The Assault on Petraeus
The smearing of General Petraeus by congressional Democrats is a disgrace. MoveOn.org started the attack by calling General Petraeus General "Betray Us" in an attack ad published in the New York Times (at a special "attack Republican" rate), an ad that no prominent Democrat Senator has repudiated.
Far worse, however, than the MoveOn smear was Hillary Clinton's attack on Petraeus. A far-left blog could be excused for attempting cast doubt on Petraeus on grounds of ignorance, overzealousness, or ill judgement. There is no excuse for a ranking member of the Armed Services Committee calling a four star general a liar with absolutely no basis whatsoever for her accusation. Clinton said "You have been made the de facto spokesmen for what many of us believe to be a failed policy. Despite what I view is your rather extraordinary efforts in your testimony both yesterday and today, I think that the reports that you provide to us really require a willing suspension of disbelief."
I suppose that Hillary knows all about "suspension of disbelief", considering that she had no idea that Bill had had an affair. Now that's suspension of disbelief. Hillary's remark also makes one wonder why she thinks that she has a better handle on the situation in Iraq than the person who is actually in charge there. What intelligence service does she receive that provides better information than that which Petraeus possesses? Or if Petraeus if an unmitigated liar, why didn't she tell us this in June, so we wouldn't have to bother with a Petraeus report?
Many people seem to consider this attack on a respected general unprecedented and an example of Democrats pandering to leftwing blogs such as the aforementioned MoveOn.org. Neither impression is really accurate.
The left wing attacked American soldiers in Vietnam simply for being there. They were called murderers, and the men who led them were undermined from home. The Democrats inquisition and character assassination of General Petraeus is mild in comparison to the vitriol that was directed at the military by the Democrats forerunners in Congress.
The Democrats attacks on Petraeus are not pandering to MoveOn.org and the DailyKos. They have charted the antiwar path long ago. For Democrats to win in 2008, Iraq must be a disaster. They campaigned on that message last November, and they have campaigned on that message for the whole duration of this Presidential campaign. An optimistic Petraeus report would be disastrous for them. They are not attacking Petraeus because of MoveOn.org. They are attacking him because, given the position they are in, it is the only thing they can do.