These have floated in and out of the blogosphere in various forms, but I thought it would be useful to CQ readers to see the counterarguments to Harry Reid's assertions in one easy format. I asked for some research from a friend connected to Capitol Hill on rebuttals, and he put together the resources on this. Enjoy.
General Petraeus Says The War Is A “Lost Cause”
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): Gen. Petraeus "Told" Our Troops That "They’re Fighting For A Lost Cause." CNN BASH: "Is there something to that, an 18- and 19-year-old person in the service in Iraq who is serving, risking their lives, in some cases losing their life, hearing somebody like you back in Washington saying that they're fighting for a lost cause?" REID: "General Petraeus has told them that.” BASH: "How has he said that?" REID: "He said the war can't be won militarily. He said that. I mean he said it. He's the commander on the ground there." (CNN's "The Situation Room," 04/23/07)
General Petraeus Sees “Positive” Signs in Iraq
GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS: "While It Is Too Early To Judge The Success Of The Surge And The Emphasis On Population Security In Iraq, We Have Seen Some Positive Results – Though The Enemy Has Certainly Sought To Overshadow Our Achievements By Carrying Out Sensational Attacks." "… Your visible presence alongside Iraqi soldiers and police has begun to restore a sense of normalcy to many areas that have seen little other than violence over the past year. Your hard work ahs also led to the uncovering of sizable weapons caches, the detentions of a number of death squad and car bomb network members, the bringing to justice of a number of militia extremists, a decrease in the number of sectarian killings, and a renewal of commerce in many markets and neighborhoods." (Gen. David Petraeus, Letter To Soldiers Serving In Multi-National Force-Iraq, 04/14/07)
General Petraeus Does Not Know What Is Happening In Iraq
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “I Don’t Believe Him.” Q: “…General Petraeus is going to come to the Hill and make it clear to you that there is progress going on in Iraq, that the so-called surge is working. Will you believe him when he says that?” SEN. REID (D-NV): “No, I don't believe him, because it's not happening. All you have to do is look at the facts.” (CNN’s “The Situation Room,” 04/23/07)
David H. Petraeus:
Four-Star General, Commander, Multinational Forces-Iraq
Senator Who Doesn't Listen To Commanders of Military Forces
General Petraeus Says There Is No Military Solution
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “…There Is No Military Solution In Iraq. General Petraeus, The Commander On The Ground, Has Said So Himself.” (Sen. Reid, “Reid: As Situation In Iraq Worsens, America Can And Must Change Course,” Press Release, 04/22/07)
General Petraeus Believes “Improv[ing] The Security” With “Additional Forces” Is Necessary To Achieve A Political Solution
GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS: “I want to assure you that Lieutenant General Odierno and I would not have asked to maintain the surge force levels in Iraq – a request that led to your tour extensions – if we did not view the additional forces as being absolutely necessary to our ability to accomplish our mission. That mission – to help Iraq improve the security for its population – is intended to provide Iraqi leaders with an opportunity to begin to tackle the crucial issues that must be resolved to achieve a sustainable outcome in Iraq." (Gen. David Petraeus, Letter To Soldiers Serving In Multi-National Force-Iraq, 4/14/07)
General Petraeus Does Not Support the Surge
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “Those We Trust The Most Do Not Believe Escalation Is The Right Way Forward. America’s Generals Don’t Support This.” (Sen. Reid, Congressional Record, S. 2507, 02/5/07)
General Petraeus Testified In His Confirmation Hearing That ‘The Additional Forces’ For The Surge Were ‘Essential’
GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS: “The additional forces that have been directed to move to Iraq will be essential.” (Gen. Petraeus, Armed Services Committee, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 01/23/07)
General Petraeus Does Not Need Immediate Funding
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): The President's "Own Generals Have Said [Funding] Will Last Until The End Of June." (Sen. Reid, Press Conference, 04/3/07)
The Army Chief Of Staff Stated ‘Draconian Measures’ Will Begin Without Funds In April
ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF GEN. PETER J. SCHOOMAKER: "We are particularly concerned as Congress is set to recess until mid-April without enacting this essential legislation. Without approval of the supplemental funds in April, we will be forced to take increasingly draconian measures which will impact Army readiness and impose hardships on our soldiers and their families." (Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, Letter To Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, 3/28/07)
Rep. Duncan Hunter called Wednesday for Sen. Harry Reid to resign his post as Senate majority leader over remarks that the senator made last week that the war in Iraq "is lost" if the United States continues on its current policy.
Hunter, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, is the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee.
"In my opinion Sen. Reid, having made that statement, which can only have a demoralizing effect on our troops and an effect of encouragement of the adversary, I think it would be appropriate for Sen. Reid to resign his position as the leader of the United States Senate," he said.
After basically calling Petraeus a liar and the war lost, it's hard to see what he could do for an encore. Bring on Dick Durbin! Er, maybe not ...