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Sep. 21st, 2007 | 10:02 am

So MoveOn ran an ad implying that General Paetreus was "betraying" us. Interesting the senate voted to:

To express the sense of the Senate that General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces.


However I remember the anti-war protests seeming to have a better track record of predicting what would happen if we invaded Iraq than the Bush administration. So I thought I'd go looking.

predictions from moveon off of web.archive.org

Instability in the region, and strengthening "islamic fundamentalism" seem like accurate predictions, though the left seriously overestimated the strength of the Iraq army.
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Comments {8}

markcronan

How is this the same issue?

from: markcronan
date: Sep. 21st, 2007 07:45 pm (UTC)
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How is predicting war results for a President the same as essentially calling the current leading US soldier a traitor?

The ad was at best in poor taste. Hard to claim you support the troops but not the war when you bash the soldiers themselves (and General Petraeus is definitely a soldier). Even most of the left agree it was a bad idea to run that ad, and hurt the cause more than helped it. MoveOn screwed that one up, and I am glad most folks have called them to task for it.

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Diane Trout

Re: How is this the same issue?

from: alienghic
date: Sep. 21st, 2007 08:04 pm (UTC)
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Actually it was probably in a far better taste than A Modest Proposal. Childish and a very pathetic pun, yes.

The reason I compared who was more accurate, is that I felt taht the opposition has been a far better predictor of the outcome of invading Iraq than the administration.

However the administration has be consistently ignoring or at most discounting everything the opposition has been saying since the invasion.

In desperation to get someones attention they resorted to name calling. But its not like the opposition hasn't tried rational discourse. They tried that before we invaded, there were tens of thousands of people marching in the street saying "bad things would happen to america if we invade."

Shockingly to the administration bad things have happened to America since we invaded.

And "support our troops" is a meaningless slogan chanted to disrupt discourse.

What is support? If your the administration it is unquestioning loyalty to authority, if your the opposition its trying to keep people from being killed. Both can be considered support by their respective sides.


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markcronan

Re: How is this the same issue?

from: markcronan
date: Sep. 21st, 2007 08:55 pm (UTC)
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Opposition trying to keep people from being killed is indeed support for the troops. However, calling their General a traitor is not. That's the difference.

MoveOn is not some tiny group buried under the tide of opinion squeaking out of desperation to be heard. They are perhaps one of the largest and most influential political action groups in the nation. They already have everyone's attention, and have had that attention for quite some time now. It's time they stopped behaving like some individual's tiny internet blog, and start behaving like the important and influential organization they are. Throwing away the contributions of their supporters by taking out that juvenile ad was, as you said, childish. It changed nobody's mind, and probably lost them some support.

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Diane Trout

Re: How is this the same issue?

from: alienghic
date: Sep. 21st, 2007 10:44 pm (UTC)
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Actually you're wrong on several cases.

No one is powerful enough to get large swaths of the country to pay attention to them. Some people are so dense or distracted that they don't see the giant flashing signs warning them of the train about to hit them.

There are enough distracted people that the only way to get the attention of anyone outside of your immediate clique is to engage in some kind of political theater. That's what gets you the chance of news coverage, that's what gets you the chance of people getting pissed off enough to talk about you.

In marketing there's the idea that any press is good press.

from an email I got from move on:

And then came the donations. By midnight, over 12,000 people had donated $500,000--more than we've raised any day this year--for our new ad calling out the Republicans who blocked adequate rest for troops headed back to Iraq.


I would say that by the standards of marketing, this ad was a smashing success.

It is incredibly divisive, but that appears to be the state of modern American politics. People are angry at being ignored by the administration, they want to lash out at them, they want them to hurt. That just how people are. Blame the other and try to make them suffer.

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Dilinger

Re: How is this the same issue?

from: dilinger
date: Sep. 26th, 2007 02:51 pm (UTC)
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Mark, I don't know you that well but I completely respect your opinion on this.

However,

I think your missing the point of the ad. The ad was more to point out that his hands are tied. They are pointing out that he isn't being fully honest to a degree that is helpful to the US.

(forgive me I'm a little tired, so I hope I do this justice)

First: 20 Retired Generals have come out against the war and the policy. To my knowledge there are no active duty Generals that have done this. Any who have were demoted or retired. (I don't have details on this)

The number generally accepted for an invasion of this magnitude "in troops" is 500K +. Peatrus Wrote a field manual on insurgency and his ratio is 1 soldrier to every 40 people in the population. Which again puts us in the neigboorhood of 500k+.

The problem is Peatraus has to appease his boss. He has a legacy to fullfill. I shouldn't presume to know where his mind is at, but listening to the actual interview on Cspan, you can tell he is working very hard to tell the truth, but to put a particular spin on it. He knows we don't have the troops. In order to get what he needs he would have to ask for a Draft. The military often has to deal with what they have. Patton Believed if he had XXXTons of fuel availible he would have been able to end WorldWar II alot sooner. (don't remember the exact quote, but basicly fuel supplies were low.) In this war, people supplies are low. We can't give him what we don't have. He has a mission, and most marines are hard headed enough to keep trying.


The big problem here, is that most people who will attack this add will never watch the testemony and will never be able to ask the question were they right. Did He do a good job describing the situation and did it reflect reality or did it reflect spin. I think that was the point that Diane was trying to make. That over time History will come to understand this situation, and it is likely to proove Move on was more right then wrong. Sometimes it is hard to point out the 800 lb Gorilla in the room.

I personally think we should hire India and China to come in and police the state. For the ammount we spend on our troops plus Blackwater, haliburton ETC, we could get 1.5 million troops on the ground.



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markcronan

Re: How is this the same issue?

from: markcronan
date: Sep. 27th, 2007 08:11 pm (UTC)
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I appreciate the reply.

Retired generals being against the war isn't really relevant to saying our current General is betraying his own nation. A difference of opinion, particularly between a group of people with access to current intelligence reports (current Generals) and a group without that access (retired Generals), isn't really a good way to determine someone has betrayed his nation.

An old field manual, or "generally accepted numbers", also is not a good excuse to call someone a traitor to their nation for coming up with a different number once actually looking at the situation and the current intelligence reports.

The issue of appeasing his boss and legacy and a draft is all pure speculation. You don't call the leading U.S. General a traitor based on pure speculation.

If the General is wrong in his estimations and predictions, it doesn't make him someone who betrayed his nation. And frankly, I am getting tired of rhetoric which says that if you turn out to be wrong, then you are a liar and a betrayer of your nation. We should not hold our leaders to such a standard that they can never risk ever being wrong without being labelled a traitor. And yet, that's what this ad does, and that's what your argument seems to come down to (you think history will show he was wrong, therefore calling him someone who is betraying his nation is justified).

My beef, and most people's beef, is that the use of the term "Betray US" is inflammatory, demeaning, false, snarky, and a return to a policy of actually bashing the troops rather than supporting them. It's not about what the General's predictions are for the war, or if we should continue the war, or what policies we should follow for the war. It's about calling the leading General a traitor simply because you disagree with his decisions.

People can disagree with the war and remain civil in that disagreement. I think we should encourage that civility, and shame those who violate it (on both sides of the aisle). Move On deserves to be shamed for that cheap shot.

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Diane Trout

Re: How is this the same issue?

from: alienghic
date: Sep. 27th, 2007 11:53 pm (UTC)
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Ok, so moveon was probably too enamored of their pun.

Though technically betray can mean "4. a. To lead astray or into error, as a false guide; to mislead, seduce, deceive" OED 2nd Edition.

And it can also be argued that the ultimate winners of the Iraq war are Iran and China. So one can claim that the current Administration has betrayed us to China and Iran, by seriously weakening our economy.

However it is far more likely they really badly wanted the pun, and since betray can kind of sort of mean what they wanted to say--that the administration and Petraeus was misleading us--they went with it.

And then the right-wingers, totally shocked at being called traitors decided to start a giant flame fest. (Completely ignoring the fact that they've been calling all of the left-wingers traitors for the past several years).

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markcronan

Re: How is this the same issue?

from: markcronan
date: Sep. 28th, 2007 05:35 am (UTC)
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It's just a talking point that the right has been accusing the left of being traitors for the past several years. A few outrageous shock jocks have been doing it, but the right in general has not.

But given many on the left don't bother to actually listen to people on the right, beyond the stuff that is sound-bited (usually out of context) and reported in leftist rags like MoveOn, the left just seem to assume that accusation is being made all the time by the right.

However, this crying wolf victimhood thing, where the left claims (frequently) that the right is accusing them of being traitors just for opposing the war, can be heard a LOT more often than the actual accusation of being a traitor itself.

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