The Real Sin of Michael Steele
"This was a war
of Obama`s choosing. This is not something the United
States has actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in."
Strictly speaking, Republican Party
Michael Steele was way off base when he made this
remark at a closed-door meeting of party contributors in
Yet, Steele was not entirely wrong.
Today, a majority of Americans do
not believe the nine-year war in Afghanistan is any
longer worth the rising cost in blood and money. And by
declaring it a
necessity" and tripling U.S. forces there, this
president has made it
"Obama`s war" every bit as much as
in 1964 and 1965 made
While Steele has spent every waking
hour since his words hit the airwaves explaining, and
declaring his commitment to victory, of far more
interest is the alacrity with which neoconservatives
piled on the chairman, demanding his resignation, while
senators castigated him for remarks unacceptable for a
Republican Party leader.
William Kristol`s demand for Steele`s resignation
was echoed by Charles Krauthammer and Liz Cheney,
daughter of the vice president. From Afghanistan, Steele
was attacked by Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain,
who suggested he think again about his capacity to lead
the Republican National Committee.
Behind the swiftness and severity
of the attacks on one of their own by Republican pundits
and politicians are motives more serious and sinister
than exasperation at another gaffe by Michael Steele.
The War Party is conducting this
pre-emptive strike on Steele to send a message to
Krauthammer`s phrase, it is now a
for a Republican leader not to support the Obama troop
surge and the
Yet, a majority of Americans oppose
the Afghan war. And the point made by Steele about the
futility of fighting in Afghanistan has been made by
George Will and
Tony Blankley, ex-Rep.
Ron Paul, and antiwar conservatives and moderates.
When exactly did supporting Obama`s
war policy become a litmus test for loyal Republicans?
What the War Party is up to here is
a naked attempt to impose its orthodoxy, about the
"Islamofascism" and the Long War, on the entire GOP,
28 months before a presidential election.
Republicans of all persuasions
should recoil at such arrogance.
For whence does it come, if not the
same hawks and neocons who
beat the drums for a unnecessary war on Iraq that
cost 4,000 U.S. dead, 35,000 wounded and $700 billion,
while making widows and orphans of half a million
And what was that all about?
Invading and occupying a country that never attacked us
— to strip it of weapons it did not have.
Certainly, as the last nominee of
the Republican Party, McCain can claim to be titular
leader, as could George W. Bush, or Dick Cheney, Mitch
McConnell or John Boehner.
But, if memory serves, the
Bush-McCain party was repudiated in landslides in 2006
and 2008, giving Democrats the presidency, the House and
a veto-proof Senate. And high among the reasons the
country turned on the GOP is that, like
Harry Truman and
LBJ, the Bush-McCain GOP marched us into wars they
could not win and could not end.
This campaign to censure and remove
Steele is designed to censor debate and stifle dissent
on Obama`s war policy, as long as Obama`s war policy
closely tracks the agenda of the War Party.
Should Obama declare that he
intends to stand by his deadline and begin pulling U.S.
troops out of Afghanistan by July 2011, those
Republicans today accusing Steele of not supporting the
troops and undercutting the president in wartime would
themselves begin undercutting the president.
In November, the Republican Party
will make gains. But the party will be deluding itself
if it assumes this means America wants a return to the
interventionist policies that brought us the Iraq
and Afghan wars. The country will simply be saying: We
reject Obama`s liberalism as emphatically as we rejected
Most Americans today approve of the
agreed-upon end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq by
August and removal of all U.S. troops by the end of
2011, just as they support an American withdrawal from
Afghanistan, starting a year from now.
But to contend that those who want
the withdrawals to begin sooner, or those who want them
to begin later, are unpatriotic and do not support the
troops is itself unpatriotic.
The time for Republicans to decide
on what the foreign policy of the party and a new
administration should be is in the primaries of 2012.
Until then, let every voice be heard, including that of
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
no introduction to
VDARE.COM readers; his book State
of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America, can
be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How
Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost
Paul Craig Roberts.