I followed up with Chuck Schumer this morning about his much-scrutinized defense of Harry Reid’s remarks last week that the war in Iraq “is lost.”
Schumer had said that Reid’s verdict was related only to the war as it is currently being prosecuted, and that the overall mission, if redefined, could be a success.
Today, Schumer was again careful to avoid repeating the Senate majority leader’s phrase, though he continued to agree with Reid’s bleak assessment. “What Senator Reid,” Schumer started, before changing course. “If the war continues on its present course we cannot win,” he said. “If we change course we can make a success of this but it needs a change in course.”
When asked what would constitute success, Schumer said “We want to prevent terrorism emanating from Iraq and striking our country. We are not going to solve the age old problems of Iraq which was created by the British for oil purposes. Nor is that our job or is that the mandate.”
I asked if there was not some American responsibility to stay and help build a secure Iraqi given that it was an American invasion that unleashed the chaos.
“There is some,” said Schumer, who pointed out that the Iraq government was not doing enough to help rebuild the country. “But they are not doing that.”