our soil, the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 are still at large," and Obama called for sending two more brigades to Afghanistan

Of course he also said in the same speech,

that he would end by withdrawing nearly all US combat troops [from Iraq] within 16 months of taking office

So was on the wrong side of the Iraq surge and the Afghan surge (barring a miracle) AND hasn't found Bin Laden AND hasn't withdrawn from Iraq. Wow. Steele was maybe onto something before he overplayed his hand...

Hagar said...

Michael Steele does seem to march to the beat of a different drummer or something, but if you force him out, just who do you propose to replace him?

The Iranian expansionists are fighting a proxy war with us in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are not getting out of there until we find a way to deal with Iran or the regime there changes for the better.

traditionalguy said...

The concept of a conservative wanting to "Win in Afghanistan" sounds noble, but there is nothing there to win. Steele is correct. The idea that we must win is an impossible idea and is being used by Obama as a trap to send our military into. Even Biden knows that and reccomends we keep doing a Bush style hold of a small area as a base to fight terrorists from. Steele is the truth teller here. Obama has orderd that this become a war that will keep most of the best military in the world cruising up and down the single road of valleys sown nightly with IEDs and high ground guerilla ambushes. Even the US Army could not win for 20 years against Apache Indians in Arizona/Colorado in terrain like this.

Synova said...

Steele has never seemed all that conservative. He also seemed to always be trying to win over the "OMG Palin cooties!" wing of the Republican Party. (Though I can't think of anything he's said about her personally.)

His electioneering advice? Take it or leave it. It's not particularly as if Republicans are that much into top-down authoritarianism anyhow.

The Crack Emcee said...

As Laurie Anderson said in "Let X=X":

Right. Again.

The announcement of Michael Steele's chairmanship left me bored - then disgusted - and he's been a joke ever since.

This was not his time. He doesn't have one:

Affirmative-Action is over.

Saul said...

The Soviets couldn't take Afghanistan. What makes anyone think that the U.S. can win the war there. So his comment was dead on. We've been there almost nine years and we are no better off than before. We've help create a heroin epidemic. What's wrong with admitting the truth, and moving on? Why are Americans so fixated on the inability to admit mistaken policy decisions? Let's devise a strategy with respect to Afghanistan by wiping the slate clean, and not for the sake of attempting to save face for an ill-conceived decision that has helped bankrupt the country and serve Bin Ladin's goal of drawing the U.S. into an unwinnable war.

The Crack Emcee said...

"The Soviets couldn't take Afghanistan. What makes anyone think that the U.S. can win the war there. "

Um, we're not the Soviets.

Revenant said...

It's perfectly logical to term this war "Obama's War". To be sure, he inherited it from Bush, but he accepted the inheritance. He could have ordered the troops home as his first act as president. He didn't.

He would have been subject to impeachment if he had. Congress declared war; Presidents can't just decide not to fight.

Saying something is "[President]'s War" ignores the fact that this is not a dictatorship. The war is ours as a nation; it does not belong to the commander in chief. It was asinine for lefties to call Iraq "Bush's war" and it is asinine for conservatives to pull the same stunt with Obama. Either you're an American or you aren't, and if you are then America's wars are your wars too.

John Lynch said...

Yes, he should go.

I'm not happy when the leadership of BOTH parties is clueless and ineffective.

Scott M said...

An RNC chairman's job is not necessarily to be the PR front for the party or the ability to "turn a phrase" as was mentioned. The primary job for either the RNC or DNC chairman's position is to get as many of their party elected as possible.

If Steele has a compelling, effective strategy for doing that, especially given the huge momentum we seem to be experiencing, there's no reason for him to go.

I said before and I'll do so again. I've never been a huge fan of his, but never an advocate for his removal either.

As far as the war goes, I had multiple family members in harm's way before Obama took office and I still felt like it was a fools errand. I'm twice as quit now, as Dekker once said.

HDHouse said...

No no no...keep him in. He is the democrat's secrete weapon...without him we will have a hard time of it midterms..with him...ahhh nervana....now if he would only have an affair with Sarah.....

Gene said...

My standard for fighting wars is WWII. It took 3 1/2 years. Afghanistan is 5 1/2 years over schedule. If we can't win in 9 years, it's time to quit throwing good money after bad.

As far as Steele's comments supposedly hurting the morale of our troops, the hell with that. If we want to really help our troops' morale we'd bring them home and give them good jobs rebuilding America, not making the rubble bounce in Afghanistan.

Peano said...

Steele should replace Biden. Then the two buffoons Barack and Michael could do an Amos 'n' Andy routine.

Peano said...

I figure if we're gonna have shitty government, we might as well have a little entertainment with it.

Joe said...

Perhaps Steele and Biden can join up and form the Gaffe Party.

Joe said...

Michael Steele does seem to march to the beat of a different drummer or something, but if you force him out, just who do you propose to replace him?

A random name from the phone book. Can't do a worse job.

What does it pay anyway? And does it have good benefits?

MadisonMan said...

may be the kiss of death - never gave money to a winning candidate [0 for 5 I think]. Heh.

I'm 1 for 1. I gave a whopping $20 to Mayor Dave's 1st campaign. I'm still not sure if it was money well spent.

MadisonMan said...

Hockey Night In Canada?

traditionalguy said...

Peano...A gaffe is to call men like Obama and Steele Amos and Andy. Both are very intelligent men. We need to keep the man on our side. He is very smart to open this issue that is truth based and needs to incite some lefty rebellions to weaken the Dems. Holding a military base/position in Afghanistan is fine, but pretending to win a war there is insanity. Study the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain here in Georgia. Sherman's Army of the West lost the only battle it ever lost by attacking a motivated and weapon-ed force uphill on a mountain. That is Afghanistan over and over. And now the Pakis and the Iranians are sending the Taliban the latest in super sniper equipment. That was how the Russians stopped the Germans at Stalingrad. Is our misplaced pride worth destroying our military? Also see the First Marines destruction for nothing at Peleliu. That was Eugene Sledge's experience as re-told in The Pacific Series on HBO. So stop helping Obama destroy us and let a black man have a little credit for being right to call Obama on it.

ken in sc said...

Scott M should have used ‘HMFWIC’. It’s less racial but conveys the same idea. In Afghanistan, I think it is winnable. The main thing that should be done is to legalize the opium crop and make it a government monopoly, like tobacco is in some countries. There actually a shortage of legal opium based painkillers in the world market. If the government buys the opium crop, the Taliban has no source of income.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Michael Steele rendered himself ineffective a long time ago.

The GOP can rip the band-aid off slow or fast,either way this guy is gone, either way it's going to hurt, it's just a matter of time...

Proud FA said...

He is simply catering to the child molesters that is the GOP. He may be a bit too moral to be a good chicken hawk member of God's only party.

JAL said...

I had great hopes for Michael Steele, he really had a lot of thngs going for him.

But when he said that Eric Holder was a good guy way back when he was being floated for AG, the niggling thought that maybe Michael Steele wasn't all he could / should be got planted.

And we can all see how the Holder is turning out.

(FALN? Marc Rich? <--- CLUES!)

The Afghanistan thing is just weird.

reader_iam said...

It appears there is enough rope around here.

Synova said...

"My standard for fighting wars is WWII. It took 3 1/2 years. Afghanistan is 5 1/2 years over schedule. If we can't win in 9 years, it's time to quit throwing good money after bad."

And how long did the restoration take and do we still have military bases in Germany and Japan?

Also, just to be irritating... how many people died for WW2? The slaughter is mindboggling. I found this for Iwo Jima alone: "Of the 22,785 Japanese soldiers entrenched on the island, 21,570 died either from fighting or by ritual suicide. Only 216 were captured during the battle. The Allies suffered 6,821 deaths out of 26,038 total casualties."

We tend to only count American deaths, but even by that measure the single battle of Iwo Jima cost us something near the number of lives lost, not in 9 years in Afghanistan, but over nine years in two theaters of war.

There are ways to count other than time.

Certainly we could "win" almost instantly in Afghanistan, and I think that if Gore was president he might have taken this route, simply by turning a portion of the region to glass and calling it done. We chose different. Bush chose different.

Now it's Obama's turn to chose.

It's his JOB now to define what our goals are in Afghanistan and determine how those goals will be met. The Taliban is not going to be defeated entirely, so someone has to decide (and that person is Obama and no one else) what level of suppression of the Taliban and what level of nation building is the best balance of cost/return to hopefully deny Al Qaeda or its successor a base of operations there.

And if the mineral resources there are as rich as they say, Obama is going to have to decide (or let someone else make that decision two years from now) if our nation can afford to risk someone else having control of production there. Many people would find the question itself distasteful, but imagine an insanely wealthy Taliban or Al Qaeda in the world, and wouldn't that be a prize.

reader_iam said...

There is so much great conversation here. Unfortunately, it cannot obscure the elephant in the room.

Choices were made.

Dead Julius said...

I don't see what the big deal is with Steele's comments. Steele's words are just words. Nobody was harmed by them. If he misspoke, he should be given a chance to correct his remarks; if not, he should be given the opportunity to clarify them. Asking him to resign over this seems too harsh.

Revenant said...

My standard for fighting wars is WWII. It took 3 1/2 years.

The British would be surprised to hear that.

Anyway, I'm just glad you weren't around during the Revolution War or the Civil War; we'd have lost both if we had given up at the 42-month mark.

Flexo said...

Some folks just don't understand exactly what it takes to win a war.

It doesn't take great weapons. It doesn't take swift action.

It takes superior will.

What is the strategy of the U.S. military? Well, it has long been fundamental military doctrine that the object of war is to defeat and destroy the will of the enemy to resist. Our fighting men and women understand that.

Unfortunately, I do not believe that neither this Administration's civilian leadership nor congressional leadership understand that. Some who have commented here certainly do not understand that. (As has been made clear by their statements that they no longer have the will to fight, and that we should run away -- and that is the essence of what they say -- they only serve in the interests of defeat.)

Whoever "wins" in Afghanistan is going to depend upon who has the superior will -- the United States or the Taliban/al Qaeda. The latter have the will to fight and fight and fight for as long as it takes for the U.S. to get tired of fighting. After all, there fellow Islamic warriors did not set a deadline of 3-4 years for victory; rather, they have been fighting for over 1400 years.

Osama bin Laden assured his people that al Qaeda would ultimately prevail because the U.S. would eventually tire of war and slink away. Sadly, some are proving him right.

Hagar said...

The Taliban will have the will to fight as long as Iran continues to finance and arm them.

Does the Republican Party need a free for all about who is to succedd Steele right now?
Didn't think so.

traditionalguy said...

Flexo...The will to win still has to use good tactics to win. Every military guy knows that we cannot win in Afghanistan until the Taliban and the Muslims helping them out decide to make love and not war because we have them surrounded in a flat place like Iraq and bribe them to act like Christians temporarily. That is called COIN tactics. But the terrain in Afghanistan just ain't Iraq. It is not sanity to keep rah rahing for the home team and feeding our forces into ambush alleys re-filled nightly with IEDs and high ground Ambushers. We are allowed to think, aren't we. Steele is smarter than every other political GOP spokesman for turning this trap back upon Obama who is fueling our destructive victory in Afghanistan fantasies to help his Muslim brothers entrap us.

Gene said...

Sunova, we've repaid the Taliban many times over for 9/11. I say we declare victory and go home. If the US wants to continue to be a first world nation we ought to spend our money (and save the lives of our troops) by rebuilding America. That's far more important to the welfare of this country than making the rubble bounce in Afghanistan.

Gene said...

Revenant,

"The British would be surprised to hear that."

The British like to fight them long. No wonder they lost their empire.

Christoph said...

"I don't see what the big deal is with Steele's comments. Steele's words are just words. Nobody was harmed by them. If he misspoke, he should be given a chance to correct his remarks; if not, he should be given the opportunity to clarify them. Asking him to resign over this seems too harsh."

Are you for real?

He picked the single biggest issue facing the world at this moment, at least from a GOP mindset, the war on terror and prosecuting it to Victory against the Taliban, the group which nurtured and supported and protected those who attacked American, New York, and even the friggin' Pentagon on 9/11, and undermined it, saying it can't be won, etc.

But did he just do that?

No, he rewrote history as if this was Barack Obama's war and the GOP had absolutely nothing to do with it.

This shows a degree of incompetence which is astounding. It can't be true, of course.

This, combined with his other legendary gaffes, make calling for his resignation entirely appropriate, almost mandatory, and long overdue.

Just words? They were only words?

Are you for real!??

He's the Chairman of the GOP. He's their goddamn spokesperson and fundraiser. That's what he does.

If he can't be fired for his publicly stated words, what can he be fired for?

Does he have to run over someone with his car?

Gene said...

Flexo

"Osama bin Laden assured his people that al Qaeda would ultimately prevail because the U.S. would eventually tire of war and slink away."

Just because we made the mistake of fighting a war on Osama's terms doesn't mean we have to continue the mistake indefinitely. Osama is thrilled that we're in Afghanistan (and that we attacked Iraq). It was the outcome he hoped and prayed for. Now he's got the entire Arab world hating us, not just a few nuts in mountain caves somewhere. And you want us to stay because if we left Obama would claim he made us "slink" away? Why do you let our enemies dictate what's in America's self-interest?

traditionalguy said...

Christoph....The men who need firing in DC are the 535 in Congress ant the One in the White House who keep cooperating with the Taliban by sending them new supplies of Americans to be slaughtered in trucks blown up scattering pieces of American young men's arms and legs and leaving them brain injured for life. We owe it to these brave young men not to throw them away for another 10 years to satisfy our misplaced national pride issues. The young soldiers know its over over there, and they are NOT proud of the Government apparently that has planned their deaths and maiming only for political appearance purposes. God bless Steele for speaking the truth. A wrestler cannot win while the opponent has him in a possible pin hold, but he has to escape. Then victory becomes possible.

bagoh20 said...

Our abandonment of Vietnam is why we have to fight these wars for so long today. Our friends don't trust us to stay and so never get fully behind the mission, even the ones being liberated.

Our enemies all expect to win by wearing us down, and expect us to abandon the people we left behind. This is the only way the U.S. has ever been defeated and they expect it to work for them too. In fact, they all point to Vietnam when explaining to themselves why they can win and so why they should fight.

By abandoning the fight we only guarantee more of our bravest will die in future wars, which our enemies will logically believe they can win the same way. This is just basic human psychology.

We need to clearly succeed for victory's peace keeping effect on our own future. It doesn't matter who we are fighting or why we got into it. Winning is always in the U.S.'s long term national interest. We need to pick our wars carefully, but always be willing to fight and never be expected to relent. Quitting makes all the sacrifices worthless and in fact counterproductive.

Victory is the path to peace. Once you get off that path, it's a long slog back, but there is only one path there.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

While I happen to think Steele should have resigned long ago, I'm still a registered Republican, and therefore have a vote or at least a stake in the matter.

You on the other hand likely aren't registered Republican.

Those that aren't shouldn't be allowed to vote our idiot in or out, regardless about what the SCOTUS may say about the freedom to associate.


She's a promiscuous party crasher. Get used to it.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

The Chair must be more consistent than the reality of what history has shown!!!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Our abandonment of Vietnam is why we have to fight these wars for so long today. Our friends don't trust us to stay and so never get fully behind the mission, even the ones being liberated.

As accustomed as I've become to the stupidity of Bag'O's comments, this one has to take the cake.

Read a fucking book, dude.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Wow. I see you guys were up for some serious entertainment last night.

Some folks just don't understand exactly what it takes to win a war.

It doesn't take great weapons. It doesn't take swift action.

It takes superior will.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I don't see what the big deal is with Steele's comments. Steele's words are just words. Nobody was harmed by them. If he misspoke, he should be given a chance to correct his remarks; if not, he should be given the opportunity to clarify them. Asking him to resign over this seems too harsh.

If you haven't learned by now, today's conservatives are concise, crisp and incapable of dealing with dissenting ideas.

Their minds are made up before they heard the question. Their knees jerking vigorously to what their ears couldn't process and their guts couldn't tolerate.

Hate, rage, and mutiny!!! That's how national consensus and solidarity is forged!!!

Onward, conservatives.

Joseph said...

This episode demonstrates his bad performance as party chair but his opinion reflects evolving bipartisan public opinion.

Flexo said...

The will to win still has to use good tactics to win

If we pull out, the Taliban and al Qaeda win. What tactics will have brought them that victory?

What tactics brought victory to the Communist Vietnamese? They lost practically every military engagement.

For that matter, what superior tactics brought victory to General George Washington? He too lost most of his battles.

The superior tactics were an obstinate, never-give-up will.

With a superior will, the side that fights with sticks and rocks can defeat the side with nuclear weapons.

you want us to stay because if we left Obama would claim he made us "slink" away? Why do you let our enemies dictate what's in America's self-interest?

Staying and not taking our ball and going home is in America's self-interest. It is also in the best interests of the women and children of Afghanistan, to whom we owe a moral duty. Some others may say "F*** 'em," like we said to the Vietnamese and Cambodians and Lebanese and on and on, but we've abandoned enough people to misery and oppression and death already. It's time that we kept our word.

In any event, whether we stay in Afghanistan or not, we will still be at war. And we will be at war, not for another five years or ten years, but for another hundred or five hundred or a thousand years. Like it or not, the followers of Mohammed have been at war with us for 1400 years.

Flexo said...

It should noted that Afghanistan is not the only battlefield. Neither is Iraq.

The battlefield is also in Washington, D.C.

And the battlefield is also RIGHT HERE in this discussion. It is in places like here that the enemy also does its fighting. Working, working, working to wear down the will of the American people to resist and maintain the fight. And often times, the enemy does so without it even having to lift a finger itself -- it lets Americans fight their fight for them.

Gene said...

Flexo

"And we will be at war, not for another five years or ten years, but for another hundred or five hundred or a thousand years. Like it or not, the followers of Mohammed have been at war with us for 1400 years."

All the better reason not to be in Afghanistan. America is far more important than trying to impose democracy on a corrupt, tribal society which doesn't want it anyway. We have no friends in Afghanistan. We only have people who are temporarily on our side because we happen to be paying them.

Our troops and our money are needed at home to rebuild America. States in this country are going bankrupt all over the place--California, New York, Illinois. The well being of these Americans are far more important to me than that of the people who live in Kandahar, who aren't our friends in any case.

Gene said...

Flexo

"And often times, the enemy does so without it even having to lift a finger itself -- it lets Americans fight their fight for them."

Who cares what our enemies think? Our first concern should be what's best for America. It has never been in America's best interests to waste our blood and money on land wars in Asia.

Synova said...

"Staying and not taking our ball and going home is in America's self-interest. It is also in the best interests of the women and children of Afghanistan, to whom we owe a moral duty. Some others may say "F*** 'em," like we said to the Vietnamese and Cambodians and Lebanese and on and on, but we've abandoned enough people to misery and oppression and death already. It's time that we kept our word."

Thank you.

And it does matter what other people think, because what other people think dictates what other people *do*.

Gene said...

Flexo and Synova

". . . we've abandoned enough people to misery and oppression and death already. It's time that we kept our word."

I never gave my word to be involved in endless wars in Asia, or Afghanistan or Iraq. The fact that one of our more foolish and low-foreheaded presidents did so is not something that is too late to rectify.

As far as our owing anything to the Afghan people, don't you get it? They don't want us there. By staying there all we are doing is dropping Predator strikes on women and children on their way to weddings (and getting ourselves blown up by IUDs). We are not helping anyone. We are making more enemies all over Asia.

Worst of all we are just playing into Osama bin Laden's hands. We wants us there. He always has. He's been praying to Allah for nine years now that we don't wake up one day and realize Afghanistan is a bottomless pit and we're not winning.

As far as our creating democracy for the people of Afghanistan, they don't want it. They wouldn't recognize democracy if they sat on it in the bathtub.

Flexo said...

Aren't you ashamed, Gene, to expose to the world how you are so lacking in manhood?

You are a worm. A worm undeserving of the blessings of living in a place such as America, even if you spend most of your time cowering under your bed in your mother's basement.

AC245 said...

I never gave my word to be involved in endless wars in Asia, or Afghanistan or Iraq.

I doubt your "involvement" extends beyond parking yourself in front of a computer and bleating your disapproval.

The fact that one of our more foolish and low-foreheaded presidents did so is not something that is too late to rectify.

Obama's forehead is not that low.

(and getting ourselves blown up by IUDs).

Consider alternate forms of birth control.

Revenant said...

It takes superior will.

I wouldn't say it takes superior will. However, given that the current US military outclasses any army that exists (or ever has existed), and our tactical and strategic planning capabilities are first-rate, "will" is the only grounds on which an enemy CAN successfully defeat us.

That doesn't necessarily mean "willingness to keep fighting". It can also mean "willingness to do what is necessary for victory". We couldn't have won any of our previous wars with our present unwillingness to get our hands dirty.

Gene said...

AC245:
"I doubt your "involvement" extends beyond parking yourself in front of a computer and bleating your disapproval."

I spent six years in the US Navy which gives me the right, I would think, to object to bloody stupid foreign policies that bankrupt America.

Someone here recently wrote that we have a "duty" to help the Afghans. I would think the president's first obligation would be to help those unemployed blue collar Americans who have seen their jobs move to China and Mexico over the last couple of decades.

"Obama's forehead is not that low."

It's not low at all, which is why I don't understand how he could oppose Bush's Afghan policies as a candidate then once he got elected start out-Busing Bush--throwing troops and money at the country like there's no tomorrow.

Gene said...

Flexo:

"Aren't you ashamed, Gene, to expose to the world how you are so lacking in manhood?"

Unless you're writing your posts from a foxhole in Kandahar, I don't see how cheering from the sidelines as armchair Predator pilots shoot Hellfire missiles at Afghan wedding parties says anything good about your manhood at all.

At least my position has the merit of putting America first, of wanting to rebuild America, spend our money on infrastructure in this country which will help the United States for generations, rather than using it to re-blow up Afghan houses and schools that the Russians already blew up 30 years before.

"you are a worm."

Why is it when people on the internet begin to feel they're losing the argument their first response is to call the other side names?

reader_iam said...

low-foreheaded

Please supply synonyms for clarification purposes.

Synova said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gene said...

Synova:

"Afghanistan is THE ass end of the universe and previously entirely ignored and that just really didn't work too well for us before, did it."

The notion that before 9/11 we had ignored Asia (including especially the mideast) is absurd. It was precisely because of our involvement that the Taliban attacked us (not because "they hated our freedoms.")

"And the principle of keeping our word as a nation is so that other nations will take us at our word so that we can avoid war rather than be forced to fight it."

I don't know that the United States impresses anyone by getting involved in endless stupid wars, especially when the cost of fighting that war means than millions of Americans lead sorrier drearier more-humiliated lives.

You talk about the United States "keeping its word." I think if anyone in the US government ever made a promise to Karzai, president one of the most corrupt countries in the world, to give billions to his warlords, then that official ought to be arrested, tried and sentenced to spending the rest of his miserable life in the bottom of a (closed) West Virginia coal mine. The US doesn't owe Karzai or his warlords anything.

The Taiban of course is no better but at least we aren't funding them (or actually, given our government's record, we may very well be).

Revenant said...

As far as our owing anything to the Afghan people, don't you get it? They don't want us there.

68% of them do.

Gene said...

Revenant:

"68% of them do (want the US to stay in Afghanistan)."

The ACSOR poll may very well be indicative of a new trend in Afghanistan--and if it is it's a welcome ray of hope for a change--but I'm thinking at this point perhaps we need another poll. The four previous ACSOR polls of the Afghan public showed a 48% decline between 2005 and 2009 that Afghanistan was headed in the right direction.

I also worry that 95% of Afghans either think corruption of government officials is a big problem (76%) or a moderate problem (19%). Given that a recent Washington Post story called Afghanistan "one of the most corrupt countries in the world" it's hard to see why Petraeus thinks he can turn thinks around by this time next year(the date Obama gave last winter for starting our troop withdrawal).

But given that we've been in Afghanistan in one way or the other for 30 years now (since the beginning of the Russian invasion) any hopeful sign (that we can fix the problem and leave) is good news to me.

Synova said...

"The notion that before 9/11 we had ignored Asia (including especially the mideast) is absurd. It was precisely because of our involvement that the Taliban attacked us (not because "they hated our freedoms.")"

Up until this point I figured we had a disagreement of opinion rather than a disagreement of fact.

Seriously... you *believe* the propaganda? I suppose you take at face value the fact that Bin Laden included the deaths of all those 500,000 and more children in Iraq as the justification for 9-11. He mentioned Somalia, too. What was it... 14 pages of declaration of war that Bin Laden issued?

What is it about foreigners that makes everyone suddenly credulous?

We expect our politicians to lie. We expect that the world view of our activists is skewed by whatever cause they're on about. We expect that anyone finding an excuse for violence has found an *excuse* for violence.

Until they are brown and speak with a funny accent.

What is up with that?

I honestly have no idea.

Whatever the US or the West in general has or hasn't done in the middle east is irrelevant to the fact that the lives of so many of the people suck and to the fact that power is held through harsh oppression. No one forced Saddam to build palaces instead of water treatment plants. No one forced the Taliban to outlaw education for women, outlaw music, or anything else. No oil policy or corporate domination forces any decision to make one's self rich instead of building infrastructure or promoting education and diversifying the economy.

You know that those people over there are real people. They move and think without the need to have some American action forcing their hand. What's more, the oppressors, the wealthy, all went to university in the West and they *know* better. They just don't care.

And they don't have to care because their wealth doesn't depend on justice and they have this nice BIG boogie man to point at if the people complain.

Revenant said...

I'm thinking at this point perhaps we need another poll.

Of course you do. This one disagrees with your preconceived notions.

I also worry that 95% of Afghans either think corruption of government officials is a big problem (76%) or a moderate problem (19%).

Why do you worry about that? You've already established that you don't actually give a shit about the people of Afghanistan, and America's interests can be served by corrupt governments and non-corrupt governments alike.

But given that we've been in Afghanistan in one way or the other for 30 years now

If "one way or the other" includes "not being in Afghanistan at all" then we've been there for the last 234 years. If it requires that we actually BE in Afghanistan then we've been there eight and a half years. By no measure have we been there 30 years.

Synova said...

"I also worry that 95% of Afghans either think corruption of government officials is a big problem (76%) or a moderate problem (19%)."

I find this encouraging, actually.

It suggests that 95% of the people at least recognize and know what the "right answer" is. The daily reality may be that government service at any level is for the purpose of enriching you and yours, but any progress away from that has to start with the concept that probably it shouldn't be that way.

Synova said...

Actually... I do think I have an idea of why people become credulous of anyone who is foreign.

I think it's because they aren't people, they're symbols.

You don't doubt the veracity of a symbol.

Anthony said...

I think the Democracts should be more concerened by the fact that the majority of their members of Congress seem to oppose the president's Afghanistan policy.

>The notion that before 9/11 we had ignored Asia (including especially the mideast) is absurd. It was precisely because of our involvement that the Taliban attacked us (not because "they hated our freedoms.")


The real irony is that the Clinton Administration was very supportive of the Taliban, a policy that was not changed by the Bush administration until 12 September 2001. And that until the early morning AM hours in the US on 11 September 2001, the US was the major source of foreign aid for Afghanistan.

Gene said...

Revelant:

""I'm thinking at this point perhaps we need another poll.""

"Of course you do. This one disagrees with your preconceived notions."

And the previous four to this one disagree with yours.

"Why do you worry about that? You've already established that you don't actually give a shit about the people of Afghanistan."

Why should I when there are millions of suffering Americans right here? Those are the people I most worry about not having jobs and hope, not people I don't know on the other side of the planet in a country of minimal strategic value to the United States.

Why are you so uniquely invested in Afghanistan anyway? Why should they get our blood and money instead of other Americans? I was born in America. Let the Afghan warlords fight their own never-ending wars.

Gene said...

Synova:

"You know that those people over there are real people. They move and think without the need to have some American action forcing their hand. What's more, the oppressors, the wealthy, all went to university in the West and they *know* better. They just don't care."

Why do you seem to care only about the people of Afghanistan? Why aren't you posting messages about the suffering of people in Burma, Gaza, Darfur or the Congo? More importantly, why aren't you posting messages about all the people of the United States who have lost jobs and hope in the rust belt states, and who, as far as I can tell, have been totally ignored by the last three or four administrations?

Revenant said...

The real irony is that the Clinton Administration was very supportive of the Taliban

It would be ironic if it were true, but it isn't.

The US government was, briefly, weakly supportive of the Taliban back in the mid-90s. That didn't last long, and never even rose to the level of diplomatic recognition. It ended entirely when bin Laden moved into Afghanistan and allied himself with the Taliban. By the late 90s we were launching missile strikes into Afghanistan and pushing the UN to economically and politically isolate the Taliban. This policy continued under Bush.

nd that until the early morning AM hours in the US on 11 September 2001, the US was the major source of foreign aid for Afghanistan.

The US was the #1 source of foreign aid for Afghanistan before, during, and after the "early morning hours of September 2001", simply because we're the primary funding source for UN and NGO humanitarian workers. That's the "foreign aid" you're talking about -- not aid to the Taliban, but food, water, and medicine for the people of Afghanistan. The Taliban actively opposed the aid.

Revenant said...

And the previous four to this one disagree with yours.

First of all -- what four? You haven't provided any links to any supporting data.

Secondly, you're claiming the polls from the previous four years had different results. How do those results "disagree" with this survey? They're surveying different things, little brain -- public attitudes then versus now. If you want to claim you have evidence that disagrees with mine, link to something that shows different attitudes for the same time period.

Why should I when there are millions of suffering Americans right here?

I'm not saying you should. I was just point out that you're "oh dearie me, they're worried about corruption" routine was just you grasping at straws, looking for SOME sort of bad news in that survey. But the only bad news is in areas you've already admitted you don't care about.

a country of minimal strategic value to the United States.

If you think Afghanistan has minimal strategic value I can only conclude you've never looked at a map. A country which borders on Iran, China, and Pakistan has enormous strategic value to us -- those are three of the four countries we are most likely to find ourselves in military conflict with (the other being North Korea).

Why are you so uniquely invested in Afghanistan anyway?

Because establishing a stable, allied government there is important to the short and long-term interests of the United States.

As for your incessant whining about how Americans should be getting that money, you're ignoring the obvious fact that most of the cost of the war goes to Americans -- soldiers, weapon manufacturers, etc.

Gene said...

Revelant:

"If you want to claim you have evidence that disagrees with mine, link to something that shows different attitudes for the same time period."

I'll do better than that. How about a remarks from Stanley McChrystal while briefing NATO commanders in Brussles three weeks ago?

"When you go to protect people," McChrystal said, "the people have to want you to protect them."

This is from a Time magazine article of June 25, 2010, which is a lot more recent than your ACSCAR attitudes poll, which was conducted in early December of 2009.

"Protecting the people rather than hunting down insurgents is the essence of the counterinsurgency strategy pursued by McChrystal, with Obama's blessing," said Time. "But he seemed, in Brussels, to inadvertently reveal what could be a fatal weakness in the plan: the civilian population of southern Afghanistan, where the Taliban insurgency is based, does not support escalating the U.S. war effort."

There, did you get it? In the the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar, which is southern Afghanistan, the people there do "not support escalating the U.S. war effort." They don't, says the Wall Street Journal, "consider the Taliban their enemies."

"If you think Afghanistan has minimal strategic value I can only conclude you've never looked at a map."

I suspect I've been looking at military maps since before you were born. Afghanistan is a totally landlocked country, blocked by mountains on every side and, as one intelligence observer recently wrote, "nearly inaccessible to the United States." Why you think it's so important to us is beyond me, unless you have another agenda here you're keeping concealed.

"As for your incessant whining about how Americans should be getting that money, you're ignoring the obvious fact that most of the cost of the war goes to Americans -- soldiers, weapon manufacturers, etc."

I've heard this argument many times over the years in support of massive military budgets. The point is when you build a bomb and then blow it up in a useless war like the one in Afghanistan, you've got nothing to show for it. When you use the same money to build a bridge, a school, or a highway, our country profits from those investments for the next 60 or 80 years.

Gene said...

Revelant:

"If you want to claim you have evidence that disagrees with mine, link to something that shows different attitudes for the same time period."

I'll do better than that. How about a remarks from Stanley McChrystal while briefing NATO commanders in Brussles three weeks ago?

"When you go to protect people," McChrystal said, "the people have to want you to protect them."

This is from a Time magazine article of June 25, 2010, which is a lot more recent than your ACSCAR attitudes poll, which was conducted in early December of 2009.

"Protecting the people rather than hunting down insurgents is the essence of the counterinsurgency strategy pursued by McChrystal, with Obama's blessing," said Time. "But he seemed, in Brussels, to inadvertently reveal what could be a fatal weakness in the plan: the civilian population of southern Afghanistan, where the Taliban insurgency is based, does not support escalating the U.S. war effort."

There, did you get it? In the the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar, which is southern Afghanistan, the people there do "not support escalating the U.S. war effort." They don't, says the Wall Street Journal, "consider the Taliban their enemies."

"If you think Afghanistan has minimal strategic value I can only conclude you've never looked at a map."

I suspect I've been looking at military maps since before you were born. Afghanistan is a totally landlocked country, blocked by mountains on every side and, as one intelligence observer recently wrote, "nearly inaccessible to the United States." Why you think it's so important to us is beyond me, unless you have another agenda here you're keeping concealed.

"As for your incessant whining about how Americans should be getting that money, you're ignoring the obvious fact that most of the cost of the war goes to Americans -- soldiers, weapon manufacturers, etc."

I've heard this argument many times over the years in support of massive military budgets. The point is when you build a bomb and then blow it up in a useless war like the one in Afghanistan, you've got nothing to show for it. When you use the same money to build a bridge, a school, or a highway, our country profits from those investments for the next 60 or 80 years.

Gene said...

Revelant:

"If you think Afghanistan has minimal strategic value I can only conclude you've never looked at a map."

I suspect I've been looking at military maps since before you were born. Afghanistan is a totally landlocked country, blocked by mountains on every side and, as one intelligence observer recently wrote, "nearly inaccessible to the United States." Why you think it's so important to us is beyond me, unless you have another agenda here you're keeping concealed.

"As for your incessant whining about how Americans should be getting that money, you're ignoring the obvious fact that most of the cost of the war goes to Americans -- soldiers, weapon manufacturers, etc."

I've heard this argument many times over the years in support of massive military budgets. The point is when you build a bomb and then blow it up in a useless war like the one in Afghanistan, you've got nothing to show for it. When you use the same money to build a bridge, a school, or a highway, our country profits from those investments for the next 60 or 80 years.

Gene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.