Thursday, September 20, 2007

GOP Plays the Media and Dems Like a Fiddle

This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen.
The Senate voted Thursday to condemn an advertisement by the liberal anti-war group that accused the top military commander in Iraq of betrayal.

The 72-25 vote condemned the full-page ad that appeared in The New York Times last week as Gen. David Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq, testified on Capitol Hill. The ad was headlined: "General Petraeus or General Betray Us? Cooking the books for the White House."

The ad became a life raft for the Republican party as the war debate kicked into high gear. With several Republicans opposed to President Bush's war strategy, GOP members were able to put aside their differences and rally around their disapproval of the ad.

Holy freaking hell. Here's what matters: whether or not the freaking surge is working. Here's what we're talking about: a newspaper ad by

There is no liberal media. If there were a liberal media, we'd be talking about, you know, how the surge isn't freaking working. The GAO says so. The National Intelligence Estimate says so. 90% of the Iraqi people say so. George Will says so. 70% of the American people say so. Virtually the only people left who don't say so report directly to George Bush.

Petraeus was given an impossible task and of course he's going to put the best possible spin on it. What's he going to say? "No, sir. The job's too hard? I can't do it?"

And it's not like he has an unimpeachable nonpartisan history of speaking the truth. Here's what he said in 2004 on Charlie Rose:
But what I would say is that there has been enormous progress just in the seven or eight months that we've actually been recruiting, training, equipping and employing Iraqi security forces. Huge progress.

And see this op-ed by former Reagan defense official Lawrence J. Korb:
On Sept. 26, 2004, about six weeks before the presidential election, in which the deteriorating situation in Iraq was an increasingly important issue, then Lt. Gen. Petraeus published a misleading commentary in the Washington Post. In that article, Petraeus, who was then in charge of training Iraqi security forces, spoke glowingly about the tangible progress that those forces were making under his tutelage. According to Petraeus, more than 200,000 Iraqis were performing a wide variety of security missions; training was on track and increasing in capacity; 45 Iraqi National Guard battalions and six regular Army battalions were conducting operations on a daily basis; and by the end of November 2004, six more regular Army battalions and six additional Intervention Force battalions would become operational.

Because Bush administration policy at that time was that "we will stand down when they stand up," this article, in effect, conveyed to the American electorate that the Iraqis were, indeed, standing up, and, therefore, there was light at the end of the tunnel for the Iraqi quagmire.

If Petraeus wrote on his own initiative, he was injecting himself improperly into a political campaign. If he was encouraged or even allowed to do this by his civilian superiors, he was allowing himself to be used for partisan political purposes.


Was Gen. William Westmoreland ever objective about the attrition strategy in Vietnam or Gen. Douglas MacArthur about the Chinese intervention in Korea?

Sure calling him "General Betray Us" is out of line. But how did that become the whole freaking story? What in the world were the Democrats thinking going along with this idiotic Senate condemnation? (Clinton and Dodd voted against it; Obama didn't vote.)

Was there a whole media firestorm when Ann Coulter wrote a book that basically called every liberal who ever lived a traitor? (The book was called Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism.) Did the Senate vote to condemn Sean Hannity's book Deliver Us from Evil : Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism?

What a freaking crock. Go to hell, media.


Anonymous said...

this is what the gop wants towaste time in the senate doing

Ezzie said...

Well, I'll agree the media should go to hell, and that the Senate could do better things with their time. (Damn funny, though.)

But there WAS a media outcry over Coulter's book - but that wasn't published in the "paper of record". This ad was. Considering MoveOn is the biggest PAC by a WIDE margin, I can see why it's a bigger deal than Coulter's dumb book.

As for the rest, we're just going to disagree. You're also misinterpreting plenty regarding progress.

Theresa said...

A 72-25 vote isn't just the GOP by a long shot. Isn't that more than half the democrats voting for the condemnation as well?

Lubab No More said...

What a freaking crock. Go to hell, media.

Forget the media. They'll report anything that resembles a story.

The Dems are fools for engaging on this issue. The second the GOPers brought the non-issue up the Democrats should have blasted them for being concerned about ads in the New York Times when our "brave man and women are fighting and dieing in Iraq".

dbackdad said...

It's classic Frank Luntz-type BS. It's all about how your frame it. It puts Dems on the defensive for no frickin' reason. And the media eats it up. I was listening to NPR, of all things, and they were trying to get Hillary to bite. If NPR buys the Republican catchphrases, then you know for a fact that there is no "liberal media".

Bernard Goldberg can go to hell.

Great Idea said...


This General is an honorable man who has dedicated his life to OUR country and has the Bronze Star Medal for Valor


Gen. David H. Petraeus
Commanding General ~~ Multi-National Force - Iraq

General David H. Petraeus assumed command of the Multi-National Force-Iraq on February 10th, 2007, following his assignment as the Commanding General, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth. Prior to assuming command at Ft. Leavenworth, he was the first commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq, which he led from June 2004 to September 2005, and the NATO Training Mission- Iraq, which he commanded from October 2004 to September 2005.

That deployment to Iraq followed his command of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), during which he led the “Screaming Eagles” in combat throughout the first year of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His command of the 101st followed a year deployed on Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia, where he was the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations of the NATO Stabilization Force and the Deputy Commander of the US Joint Interagency Counter-Terrorism Task Force-Bosnia. Prior to his tour in Bosnia, he spent two years at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, serving first as the Assistant Division Commander for Operations of the 82nd Airborne Division and then as the Chief of Staff of XVIII Airborne Corps.

General Petraeus was commissioned in the Infantry upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1974. He has held leadership positions in airborne, mechanized, and air assault infantry units in Europe and the United States, including command of a battalion in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and a brigade in the 82nd Airborne Division. In addition, he has held a number of staff assignments: Aide to the Chief of Staff of the Army; battalion, brigade, and division operations officer; Military Assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander - Europe; Chief of Operations of the United Nations Force in Haiti; and Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

General Petraeus was the General George C. Marshall Award winner as the top graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Class of 1983. He subsequently earned MPA and Ph.D. degrees in international relations from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and later served as an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the US Military Academy. He also completed a fellowship at Georgetown University.

Awards and decorations earned by General Petraeus include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Defense Superior Service Medal, four awards of the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal for valor, the State Department Superior Honor Award, the NATO Meritorious Service Medal, and the Gold Award of the Iraqi Order of the Date Palm.

He is a Master Parachutist and is Air Assault and Ranger qualified. He has also earned the Combat Action Badge and French, British, and German Jump Wings.

In 2005 he was recognized by the U.S. News and World Report as one of America’s 25 Best Leaders.

LIAR...I do not think so.

General David Betray Us

Stephen said...

I think Obama made the right choice by not voting. I'd interpret that as, Let's move on to other business.

I think the primary fault lies with the Senate for voting on this issue at all. I guess the media ought to report on this shit. But they seem to have lost the responsibility they once wore proudly of holding the Government to account. Report on the vote, but point out what BS it is.

I assume at least some pundits took that approach.