July 3rd, 2010 3:02 am | by Marc Gallagher | Published in Activism, Barry Goldwater, Big Government, Blowback, Commentary, congress, Constitution, Foreign Policy, Liberty, Maven Commentary, Neo-con, Politics, Ron Paul, terrorism, War | 6 Responses
RNC Chairman, Michael Steele, made some comments that riled his fellow neo-conservatives regarding the war in Afghanistan. It riled them so much that many of them are playing the part of the Red Queen in Tim Burton’s, “Alice in Wonderland”. They are yelling, “Off with his head!”
“Keep in mind again, for our federal candidates, this was a war of Obama’s choosing,” Steele said. “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,” Steele said, referring to Obama’s insistence during the presidential campaign that the U.S. should be focused on Afghanistan instead of Iraq.
“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. And there are reasons for that. There are other ways to engage in Afghanistan.”
First of all, these remarks seem quite benign to me, especially since Steele clearly does not want to bring the troops home. He just disagrees with the method by which the war is being fought. However, it also seems to me that he’s going a bit Ron Paul here. He did pick up a copy of Paul’s “End the Fed” at CPAC earlier this year. Perhaps that is what his fellow neo-conservatives hear in his words. We all know how much they despise the truth, er… I mean, Ron Paul.
The Left (and Right) are attacking Steele too, for saying “this was a war of Obama’s choosing.” As much as they may not want to admit it, that statement is also true. The U.S had a presence in Afghanistan during the Bush years, but all the effort was happening in Iraq. The U.S. was doing little more than occupying Afghanistan at the time Obama was campaigning on taking the “necessary” fight away from Iraq and into Afghanistan and Pakistan. Then he followed through on that promise by increasing the forces in Afghanistan to nearly 100,000. Calling Steele a liar for saying it was a war of Obama’s choosing is willful ignorance.
I suppose politics wouldn’t be politics if politicians didn’t get fired (or forced to resign) for telling the truth.
Kristol ends his “Steele must resign” public letter with the following words:
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.
Maybe one of them shouldn’t be the chairman of the neo-conservative wing of the Republican Party, but one of them most certainly should be the chairman of the Republican Party as a whole.
Neo-conservatives are the domestic terrorists of politics. They hijacked the conservative and traditional “Old Right” Republican Party from Taft, Goldwater, and Reagan. They were able to culture a Wilsonian foreign policy within the GOP ranks in the aftermath of 9/11. Having a GOP chairman who’d like to pull American troops out of Afghanistan would mark the end of this Wilsonian, neo-conservative, hijacking. Keep in mind Steele never said he wanted to “pull out of Afghanistan”. This is an intellectually dishonest pre-emptive attack by Kristol. How appropriate for a neo-conservative.
For your further consideration:
Below you will find audio of conservative radio talk show host Jason Lewis excellently defending Steele and the “humble foreign policy” of our Founders on Independence Day (July 2nd). He even later name-drops Ron Paul as an example of a conservative who gets it. If you’d like to listen to more of Lewis (and I highly recommend you do) see his “on demand” page. For those with little time, I’ve pulled some audio from his July 2nd show here:
Some may take issue with myself or Lewis including Ronald Reagan as one who practiced a “humble foreign policy”. In fact, many neo-conservatives idolize Ronald Reagan as a war hawk. But was he really a hawk?
For your further consideration, Jack Hunter on Reagan’s “hawkishness”:
Even if Michael Steele is not going down the conversion process toward Ron Paul on foreign policy, the fact that these attacks and discussions are happening at all suggest the neo-conservatives may be shrinking in number with their backs against the wall.
Perhaps Obama’s plan for “change” will create change in a way he had not unintended. Maybe his brand of socialism and corporatism is clearing the way for “Old Right” conservatives to grow in number and eventually wrestle the Republican Party back from its neo-conservative hijackers.
Yes, the day may come when we’ll see more and more lawmakers give speeches like this recent one from Ron Paul: