There has been a great deal of sturm und drang from the Right about MoveOn’s ad calling General David Petraeus, General Betray Us. Of course, those same Solons haven’t condemned Rush’s claim that soldiers who oppose this stupid war are ‘phony soldiers’. And, unfortunately, those voices of hypocrisy have even been joined by the far-too-common invertebrates among the Left who think it acceptable for Congress to condemn the political speech of American citizens, including our own Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
Gabby should apologize to every member of MoveOn for her vote. She set a poor example by failing to uphold the American tradition of free speech and freedom of conscience amid political pressures.
The greatest American right is the right to speak your mind, especially when someone is offended – because the powerful are always offended when it is pointed out that what they are doing is offensive.
Gabby failed that test. She did have a moment of conscience when she voted to keep the dastardly resolution off the floor, but she failed the final exam. Such a fundamental betrayal (ah, that shocking word again!) of our deepest traditions is only forgivable if she recognizes her failure and intends to do better by her constituents. The same goes for every Democrat who voted shamefully to disparage the rights of their own constituents.
MoveOn’s ad may have been sophomoric in tone, but it obviously went straight to the heart of the issue. The hornets don’t get that angry unless you kick their hive.
I stand firmly in the camp that defends that ad because the General, despite what I am sure are his many positive qualities, failed in his duty to the troops and his country by acting as the White House’s general, instead of America’s. He put on rose-colored glasses and ate the shit sandwich the Administration served him, then he gave Congress a song and dance completely divorced from the strategic mission in Iraq and designed solely to serve the political agenda of Resident Bush. I won’t apologize for holding the view that by becoming a politician in a uniform, instead of the clear-sighted, plain-speaking professional soldier we needed, Petraeus did, in fact, betray all of us.
Now, there is even evidence that Petraeus had his eye on his own interests all along: apparently he harbors a desire to run for the Presidency (presumably on the GOP ticket) as soon as 2012. Many are even calling for an X/Petraeus ticket in 2008. So far, I’ve only heard Thompson/Petraeus as a possibility (they may even pursue a third-party bid on the Testosterone Party ticket), but I’m sure that any of the current struggling nominee-wanna-bes would welcome some brass on the bottom of their tickets.
Nor is Petraeus the only willing tool of the Neo-Cons in uniform to be courting a political golden parachute when his military career track tops out. General Peter Pace, recently retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is being actively recruited to run for the open Senate seat for Virginia, and is even mentioned as a late addition to the GOP line-up for 2008.
Nor is that end of the GOP’s current crop of politicians in uniform. There was a great deal of speculation about the political future of Gen. Tommy Franks, the wet noodle who originally rolled over for the Neo-Con vision of how to lose a war in the 5 years or less.
This White House has been very adept at selecting command staff who will do exactly what they are told, despite the damage those orders will do to the service, the troops, or the nation. The Neo-Cons hide their military policy behind claims to simply be doing what their command staff recommends. It is a mendacious and cowardly trick that is undermining America’s faith in the non-political nature of our armed forces.
The Neo-Cons have mastered this shell game and used it to pull a short con on all of us. Where are the WMD? Just pick one! Oh, too bad, but your booby prize is a never-ending occupation of Iraq draining the life out of our treasury and our military!
All the Neo-Con’s game needed was a few officers who really aspired to be politicians, and were willing to do what they were told and prostitute their professional reputations in exchange for political IOUs. This Administration is really effective at identifying these betrayers and using them for all they are worth – which in my estimation, isn’t much.