July 13, 2010

THE NERVE OF STEELE:

It’s Obama’s Empire Now (Stanley Kutler, 7/13/10, TruthDig)

The Obama administration is thoroughly committed to defense of the empire it inherited; there is no or little retreat from the mindless expansion of American ambition. Teddy Roosevelt would be proud. Why are supporters of Barack Obama dismayed and shocked by his Afghanistan course, when, after all, in his 2008 campaign he promised nothing less? In his first presidential campaign debate with John McCain, Obama said: “We have seen Afghanistan worsen, deteriorate. We need more troops there. We need more resources there. … So I would send two to three additional brigades to Afghanistan.”

Democrats and liberals so fear the war-loving right that they believe they must have their own adventures. But this is not 1961, when President John F. Kennedy told an enthralled nation that we “we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” And thus he brought the Vietnam quagmire. There are limits to our power; sadly, presidential candidates will not utter that truth, whatever painful adventures we have had. Obama might remember what he said in 2002: “I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war.” Our diminished capacities and resources make such endeavors problematic. We cannot ignore present realities and forget the past.

Republican National Chairman Michael Steele recently attacked the Obama administration’s Afghanistan war efforts in a thoughtful statement. Typically, the media jumped on him—NPR called it his “gaffe”—and his speech contained the media’s Sound Bite of the Week: “a war of Obama’s choosing.” Steele’s remarks, which include a larger criticism of the war, are worth reading in full.


It was a gaffe, as defined by the Kinsley Rule.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 13, 2010 1:55 PM
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