Working for Failure in Iraq

Harry Reid is working overtime trying to ensure defeat in Iraq. Here is an excerpt from my Townhall column today.

The time for niceties has passed. The leaders of the Democratic party not only do not support the war effort, they do not want our troops to win and it is getting harder every day to pretend that they do.

Those in the field have noticed it, too. The L.A. Times recently reported: “Under a sweltering Iraqi sky, [Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis,commanding general of Marine Forces Central Command] asked for questions from his troops. Many were reluctant, but Marine Lance Cpl. Jack Kessel, 19,of Raleigh, N.C., stepped forward. Something had been gnawing at him as he and his buddies go about the business of winning hearts and minds in al-Anbar province: ‘How are we supposed to fight a war when people back home say we’ve already lost?’ “

Based on what I have observed, I would tell Lance Cpl.Kessel that many of those declaring the war already lost do not want him to fight. They are actively working for his defeat and they believe the sooner he stops fighting, the sooner that defeat will come. I realize that is an absolutely horrible thing to say, but I have come to believe it is true. Too much of the evidence I have seen in the past few months supports it.

Jules Crittenden is on the same wavelength, but he is putting his thoughts in bumper sticker language — Just drop it.

Update: Do not miss Joe Lieberman’s Iraq column in the Wall Street Journal today.

I recently returned from Iraq and four other countries in the Middle East, my first trip to the region since December. In the intervening five months, almost everything about the American war effort in Baghdad has changed, with a new coalition military commander, Gen. David Petraeus; a new U.S. ambassador, Ryan Crocker; the introduction, at last, of new troops; and most important of all, a bold, new counterinsurgency strategy.

The question of course is–is it working? Here in Washington, advocates of retreat insist with absolute certainty that it is not, seizing upon every suicide bombing and American casualty as proof positive that the U.S. has failed in Iraq, and that it is time to get out.

In Baghdad, however, discussions with the talented Americans responsible for leading this fight are more balanced, more hopeful and, above all, more strategic in their focus–fixated not just on the headline or loss of the day, but on the larger stakes in this struggle, beginning with who our enemies are in Iraq. The officials I met in Baghdad said that 90% of suicide bombings in Iraq today are the work of non-Iraqi, al Qaeda terrorists. In fact, al Qaeda’s leaders have repeatedly said that Iraq is the central front of their global war against us. That is why it is nonsensical for anyone to claim that the war in Iraq can be separated from the war against al Qaeda–and why a U.S. pullout, under fire, would represent an epic victory for al Qaeda, as significant as their attacks on 9/11.

Update II: David Limbaugh, one of my favorite columnists, is writing about Reid and Iraq today too. Check it out.

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