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This Harry Reid is lost

So it turns out Harry Reid didn't really think that the war in Iraq was "lost" and that the U.S. "surge" in 2007 was a mistake. At least that is what the desperate Senate majority leader would like Nevada voters to believe.

In his debate Thursday night with Republican challenger Sharon Angle, Reid got the following question: "Sen. Reid, you were quoted as saying the following: 'The war is lost, and the surge is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme violence.' Do you believe that your statements demoralized the troops and were inaccurate as judged by the success of the troop surge?"

It was a good question. Reid's "this war is lost" declaration came at a critical moment in April, 2007, just as Gen. David A. Petraeus was seeking to turn the war around with a new counterinsurgency strategy and five brigades of U.S. reinforcements were deploying. Reid was a leader of opposition to the surge; he even introduced legislation that would have cut off funding for combat missions after March, 2008.

But that's not how Reid portrayed it in the debate with Angle. Instead, he falsely claimed that he had been working with Petraeus on the surge all along. "I first met Gen. Petraeus in Iraq," he began by saying. "The statement that I made was made following Gen. Petraeus saying the war cannot be won militarily. He said, and I said, the war can only be won militarily, economically and diplomatically."

That is what Petraeus said -- but it is not what Reid said. He did not say the war could only be won militarily, economically and diplomatically. He said "this war is lost."

Reid's next debate declaration was even further from the truth. He said: "After I made my statement, and Gen. Petraeus made his statement, we did the surge then, not later. And it was the right thing to do." In fact the surge began in Jan., 2007; Reid made his statement three months later, in April. And he didn't say the surge was "the right thing to do." He said: "the surge is not accomplishing anything."

Reid now says "the surge worked." It's nice that he acknowledges that. But what he ought to admit is that it worked in spite of his efforts to stop it -- and in spite of his damaging defeatism. Fortunately, the war in Iraq was not lost. But if Harry Reid had had his way, it would have been.

By Jackson Diehl  | October 15, 2010; 1:01 PM ET
Categories:  Diehl  | Tags:  Jackson Diehl  
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Comments

Sen. Reid did an outstanding job in the debate. He presented many of the ways he has helped Nevada over and over again. He has brought jobs and economic growth to Nevada. People forget that Nevada was the fastest geowing state in the US just a few short years ago before Bush. Why isn't he given credit for that? If Sen. Reid would have given Angle the beat-down she earned with her crazy talk then Sen Reid would now be called "Dirty Harry". In Nevada she is known as 44 to Angle for her lack in willingness to work with the state legislature. Just because there were no fireworks for the media to make money on shows a lack of objective reporting and the WP should be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by: J_of_Nevada | October 15, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Harry Reid is a liar and an opportunist with enormous contempt for the voters of his state. He thinks they, and the rest of us, don't remember what he has said and what he has done in his smarmy little way to demean the military -- when he wasn't pushing forward legislation to destroy the economy by voting for more than 300 tax increases. And I have news for "J" in Nevada. Nothing a politician says or does can bring jobs and economic growth to any community. The only way government can assist in such creation is by getting out of the way and staying as small as possible.

Posted by: LaLydia | October 15, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

J_of_Nevada; all,

fwiw, Prince Harry is DONE, FINISHED & KAPUT.

i'd love to ask (the soon to be FORMER Senator) Reid what he plans to do with the rest of his life after he is HUMILIATED on 11/02/10.
my guess is that he will run home to NV, with his tail tucked tightly between his legs, WHIMPERING about how the decent people of NV, who just voted him OUT, "just didn't understand me" (him).

to all: the DIMs are DONE in 2010, 2012 & in the elections to follow, as they are NOT trusted anymore to have stewardship of our government or of our LIBERTY.

yours sincerely, Retired MP46

Posted by: retiredMP46 | October 15, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse


Harry Reid got demolished in the debate. That was his last, best hope to pull ahead of Sharron Angle in the polls. Reid failed miserably.

Posted by: screwjob22 | October 15, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

It is incredible that this man was the Senate Majority Leader. He is surpassed in despicableness only by Nancy Pelosi. Barrack Obama has them both outdone though.

Posted by: FormerDemocrat | October 15, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Reid is a lying weasel, and a crooked skunk. But then, what democrat isn't?

Posted by: wewintheylose | October 15, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Harry Reid is a straight faced liar and his whimpy soft guy style is sickening. Can we elect someone to office that is respectable, someone I could look up to? What a con artist, lets get all of the career politicians out of the way and try some new blood. Worst that can happen if they dont work out is you vote them out too!

Posted by: johnbittle | October 15, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Reid came across as a beltway-insider, who has lost touch with average Americans, and seemed just a bit too confused.
His biggest gaffe, though, occurred over the Social Security situation.
It has 'plenty of money' he declared. But in truth, Mr. Reid and his colleagues have spent all of the $2.54 billion Social Security surplus on other stuff.
And now their debt has come due, and all he can do is pretend that the money we paid in is still there.
Well folks, it's not. And beltway-insiders are hoping we don't notice, and pay in yet more, that they will gladly spend elsewhere.
This has got to stop!

Posted by: mtpeaks | October 15, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Anyone here like Harry, eh?

Posted by: axolotl | October 15, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

The surge WAS a failure, and we have lost.

We are pulling out of Iraq. This is what has been left in the wake of our invasion (including the surge):

- There is no legitimate government in Iraq at the moment, years after we overthrew the dictatorial, yet legally recognized government of Suddam Hussein.

- Al Qaeda, which was non-existent in Hussein's Iraq, is alive and well.

- Death by bomb and by gun is a daily occurrence in Iraq.

- Hundreds of thousands of civilians died from American bombs and gun during the invasion and its aftermath.

- Thousands of American lives have been lost.

- The U.S. treasury has been bled and continues to hemorrhage as we prop up the non-existent government that can even provide electricity to it's putative capital city.

The U.S. was far better off with Hussein in power than with the power vacuum we have now, that is the result of our immoral intrusion into the affairs of a sovereign nation.

Iraq never had weapons of mass destruction. With hundreds of weapons inspectors on the ground in Iraq reporting there was nothing there, Bush knew there were no weapons, and invaded, anyway.

Iraq is no shining example of democracy. Quite the opposite, as no government has been formed.

The surge failed, and the U.S. lost the war.

Posted by: davewyman | October 15, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I think there is little doubt that Nevada has good reason to want Harry Reid to retire.

What Nevada voters will decide next month is, do they want that bad enough to elect a LOON to replace him? They already have John Ensign, you know, so there is no lack of comedic incompetence already.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | October 15, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Senator Reid seems to have lost touch with the voters. Whether the official is Republican or Democrat, one cannot lose touch with the voters, lie, rewrite history.

Posted by: windmill3 | October 15, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Who cares about the nuances of the debate. The point is that Reid does not believe in the kind of government I believe in. He can be the smartest person on earth, and his opponent can be a complete idiot, and it does not matter because his fundamental philosophy in government is all wrong.

Posted by: nofreelunch | October 15, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

A suite at the Ritz Carlton costs over 30,000 dollars a month....... How do he do that on a salary of 160,000 a year....He did not make that much money as a lawyer.. he has been in politics for 35 years. There is a disconnect there. I have a feeling that WE the taxpayers are footing the bill for his digs.. It could be that more shadowy Vegas types are funding it but it seems excessive for a public servant, in any event..and for a Morman too.....

Posted by: james_m_reilly1 | October 15, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Jackson Diehl is the on bs-er here. Adding 23% more troops to a five year old conflict is all that the surge was. The success was not the political reconciliation of warring parties in Iraq as the surge was meant to produce. The success was the reduction of violence that came mostly from completion of ethnic cleansing in Baghdad by Shiites over Sunnis. The Anbar awakening's resultant reduction in violence preceded the 'surge' troops arrival.

That's why violence went down in the latter months of 2007. It was not the addition of 20,000 combat troops to a force already there of around 130,000.

Jackson Diehl has to know this.

Posted by: notfooooldbyW | October 15, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Jackson Diehl is the only fabricator here. Adding 23% more troops to a five year old conflict is all that the surge was. The success was not the political reconciliation of warring parties in Iraq as the surge was meant to produce. The success was the reduction of violence that came mostly from completion of ethnic cleansing in Baghdad by Shiites over Sunnis. The Anbar awakening's resultant reduction in violence preceded the 'surge' troops arrival.

That's why violence went down in the latter months of 2007. It was not the addition of 20,000 combat troops to a force already there of around 130,000.

Jackson Diehl has to know this.

Posted by: notfooooldbyW | October 15, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Jackson Diehl is the only fabricator here. Adding 23% more troops to a five year old conflict is all that the surge was. The success was not the political reconciliation of warring parties in Iraq as the surge was meant to produce. The success was the reduction of violence that came mostly from completion of ethnic cleansing in Baghdad by Shiites over Sunnis. The Anbar awakening's resultant reduction in violence preceded the 'surge' troops arrival.

That's why violence went down in the latter months of 2007. It was not the addition of 20,000 combat troops to a force already there of around 130,000.

Jackson Diehl has to know this.

Posted by: notfooooldbyW | October 15, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Jackson Diehl is the only fabricator here. Adding 23% more troops to a five year old conflict is all that the surge was. The success was not the political reconciliation of warring parties in Iraq as the surge was meant to produce. The success was the reduction of violence that came mostly from completion of ethnic cleansing in Baghdad by Shiites over Sunnis. The Anbar awakening's resultant reduction in violence preceded the 'surge' troops arrival.

That's why violence went down in the latter months of 2007. It was not the addition of 20,000 combat troops to a force already there of around 130,000.

Jackson Diehl has to know this.

Posted by: notfooooldbyW | October 15, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Harry Reid is a dick. I think in part because he has a little dick. And he is a dick head.

Posted by: TheChileanPresidentIsMuchBetterRespondingToDisastersThanObama | October 15, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Harry Reid has become one of the riches men in the Senate in spite of coming from a "humble" background. He says he did this by astute investing. If he had worked for a business, we would have called it "insider trading". But it seems that Congress is exempt from these laws and may profit at will from the laws and earmarks that they provide. Nice! Wish we could do it!

Posted by: lschick | October 15, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

This is the true Harry Reid, a once Moderate now a Hard Lefty liar. Just like Tom Daschle...wash dc turned him from moderate to liberal fool. Bye Harry!!!

Posted by: espnfan | October 15, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

So Diehl thinks Reid's 2007 comments deomoralized the troops and he should apologize. That apology should come right after Diehl and his Republican ilk apologize for gviing hope and comfort to our enemies with their viscious, sarcastic, and unfounded personal attacks on the Commander in Chief.

Posted by: BBear1 | October 15, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Tuff call but Angel is nuts Harry is just unlikeable. Dina is the states treasure and should be a sentor vs that crook Ensign why is he not out of office yet for his illegal crap? Notice very partisan liar Diehl couldn't think of a thing nice to say about Sharon?

Posted by: crrobin | October 15, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Reid is double talking like nobody's business.

Sorry, but it's too late for Reid to "man up", as the country has completely derailed under his leadership.

Next.

Posted by: Benson | October 15, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Sen Reid has worked night and day fighting endless delaying tactics by the totally corrupt Senate Republicans. He has campaigned consistently to protect the rights of average Americans. Now the insurance companies, big pharma, Wall street, and assorted elites that own most of the USA are secretly pouring untold millions into the fight to replace him with a right wing dingbat who is not qualified to be dogcatcher. It is a sad day in America. If the right does get back in power our country may be doomed to decline. They want to ship more jobs overseas, destroy unemployment insurance, social security and medicare; destroy the public school system, leave millions with no health care and increase "defense" spending. Its obvious who the Republicans are working for and who pays them.

Posted by: Nodoubt1 | October 16, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Harry Reid told it like he saw it at the time, and he was right at the time, and he's right right now: this war IS LOST. Just accept the fact that world keeps on revolving anyway.

If you think there's a win there, you are ignorant of history and reality. And no, the dumb twit Witch in Maryland, or the dumb twit Half Governor, or the Obtuse Angle, has a win up their dress, either.

History will write: In the early 21st century the USA wasted 2 trillion dollars & five thousand soldiers lives, waging war in Afghanistan to the enrichment of the enemy it fought, who siphoned off billions to continue there causes elsewhere. Like every other invader in that remote area of planet Earth, the Americans eventually understood that going there with a land army they had created and engaged in a quagmire, not a winnable war.

And as for this "Surge was successful" bs, it was just cash passed to our enemies to not be so violent for a while, not some military victory.

Diehl is a joker.

Posted by: AIPACiswar | October 16, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer, George Miller and John Conyers all have one thing in common. Their views of what they have accomplished are not supported by the records. Maybe they have a distorted view of what needs to be done to help this nation once again prosper?

Posted by: npsilver | October 16, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Nevada is lost if they elect Sharron Angle. They depend heavily on the tourist dollar; look what happened to Arizona's tourism and convention businesss after they elected and supported the crazies.

Posted by: withersb | October 16, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

"He said "this war is lost."


Now is he trying to talk his way out of that, too.

Loser.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | October 16, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Al Gore, campaigning for Kerry I believe, said in thundrous tones of President Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq: "He betrayed this country!" But everyone knew Gore was nutty and not to be taken too seriously.

When victory and defeat seemed to be in close balance on the scales, with Americans fighting and dying to tip them toward victory, Reid declared to the world: "The war is lost." Of all politically motivated shameful acts I can recall from a Congressional leader this stands as the lowest. If I were a Nevadan and I couldn't bring myself to vote for Sharon Angle I wouldn't vote at all.

Posted by: Roytex | October 16, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Diehl, Senator Reid acknowledged facts. When are you going to acknowledge the fact that the war in Iraq was unnecessary, the result of lies, and that you and your newspaper were culpable in this lie? You should be ashamed of yourself for writing this.

Posted by: TruthtoPower4 | October 16, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The people of Nevada deserve better than Reid. He became a millionaire on the public feedbag? Wow, I wonder how he accomplished it. He lives at the Ritz-Carlton, I wish everyone could at least afford a one night's stay there! Spineless crook!!!!

Posted by: rustynailx | October 16, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

As a long time Nevadan, it is clear that hndout harry has outlived his welcome. Goodbye harry.....enjoy Searchlight, the home of the "smelly tourist" you bastard!

Posted by: sailinginthedesert | October 16, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Harry Reid is one of the foremost phonies to walk the halls of the Senate in this century. His hypocricy on immigration is breathtaking. He authored a bill in the 1960's to deny US citizenship to children born in the US to illegal immigrants. Now when he needs the Hispanic vote he panders to them and declares that a Hispanic would have to be nuts to vote Republican. He forgot to mention that his son, Rory, is losing big time to his GOP opponent who happens to be Hispanic. Harry the defender of Social Security voted to have it transferred from a secure "lock box" to the general fund so he and his liberal buddies could spend the excess on other programs. Now once the foolishness of this move threatens to bankrupt the system he demonizes Republicans for proposing to allow young people the option of dedicating part of their Social Security to private 401k accounts. Like all liberals he doesn't believe in choice in schools, health insurance or social security, just abortion.

Posted by: jkk1943 | October 16, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

The liberal media has focused heavily on the supposedly extremist dummies on the Right: Angle and O'Donnell... but..

After watching the sad desperate performance of Harry Reid and comparing it with the conservatism of the imperfect Angle and O'Donnell (2 nights earlier).. I have to conclude the weakest republican nominees are both superior to the Dem's Senate Majority leader - their top man !

Angle and O'Donnell's positions on immigration, BIG Gov., taxes, Unions, and Obamacare are mainstream !! Harry Reid's ? unpopular and leftist.

Who might have guessed after 4 years in Congress - Harry Reid is the out-of-touch extremist ? Angle and O'Donnell in the national mainstream ?

Posted by: pvilso24 | October 16, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Is Reid the best that Nevada and the Dems can do...jeesh...what a liar and fraud. Sure hope he is done on 11/2.

You want an update from a toss up race in Virginia: Connolly versus Fimian? The Fairfax GOP office was crammed to overflowing with people making calls...I did my usual 125 door to door canvas. Fimian (R) supporters are so pumped up it is unbelievable. It will be close, but decisive. Connolly is another one of those "loyal" Democrats that were happy to vote for the Obama/Reid/Pelosi agenda when it looked like a winner. Now it is not and he, like Reid, is running away from his words and deeds as fast as he can. 'Bye, Gerry....don't let the door hit you on the fanny on the way out...

Posted by: dcmowbray1 | October 16, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Harry Reid is a stupid liar. He lies about things that are easily fact checked. Maybe he and Joe Biden are first cousins, since pathologically lying may be an inherited trait. Obama lies all the time too, but at least he seals the records first. This little weasel should be fired, Nevada.

Posted by: betspotter | October 16, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Harry Reid is a stupid liar. He lies about things that are easily fact checked. Maybe he and Joe Biden are first cousins, since pathologically lying may be an inherited trait. Obama lies all the time too, but at least he seals the records first. This little weasel should be fired, Nevada.

Posted by: betspotter | October 16, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

quick comment-

KUDOS to Diehl but also a good example of why the liberal press is dishonest even when it publishes an honest article by Diehl-

If the Senator who was caught in such obvious lies was a ranking Republican rather than a 'rank' Democrat this blatant dishonesty would have been the grist of editorials by the Post -rather tghana smallish op/ed in the lowest corner-

still kudos for the author

Posted by: 27anon72 | October 19, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

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