Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has come under a lot of fire for his recent remarks that we've "lost" in Iraq. Among other things, that's been called demoralizing to our troops.
But, this is actually something I've been thinking about for a while.
Awful as it is to admit, I think we have lost whatever battle it was we were fighting over there.
I asked myself, What would losing look like?
Large portions of Iraq, with the exception of the kurdish north, are chaotic and ungoverned and no one is safe?
American forces are mostly devoting themselves to protecting isolated bases?
Check. (With the exception of certain neighborhoods of Baghdad targeted by the recent surge.)
An ineffective government in disarray?
Check. (The Iraqi parliament hasn't met as a body since they were seated after their election and won't in the near future because they don't have quorum: too many of the members have fled the country. The various agencies of the iraqi government are corrupt and broken by sectarian turf battles.)
From my 100% unscholarly reading of the news out of Iraq, since the surge, things have only gotten more violent and dangerous for our troops and for iraqis. Thus, it seems to me that there is no way to salvage victory. No way at all.
Further, speaking with absolutely no background or even the most superficial knowledge of military strategy, it seems to me that our men and women in uniform are wholly blameless. They are, in fact, heroes. Their nation called them to duty and they answered the call. The blame for the defeat of the United States of America in this war is laid exclusively at the feet of our Commander-in-Chief.
It's sad and terrible. There is no "bright side" to turn to. Regardless who takes office in twenty months, it will not blot out the wrong that has been done.