Leading Democrat in Senate Tells Reporters, ‘This War Is Lost’
WASHINGTON, April 19 — As Congressional Democrats sought to reconcile their differences and send an Iraq spending bill to the White House, Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, said Thursday that “this war is lost,” a stark assessment that Republicans argued would demoralize American troops fighting in Iraq.Of course if the war was lost before it started when they failed to plan what to do after the invasion. Of course as one would expect the über hawks are up in arms. You can head over to memeorandum for some examples. Although critical off Reid Andrew Sullivan asks an excellent question:
Here's my 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.The answer of course is no and all we have to do is go back to Vietnam for an example. Although Johnson and McNamara knew the war was lost in 1966 their are still a multitude screaming about it. Between 1966 and the end of US involvement 50,000 Americans and god knows how many Vietnamese died. Do we want a repeat of that? Of course political reality has also made the "loss" inevitable. The Republicans seeing a massive defeat in the cards in 2008 will also decide that the war is lost - probably in September.
(Via Talking Points Memo)
Who else agrees with Harry Reid? According to Rolling Stone all these people:
- Zbigniew Brzezinski
National security adviser to President Carter
- Richard Clarke
Counterterrorism czar from 1992 to 2003
- Nir Rosen
Author of In the Belly of the Green Bird, about Iraq?s spiral into civil war, speaking from Cairo, where he has been interviewing Iraqi refugees
- Gen. Tony McPeak (retired)
Member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War
- Bob Graham
Former chair, Senate Intelligence Committee
- Chas Freeman
Ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War; president of the Middle East Policy Council
- Paul Pillar
Former lead counterterrorism analyst for the CIA
- Michael Scheuer
Former chief of the CIA?s Osama bin Laden unit; author of Imperial Hubris
- Juan Cole
Professor of modern Middle East history at the University of Michigan
Head over to Rolling Stone to read what they all have to say but here is some of what General Tony McPeak said.
"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."We already see the Republicans abandoning Bush on Gonzales and we know the will be abandoning him on Iraq by the Fall. Everyone one in Iraq knows it too.
It's not a question of whether we're going to leave Iraq -- it's a question of when. And everybody in Iraq knows that. So they say, "Fine. We'll stock arms and wait for you guys to leave. And then we'll do what we want."
The Gun Toting Liberal makes a point I have made here before:
How can we lose when we've already won.