Friday, April 20, 2007

Harry Reid Says What Half of America Thinks and Gets Slammed For It

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We now pause for an Emperor Has No Clothes moment:

The war in Iraq "is lost" and a US troop surge is failing to bring peace to the country, the leader of the Democratic majority in the US Congress, Harry Reid, said Thursday.

"I believe ... that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything, as is shown by the extreme violence in Iraq this week," Reid said, on the same day US President George W. Bush was giving a speech at an Ohio town hall meeting defending the war on terror.

Of course, by definition, this is what happens when someone points out that the emperor has no clothes:

Well, the Dems did say they wanted to “bleed” us out of Iraq and Harry just made sure a lot more American blood wil flow in Iraq. Yet he is prepared to let them bleed for a full extra year…. How nice of him. Impeach Reid for endangering our military men and women and for actually funding their deaths. The man is criminal[.]

And this. And this:

Far more relevant, consequential and disturbing is the behavior of the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, who by word and action is actively undermining our fighting men and women in Iraq. His legislative efforts to starve our armed forces in the middle of a war are as contemptible as anything I’ve witnessed in my 25 years in Washington. And yesterday he made a statement that was so disgraceful and brazen that it could have been uttered by Tokyo Rose during World War II or Jane Fonda during the Vietnam War. ...

Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan for the Levin link, and for asking this question:

Is there any imaginable point in any imaginable conflict where Mark Levin would admit that the United States had lost a war? I don't mean to be flip, and I say this as someone who generally thinks that the U.S. hasn't necessarily lost in Iraq; we probably have, but the outcome is still sufficiently in doubt and the stakes sufficiently high that I want to give the "surge," however ineffectual it may prove (or may already be proving), at least a Tom Friedmanesque six months to work. But even allowing that Reid shouldn't have said what he said, it's still the case that the United States can lose wars, like any world power; that we may well lose this one (in some sense, at least); and that at some point, in this struggle or another, some American politician will say "we've lost the war" and be entirely correct. Given this reality, I wish Levin (and many of his fellow "till the last dog dies" Iraq War backers) would clarify whether there's any situation in which they would greet a U.S. defeat abroad with any response save a rote invocation of the stab-in-the-back narrative.

I hope Andrew knows that's a rhetorical question.

Meanwhile, Greg Sargent makes the obvious point that the traditional media is ignoring:

One thing that's been completely missing from all the media attention being lavished on Harry Reid's assertion that the "war is lost" is that much of the American public basically agrees with Reid here.

The GOP and the wingers are out in full force denouncing Reid as "treacherous" and so forth. The logical extension of such an attack is that these good folks must also believe that pluralities of the American people are traitors, too.

Think Progress adds that it's not just the general public [emphasis in original]:

... Reid’s description of the war isn’t controversial. In fact, one of Bush’s own regular war advisers — Henry Kissinger — agrees with Reid:

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who helped engineer the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, said Sunday the problems in Iraq are more complex than that conflict, and military victory is no longer possible. […]

Reid’s remarks also echo senior military officials. Retired Gen. Wiliam Odom, head of Army intelligence and director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan, published an essay in February titled “Victory Is Not An Option.” Also, via TPM Cafe, here’s Gen. Tony McPeak, who served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the first Gulf War:

The war in Iraq isn’t over yet, but — surge or no surge — the United States has already lost. That’s the grim consensus of a panel of experts assembled by Rolling Stone to assess the future of Iraq. “Even if we had a million men to go in, it’s too late now,” says retired four-star Gen. Tony McPeak, who served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War. "Humpty Dumpty can’t be put back together again."

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