Afghanistan ‘a war of Obama’s choosing,’ says GOP chairman
WASHINGTON — GOP leader Michael Steele drew criticism from within his own party Friday, including calls for him to resign as chairman of the Republican National Committee, over comments he made that appear to question the Afghan war.
Video that emerged Friday shows Steele referring to the 9-year-old conflict as “a war of Obama’s choosing” and implying that it is doomed to fail.
“If he’s such a student of history,” Steele said of President Barack Obama, “has he not understood that, you know, that’s the one thing you don’t do — is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? Everyone who has tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed.
“This was a war of Obama’s choosing,” he said Thursday at a Connecticut Republican Party fundraiser. “This is not something the United States has actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.”
Conservative Bill Kristol, writing for The Weekly Standard, was among the first Republicans to say Steele should resign over his comments about the war launched by former President George W. Bush in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Looking to mitigate the political fallout Friday, Steele issued a statement saying, “The stakes are too high for us to accept anything but success in Afghanistan.”