For the past several days, Democratic representatives, senators, and their allied groups have been trying to shape the American public’s conclusions about the efficacy of the surge strategy before General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker could even give their reports. Unable to deal with the facts on the ground –the drop in violence in Baghdad; the near pacification of Anbar province, once an al-Qaeda stronghold; the growing alliance with Sunni tribes who are tired of al-Qaeda’s psychotic violence; even political progress— the anti-war faction has resorted to smear-job tactics, questioning the honesty and integrity of American commander in Iraq.
Now they’ve hit bottom*. In a full-page ad in today’s New York Times, MoveOn.org, one of the dominant voices of the Democratic left wing, accuses a serving four-star general, our commander in Iraq who was unanimously approved by the Senate, of betraying the American people:
Note the junior-high humor – making a childish pun on Petraeus’ name. Thus the American Left shows its maturity and gravitas. With the nation at war and the senior commander due to give a crucial report, they act like brats in a schoolyard. They accuse not only the general himself, but every soldier serving with him of lacking the integrity to deliver an honest assessment, of conspiring in a lie, of selling out the American people to serve the narrow interests of the Bush Administration.
This is disgusting. Is the anti-war faction so obsessed by hatred of George Bush and so focused on short-term political gains that they will insult and demean an officer with a long and honorable career, one who has at last come up with an effective strategy?
Maybe that’s it. Maybe the Democratic leadership and the anti-war "activists" they pander to are desperate to derail any balanced assessment of the situation in Iraq, because that assessment would show progress. And don’t think this is limited to political action groups and that the Democrats are somehow above it. Far from it; they’re cheering MoveOn on:
MoveOn.org has been working closely with the Democratic congressional leadership –as an article in today’s Sunday New York Times Magazine makes clear. And consider this comment by a Democratic senator from Friday’s Politico: "’No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV,’ noted one Democratic senator, who spoke on the condition on anonymity. ‘The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us.’
I’ve come not to expect much from members of Congress –Democrat and Republican– over the years: granting the exceptions that are few and far between, most are just there to make sure they’re re-elected. No real sense of duty or obligation, no ability to rise above the petty, no recognition that there are some things more important than the next election. So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at this.
But is it too damned much to ask that they at least be honest about their motives?
LINKS: This has been all over the blogosphere. For a sampling from the Center-Right, have a look at Captain’s Quarters, where Ed has a retired soldier’s reply to the ad; Heading Right (and here, too); Power Line, where John wonders if it’s OK to question MoveOn’s patriotism, since they’ve assaulted Petraeus’; Michelle Malkin; Austin Bay; the Britain and America blog; Atlas Shrugs, where Pamela reprints Senator Coleman’s rebuttal to MoveOn’s ad; Blue Crab Boulevard, where Gaius thinks this could backfire on the Democrats; finally, Gateway Pundit calls this an "absolute low."
UPDATE: General Petraeus’ report to Congress can be read at The Long War Journal.
*(Somehow, I’m sure they’ll keep digging.)