Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that during the meeting that he attended with President Bush yesterday he told the president that he felt that the war in Iraq could not be won through military force, and that he advocated the use of political, economic, and diplomatic methods. On Thursday, he made his thoughts public and took them a step further. “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,” Reid said.

Sadly, instead on launching serious discussion about non military options for Iraq, some Republicans did what they always do when confronted with facts about Iraq. They blamed Reid for not supporting the troops. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said, “I can’t begin to imagine how our troops in the field, who are risking their lives every day, are going to react when they get back to base and hear that the Democrat leader of the United States Senate has declared the war is lost.” The tough thing about the military battle in Iraq is that the war may never be lost or won. The U.S. troops might find themselves stuck in the same situation that they have been in for the past three years, for many more years to come.

I love the fact that the same people, who accuse critics of not supporting the troops, never accuse the Bush administration of the same thing. The administration failed to support the troops from the very beginning by not sending enough of them, or coming up with a plan to, “win the peace” after the Hussein regime was toppled. I think that there is blame enough for everyone here. The White House, Congress, and the media, each failed the American people before the Iraq invasion.

We need to move passed this political labeling, and start coming with some concrete non-military methods to stabilize Iraq and bring the troops home. Here is the political quagmire, a majority of Democrats will not support cutting off funds, but even more Americans don’t support the GOP position of staying the course. The frustrating thing is that this is an issue that is ripe for compromise, but each side selfishly views this as a zero sum game, so American soldiers and Iraqis continue to die, while the politicians stubbornly bicker amongst themselves.

AP story on Reid’s quote

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at 411mania.com.  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at www.411mania.com/politics 

Jason can also be heard every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverse blog radio 

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