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Thursday, July 08, 2010

ANDY MARTIN: Michael Steele was right, John McCain is wrong on Afghanistan

Middle East expert Andy Martin rips geezer Senator John McCain and warrior-wannabe candidate Mark Kirk to shreds for attacking Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele over Steele’s remarks concerning “Obama’s war.” Martin joins Ann Coulter in defending Steele.

Internet powerhouse Andy Martin defends RNC Chairman Michael Steele against attacks by Geezer John McCain and Weasel Mark Kirk
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Andy Martin
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Andy Martin says Michael Steele told the truth about Barack Obama’s “ownership” of the war in Afghanistan

Martin says the Afghanistan mission is wrong and Steele is right

Andy slips into bed with Ann Coulter (uggh)

(NEW YORK)(July 8, 2010) This is a column I would prefer not to write.

I am not a particular supporter or admirer of Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele. But in this instance I am defending Steele against the attacks of the Republican Party’s designated geezer John McCain and the comments of the party’s designated weasel Mark Kirk. (I actually sued Michael Steele last year for supporting America’s Biggest Liar, Mark Kirk, in the Illinois senate primary.)

Supporting Steele also puts me in bed with Ann Coulter, who is one of the more obnoxious stooges on Fox news.

But because I value truth more than party loyalty, here goes.

Last week Michael Steele told the truth. He said Afghanistan was “Obama’s war.” Steele also said the war was “not winnable.”

I am something of an expert on Afghanistan and southwest Asia. I first went to Afghanistan over 30 years ago. I was an early critic of the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and I spent a good deal of 2003 in Baghdad. As a Republican candidate, I have consistently opposed escalation in Afghanistan. My views are informed by real experience on the ground all across Asia, and particularly the hotspots of Iraq and Afghanistan. And my views, for partially differing reasons, line up with Steele’s.

Unfortunately, my voice is drowned out by the extreme blowhard and increasingly incompetent Senator John McCain. McCain and his “war party” love Afghanistan because they claim an expanded war in Afghan is part of the global war against terror (which I strongly support). So can I be for the war against terror and against a buildup in Afghanistan? Absolutely. Read on.

There is a third party in bed with me and Ann Coulter (thankfully): General Stanley McChrystal. McChrystal and his staff knew that Barack Obama was a dilettante warrior who would tire of Afghanistan when it no longer suited his political purposes. That’s why McChrystal’s staff was so dismissive of Obama in the controversial Rolling Stone article.

Obama became a supporter of the Afghan war in 2008 when it suited his political agenda of opposing our involvement in Iraq. He characterized Afghanistan as a war of necessity. On the contrary, Obama’s “support” was pure expediency.

When Steele waded into this controversy last week he had the Afghan issue exactly right. Obama “adopted” Afghanistan during the 2008 campaign, and Obama has expanded an unwinnable war. (The war is unwinnable except in the vivid imagination of Mark Kirk, who previously claimed he “came under fire” in Kandahar, Afghanistan but yesterday “retreated” from his combat claim to say “read my efficiency reports.” Kirk is the greatest warrior in recent history, certainly greater than McChrystal, but it is all in Kirk’s vivid imagination; Kirk has no combat record in reality. He is a military imposter.)

Last week we had Grandpa John McCain, who is running for reelection in Arizona next month, wasting taxpayer’s money by going on a 4th of July junket to Afghanistan. From Kabul, McCain attacked Steele for telling the truth. With the notable exception of the 2007 “surge” in Iraq which McCain supported, McCain has always been totally wrong on Middle East military matters.

McCain, who appears to increasingly be out of touch with any reality, except his own vanity, strongly supports another unwinnable war, this time in Afghanistan. Weasel Mark Kirk chimed in by saying Steele should “reassess” his RNC role. (The only one who never “reassesses” is the “Closeted Congressman” himself, Mark Kirk. Kirk has made a laughingstock out of the Republican Party.) On and on they go.

To her credit, Ann Coulter gave one of the most precise and intelligent analyses of recent Republican miscues as she defended Michael Steele:

While Coulter and I disagree on the folly of invading Iraq (we could have taken down Saddam Hussein much more cheaply and easily) we agree totally on the mess in Afghanistan and Steele's take on our current role there.

So why are Republicans attacking Steele for telling the truth? As a Republican I am embarrassed to say that when it comes to foreign policy, Republicans are often as dumb, if not dumber, than the Democrats. In 2006 I ran a commercial across the State of Illinois warning President Bush that he had to pay more attention to Main Street and less attention to the Arab Street in Baghdad. Republicans viciously attacked me (I still have the e-mails). They were blindly loyal: to war. They could not see the developing 2006 electoral debacle.

The media encourage Republican stupidity. Liberal media honchos (and Fox News) promote Republican John McCain and his trio of castratos, Lindsay Graham and Joe Lieberman. Instead of going home for the Fourth of July, McCain and his buddies ripped off the taxpayers for tens of thousands of dollars to “inspect” Afghanistan. The trip was a publicity parade. McCain is looting our tax dollars to generate coverage for his primary reelection next month. It’s disgraceful. But because McCain serves the media as the Republican Party’s designated loser, no one questions his waste and abuse of taxpayer resources.

So what’s the bottom line?

First, the criticism of Steele that President Bush, not Obama, created the Afghanistan war is nonsense. That's the media's first lie and distortion. No one doubts that Bush authorized the successful attack in 2001. (Sadly, Bush took his eye off the ball in Afghanistan and blundered into Iraq.) But Obama took ownership of the war in 2008, and it is increasingly “his” war.

Second, when Obama adopted the Afghan war in 2008 and made it “his war” he did so for purposes of political expediency. Obama has no problem playing politics with the lives of our men and women in uniform when it furthers his own political aggrandizement.

Third, General Stanley McChrystal was Obama’s man in Kabul. McChrystal was chosen for the Afghanistan mission by Obama’s team, not Bush’s. The general was following Obama’s orders, not Bush’s.

Fourth (I am writing myself into the story), last year and this year I have strongly opposed expanding the Afghanistan mission. More men mean fewer results. In order to succeed (not "win") in Afghanistan, we have to starve the mission and reduce our commitment. Afghanistan is a Special Forces and special ops conflict, not a “land war in Asia.”

Fifth, as long as the corrupt Karzai regime is in power, which we keep in power, Afghanistan is a sinkhole. Victory is impossible. “Karzai Corruption” is defeating our efforts much more than Taliban bullets.

Sixth, while Republicans should not play politics with war, they should start tuning their antennas to political reality: the majority of the Democratic Party in Congress is now voting against Afghanistan, and it is only a matter of time before Republicans are stranded high and dry and attacked as war mongers by Democratic candidates. Read My earlier column on McChrystal.

Seventh, it is possible to strongly support the global war against terror, as I do, and equally strongly oppose expanding the mission in Afghanistan. While the two share some common elements they are not one and the same.

Eighth, John McCain is ripping off American taxpayers by taking joyrides to Afghanistan and Iraq with his pals, all as part of his primary reelection campaign, none of which has any military or congressional oversight value. McCain is a delirious geezer whose views on military policy have been totally discredited with one notable exception (even broken clocks tell the right time twice a day).

Ninth, the liberal media have a real desire to demonize Michael Steele and to discredit him as a Republican Party leader. The media are “whipping” Steele because they want to “whip” African-Americans out of the idea that an African is welcome in the Republican Party. Most Republicans (except dodoes such as McCain) have nothing against Steele. But if you are going to invite diversity in a political party, you need to realize that people have diverse perspectives. And diverse opinions.

The natural home for African-Americans should be the Republican Party. Conservative cultural views and economic opportunity flow from Republican values. Democrats imprisoned blacks on welfare “plantations” in Chicago and other major cities for decades. So the media are working overtime to discredit Steele and to force him off the stage as a Republican leader. Republicans, wake up! (And yes, that goes for African-Americans too; it is time you woke up and abandoned the Democratic Party, unless you enjoy being perpetual victims and hostages of Democratic welfare programs.)

Thank you Michael Steele for telling the truth. If you had more guts, you would shove it right back at McCain and weenie Kirk, and the rest, and tell them they are wrong and their views are what got the Republican Party booted out of Congress and the White House in the first place (2006-2008). Memories are short.

When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?

As for blowhard geezer McCain, the fact that he is the favorite of the liberal media should tell you something. Wake up, Arizona Republicans!

And as for Coulter, I do have to salute her honesty and intelligence in defending Steele. But stop pulling the sheets, Ann.

ABOUT ANDY: Andy Martin is the legendary New York and Chicago-based muckraker, author, Internet columnist, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. He has over forty years of background in radio and television and is the dean of Illinois media and communications. He promotes his best-selling book, “Obama: The Man Behind The Mask” and his Internet movie "Obama: The Hawai'i years." Martin has been a leading corruption fighter in Illinois for over forty years. He is currently sponsoring
Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of the “Internet Powerhouse,” He comments on regional, national and world events with more than four decades of investigative and overseas experience. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a former adjunct professor of law at the City University of New York (LaGuardia CC, Bronx CC).

UPDATES: Andy's columns are also posted at;[NOTE: We try to correct any typographical errors in this story on our blogs; find our latest edition there.]

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