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THE REAL ISSUE BEHIND THE STEELE CONTROVERSY: SHALL THE GOP GO NON-INTERVENTIONIST?

I want to thank Chris Stirewalt for his wise article in the DC Examiner (courtesy of RCP).  I want to reserve comment on whether Michael Steele should be fired or not; that’s up to the Republican National Committee.  However, Stirewalt raises several crucial issues. 

First, we have the fact that 9/11 did start the conflict in Afghanistan (let me say right here that Cong. Paul voted to give the President the authority to use force against the Taliban in Afghanistan as punishment for 9/11) but it was morphed into nation-building:

It wasn’t even a war of George W. Bush’s choosing. The ruling Taliban was responsible for letting the Arabian Muslims of al Qaeda launch the Sept. 11 attacks. Lobbing in some cruise missiles, a la Bill Clinton in 1998, would not have sufficed.

Bush might have begun a drawdown after the successful Afghan elections of 2004, but instead opted to apply his Iraqi “forward strategy of freedom” (also known as nation building) in Afghanistan too.

I couldn’t have said it better!  After suggesting that there was some success in Iraq, Stirewalt adds more:

In Afghanistan, which vies with Somalia as the worst country in the world, American and allied troops are now dying at a pace of 100 a month, and the chances of building a stable, self-sustaining nation seem remote. Doing so in the next year, as President Obama has arbitrarily decreed, is universally acknowledged to be impossible.

So the war was not one of Obama’s choosing, but the strategy certainly is. Obama led four months of meetings to decide what to do. He certainly had other choices. His own vice president suggested a limited force to fight al Qaeda instead of the 100,000 troops who are supposed to subjugate and civilize the Taliban.

First time for Sandy to agree with Vice President Biden!  (Might be embarrassing for the VP!)  But the Afghan issue does show the divide in the GOP between the noninventionists and the Wilsonian nation builders:
But that’s not why Bill Kristol and Liz Cheney are calling for Steele’s head. They want him out because they understand that Obama’s mishandling of Afghanistan may turn Republicans away from the Wilsonian nation building of the second Bush term and put them on the path of the quasi-isolationism of their political forefathers.

Except it’s not isolationism, quasi or otherwise.  It’s not isolationism to support US sovereignty.  It’s not isolationism to mind our own business.  it’s not isolationism to let the other nations build their own nations.  Besides, we can’t afford it anymore.  Our future Speaker told us so in Pittsburgh when he said raise the Social Security age to pay for the war. 

The Ron Paul supporters ought to be thrilled – we have a position and it’s now more popular than ever.  In 2007, the GOP pretty much hooted Paul off the stage.  Now people are seeing that he was largely right.  I can’t wait until 2011 when that exploratory committee forms again:  Paul/Johnson 2012:  Liberty for all!

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood “Sandy” Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia’s first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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