BEIJING, July 3 (Xinhuanet) -- U. S. Republican chairman Michael Steele faced heavy critcism including calls for his resignation on Friday, after saying the Afghanistan war was a "war of Obama's choosing," media reported.
At a Republican fundraiser in Connecticut, Steele was videotaped while criticizing President Barack Obama and his handling of the Afghan war and suggesting the war cannot be won.
"This was a war of Obama's choosing," said Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee. "This is not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in."
"If he's such a student of history, has he not understood that, you know, that's the one thing you don't do is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? All right? Because everyone who's tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed," Steele said. "And there are reasons for that. There are other ways to engage in Afghanistan."
As criticism swelled, Steele issued a statement stressing his support for U.S. troops, but he did not acknowledge his factual error about a war launched by former President George W. Bush in response to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. A senior official in Bush's administration said it would be impossible for the Republican National Committee to speak with credibility on foreign policy if Steele remained chairman.
Democrats pounced on the comments by Steele, who is trying to help lead Republicans to major gains in November's congressional elections.
"It's simply unconscionable that Michael Steele would undermine the morale of our troops when what they need is our support and encouragement," said Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse.
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