The Republicans are so upset, we're to believe, that Harry Reid said that Bush has lost the Iraq war. Fine. Then they've opened the gates to the question as to whether they think we've won the war, or at least are winning.
I think it's time for every Republican member of Congress, starting with GOP Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, and every senior Bush administration official from the president through the Pentagon on down, to say publicly if THEY think we're winning in Iraq. I want them on the record, publicly, in front of their voters saying that they think we're winning the war in Iraq. Then let's see if they get re-elected or laughed out of the room. They're so brave, answer the question.
A friend has compiled a list of not-so-happy quotes about Iraq from Bushies and others:
Senator Carl Levin (D-MI): Mr. Gates, do you believe that we are currently winning in Iraq?
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates: No, sir.
(Armed Services Committee Hearing, 12/4/07)
Debate Over Who Lost Iraq Already Begun. James Dobbins, a former assistant U.S. secretary of state and special envoy for Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan, directs the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation: "As Iraqi and American public opinion pushes the United States inexorably toward the exit, a debate over who lost Iraq is already gaining momentum." [The International Herald Tribune, 4/17/07]
Editorial: President Has Lost the War and His Honor. "The president might win this battle, but he already has lost the war in Iraq -- and the one for his honor." [Editorial, Santa Fe New Mexican, 3/24/07]
Military Expert Says View Around the World Is that the U.S. Lost the War. "Military expert Anthony Cordesman concludes that even if the current U.S. troop increase is a success and creates some degree of stability and political unity, the perception of most Iraqis and others in the Middle East and Europe will be that the United States 'lost' the war in Iraq. " [Washington Post, 4/13/07]
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift: "The Iraq war was lost long ago, probably at Abu Ghraib" [The McLaughlin Group, 3/30/07]
Commander of 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq Says U.S. in Danger of Losing in Iraq. "Army Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., the commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, who spent much of the year in western Iraq, said he believes that at the tactical level at which fighting occurs, the U.S. military is still winning. But when asked whether he believes the United States is losing, he said, 'I think strategically, we are.'" [Washington Post, 5/9/04]
Iraq Exhibits Dangerous Parallels to Vietnam, Says Army Strategist. "I lost my brother in Vietnam," added Army Col. Paul Hughes, a veteran Army strategist who is involved in formulating Iraq policy. "I promised myself, when I came on active duty, that I would do everything in my power to prevent that [sort of strategic loss] from happening again. Here I am, 30 years later, thinking we will win every fight and lose the war, because we don't understand the war we're in." [Washington Post, 5/9/04]
Reagan NSA Director See Similarities to Vietnam in Iraq Conflict. General William Odom, who served as President Reagan's head of the National Security Agency, said the Iraqi insurgency parallels Vietnam. "I see a lot of similarities to Vietnam. It seems to me the persons who have the greatest interest in the U.S. being in Iraq are Osama bin Laden, Iranians and other radical movements in the Middle East. We made Iraq now safe for those kinds of movements and they're breeding them rapidly." [NPR "Morning Edition," 4/15/04]