Harry Reid on Working With Allies

Jason Smith has an amusing post juxtaposing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s seemingly contrary positions on working with allies. During the run-up to the Iraq War, he chided President Bush for a go-it-alone approach and not working closely enough with the allies. Yesterday, he chided Bush for letting France, Germany, and the UK take the lead in seeking a diplomatic solution in Iran.

In Reid’s defense, though, he’s being perfectly consistent: He’s opposed to whatever Bush is doing.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. legion says:

    Well, believing the exact opposite of whatever Bush says has proven to be pretty darn spot-on true, so maybe Harry’s onto something…

  2. James Joyner says:

    That thought had occured to me as well.

  3. So Bush is against terrorism, for liberty, against Iran having nukes, for tax cuts and wants to do something about social security.

    Yeah, the negative of that seems to pretty much sum up what Reid is working towards.

  4. Roger says:

    The author of the piece is confused. Saying we should work with our allies, and saying we shouldn’t leave all the work to our allies are not contradictory positions.

    Yes, yetanotherjohn, Bush is against terrorism, he’d just rather attack Iraq than fight terrorism. He’s for liberty, unless he wants to taps your phones, lock you up without access to a lawyer for as long as he likes, torture you, etc. Yes, Bush is for tax cuts for you as long as you make enough money that you don’t need tax cuts. And yes, Bush wants to do something about social security–he wants to get rid of it. He must believe it benefits the middle class and poor too much and doesn’t do enough for the wealthy.

    Keep up the good work, Harry.

  5. legion says:

    So Bush is against terrorism, for liberty, against Iran having nukes, for tax cuts and wants to do something about social security.

    Ah, but Bush’s own actions have resulted in: a marked increase in terror attacks worldwide and a recruiting bonanza for terror organizations, significant attacks on our own liberties here in the US, Iran now has nuclear material & is on the short path to nuclear weapons, his tax cuts have been an economic nightmare for everyone not making 7-figure salaries, and his ideas on Social Security have been soundly rejected.

    I’m still siding with Ried here…

  6. my cat says:

    Actually Reid is being perfectly consistant: he doesn’t think Bush should go it alone. In the one case Bush was acting alone, in the other he is standing off by himself. Reid is criticizing him for his refusal to collarorate with others, which is a justified criticism in both cases.
    Maybe the knee-jerk opposition is coming from you toward Reid.

  7. Herb says:


    What kind of a Leberal Kook are you?

    Harry Reid in NOT Prejudiced, Hell, He hates everybody.

    Looks like you went to the same school Harry did.

  8. Roger says:

    Little shrub, you couldn’t come up with a better ad hominem than “kook”? What school did Harry go to, by the way? You might want to try it.

  9. Herb says:

    Hey Big Dummy:

    This little shrub is getting a big laugh out of the names you have in your comments.

    But then again, what else would one think of a Lefty Liberal extremist that has such a limited vocabulary and mind to match.

    You really are a liberal hoot, or, are you going down for the third time.

  10. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Liberals are lames. The previous adminstration put forth the propostion to remove Saddam from office. Bush just carried that out. The previous adminstration dealt with al-Qaeda attacks like they were crimial acts, Bush treated them as what they were, acts of war. You on the left, if you were capable of honesty, could admit it is all politics, but since you are not honest, what is the point. Reid is a liar, he is not representing the people who elected him to office. He is representing his party for political purposes, which does not serve the best interest of the nation.

  11. Christopher says:

    I agree Zelsdorf!

    And what’s your deal James Joyner? You are a liberal?!? Say it ain’t true!!!

    Legion: what kind of name is that? In the bible that was the name of the evil spirits Jesus cast out.

    FACTS: Bushâ??s own actions have resulted in: a marked DECREASE in terrorists worldwide and we kill more of them everyday! a recruiting bonanza for honorable Iraqi soldiers and police; a safer USA that has suffered ZERO attacks since 9/11 (can’t stand it can ya libs? you guys WANT an attack so long as it doesn’t hit you), Iran threatened by Bush and hopefully soon attacked by him if they don’t back down; his tax cuts have been an economic succss for everone (have you SEEN the economic news thats impossible to be there unless it helps everyone or are you frigging B-L-I-N-D???), and his ideas on Social Security have been the only ideas to help a troubled system and he has been the ONLY politician brave enough to try.

  12. Roger says:

    Until you all can explain why Iraq was an “immediate” threat so dire it took precedent over getting Bin Laden, all your sorry excuses and diversions and lame ad hominems won’t count for much. Why hasn’t your Great Leader gotten Bin Laden yet, by the way? I know you have no good answer, just interesting watching you continually ignore the questions that count as you make excuses for incompetence.

    Chris, as Zelsdorf pointed out, repeating lies doesn’t make them true.

  13. LJD says:

    I got news for you buddy, we were already in Iraq. You just weren’t thinking about our guys getting shot at whle you sat in your Birkenstocks sipping your Starbuck-a-cinno.

    You have no evidence that Iraq has in any way detracted from the hunt for Bin Laden. You have no idea of the resources that have been, or could have been employed, and if they would have any impact whatsoever on the outcome. You have no proof that any other President, administratrion, or person could be doing anything more than what is being done. You’re just going on your small-minded assumptions, and actually spitting in the faces of those working hard and dying in Afghanistan as we speak.

  14. legion says:

    Wow, you can just smell the desperation rolling off these guys, can’t you?

    Shorter LJD:”Yeah, it’s all screwed up, but since time travel and psychic powers aren’t real, you can’t prove anyone could have done better!” How comforting.

    Shorter Christopher:”I can’t read or do basic math!” The State Dept’s own annual reports show continuing increases in terror attacks worldwide. nobody takes a census of terrorists, but one can only assume that the ones we kill in Iraq don’t seem to be hurting recruitment outside Iraq. Quite the opposite, in fact. Also, again from the US Gov’t’s own numbers, real wages went up modestly last year, but only _if_ you don’t look too closely at the report. While executive compensation went up over 20%, wages for “non-supervisory” positions (about 80%) of the workforce) only went up 3%. Oh, and inflation last year was about 3% also, so the vast majority of Americans saw no increase in their buying power whatsoever. See here, and here, as well as other places on the web.

    Shorter Herb and Zelsdorf: “Michael Moore is fat! La la la la la I can’t hear you!”

  15. LJD says:

    I never said it was screwed up. I challenged any one to prove that absolutely everything has not been done to ‘get’ Bin Laden.

    Thinking that anyone else would have had Bin Laden by now is wishful thinking at best, and representative of the fantasy hypotheticals Democrats typicallly surround their view of reality with.

    Shorter Legion: ‘The sky is falling! The sky is falling!’

  16. legion says:

    Well, you can’t guarrantee much in this world, but I think we’d have a much better chance of _finding_ bin Laden if we were actually _looking_ for him. I know the troops we have in Afghanistan are doing all they can, but a)taking the vast majority of forces out of the country to go invade Iraq, b)letting Pakistan dictate where we can and cannot move our troops in the mountainous border region where everybody on the planet believes him to actually be, and c) spending most of our time & effort in-country dealing with the violence of the resurgent Taliban we never actually extinguished kinda cuts our chances down.

    It’s a little like looking for your lost car keys by turning off all the lights, buring down the house, stabbing out both your eyes with a fork, and then saying “well, nobody else could find those keys under these circumstances either”.

  17. LJD says:

    You still have the assumption that more troops is better. I have yet to see any rationalization for that belief.

    Also, you seem to say the hell with the sovereignity of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Remember all the unproar over the predator attack in Pakistan? Talk about ‘breeding terrorists’.

    You simply cannot have it both ways. You can’t talk about breeding terrosists in Iraq and the nsuggest we should start bombing Pakistan.

  18. legion says:

    Huh? Do we live op the same planet? First, aside from sources too numerous and readily available to cite here, the ongoing insurgency and (by some definitions) civil war are pretty much de facto proof we don’t have sufficient troop strength in Iraq to ‘win the peace’. Second, um, after we went in and removed the Taliban, Afghanistan had no sovereign gov’t. We installed one, but it still doesn’t have control over significant chunks of countryside…

    And who ever suggested bombing Pakistan? The cave-riddled mountains on the Af-Pak border are the prime suspect area for bin laden’s HQ of late, but our so-called ally Pakistan has not been at all cooperative or enthusiastic in either helping us look for him or looking themselves. But nobody has suggested bombing them for it, sheesh.

  19. Roger says:

    Yes, legion, you can smell their desperation. LJD does go off into the ozone doesn’t he. Maybe what we’re smelling is that stuff he’s sniffing.

    LJD, what war has ever been won by sending too few troops to get the job done. Remind me, please.