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Michael Steele’s New Neo-Communist Buddies at The Nation

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Posted on July 3 2010 6:00 pm
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here
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It looks like RNC Chairman Michael Steele is making some new friends because of his notorious comments blasting President Obama’s Afghanistan war policy. And look, how cute, they’re using their imagination to pretend that we’re not in a war with genocidal, Islamist Nazis!

According to Nation Washington correspondent John Nichols, Steele “actually said some smart things about the war in Afghanistan.”Nichols, wrote further,

Apart from the fact that George Bush and Dick Cheney laid the outlines for the Afghanistan occupation and then implemented it, apart from the fact that Republican Party leaders cheered on Obama’s escalation of the conflict, and apart from the fact that the primary support for maintaining a massive and open-ended occupation in Congress is coming from GOP members—two-thirds of Democrats in the House voted Thursday for amendments to a supplemental funding bill that called for development of an exit strategy—Steele’s argument is sound.

Students of history have, indeed, argued that the one thing you don’t do is engage in a land war in Afghanistan.

Every country that has tried over the past thousand years of history—including, most recently, the British Empire and the Soviet Union—has failed to successfully occupy Afghanistan.

Military strategists and international development specialists, as well as honest players in Afghanistan’s political class, have long argued that there are other ways to engage with Afghanistan.

As a candidate, Obama was being “too cute by half” when he framed the fantasy that Iraq was a bad war while Afghanistan was a good one.

And, while Bush may have created the mess, it can reasonably be argued that the current president’s moves to expand the occupation—with a troop surge and substantial increases in military spending on a mission that can’t seem to get traction—have made the current character of the conflict “a war of Obama’s choosing.”

Do you understand the reality of this? Steele is to the left of Barack Obama on foreign policy. Just sit down and think about that for a moment.

I’ve written before about the concern that the Conservative Movement is in danger of abandoning its commitment to sound national security policy. This is another disturbing reminder of something we all know to be true: the politics of defeat are not limited to the crackpot fringe.


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