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July 6, 2010

Republicans line up on opposite sides over latest Steele controversy

Posted: 03:19 PM ET

DNC Chair Tim Kaine talks to Larry
tonight
in his 1st interview
responding to Michael Steele's comments!

Republicans lined up on opposite sides Sunday over comments by the chairman of the Republican National Committee that the Afghanistan war launched by former President George W. Bush was "of (President Barack) Obama's choosing" and may be unwinnable.

Speaking from Afghanistan, GOP Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina lambasted Michael Steele for the comments, which McCain called "wildly inaccurate" and Graham characterized as "uninformed, unnecessary, unwise, untimely," while follow Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina said Steele should apologize to the military.

However, conservative GOP Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, in a statement to CNN, supported Steele and said the RNC chairman's characterization of the war was correct.

"He is guiding the party in the right direction and we (the GOP) are on the verge of victory this fall," said Paul, who mounted an unsuccessful bid for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008. "Chairman Steele should not back off. He is giving the country, especially young people, hope as he speaks truth about this war."

In comments at a Republican fundraiser in Connecticut Thursday, a YouTube video shows the RNC chairman declaring of the war in Afghanistan, "This was a war of Obama's choosing."

"This is not something the United States actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in," he added.

Steele has stepped back from his original comments by emphasizing his support for the war.

"The stakes are too high for us to accept anything but success in Afghanistan," Steele said in a statement intended to clarify his controversial comments.

(READ MORE)

Filed under: Politics


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lola   July 6th, 2010 3:44 pm ET

There is NO reason for the United States to be in Afghanistan. We should get out now, before we lose more of our men. And yes, it was Obama that got us into this war. Bush got us into Iraq, which was also unnecessary.


KiddSS   July 6th, 2010 3:54 pm ET

Time for this inept fool to go.


alice   July 6th, 2010 4:28 pm ET

I left a perfectly good comment. Why was it removed? Unless a comment uses profanity or name calling, comments should not be removed. I thought the purpose was allow all different points of view be expressed.....Geez......I will understand if you remove this comment, but not my last. that pertained to the above article.


Smith in Oregon   July 6th, 2010 4:34 pm ET

Republican political steps in their attempt to close an open and liberal society:

1. invoke an internal and external threat
People who are afraid are willing to do things that they wouldn’t otherwise do.

2. establish secret (unaccountable) prisons where torture takes place
In a secret system, the government does not have to provide any proof of wrongdoing by those it holds, so it can incarcerate anyone it wants.

3. develop a paramilitary force
A private military force — under the exclusive direction of the “commander in chief” with no accountability to Congress, the courts, or the public — blurs the line between a civilian police force and a militarized police state.

4. surveil ordinary citizens
People who believe they are being watched are less likely to voice opposition. To scare a population into silence, the government need only monitor the activities of a few to make everyone fear that they are being surveilled. Every closed society keeps a “list” of so-called opponents it tracks.

5. infiltrate citizen’s groups
Spies in activist groups put psychological pressure on genuine activists by undermining their trust in one another. They may also disrupt legal activities, undermining the effectiveness of group efforts.

6. detain and release ordinary citizens
Detention intimidates or psychologically damages those arrested and also lets everyone know that anyone could be labeled an “enemy combatant” and “disappeared.”

7. target key individuals
People are less likely to speak out when those who are highly visible, like journalists, scholars, artists, or celebrities, are intimidated or have the livelihoods threatened. Targeting those who are especially visible makes it less likely that people will speak out and robs society of leaders and others who might inspire opposition.

8. restrict the press
The public is less likely to fi nd out about government wrongdoing if the government can threaten to prosecute anyone who publishes or broadcasts reports that are critical of the government.

9. recast criticism as espionage and dissent as treason
People who protest can be charged with terrorism or treason when laws criminalize or limit free speech rather than protect it.

10. subvert the rule of law
The disappearance of checks and balances makes it easier to declare martial law, especially if the judiciary branch continues to exercise authority over individuals but has no authority over the Executive branch.


Joe G. (Illinois)   July 6th, 2010 4:51 pm ET

It kind of takes your mind off the fact that the USA of America can’t be much with or without Buracas Obama stipulations.


veena chani   July 6th, 2010 5:00 pm ET

we as the people of America demand for Steele to to step down, we all know that a dark face is in counter for Presedent Obama, it's time for Republicans to understand that their stupid strategies are not working anymore since; public well understands their crooked ways. in this race of bad verses good; we should not lose our country away. steele was a joke from day one and now needs to step down, how dare he play with the lives of our soldiers, are we sending them there to be wasted? carry some regard and honor for those who are keeping us safe not you politicians who are like vultures fighting on party lines, shame on you!!!


Smith in Oregon   July 6th, 2010 5:44 pm ET

Gulf State politicians are nearly totally composed of corrupt Big Oil Republicans supported by State citizens that didn't care that crude Oil was fouling their environment, poisoning their ground water and fouling their beaches. And now America is to feel sympathy for the many decades their greed and decadence created for them personally?

When the Northwest States faced economic bankruptcy when Republican led east coast Corporations clear-cut mass swaths of forests that had previously been carefully managed by multiple generations of family's, where were these same Gulf State Republican politicians? They were voting NO to helping the Northwest States greatly suffering from the Timber crisis.

Yes, those Republican politicians were the very ones voting NO, blocking all legislation to help, and blocking all legislation previously signed and promised to the Northwest States. Police, Fire, Schools and Library staffs were gutted and many were entirely closed down as a direct result, go figure!


Rose   July 6th, 2010 5:47 pm ET

The war in Afghanistan cannot be won as the basis of that war was corrupt and misrepresented to begin with.

It is infamously known that GW Bush used the 9/11 attacks to fulfill his agenda re: Trans Afghan Pipeline. Many Americans still wrongly believe its purpose was to "find terrorists and establish freedom".

– Before 9/11, US officials still hoped to work with the Taliban on a Trans Afghan Pipeline. Talks occured since the 1990s.
– US-Taliban negotiations were held on a pipeline during 2001, but failed to result in an agreement.
– By August 2001, Bush and his investors were frustrated with the Taliban and military action was considered.
– 9/11 provided the pretext to carry out an invasion that had already been planned to a significant extent earlier.
– The pretext for the invasion – capturing Bin Laden was never achieved.
– The secondary pretext for the invasion – stabilizing Afghanistan was never achieved.
– The Trans Afghan Pipeline was planned from the beginning of the war.
– The Trans Afghan Pipeline had been a top Bush Administration priority since 2001. $Billions will be made for investors.

If Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda "got away" because their capture had never been a priority – why had the US deployed 100,000 troops to permenant Central Asian military bases in Kygryzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan (all rich in resources)? Why was the US spending $1 billion per month on this operation?

In 1998 Cheney (at Halliburton) discussed the vital importance of Caspian Sea oil and natural gas to the US. Aside from Bush's connections to oil companies, the following were implicated in the Trans Afghan Pipeline: Unocal in Texas, Enron (major contributors to GW Bush campaign), the Bank of Commerce & Credit International, Cheney's Halliburton, the Bush family's Carlyle Group etc.

The evidence is in the timeline and reported facts, in the reality that the Trans Afghan pipeline was conceived prior to a bombing campaign that killed several thousand Afghan civilians. US troops are protecting the route of the pipeline, against the Taliban – very apparent and reported internationally.

The unreported role of energy resources in the US “war on terror” continues in silence in America. In Europe, mainstream media outlets like Reuters and the BBC have reported extensively on the subject.

The American need to dominate the region over Russia and China, extinguish Pakistan and India's plans to negotiate a pipeline with Iran, and to fulfill American investment interests in profitable resource claims, with the pipeline through Afghanistan, confirms the situation is complex and cannot be resolved in the near future.

If the given reasons for this war is fiction, how then can it be "won" realistically?


Rose   July 6th, 2010 6:47 pm ET

As the hunt for Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda are the reasons given for Bush starting the Afghan War – it's interesting to note that Bin Laden is NOT on the FBI's "Most Wanted List" for 9/11 – as they "have NO hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11” – per FBI official.

Bin Laden is wanted in connection with the1998 bombings in Tanzania and Kenya – but not 9/11. The FBI gathers evidence. The evidence it is turned over to the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice then decides whether it has enough evidence to present to a federal grand jury.

For the Department of Justice to indict Bin Laden for the 9/11 attacks – something the US Government has not done – the videotape of his alleged confession ("found" by the CIA) would have to be entered into evidence and subjected to additional scrutiny. The US Government has avoided submitting the tape.

Incidentally 7 of the 19 hijackers named by the Bush Administration were alive and well after 9/11. Some were interviewed by European sources. Who then were on the planes? – the basis of war.


Smith in Oregon   July 6th, 2010 6:54 pm ET

@ Rose, well said! The utter corruption of Big Oil within the Republican party has directly pushed American into a ongoing series of Oil and Gas Wars paid by the lives, blood, sweat and tears of the American people.

All the commercial Ethanol production in America goes to fuel America's need for transportation fuel, none is shipped overseas. Not a single dime America pays for a gallon of Ethanol goes into the pocket of a Saudi Islamic extremist bent on violence and death. Ethanol has not fouled any of American's beaches, water tables nor destroyed any wetlands.

Louisiana should be planting large numbers of massive Sugar Cane plantations to produce Ethanol and ween itself entirely off supporting Big Oil.

And who is opposed and obstructing embracing Ethanol made in America rather than crude Oil? The same corrupt Gulf State Republican politicians that are screaming and yelling about the current Louisiana BP Oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, go figure!


Lucy   July 6th, 2010 7:02 pm ET

I listened to Dan Secor (sp??) today on Morning Joe. He kept making distinctions between Steele being a politician and having a role in policy.

Yes, Steele doesn't get to make or vote on policy, but the politicians he works to elect DO make and vote for policy. While it may be true that those engaged in politics make such distinctions, it sure doesn't say much hopeful about our government if those getting the politicians elected are divorced from policy - or that anyone should thinkk of them this way.

I suspect Secor (?) was right. Those charged with getting folks elected should pander, lie, say anything to get themselves elected. Then others will take over in guiding their voting. What an awful image!


Bill   July 6th, 2010 9:03 pm ET

These wars are making the rich richer and destroying the middle class. Right now, the most important concern for most middle class average Americans is the fear of poverty from joblessness due to relentless and reckless outsourcing of middle class jobs to India, and manufacturing to China. Neither Democrats, nor Republicans care or dare to speak about it.


jack   July 6th, 2010 9:19 pm ET

I do not see where the small possible goal of containing a few hundred possible terrorists in such a huge region, while terrorists are more dispersed in a number of countries, is worth the huge outlay of American lives and money. Haven't seen yet that it was a good idea to have invaded Afghanistan or Iran to begin with. Don't we have better ways to use our tax money with the economic meltdown, the Gulf oil disaster, rampant illegal immigration, deteriorating infrastructure ,and a costly , inferior health care system (to name only a few problems) than on this war that may very well be impossible to win?


Plagiarizing is immoral....   July 6th, 2010 11:39 pm ET

From a blog of Carolyn Baker posted Monday

n the “10 easy steps” outlined by Wolf, countries move from open to closed and repressive societies by devolving past certain markers, and Wolf makes a powerful case for the way in which the United States is following a similar pattern without any significant deviation. In each instance she compares and contrasts how America’s adherence to the pattern compares or contrasts with the pattern in pre-World War II Germany. The 10 steps are:

Invoking an external and internal threat
Establishing secret prisons
Developing a paramilitary force
Surveiling ordinary citizens
Infiltrating citizens’ groups
Arbitrarily detaining and releasing citizens
Targeting key individuals
Restricting the press
Casting criticism as “espionage” and dissent as “treason”
Subverting the rule of law

Look familiar???????????????????????????????????????????


Plagiarizing is immoral....   July 6th, 2010 11:59 pm ET

From the Bronx Blogger site

6. detain and release ordinary citizens
Detention intimidates or psychologically damages those arrested and also lets everyone know that anyone could be labeled an “enemy combatant” and “disappeared.”

Look familiar???????????????????????????????????????????????


Plagiarizing is immoral....   July 7th, 2010 12:04 am ET

By Naomi Wolf

10 STEPS THAT CLOSE AN OPEN SOCIETY
1. invoke an internal and external threat
People who are afraid are willing to do things that they wouldn’t otherwise do.

2. establish secret (unaccountable) prisons where torture takes place
In a secret system, the government does not have to provide any proof of wrongdoing by those it holds, so it can incarcerate anyone it wants.

3. develop a paramilitary force
A private military force — under the exclusive direction of the “commander in chief” with no accountability to Congress, the courts, or the public — blurs the line between a civilian police force and a militarized police state.

4. surveil ordinary citizens
People who believe they are being watched are less likely to voice opposition. To scare a population into silence, the government need only monitor the activities of a few to make everyone fear that they are being surveilled. Every closed society keeps a “list” of so-called opponents it tracks.

5. infiltrate citizen’s groups
Spies in activist groups put psychological pressure on genuine activists by undermining their trust in one another. They may also disrupt legal activities, undermining the effectiveness of group efforts.

6. detain and release ordinary citizens
Detention intimidates or psychologically damages those arrested and also lets everyone know that anyone could be labeled an “enemy combatant” and “disappeared.”

7. target key individuals
People are less likely to speak out when those who are highly visible, like journalists, scholars, artists, or celebrities, are intimidated or have the livelihoods threatened. Targeting those who are especially visible makes it less likely that people will speak out and robs society of leaders and others who might inspire opposition.

8. restrict the press
The public is less likely to fi nd out about government wrongdoing if the government can threaten to prosecute anyone who publishes or broadcasts reports that are critical of the government.

9. recast criticism as espionage and dissent as treason
People who protest can be charged with terrorism or treason when laws criminalize or limit free speech rather than protect it.

10. subvert the rule of law
The disappearance of checks and balances makes it easier to declare martial law, especially if the judiciary branch continues to exercise authority over individuals but has no authority over the Executive branch.

Look familiar???????????????????????????????????????????///


Plagiarizing is immoral....   July 7th, 2010 12:13 am ET

Why do REAL authors find plagiarism offense????????????????

Because it is theft of their work....Every Smitty should know that...


Rose   July 7th, 2010 10:54 am ET

I would like to thank Smith in Oregon for informing us of the 10 steps the Republicans are subjecting us to. This is a blog with no direct benefit to the anonymous writers on it. Most of the best contributors on the blogs are well read, informed and may provide aggregations of the many sources they research or are exposed to. Others may quote short excerpts and not credit the source. In my past postings, I have quoted writers or publications (with dates) as valid sources to substantiate my arguments.

"Fair Use" in the US is defined as reproduction of short excerpts from a copyrighted work for educational or review purposes. The distinction between fair use and infringement is very unclear as there is no specific number of words, lines or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Citing sources may avoid plagiarism per se, but not necessarily copyright – per compensation issues.


herrer   July 7th, 2010 11:12 am ET

First of all Obama never got us into this war it was Bush who frist started operations in Afganistan after the 9/11 attacks. It is Obama's war in terms because he is the president of the US and has to deal with it and the policies. A war of his choosing I don't think so he did not choose to be in this war it has been ignored for too long thanks in part to the previous administration. As to a withdraw they have to do it carefully otherwise it might mean a backlash to the US if they leave the counrty the way it is. Micheal Steele was right in regrds that Afganistan has been a country where people have failed to take over but on the other hand his implications are false about his comments regarding his critcism of the war in Afganistan. Republicans in the past administration have argued that going against the war means that you are unamerican so I don't get what he is impling. Once again it is Obama's war because he is president and has to deal with it but it is not a war of his choosing and it is more rhetoric and political hypocracy by the head republicans who are out of touch with everything.


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