Even when the Surge was still an untried plan, even before it was formally announced, the Democratic Party’s leadership was almost uniform in assuring the country it would never work:
“Surging forces is a strategy that you have already tried, and that has already failed,” Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, the leaders of the Democratic majorities in both the Senate and House, confidently predicted in a January letter to the president. And they were but two members of the whole, partisan chorus in Congress. There were many others. For notable example:
“A ‘surge’ of American troops will do nothing.” -Chris Dodd, December 24, 2006
“Senator Lugar said a little while ago that he’s not confident the president’s plan will work. I tell you what: I’m confident it will not work.” -John Kerry, January 24, 2007.
“The surge was supposed to bring stability. It hasn’t and it won’t.”-Ted Kennedy, May 1, 2007
“The surge has led to nothing but a surge in Americans dying.” -Bill Richardson, June 19, 2007
“. . . (t)he president is still losing the Iraq war.” -Jim McDermott, June 25, 2007, as the Surge was beginning to show results
“Today a majority of the Senate sees that the surge is not working. Do we change course now or wait until September? I believe the answer is clear.” -Dianne Feinstein, July 17, 2007
“We don’t need a report that wins the Nobel Prize for creative statistics, or the Pulitzer for fiction.” -Rahm Emanuel, September 7, 2007
“The reports that you provide to us,” Hillary Clinton told Gen. Petraeus directly on September 11, 2007, “really require the willing suspension of disbelief.”
But even the consistently vitriolic John Murtha, perhaps the harshest congressional critic of the administration’s conduct of this war, let it slip just last month: “I think the Surge is working.”
But he quickly backtracked, explaining that the new strategy was working only militarily, and that the war would have to be won by the Iraqis politically.
Good point. Only the congressman doesn’t seem to have noticed, or can’t admit, that the Surge has a political component, too – even as Gen. Petraeus and Amb. Ryan Crocker are making peace with one Iraqi faction after another.
It would be as foolish to proclaim victory in Iraq now as it was for all these politicos to proclaim defeat for so long. But something has changed and is changing in Iraq. That much is clear. Yet these leaders of the opposition remain in denial.