MoveOn Was Right: General Betray Us is right to criticize General Petraeus:

General Petraeus is a military man constantly at war with the facts. In 2004, just before the election, he said there was “tangible progress“ in Iraq and that “Iraqi leaders are stepping forward.”
Washington Post, “Battling for Iraq,” by David H. Petraeus.  9/26/04 (see below)

And last week Petraeus, the architect of the escalation of troops in Iraq , said ”We say we have achieved progress, and we are obviously going to do everything we can to build on that progress.”
The Australian, “Surge Working: Top US General,” by Dennis Shanahan.  8/31/07

Every independent report on the ground situation in Iraq shows that the surge strategy has failed.
GAO report, 9/4/07
NIE report, 8/23/07
Jones report, CSIS, 9/6/07

This is something the left needs to do carefully and effectively.  Why?  Because military officers are the most respected public officials when placed next to congress critters and the executive branch (PRWatch):

Asked to choose among the administration, Congress and military commanders, 21 percent said they would most trust Congress and 68 percent expressed most trust in military commanders. That is almost certainly why the White House has presented General Petraeus and Mr. Crocker as unbiased professionals, not Bush partisans.”

Yet they are Bush partisans.  And this is fucking dangerous.  Our top military brass has already been molded to fit the political aims of the President (ProgressiveDailyBeacon):

George W. Bush knows how to get Generals to concur with his disastrous plans: he fires all that disagree and promotes the numbskulls who agree.

And the American people believe them.  Bush has found a way to close his staggering credibility gap (Olberman via Crooks and Liars):

And after all of that, today it is his credibility versus that of generals, diplomats, allies, Republicans, Democrats, the Iraq Study Group, past presidents, voters last November, and the majority of the American people.

So he’s putting yes-men generals  in the spotlight and hoping the America people will buy it.  Just like we bought the war.

Will we?


6 Responses

  1. Well part of it is this worship of the uniform that has taken hold of the American collective consciousness. I guess the Myth of the Stab in the Back still operates. Put anyone with an uniform and he or she gets great deference, regardless of his words or achievements. Last time I check the civilians had control over the military, not the other way around. I guess all those phony stories about hippies spiting on returning GIs made their mark.

  2. General Petraeus has more honor and character than anyone pushing MoveOn ideology. The concept of honor and character is not valued by this group. Too bad you don’t get the meaning of “service” to one’s country.

  3. Rafael,
    There is a fine line between worship of all things military and respect for those who serve. It is a dangerous line for us to have crossed. I wouldn’t say its the myth of the stab in the back that creates uncritical respect for officers though. Something other than “support the troops” is going on here.
    Don Bailey,
    At some point you have to drop the psychological projection act. Pointing out the war is failing is not ideology. It is fact. While Bush Republicans substitute ideology for fact constantly, not every political group stoops to this level.
    I can tell you, personally, I absolutely value honor and character. And I know that being a pr flack for the President instead of an officer for the entire country is dishonorable.
    Rather than spouting lines like “you don’t get the meaning of “service” to one’s country”, why do you take a moment and consider the role of the military in our country. At one point we had generals who made honest assessments and presented that to the civilian leadership. Bush fired them. Don’t you see the problem with military leadership that “helps” the “facts” fit the goals of the executive branch?

  4. […] is dangerous, this canonization of Petraeus even as he acts as Bush’s military-political foil. It represents a dire opportunity for us to go on the offensive. We missed our first chance to do […]

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