While that seems an apt blanket statement, perhaps I should narrow it down a bit. Gates was specifically referring today to Reid’s 2007 statement that the Iraq War was lost as being disgraceful:
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates joined Morning Joe Wednesday to discuss his new book, Duty, saying that “disgraceful” comments by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) did not help troop morale in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The troops believed and still believe that they were being successful in their mission,” Gates said. “So I think they were able, to a certain extent, to set aside the politics here at home.”
But, Gates continued, “When you have somebody like the Senate Majority Leader come out in the middle of the surge and say ‘this war is lost’, I thought that was one of the most disgraceful things I’ve heard a politician say.”
At the Corner today, Mario Loyola flashes back to 2007 and writes, “As it turned out, we crushed the insurgency in Iraq that year:”
Actually, as I later found while embedded with Marines in Iraq that summer, the attacks on coalition forces in Anbar province plummeted to insignificance in the spring of 2007, right at the time I was writing the above, and as Harry Reid was declaring defeat. By the end of 2007 and into 2008 it was quite clear that we had won and that the Iraqi government was firmly in the hands of the most pro-American factions.
Alas, the Democrats remained invested in defeat, even after the war was over. So the Obama administration turned away from Iraq, and allowed our troops to be expelled before the vital work of consolidating our victory into a lasting achievement was done. Obama left our allies in Iraq totally in the lurch. As Gates’s memoir makes clear, that followed from the Obama administration’s whole worldview. Any foreigner who agreed with George W. Bush must not be a friend worth having. And into the vacuum created by our departure has finally stepped Iran, to take advantage of a strategic opportunity that was largely foreclosed to it while our troops were still there. And now the Syrian civil war is starting to spill over into Iraq, creating the prospect of two major failed states at the heart of the Middle East.
Emphasis mine. Of course, as others have noted, Gates waited until 2014 to release his memoirs, instead of publishing them, or at least issuing interviews and previews in 2012 when it could have counted in an election year. This despite knowing that Mr. Obama was screwing Iraq purely for political reasons, a la the earlier generation of punitive leftwing Democrats who allowed South Vietnam to be crushed in 1975.