Harry Reid left Washington last month a frustrated but optimistic man. He is returning, it seems, a humbled one—at least as far as the Iraq debate goes.
This is what happens when an elected official takes a stand for something, then reverses course for the specific purpose of scoring political points. You see, Sen. Reid voted for the war. He cast his vote like many others, he had his chance to make a stand early on.
Then, when the war became unpopular, he became one of the war's biggest critics using his position as Senate Majority Leader to make statements that clearly indicated his desire, for U.S. failure in Iraq.
The war in Iraq "is lost" and a US troop surge is failing to bring peace to the country, the leader of the Democratic majority in the US Congress, Harry Reid, said Thursday.
"I believe ... that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything, as is shown by the extreme violence in Iraq this week," Reid told journalists.
That was in April. Now imagine how much crow he must be eating when you hear Katie Couric reporting this.
"We hear so much about things going bad, but real progress has been made there in terms of security and stability," Couric said Tuesday. "I mean, obviously, infrastructure problems abound, but Sunnis and U.S. forces are working together. They banded together because they had a common enemy: al Qaeda."
So, now Harry Reid is back from his vacation and must decide some things. Will he stay the anti-war defeatist cause? Or will he go back to his original vote, to proclaim that he always knew we had the ability to win? Either way, it shows that the Senate is being led by one of the biggest vacillating flip-floppers, ever.
It does not show that the war is won. It's not that simple.
In the past, I have made my concerns known here at PYY. You can read them here and here. To those concerns, I will add the following observations:
With the success of the surge in the Sunni regions, the question now becomes how to engage the radical Shiites, with ties to Iran. There are many that will view the Sunni response to this current strategy, as collaboration with the Great Satan. This certainly will become more problematic, in the coming weeks.
But more than anything, the pace in getting Iraqis to take more responsibility for their own security is incredibly slow. A lot of time has been wasted swatting flies, so much that this has been largely ignored. This has to change, if there is to ever be a lasting peace in Iraq and the government is to survive. And it must begin to change soon, or there will be a growing dependency on U.S Forces to clean up messes that have been allowed to accumulate.