Column/General Petraeus betrayed: Truth prevails anyways

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 23, 2007

Some of you are probably aware of the recent advertisement, a full page ad that appeared in The New York Times on the same day last week that General Petraeus, commander of U.S. military forces in Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, appeared before Congress for hearings on the Iraq war. Both told the straight-out truth about the current military and political climate in Iraq.

The ad, which has produced a considerable amount of controversy and serious condemnation from many Republicans, shows a large picture of Petraeus with the following words underneath the picture: “General Petraeus or General Betray Us.”

The ad in question would normally cost $181,000, but the Times gave MoveOn a huge discount, reducing the ad cost do a mere $65,000.

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This ad was produced and paid for by the far-left web site,, which is run and owned by radical leftist George Soros, the foreign-born Hollywood billionaire .What happened in the hearings was that the liberal politicians in Congress were undeterred by the ad criticism and proceeded to denigrate both the general and the ambassador with rude and unconscionable slurs and innuendoes, attacking the credibility of both gentlemen.

Columnist Thomas Smith of National Review, in an interview with Congressman Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), received a very cogent statement from Blunt, regarding Petraues’ qualifications:

“It’s not every day that sees a four-star general, a Princeton Ph.D., a recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal, and the chief author of the Army’s definitive counterinsurgency manual testify before Congress. But in General Petraeus, my colleagues were presented with every bit of that assembled expertise in the form of a single man.”

The above statement says it all about Petraeus in terms of his being eminently qualified for his job as leader of our military effort in Iraq. His performance in front of mostly contentious liberal House and Senate members was that of a very strong, impeccably prepared military commander armed with the truth.

What he had to say, as he described the significant military progress made recently in Iraq, was not what the Democrats wanted to hear.

The Left now have a serious dilemma, as pointed out by Mr. Smith, in that they have tried to characterize Petraeus as a honorable man (honorable men only tell the truth), and at the same time “a liar who would betray his country.” Obviously, they look very foolish, trying to have it both ways.

Some weeks ago the “pickle” the liberals now find themselves in, exacerbated further by their recent “Betray Us” ad, was foretold by one of their own representatives, Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) when asked what the Democrats would do if Petraeus was to report good progress in Iraq at the hearings just completed. Clyburn’s reply was “Well, that would be a grave problem for us, no question about it.”

Why and how could a member of the U.S. House of Representatives say such a thing? Well, in my opinion Clyburn was only being honest, because all of his far-left congressional associates feel exactly the same way. Truth be told, politics and power are more important to the liberals in Congress than an American victory in Iraq. In another war, Abraham Lincoln would have thrown them in jail, suspending the Writ of Habeas Corpus (September 24, 1862).

There’s no doubt in my mind that Lincoln would have determined that those sponsoring and supporting the “Betray Us” ad, and inferring in the congressional hearings that Petraeus was a liar, were guilty of aiding and abetting our enemies. During Lincoln’s Civil War presidency, these perpetrators would have been subject to trial and punishment by Courts Martial or Military Commission.

Personally, I see little hope for a clear-cut military victory in Iraq, and Bush is now talking about our maintaining a military presence in Iraq for many years to come, as we have had to do in Korea for the past 50 plus years. This is what happens when we decide to accept less than total, unconditional victory and allow politicians to dictate war policy. Will we ever learn?

Byrd Looper is a regular columnist for The Times-Journal.