In April 2007, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that the war in Iraq was “lost” and that the surge was “not accomplishing anything.” Conservatives and war hawks ripped into Reid for the comment, calling it “reckless,” “disturbing” and “playing to the worst elements of the antiwar left.”
One of the fiercest critics of Reid’s Iraq war stance was former senator Fred Thompson, who accused him of “encouraging our enemies”:
But Reid’s comments are not meant for logical analysis. He proclaimed the war lost some time ago, and the surge as a failure even before the additional troops were on the ground. The problem is that every one of Reid’s comments I’ve noted here has also been reported gleefully by Al Jazeera and other anti-American media. Whether he means to or not, he’s encouraging our enemies to believe that they are winning the critical war of will.
But now Thompson is singing a different tune on the appropriateness of declaring an American war “lost.” In a commentary on his radio show today, Thompson declared that the Afghanistan war “has been lost”:
“It really doesn’t matter how President Obama divides the Afghan baby, how he splits the difference between McChrystal and Biden. Because the war has been lost,” Thompson said on his radio show today. “I say this because of one sad and simple fact. The president does not have the will and determination to do what’s necessary to win it. His heart’s not in it, and never has been. The Taliban knows it. Al Qaeda knows it. Our allies know it. And the American people know it.
“Our enemies are now emboldened and our friends are discouraged. We cannot prevail if the American people are not willing to make the sacrifices necessary for an extended effort. The case has not been made to them to justify this effort. The case can only be made by the president. This president is unable or unwilling to make that case,” Thompson said.
According to Thompson’s own logic, his declaration of defeat today — “whether he means to or not” — is “encouraging our enemies to believe that they are winning the critical war of will.”