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Willisms

« Keep Despair Alive! | WILLisms.com | Even John Kerry Annoyed By 'Betray Us' Ad »

Should We Believe Petraeus . . . Or MoveOn.org?

betrayus ad.JPG

Here is the text of the execrable MoveOn.org ad that slanders General David Petraeus, on the day he testifies before Congress:

"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.” 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.”

Every independent report on the ground situation in Iraq shows that the surge strategy has failed. Yet the General claims a reduction in violence. That’s because, according to the New York Times, the Pentagon has adopted a bizarre formula for keeping tabs on violence. For example, deaths by car bombs don’t count. The Washington Post reported that assassinations only count if you’re shot in the back of the head — not the front. According to the Associated
Press, there have been more civilian deaths and more American soldier deaths in the past three months than in any other summer we’ve been there. We’ll hear of neighborhoods where violence has decreased. But we won’t hear that those neighborhoods have been ethnically cleansed.

Most importantly, General Petraeus will not admit what everyone knows: Iraq is mired in an unwinnable religious civil war. We may hear of a plan to withdraw a few thousand American troops. But we won’t hear what Americans are desperate to hear: a timetable for withdrawing all our troops. General Petraeus has actually said American troops will need to stay in Iraq for as long as ten years.

Today, before Congress and before the American people, General Petraeus is likely to become General Betray Us."

Go and read David Petraeus' op-ed piece from 2004 in which he states we have made 'tangible progress' in Iraq. The general lays out a lot of specifics that MoveOn.org does not, and cannot, challenge. Petraeus was not saying that things were all rosy in Iraq - he was simply laying out some of our successes there.

That does not put him 'at war with the facts' as MoveOn hopes you will believe - that just puts him at odds with MoveOn's radical creed that no progress of any kind is possible, ever, in Iraq, and that if you state otherwise, you are a liar and a traitor. This is a superstitious belief among the anti-war crowd, not an actual investigation of facts.

As for the surge strategy failing, well, MoveOn.org is completely invested in that narrative, but of course it is completely wrong. Anbar province has been pacified. Baquba has been pacified. As for casualties among our troops . . . the strategy is called The Surge, with troops pouring in to pacify the country (Baghdad specifically). It was expected to raise casualty rates, and it has, but not to the extent predicted.

More:

MoveOn.org Calls Petraeus a Traitor - Pete Hegseth, Weekly Standard.

Has MoveOn Betrayed the Democratic Party? - Byron York, NRO.

"A general who "betrays us" is a traitor, like Benedict Arnold. Now that it's OK to question people's patriotism, can we start with MoveOn?" says John Hinderacker.

Update: Reporting to Congress by General David Petraeus.

Update: Confederate Yankee informs us that the New York Times gave MoveOn.org a hefty 61% discount on the ad.

Posted by Ken McCracken · 10 September 2007 03:01 PM

Comments

I'd put move on.org up there with CAIR and the ADL as totally useless organizations that people of various beliefs absent mindedly give money to feel like they are doing soething for theere cause. I've neever seen a moveon.org ad that was at all clever. get a real job move -ies!

Posted by: lester at September 10, 2007 05:31 PM

Oh, I appreciate you're great patriotism, and all that, but we were promised a 6-wk war, costing $70 billion, tops, and that we'd find WMD's when we got to Iraq, as we'd confirm Saddam had ties to bin Laden, to al Qaeda, to the events of 9/11, etc., etc., etc.

Well, just as with the "Gulf of Tonkin" incident of 8/4/64, we were had, big time.

As Bush put it, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice ... ah, er, ahem, well you can't be fooled again."

Well, we have been fooled again, over and over and over again. Why is it "conservatives" don't trust the State to establish a welfare state, but trust it completely when it builds a police state?

Why don't you take a moment from your flag-waving and actually fact check what MoveOn's put up at it's website?

Here it is:

Gary

General Petraeus or General Betray Us?

View the ad (PDF)
Cooking the books for the White House

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

Yet the General claims a reduction in violence. That’s because, according to the New York Times, the Pentagon has adopted a bizarre formula for keeping tabs on violence. For example, deaths by car bombs don’t count.
“Time to Take a Stand,” by Paul Krugman. 9/7/07

The Washington Post reported that assassinations only count if you're shot in the back of the head -- not the front.
“Experts Doubt Drop in Violence in Iraq,” by Karen DeYoung. 9/6/07 l

According to news reports, there have been more civilian deaths and more American soldier deaths in the past three months than in any other summer we’ve been there.
The Associated Press, “Violence Appears to Be Shifting from Baghdad.” 8/25/07
National Public Radio, “Statistics the Weapon of Choice in Surge Debate,” by Guy Raz. 9/6/07
Associated Press, “Key Figures About Iraq Since the War Began in 2003.” 9/5/07

We'll hear of neighborhoods where violence has decreased. But we won't hear that those neighborhoods have been ethnically cleansed.
Newsweek, “Baghdad’s New Owners,” by Babak Dehghanpisheh and Larry Kaplow, 9/10/07
Ibid from the AP, “Violence Appears to be Shifting From Baghdad”
McClatchy, “Despite Violence Drop, Officers See Bleak Future for Iraq,” by Leila Fadel. 8/15/07
The New York Times, “More Iraqis Said to Flee Since Troop Rise,” by James Glanz and Stephen Farrell. 8/24/07
Most importantly, General Petraeus will not admit what everyone knows; Iraq is mired in an unwinnable religious civil war.
We may hear of a plan to withdraw a few thousand American troops.
The New York Times, “Petraeus, Seeing Gains in Iraq as Fragile, is Wary of Cuts,” by David Sanger and David Cloud, 9/7/07
The Washington Post, “Petraeus Open to Pullout of One Brigade,” by Robin Wright and Jonathan Weisman. 9/7/07.

But we won’t hear what Americans are desperate to hear: a timetable for withdrawing all our troops. General Petraeus has actually said American troops will need to stay in Iraq for as long as ten years.
The Hill, “Rep. Schakowsky: Petraeus hints at decade-long Iraq presence,” by Patrick FitzGerald. 8/10/07
Today before Congress and before the American people, General Petraeus is likely to become General Betray Us.

Posted by: Gary A., San Francisco at September 11, 2007 02:18 AM

Why is it "conservatives" don't trust the State to establish a welfare state, but trust it completely when it builds a police state?

Regarding the welfare state, we don't trust it because we've seen its failings. In the U.S., poverty decreased dramatically between the end of WW2 and the mid 1960s (when LBJ established the welfare state) but has held firm, with minor fluctuations, since then. Meanwhile, illegitimate childbirth has soared.

Regarding the police state, I'm not sure if you mean here or in Iraq. The police state in the U.S. is a figment of the left's imagination, unless you consider the increased hassles of going through an airport security check to be a police state. I will change my mind on this point when someone points out the name of ONE person jailed for nothing more than criticizing Bush's policies. If we had a police state here, the numerous Bush critics, such as the Dixie Chicks and Michael Moore, would be in jail. If you mean Iraq, the only police state there was under Saddam Insane.

Oh, I appreciate you're great patriotism, and all that, but we were promised a 6-wk war, costing $70 billion, tops, and that we'd find WMD's when we got to Iraq, as we'd confirm Saddam had ties to bin Laden, to al Qaeda, to the events of 9/11, etc., etc., etc.

The belief that there were WMD's in Iraq started before Bush became president. For example:

"No one has done what Saddam Hussein has done, or is thinking of doing. He is producing weapons of mass destruction, and he is qualitatively and quantitatively different from other dictators."
Madeleine Albright, Town Hall Meeting on Iraq at Ohio State University, February 18, 1998

"Saddam Hussein has spent the better part of this decade and much of his nation's wealth not on providing for the Iraqi people but on developing nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them."
President Clinton, State of the Union address, January 27, 1998

These and other quotes, mainly by Democrats, may be found here.

Whenever Bush expressed the belief that WMD's, he was merely continuing the same belief previously adopted by the Clinton administration.

As for Saddam's alleged ties to OBL, AQ and 9/11, the Bush administration has NEVER accused Saddam of being involved in 9/11, only in that there was some contact between AQ and Iraqi officials. The late AQ leader Al Zarqawi was in Iraq BEFORE the U.S. invasion, and had also been in Afghanistan. His presence in Iraq without Saddam's knowledge and approval would have been very unlikely. Saddam also harbored Abdul Raman Yassin, fugitive from the 1st WTC attack, for ten years, according to documents found in Iraq. This would make Sadda, an accessory after the fact.

Posted by: Bigfoot at September 11, 2007 10:05 AM

Oops. In the last line of the previous comment, "Sadda," should be "Saddam".

Posted by: Bigfoot at September 11, 2007 10:06 AM

IF it takes 100 years? We should stay! No one ever PROMISED it would take 6 weeks!... We should all be thankful Saddam is dead. There is still a job to do. We should be thankful we are not having attacks on American soil and risking the lives of innocent citizens. Homeland security is not perfect. BUT it is doing it's job trying to keep us safe from more attacks such as 9-11-2001.

Posted by: zsa zsa at September 11, 2007 04:10 PM

Oh, I appreciate you're great patriotism, and all that, but we were promised a 6-wk war, costing $70 billion, tops, and that we'd find WMD's when we got to Iraq, as we'd confirm Saddam had ties to bin Laden, to al Qaeda, to the events of 9/11, etc., etc., etc.

None of this has a single thing to do with the situation we find ourselves in now. Are you arguing that mistakes in intelligence leading up to the war mean we need to just cut and run now? You need to think about the consequences of leaving rather than the conditions that put us in Iraq.

Even still, no one promised a 6 week war at only $70 billion - and even if they did, than can only be a mere prediction, there is no such thing as a crystal ball. Oh, so the war has lasted more than six weeks - that means we have to leave? We leave when we have won, no sooner.

As for Saddam, no one in the administration stated he was responsible for 911. But he did harbor Zarqawi, and Abu Nidal . . . and he was paying money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. He was most definitely involved in terrorism. And chemical weapons, which he used on his own people at Halabja and in the Iraq-Iran war.

As for the claim that 'every independent report on the ground situation in Iraq shows that the surge strategy has failed', this simply is not true. The GAO report, for example is a report on the Iraq not meeting its benchmarks for progress in legislative, and economic areas etc.

This has nothing to do with The Surge whatsoever.

The Surge is supposed to secure Baghdad with the hope that an improvement in the military situation will lead to eventual political reconciliation. That 'political reconciliation' is not the direct goal of the Surge itself.

Besides, who am I supposed to believe here - wonks at the GAO, or the actual general in charge of the operation? Sorry, I am not so jaded as to just dimiss what Petraeus says as a pack of lies, as does MoveOn.org.

Posted by: Ken McCacken at September 12, 2007 02:57 PM

I dn't know if we are going to have a police state, but I agree that conservatives are hypocritical, or maybe just crazy, to put so much faith in this or that general or the pentagon/ war side of the government. Look at rumsfeld. look at wolfowitz. they are as big as the idiots who are in the rest of the government.

and conservatives need to shut up about this ad. it was in bad taste but it doens't have anything at all to do with the war. people are getting killed. if the ad had been brilliant would you all be for an immediate withdrawl? of course not. focus on substance not gossip

Posted by: lester at September 12, 2007 05:12 PM

It has nothing to do with the war, but it has everything to do with the political war at home, which is the only place where al-Qaeda can beat us.

Lester, we have to trust the military on this. Of course they are not perfect and they are part of the government, but that does not mean we dismiss them out of hand before they have even testified.

Posted by: Ken McCacken at September 12, 2007 07:05 PM

I admire Ed Koch for saying, "The Democratic candidates declined to denounce MoveOn because they fear themselves becoming the victims of a similar onslaught from the radical left. This is a cowardly position."

Posted by: zsa zsa at September 13, 2007 07:09 AM

"It has nothing to do with the war, but it has everything to do with the political war at home, which is the only place where al-Qaeda can beat us."

whose point are you trying to make? warrentless wiretapping, stifling dissent, massive military budgets incurring massive debt. al queda IS destroying us at home. we are acting like a third world country out of FEAR and paranoia.

if a war is going badly, people are going to be against it. tha'ts just the way it is.

the free market solution is to not get in to wars.


Posted by: lester at September 13, 2007 02:57 PM

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