John Kerry said:
I don’t like any kind of characterizations in our politics that call into question any active duty, distinguished general, … who I think under any circumstances serves with the best interests of our country.
I have two words for Kerry: William Westmoreland.
The very real question that MoveOn raised is whether we can trust Gen. Petraeus to serve the best interests of America, to whose Constitution he swore his oath, or only the best interests of his patron, Duhbya.
(Come see me at home.)
Please share widely!
Military leaders who cannot be questioned:
Mobutu Sese Soko
Why anyone would want to put American leadership on this list is beyond my understanding.
…but this man has been on fire for the past few weeks.
“Americans are very keen on themselves”
a British lady once remarked to us as we were discussing politics with her on a train in southern France. What she meant was that many Americans consider themselves, and by extension, their political leaders, as beyond criticism.
That’s what this silliness regarding MoveOn’s use of the pun on Petraeus’s name is about. If it wasn’t that, the pro-warriors would have found something else to moan and groan over.
Not being persuasive, factual, honest, or convincing, the Bush Administration wanted to load up their Iraq policy onto General Petreaus' reputation and ride it through Congress. The idea was precisely to rely on the fact that Petreaus could get away with mendacity because no one would accuse a noble warrior of lying.
But guess what? His presentation was dishonest and that dishonesty costs lives, limbs, and money.
So somebody had to take on the illusion of the impregnably perfect reputation of General Petreaus. MoveOn did. Even if they offended three quarters of Democrats and made everyone shake their heads, what MoveOn did was to make space for people to say, “This guy is a liar.”
You know what? That was really helpful.
That's what we need to get out of a country where a majority of people living there don't think we belong.
if the report was criticized instead of impugning the man's reputation? Even Hillary chose that route. I think the ad was extreme. My father-in-law, now an independent after years as a Democrat, was very nearly apoplectic. He served in WWII, and was appalled by the ad. I imagine there are more than just of few like him across the country. I think there was a better way to provide an insightful analysis without attacking the person. I don't think we're going to gain all that much with this kind of “help.”
So we're supposed to say that the guy is not being honest without impugning his reputation. I'm not sure how one carries off that rhetorical stunt. I don't think it's possible.
… actually read the ad? Or was he reacting to what the wingnut media monolith told him?
He did read the ad; why would you ask that? And he has a computer and he's very internet savvy.
And KB as for calling the report into question without launching an ad-hominem attack – it gets done all the time. Professional people can question the methodology, the scope, metrics, etc of analysis without impugning someone's integrity. Level-head professional analysis will trump vitriolic hyperbole. The one thing I did note from the hearing was when one of the Senators asked Petreaus is his strategies would make America safe. When he was pressed further (he answered initially in military-speak) he acknowledged that he “didn't know.”
I used to think this. Then I saw Bush re-elected, gay people’s citizenship and humanity savaged, and the civil liberties of all Americans curtailed. Clearly, a calm and logical conversation just doesn’t break the wax barrier in some people’s ears.
Gen. Petraeus went before Congress as a political representative of Duhbya. I wish it were not true, but I'd be naive to believe otherwise. Petraeus, whatever his other qualities, has a history of shilling for the Bushists, dating to his well-known 2004 election season op-ed. He wasn't prominent enough for that to be “peace is at hand,” but the op-ed was still a political act.
Purple, if you think analysis trumps message, where have you been for the past, oh, forever? If one voter in twenty gathers facts and makes rational political decisions, I'd be surprised.
The funny thing is that the MoveOn ad did includes analysis; it just wasn't dispassionate enough to suit many people. Dispassion is valuable, but it is not convincing. Witness the controversies over tobacco, evolution, global warming, and other aspects of reality, where marketing fog intentionally perpetrated by PR firms and their astroturf creations prevents the rational interpretation of data.
As for why I asked about whether you father-in-law had actually seen the ad: His understanding of it seemed limited to the headline, not to the footnoted analysis. Further, think about all the times when the nation as a whole has reached facile conclusions based on conclusions that the media helped us leap to without real foundation:
The GOP media operation gets its narrative line out and drives people to let their imaginations run away with them. That's happening here too.
I'm tired of trying sweet reason on Al Capone, so I'm not inclined to apologize for rhetorical blows that the Bushists think are excessive. I'm more inclined to hit them again.
but no Wednesday morning quarterbacking if you give the GOP ammo in the South and the West for launching an ad-hominem attack on a general. I guess we don't need those votes.