Sen. Harry Reid says that the war is lost, then backtracks.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi declares that the road to peace is through Damascus, and offers to meet with Iran’s apocalyptic pirate president but declines to meet with the President of the United States.

Together, these two and their allies are doing all that they can to de-fund the war in Iraq through the Jack Murtha “slow bleed” strategy.

Call all of that what you want, but it doesn’t amount to supporting the troops. It amounts to supporting the enemy.

Ignoring briefings on the war by Gen. David Petraeus, the commander whom Congress recently approved and whose strategy is now governing ground action in Iraq, doesn’t amount to supporting the troops either. But that’s just what the Democrats are doing:

The commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, returns to Washington this week, but last week Pelosi’s office said “scheduling conflicts” prevented him from briefing House members. Two days later, the members-only meeting was scheduled, but the episode brings to mind the fact that Pelosi and other top House Democrats skipped a Pentagon videoconference with Petraeus on March 8.

The Democrats did the same thing on April 9: Only one Democrat Senator attended a video conference with Gen. Petraeus which was an update and progress report on the war.

What can be a higher priority than hearing from Gen. Petraeus? Can’t they make Petraeus’ briefings a priority, just for show? Apparently they would rather meet with Code Pink than Gen. Petraeus.

The Democrats wanted power but didn’t want any responsibility, but in winning power they have also earned responsibility. This war is being fought on their watch now, too. If they support the troops as they always say that they do, the least that they could do is treat the war as a priority worth studying and understanding, and worth hearing about from the man most responsible for its execution. They shouldn’t rely on media reports or groups like Iraq Body Count, but that’s apparently just what they’re doing.

AJ Strata calls the Democrat’s lack of attention to Petraeus’ briefings “criminal.” He’s right but it’s even worse than that. We’re seeing a complete abdication by the party in power on the seminal issue of our time. They’re running toward defeat now and running on defeat for 2008. We’re seeing a gradual abandonment of the Iraqi people, of American troops in the field, and ultimately of America’s place in the world. The Democrats are making a monumental error that will change the world for the worse. Defeat in Iraq, which is how the Democrats are casting the effort even while they dodge reports from the architect of the American strategy there, will echo for decades to come.

Update: Instapundit–

The goal, I think, is to ensure that the war is seen as a failure, but to make sure that Democrats don’t get blamed.

Yup. And that’s called “abdication.”

Update: Reid speaks.

Reid, the Senate’s top Democrat, released excerpts from a speech today in which he calls on Bush to abandon his threat to veto the war funding bill and negotiate a compromise. Reid delivered the speech on the war in Iraq at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington at midday.

Reid did not repeat his assertion last week that “this war is lost,” a comment that drew sharp criticism from Republicans, who branded the Senate majority leader as defeatist. But he mixed sharp criticism of Bush with praise for Congress’s efforts to end the conflict and appeals to antiwar voters to be patient.

“Be patient…we’re losing this war just as fast as we can!”