Does Harry Reid Believe the War is Lost or Just Not Worth Winning?
The evidence indicates that the “surge” is working, at least in terms of improving the quality of life for the average Iraqi. Here’s a firsthand report from Rocco DiPippo, published in the American Thinker….
Two weeks ago, I took another trip through Baghdad. I then headed south and eventually north to a small town close to Iran’s border. In all, I traveled approximately 400 miles. At no time did I feel threatened, either when approaching checkpoints, (all of which were legitimate and well-manned), or upon exiting my car to visit a few reconstruction projects, each in separate towns miles apart.From a more official source, the leader of the Iraqi Red Crescent doesn’t think that withdrawing American troops, or setting a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops, will help the humanitarian situation in Iraq (h/t Instapundit)…
There were other stunning differences between that trip, and the one I’d taken in December.
On the December trip I had seen abandoned shops and frightened people. On the latest one I saw many shops opened and people going about their business in what appeared to be a relaxed manner. On the first trip I saw cars and trucks in gas lines that stretched for miles. On the latest trip, though gas lines existed, they were far shorter, and looked about as long as those experienced by Americans at the height of the 1970s oil crisis. On the first trip I saw nothing but ruin: houses and other buildings in derelict condition, most appearing unfit for human habitation. On the latest trip I still saw many houses in poor condition, but I also saw homes being built, and a good number of existing houses and storefronts being repaired.
The president of the Iraqi Red Crescent, the only relief organization operating in Iraq, is calling on the Democratic-led Congress to rethink its troop withdrawal strategy and recognize that Iraq suffers from a worsening humanitarian crisis.So why is it that Democratic leaders insist, contrary to the evidence from the front, that the presence of American troops is not at least temporarily of benefit to the people of Iraq? Do our political leaders really believe that the quality-of-life of average people in other societies is not a part of international relations, world politics, and the harmony of the world in general?
His call follows on the heels of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) announcement yesterday that Appropriations Committee conferees will set a non-binding goal, as part of the 2007 emergency war supplemental, of withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq by April 1, 2008.
Congressional leaders find themselves in a continuing stalemate with President Bush, who has vowed to veto any measure that contains a withdrawal timetable. Bush has the support of most Republicans on Capitol Hill.
In Washington for a series of advocacy meetings in Congress, Said Hakki, the president of the Iraqi Red Crescent, expressed concern that by setting a withdrawal timetable, the U.S. would abandon Iraq at the height of a humanitarian crisis.
“It is important that Congress identifies that there is a humanitarian crisis in Iraq,” Hakki said in an interview with The Hill. “If they agree there’s a crisis, let’s not have America be a problem but the solution.”
The Iraqi Red Crescent Society or Organization, as it is often referred to, is an auxiliary arm of the Iraqi government and is a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
More likely, what Democratic leaders like Senator Harry Reid, and even more sane ones like Congressman James Langevin, really believe is not that American can’t help the people of Iraq, but that America shouldn’t help the people of Iraq. They believe the cost in blood and treasure of repairing the broken societies of the Middle East is too high. That is a legitimate “realist” and/or “isolationist” position, akin to the position the U.S. Government took with respect to Rwanda in 1994, deciding that preventing the massacre of 850,000 people was not worth deploying the few thousand troops that probably could have stopped it.
What is not legitimate, however, is pretending that the future of Iraqi society and governance from this point onward is set in stone, when it is not. Senator Reid has adopted his war-is-already-lost meme…
“I believe myself that the secretary of state, secretary of defense and — you have to make your own decisions as to what the president knows — [know] this war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday”,…because he is trying to avoid responsibility for the course of action he seeks to impose. He wants to pretend that walking away from Iraq is not his choice, but the only choice. He says the war is lost — even though the reports from the ground consistently say that the increased American troop presence is having a positive impact — because he wants to hide his actual position, that the U.S. should no longer try to win the war in Iraq, behind rhetoric intended to convince people that the further decline of Iraq is now inevitable, because of forces beyond anyone’s control.
Men who want power but not responsibility for their decisions have no place as leaders in a democracy.