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Slandering the general

Posted by Richard on September 10, 2007

Remember when the left's mantra was "listen to the generals"? That was when Abizaid and Casey were pursuing a failing strategy, blaming it on a "civil war," and saying that more troops wouldn't help. Now that Gen. Petraeus (who was confirmed unanimously by the Senate, remember) has implemented a successful strategy, put the lie to the "civil war" meme, and shown that a few more troops, if effectively used, make all the difference in the world, the left doesn't want to listen to the generals anymore. It doesn't even want to accord them any courtesy or respect.

In the run-up to Petraeus' testimony before Congress, Democrats have finally embraced the idea of pre-emptive strikes — against our troops. Sen. Durbin accused the general of "manipulating statistics" before hearing what the general had to say. Sen. Feinstein, who praised Petraeus lavishly when confirming him, dismissed what he had to say because "I don't think General Petraeus has an independent view in that sense. General Petraeus is there to succeed." 

And this morning's New York Times features a full-page ad paid for by George Soros and headlined "General Petraeus or General Betray us? Cooking the books for the White House." As Pete Hegseth of Vets for Freedom put it:

Let's be clear: is suggesting that General Petraeus has 'betrayed' his country. This is disgusting. To attack as a traitor an American general commanding forces in war because his 'on the ground' experience does not align with's political objectives is utterly shameful. It shows contempt for America's military leadership, as well as for the troops who have confidence in him, as our fellow soldiers in Iraq certainly do. 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.'

So, veterans who served in Iraq ask the Democratic leaders in Congress: Does speak for you? Do you agree with Or do you repudiate this despicable charge?

None of this is surprising, really, and not just because of differences over the war. Consider Feinstein's remark, because it illustrates a key characteristic of today's left. Petraeus is determined to succeed, and to Feinstein that's an unforgivable flaw.

The left doesn't like successful, achievement-oriented people, and generally works to punish success and pull down high achievers. They liked the generals who just muddled along, keeping their heads down and accomplishing little. They supported the troops as long as the troops weren't killing too many of the enemy and weren't making too much progress. They deny success is happening because they don't want it to be possible, and they'll work to undermine it. 

Isn't that just what they do regarding economic policy, taxes, regulation, education, and so on? The left's resentment of achievement applies to the military just as it does to business and other aspects of life. It's losers and failures that they're eager to embrace, elevate, and reward.

UPDATE: A Democrat has denounced the Soros/MoveOn ad as "an outrageous and despicable act of slander that every member of the Congress – Democrat and Republican – has a solemn responsibility to condemn." No surprise — it's Sen. Joe Lieberman. 

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