Thursday, September 20, 2007

OK, Hold On A Sec...

You know, I've been hearing a lot about how Gen. Petraeus has somehow made himself a political tool of Bush, or has been forced to become one by Bush. This whole idea reeks of absurdity. Keith Olbermann, on most occasions is level-headed and relatively cool. He's opposed to the war in Iraq sure enough, and he hasn't hidden that fact. His criticisms are often snarky and biting, but most times I say, no big deal. But the rant I heard tonight at the end of his show (I'll post the link as soon as it's available) was, for the lack of a better word, unhinged. For a guy who counts himself as a foe of Bill O'Reilly, he sure managed to channel his spirit of hysterical outrage.

His comments were in response to Bush's admittedly self-serving pile-on about the MoveOn ad( backed up by an equally self-serving stunt resolution in the Senate). He argued that Bush and the GOP are in no moral position to chastise MoveOn, when they were mute on the Swiftboating of Max Cleland, and John Kerry. First off, as a rule, one should never justify bad behavior by other bad behavior, and secondly, Bush and crew may not have any credibility here, but the rest of us do. I condemned the Swiftboat smears. I condemned the smears on Max Cleland, and John Murtha (when they called him a coward), and others. John Cornyn (a guy I have limited respect for) has no moral position, but I do, and the 22 Dems who voted for the resolution do.

The thing is though, Olbermann actually goes on to defend the ad, and asserts that Petraeus has somehow made himself a political operative of Bush, and Bush has hidden behind Petraeus. Olbermann and others forget that it was the Democratic controlled Congress that rightly passed the measure that required Petraeus to testify before Congress. Petraeus is the top commander in Iraq. Based on his views and analysis, he supports the surge, and testified as such in the hearings. I fail to see how he made himself a puppet or a front man for Bush. It seems that those who believe he is a puppet, believe so because they cannot possibly fathom that anyone could possibly support the surge. According to Kos, only "moron dead-enders" still support the war, so when Petraeus says the war is still winnable, and that the surge is working, he must be a liar, and even a traitor.

At least, that's how Olbermann and others see it.

Olbermann comes close to making a valid point when he talks about the military influencing civilian policy, but he totally misses it. Petraeus is not MacArthur, or McClellan setting policy. He's simply doing the job the Senate confirmed him to do. Criticizing Petraeus is fine. But, I think he deserves a whole lot better than to have his loyalty and integrity tarnished, because he believes in his job.

Oh, and Keith, I know it gets on your nerves when the GOP calls the Democratic Party the "Democrat" Party. It irks me too, but you do learn to get past it; to move on, if you will.


q.j. said...


Attacking General Petraeus character is unproductive. The focus of criticism should be his analysis. As a person on the side of anti-war, we should produce evidence and analysis that counters General Petraeus opinion. Character assassination is childish.

Rafique Tucker said...

Exactly. If you disagree with his findings, that's fine. The problem is, some war opponents have decided that the war cannot possibly be going well, so when Petraeus gives his analysis, in their minds he must be lying, and shilling for Bush. It's the character assasination that's the problem.

imsmall said...


A "worthwhile" enterprise, thus did
The General promote
Invasion, pro-war zeal encrusted
With sentiments to dote:
He earns his living from the war,
It is not patriotic
Or patriotism under care
Force-fed antibiotic.

The fighting man upon the ground
Will seldom favor war,
But desk-bound generals, it´s found
More "realistic" are--
Especially when, good fancy fare
Thereby may fill their plate,
One´s base-camp life so debonair,
Tab picked up by the state.

Careerists run the policies,
So that, although they may
See well what the whole world too sees,
They bite their tongue, and they
Accede to what the emperor
As is in charge that day
Views pertinent, prudential, or
Whatever one may say.

The war not only was immoral
But foolhardy to start,
Yet Generals will have no quarrel,
Whose sweet is mighty tart;
The chill upon that Chardonnay
May suit their palates fine,
For worthwhile things are A-OK,
One´s desk not on the line.