Harry Reid Finds Success in Iraq
Senator Knows Why the Violence is Down; and It’s Not Because the Surge is Working
By Mark I Posted in al-Qaeda | Harry Reid | Iraq | Liberals | troop surge — Comments (3) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
On the floor of the Senate Tuesday, during leadership time, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Searchlight) made a statement on the occasion of the year 2007 becoming the deadliest year for US troops since the Iraq War began. One might find this an odd cause for recognition on the floor of the Senate, but not Sen. Reid. For him, the sacrifices of our brave troops provided an opportunity to both score political points against the war and, perhaps more importantly, denigrate the successes they are achieving every day as part of the troop surge.
From Reid’s official statement:
Yesterday we reached another tragic milestone in Iraq. With the death of five young Americans, 2007 has now been the deadliest year for our troops of the entire war. Our thoughts are with the families of these five latest American victims of the Iraqi civil war. Our hearts go out to the families of all 3,854 young men and women who have lost their lives and to the tens of thousands more who have been gravely wounded.
This war has caused so much suffering here in America where our losses continue to rise, where our treasury has been depleted for generations to come, and where our military is battered, scarred and stretched to the limit. And let us not forget the suffering in Iraq – where we learned today that 2.3 million civilians are now displaced, fleeing from their homes, their neighborhoods, their schools and places of worship.
Two-thirds of the displaced are young children, under the age of 12. This humanitarian crisis rages on with no end in sight. By any of the most critical benchmarks, President Bush’s flawed strategy on Iraq is not making America more secure. We are seeing no signs of meaningful progress on political reconciliation, which is the key to success in Iraq.
But the official statement does not include a key passage that the Senator saw fit to include in his remarks on the floor. In that passage, Sen. Reid expands on the argument of Rep. David Obey (D-WI) from Monday in which he said that violence is down in Iraq because US troops have “run out of people to kill.” Reid sees another reason, and it has nothing to do with the heroic sacrifices of the troops.
Here is the text of Reid’s floor statement from the Congressional Record:
Mr. President, yesterday we reached another tragic milestone in Iraq. It seems it never stops. We lost five young American soldiers. That means 2007 has been the deadliest year for our troops in the entire war. In just a few months, we will be starting the sixth year of this war. We have almost completed 5 years of the war. Our thoughts have to be, as they should be, with the families of the five latest American victims of the civil war in Iraq. Our hearts go out to the families--several score have been Nevada families--a total of about almost 3,900 now, young men and women who have lost their lives, and to the more than 30,000 who have been gravely wounded.
This war has caused so much suffering in America where losses continue to rise, not only in the loss of life and injury to our valiant troops but our Treasury. The Joint Economic Committee is going to come out with a report soon showing it to be in the trillions of dollars this war has cost our country. That means our Treasury is going to be depleted for generations to come.
No one doubts that our military is battered, scarred, and stretched to the limit. And let's not forget about what is going on in Iraq. It is estimated that 2 million people have left the country. This was a country of about 25 million people when the invasion took place. We learned today that 2.3 million civilians are now displaced, fleeing from their homes, their neighborhoods, their schools, places of worship. Violence is down, and certainly that is important and good, but many of the experts are saying one reason the violence is down is that so much ethnic cleansing has already taken place. It is true they found 35 or 40 dead bodies today, and they are still finding them--not to the amount they were finding before. They were finding more than 100 a day. Many of the areas have been ethnically cleansed. (my emphasis)
Funny how those highlighted passages didn’t make it into the Senator’s official statement. Perhaps that’s because Sen. Reid, or more likely some more sentient member of his staff, realized just exactly what he said in those remarks.
Apparently, Sen. Reid believes that it has been the terrorists who have been successful in reducing the violence in Iraq, not US troops. If ethnic cleansing is responsible for the reduction; and the US is not engaging in ethnic cleansing, as one hopes the Senator would agree; then there can be no other interpretation of Reid’s words “one reason the violence is down is that so much ethnic cleansing has already taken place.” The terrorists are not being routed by the military. Instead the improvements in Iraq are partly attributable to their past successes. So says the distorted and increasingly desperate worldview of Sen. Reid.
All signs from Iraq on the military front are positive. Today, the military commander of Baghdad declared that city 87% cleared of al-Qaeda. Yesterday, the military commander of Anbar province predicted that security operations in that province could be turned over to Iraqi security forces by this coming March. That means the military goals of the troop surge, securing Baghdad and rooting out terrorist strongholds in Anbar, are largely completed.
But none of that matters to Sen. Reid. He wants to assign credit for the astounding success of the US military in the troop surge to the very enemy they are fighting. He wants to weigh down the good news from Iraq with images of a humanitarian crisis. He wants to hide the gains made in Iraq behind images of displaced persons, homeless children, ethnic cleansing. He wants voters to think nothing good about Iraq and the mission of the US military there. He wants to pull the rug out from under the military’s achievements by hinting that it is really the terrorists who have achieved their goals, not the Pentagon. This is shameful behavior for a national leader and someone on Sen. Reid’s staff knows it.