“This War Is Lost”

April 19th, 2009

It was two years ago that Harry Reid, great American and distinguished leader of Senate Democrats, made his historic pronouncement.  With all the solemnity and gravitas of a serious man who knew more about the war in Iraq than the President and all the generals, he declared, “This war is lost…and the surge is not accomplishing anything….”  You can watch him making a fool of himself, again, on You Tube.  CBS News followed-up with a predictably uncritical report on Reid’s pronouncement.

The left hasn’t been satisfied to win the presidency and a majority in Congress.  They still whine about accountability for Republicans.  What about accountability for Harry Reid, who energized the enemy and might have demoralized our troops, had they not dismissed him as the wackadoo he is?  Just sayin’….


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11 Responses to ““This War Is Lost””



  1. Kevin |

    Why would you expect the left to filter reality through the right’s biases?


  2. Tom |

    If you mean that I expect the left to hold Reid accountable for being dead wrong and irresponsible, to put it in the kindest light, because that’s a right-wing bias…. I don’t understand.

    Why can’t the left say that one of their guys was wrong and hold him accountable? The right does it now and then, but not often enough.

    Here’s a direct comparison: What Harry Reid said was unforgivable. He’s still the Senate Majority Leader. Trent Lott said something stupid and meaningless to make an old man feel better, and he was hounded out of the same job, with few Republicans defending him. There’s nothing in that comparison that makes you wonder? Nothing at all?

    If it sounds like I take it personally when one of the leaders of my country, of either party, stands up and declares a war lost while my fellow soldiers are still fighting it, and, arguably, winning—well, I guess you’re correct on that one.


  3. John Q |

    I am a Democrat I guess mostly because of my family. It was very strong for unions and I am too because of my profession (firefighter). I was also a soldier and I was angry when Harry Reid made that comment. You can say all you want to that soldiers didn’t take him seriously but I don’t believe it. Words matter.


  4. Kevin |

    Tom, I thought you had a perfectly legit “accountability” rant up until the second half of the next to last sentence. That’s where it went off the rails for me.

    Set aside the fact that Harry Reid has never been exactly popular with the left.

    I agree with John Q that words matter. But at the same time, Congress has suffered remarkably low approval ratings on public poll after public poll for many years now. Unless there is some secret reversable-lobotomy program the DOD uses to prepare new recruits for military service, why assume what can only be described (charitably) as a level of gullibility on the part of soldiers that poll after poll reaffirms that the wider culture doesn’t suffer from? Especially considering that the Armed Forces Network has carried Rush Limbaugh for years, without anything comparable from the left, and he immediately let loose on Sen. Reid with both barrels and has kept it up ever since.

    As an aside, how ironic is it that AFN will transmit Limbaugh saying things about President Obama to our soldiers which, by definition, would be treason for any of the servicemen and woman watching or listening to say?

    I can at least empathize with ex-soldiers taking this stuff personally. But did not the Founders intentionally place the military squarely under the unquestionable authority of civilians? Beyond that… take away the tax dollars and the civilian infrastructure providing everything from uniforms to bullets to food and those armed forces would be nothing more than a bunch of naked and hungry men and women standing in a field somewhere. In other words, civilians damn well have a vested interest, both Constitutional and practical, in what the military does, where the military does it and most especially WHY the military is doing it.

    Like it or not, agree with it or not, the public has for several years now been squarely against the entire Iraq mission, including the surge.

    Lastly, by what objective criteria do you flatly assert that Reid “energized the enemy”? That and the suggestion that he might have “demoralized” the troops are both widely considered to reflect the biases of the right – thus my first comment/question.


  5. Tom |

    Kevin, you’re responding to some arguments I haven’t made. The point is that Harry Reid and other Democrats who’ve said scurrilous things about the Iraq war and the soldiers fighting it seem to be immune from political accountability. The left demands it from everyone but themselves, it seems. And to think that statements like these from leading Democrats, including the senior Democratic politician in the country (at that time), doesn’t encourage and energize the opposition during a war is simply unrealistic.

    What’s this stuff about a “secret reversible lobotomy program” and “naked and hungry men and women standing in a field somewhere” if they aren’t paid and supported? I know you don’t really think of them as brain-dead social welfare cases.

    Ah, this Limbaugh stuff again. AFRTS carries one hour of his three-hour program, along with other talk and current events shows. I daresay most troops in the field don’t have the time or opportunity to listen. However, most have access, in one way or another, to the internet and TV if they wish, and that gives them access to all kinds of criticism and support for Obama and Bush before him. That included all the hysterical, over-the-top hate that was (and still is) dumped on Bush by the left. They also see movies, including Hollywood’s string of anti-war flops.

    Finally, no one in the military is going to be charged for treason for criticizing the President (whoever he/she is). That’s just plain silly. And consider that we don’t even charge people for treason when they actually commit it—e.g., Jane Fonda and, arguably, John Kerry.


  6. Kevin |

    Does hiding a gaping wound with a bandage so that the wound itself is not longer visible mean that the wound has gone away?

    Did “the surge” fundamentally change the dynamics of Iraqi society or merely mask a fundamentally unchanged dynamic?

    For that matter, where’s the evidence that “the surge” even accomplished that much? Occam’s Razor would seem to indicate that it was in fact the arming of Sunni militias, combined with turning a blind eye to the Sadr militia – as long as they don’t commit actual violence – that is responsible for tamping down the violence. “The Surge” would seem to have been little more than a political dog-and-pony show designed to sway domestic public opinion for the then-upcoming election.

    Bottom line here is that there is every bit as much objective, factual evidence that “the surge” succeeded as a military tactic as there is that it failed as a military tactic. Which means that Harry Reid’s pontifications were nothing more or less than the flip-side of the same coin bearing the pontifications of McCain et al that “the surge” has been this great big wonderful success.

    Yes, there is certainly an accountability argument to be made concerning the left holding Democrats to a different standard than Republicans, but not for the reasons cited at the end of your post.


  7. doris |

    Is wack-a-doo a technical name??? I don’t believe he is that wrong, sort of, we still, still haven’t won the war, as Bush declared oh, so long ago, so, maybe he was right. No, we haven’t completely lost, but it sure seems we have, we are still there, still spending trillions there,and still dying there, winning??????????


  8. Brian |

    I was never in favor of this war, but a little perspective is in order regarding our being over there.

    In July of 1943 at the Battle of Kursk between the Germans and Russians, there were about 550,000 killed in action (about 50k on the German side, and about 500K on the Russian, though I stand to be corrected). In addition, hundreds of tanks and airplanes were destroyed. In WWII, the USA had about 650k KIA in about 3 years of fighting (other than Midway, we didn’t really engage either side to any extent until the summer of 1942) To date, we’ve had about 6000 KIA in 6 years in Iraq?

    Now, having said all of that, I’m much more inclined to go with the advice of men like McArthur and Patton. Ground wars in Asia are historically bad juju for the West. Until you’ve been over there, you cannot comprehend the mindset of Asians, and it doesn’t matter if they are the Muslims of southwest and central Asia, or the Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, or Shintoists of eastern Asia. I lived in the Far East as a kid, and I’ve been to the Middle East on business. You cannot appreciate the difference merely by reading what I or anyone else has written about it.

    In Vietnam, we had just under 60k KIA, but intelligence suggests that we killed about a million Vietnamese. Everyone has heard of the Tet Offensive, but did you know that we killed about 50 of theirs for every one of ours during Tet? And still, they kept fighting.

    The estimates for an invasion of Japan for our side alone had more Americans dying there than had died up to that point in the war (650K, remember?). The last Japanese soldier to surrender did so some time in the 70s (he had been separated from his unit in 1945 and lived alone, firing occasional potshots, for about 30 years after the official surrender; he wasn’t the only one to continue fighting, but he lasted the longest).

    In contrast, what little resistance was left over in Germany after May of 1945 came to an end within a year or so.

    Asians have a different mindset, and if you’re to go to ground over there, the reasons and goals had better be clear, and the intelligence must be sound. None of those conditions were met at the outset.


  9. doris |

    Amen, brother.


  10. Robert |

    I totally agree. The left wants the right to have complete accountability, yet wish for complete immunity when it comes to they’re wrong doings. Seems they want it both ways. One way for the opposition, and another way for them….and for some reason, they seem to get away with it.


  11. Atomic Lib Smasher |

    You notice you don’t hear about the daily unfortunate deaths of American troops in Iraq anymore since Obama took office? Or Afghanistan for that matter?

    Or come to think of it the “War on Poverty”, that quagmire. What are the homeless statistics since The Messiah has Risen? I guess it’s none since NBC, CNN, and the rest of the alphabet soup of lamestream media doesn’t say it!

    Good blog.. I look forward to seeing more.


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