Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Check-in From Reality

Today, Elder Statesman of The Washington Post David Broder argues that Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid is the Left's Gonzales, inept in his management of the party and in making public statements. The two things that Broder bases his argument on are Harry Reid's initial, eyebrow-raising comment that the war in Iraq is lost and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)'s attempt to clarify what he said. Schumer, in fact, said on Fox News:

"What Harry Reid is saying is that this war is lost -- in other words, a war where we mainly spend our time policing a civil war between Shiites and Sunnis. We are not going to solve that problem. . . . The war is not lost. And Harry Reid believes this -- we Democrats believe it. . . . So the bottom line is if the war continues on this path, if we continue to try to police and settle a civil war that's been going on for hundreds of years in Iraq, we can't win. But on the other hand, if we change the mission and have that mission focus on the more narrow goal of counterterrorism, we sure can win."
David Broder says that this comment doesn't make any sense. It actually makes a lot of sense. As I see it now, the War in Iraq is a civil war with the American military stuck in the middle. The troops that we all love so much and have yellow ribbons affixed to the back of our SUV's for (not me. support's a new way of saying you care so little that all you are willing to do is make symbolic gestures like buying a livestrong bracelet or a breast cancer awareness magnet for a dollar.) are stuck in a war for their lives, fighting both sides and unaware of who is their enemy or friend. They are playing as peacemakers, which isn't their responsibility; that is a job for either the U.N. or NATO. The only way that this war can be won is if it is solved diplomatically, starting with the removal of a majority of the troops and a focus on the correct problem, as Schumer notes in his defense of Reid.

Do not take this as some ringing endorsement of Harry Reid. I believe that he has been timid in his position as Majority Leader, but he is more aggressive than Tom Daschle and has been generally effective. But, in this case, David Broder is mad because Reid has busted up the logic that has been rampant in Washington for so long, upsetting the old journalistic guard, a network of stodgy old minds set in their ways and unable to see the need for a new idea or approach to the problem. They all have bought into the persecution of this war so hard that they are willing to attack people who do not share their viewpoint.