In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Friday, July 19, 2024

MoveOn ad sparks debate, unease

A newspaper ad attacking Gen. David Patraeus leaves Republicans fuming and Democrats squirming. The ad, produced and paid for by the liberal activist group MoveOn.Org calls Patraeus "General Betray Us" and leaves a sour taste in the mouths of both proponents and opponents of President George W. Bush's failed war in Iraq. Democrats worry that the ad will turn Americans against them because it attacks the man leading soldiers who are fighting in the field. Republicans see it as a chance to question the patriotism of opponents of the war.

A newspaper ad attacking Gen. David Patraeus leaves Republicans fuming and Democrats squirming.

The ad, produced and paid for by the liberal activist group MoveOn.Org calls Patraeus “General Betray Us” and leaves a sour taste in the mouths of both proponents and opponents of President George W. Bush’s failed war in Iraq.

Democrats worry that the ad will turn Americans against them because it attacks the man leading soldiers who are fighting in the field. Republicans see it as a chance to question the patriotism of opponents of the war.

Republicans have called on Democrats to denounce the ad. While Democratic leaders refuse to take a public position on the ad, senior Dems in the House and Senate admit they are uncomfortable with the tone of the television spot.

Reports CNN:

A senior Democratic leadership aide called the ad an “unnecessary distraction” and said Democrats are prepared to focus on “Petraeus executing a mismanaged mission.”

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said, “Democratic leaders must make a choice today: Either embrace the character assassination tactics has leveled against the four-star general leading our troops in the fight against al Qaeda, or denounce it as disgraceful.”

“Gen. Petraeus and the other commanders in the U.S. Armed Services have dedicated their lives to defending the very freedom that enables the right to free speech. I support that right, but I find the way they have chosen to exercise it today to be disrespectful and downright reprehensible,” Boehner said in a statement.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, also called on the Democratic leadership to “denounce’s attack on Gen. Petraeus.” Lieberman has been supportive of President Bush’s efforts in Iraq.

Congressional Democrats showed an eagerness to distance themselves from the ad.

Asked early Monday if this was the right message for his party to send, a member of the Democratic leadership, speaking on background, curtly answered, “No.”

Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, called the ad “over the top.”

“I don’t like any kind of characterizations in our politics that call into question any active duty, distinguished general who I think under any circumstances serves with the best interests of our country,” said Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate and a decorated veteran.

“I think there are a lot of legitimate questions that need to be asked, a lot of probing that ought to take place; there’s a lot of legitimate accountability that needs to be achieved. It ought to be done without casting any aspersions on anyone’s character or motives,” he added.

40 thoughts on “MoveOn ad sparks debate, unease”

  1. Thanks Steve Horn for the spot-on Woodie Guthrie song with it’s refrain of “I’ve got to Know”…?!

    Your friend in both thought and deed…

    Carl Nemo **==

  2. Harry Reid has investments is the defense industry as does Diane Feinstein’s husband. Carl Levin has close ties to the AIPAC lobby. There are many Democrats that do, and the Democrats have stated many times that they want to protect American assets there, so you’ve got to ask: What American assets.

    There is the most expensive embassy in American history being built in Iraq, Democrats are lobbied heavily by all the Halliburtons, Kellogg Brown and Roots that have construction contracts in Iraq. There is a lot of money for these companies riding in Iraq.

    There is a cholera epidemic in Northern Iraq which already has spread to the outskirts of Baghdad.
    Living condition in Iraq have remained at its abjectly deplorable state since the begining the occupation, so forcing our troop to stay there when conditions have not improved over all these years is

    The adminstrations claim that the security situation is better is cherry picked from Anbar province which has approximately 5% of Iraqs population so that is hardly compelling evidence of improvement in much more densly populated areas of Iraq.

    You answered your own question about my question being un-answerable, no candidate against the war would campaign on ending the occupation of Iraq by using non-binding legislation. Plain and simple, we were lied to.

    What was the holdout by Democrats for nearly three months giving Bush spending bills he wouldn’t sign unless the mandatory withdrawl clause in it was removed. It was a symbolical protest calculated to make the Republicans look bad who they knew would not cross the aisle to join them. It was a dog and pony show.

    Now see, right there Nancy Pelosi said a ‘blank check’ -which is Congress power of the purse. It was nothing but a bluff.

    in the last phase of the Vietnam war, when all our troops were out of there, congress did excercise its power of the purse to stop funding the south Vietnamese government against the North.

    Congress does indeed have the power of the purse.

    You had mentioned cutting war funds to Bush to prosecute this war is Draconian.

    Draconian in what way?

  3. Your question is so unrealistic as to be unanswerable. No candidate is going to campaign on presenting non-binding legislations. I do not know how each D campaigned nor what their postitions were on Iraq. There were other issues besides Iraq that enabled Ds to take Congress.

    The Ds were dealt a very difficult hand. I do not think it should be held against them that they are trying to get the troops out of Iraq responsibly doing as little damage to the Iraqis and the troops as possible. Yes, it is Bush’s war but many Ds acknowledge that we have a moral obligation to the country we destroyed. I would like to ask you a question. What do Ds have to gain by not bringing home the troops immediately as the left so unrealistically wants?? As I see it all they have to gain is more grief from the left.

  4. The bottom line is the Democrats are feigning like the
    Republicans are the only thing holding back our troops from being brought home. It is a convienent foil so they can have it both ways, say their fighting against an intransigent Republican party & president if it wern’t for that, we’d have all our troops home.

    If I could respectfully pose this one question to you
    Mary: do you think if the Democrats had campaigned on the premise that they would use non-binding legislation to compel Bush to bring the troops home that the Democrats would have re-gained the house?

  5. I am very interested in getting the troops out of Iraq. My son is one of those troops and will probably be going back for another tour. Optimally,withdrawal or redeployment shoud not be done as stupidly as going in. However, if a rapid withdrawal is the best we can do to get out, I would support that.

    For better or worse, we have only two viable political parties. Ds may not be perfect, but the alternative party is so bad at this juncture that I am willing to overlook some imperfections. There is also the need to deal with political realities.

    As for Gore, he fought for over 2 months to correct the election. He did not do everything right. Had he intially called for a recount of the entire state he would have had enough votes to beat Bush However, I think he acted like a statesman. He saw the need to reconcile the country and establish a presidency. The tide of public opinion was definitely turning against him. Any move in Congress to not certify the votes would have contributed to the image of a sore loser and been fruitless anyway. In my opinion, Gore acted

  6. The only time I have ever voted for an Independent is Anderson way back in 1980. The ensuing string of Democratic party failures since Bush got in has caused me to do a lot of soul searching regarding the Democrats, they are not for me anymore. But all this is not the point.

    The point is Gore carried on and on about how he would fight as long as he could which he did not.

    During the joint congressional vote certification on January 6th, 2001, 20 members of the Black Caucus objected to the certification of Floridas 25 electoral votes. An 1877 law governing the counting of electoral votes required that such an objection had to be sponsored by a representative and a senator.

    Not one senator would stand up with the Black Caucus in order to satisfy the rule.

    If a senator had stood up, it would have sent the objection to both houses to vote on. With Al Gore as the president of the senate until January 20th he could break the 50/50 balance in the senate. The house was controlled by Republicans anxious to avoid anymore public debate about the malfeasance of the election.

    Before the certification of the Florida votes, Democratic senate leader Tom Daschle and Republican leader Trent Lott made a back room deal to insure that Democrats would share equally in many committee seats if the Democrats would not support the Black Caucus objections to the Florida voting malfeasance.

    Gore was in on this backroom deal, he could have joined the Black Caucus and opened it up to both houses to vote on, but he didn’t, and would not even allow any of the Black Caucus to speak out on the floor in protest of the Florida vote certification.

    The supreme court decided who won, but the House and Senate still have to certify the results of the election.

    Again the Democrats propensity to hang on to power as the back room deal with the Republicans prove is its ultimate weakness.

    On the troop funding issue: this notion that if funding was denied for the occupation that the troops would be left in a fire fight without vital supplies, leaving them vulnerable is hogwash!

    It would force Bush to stop the war, or in the extreme, the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon would kick in many other redundant funding mechanisms to keep routine supplies going. The President would be forced to make arrangements to give the Democrats a bill they would sign.

    If Bush were to ignore congress as he often does with his signing orders, the joint chiefs of staff would not idly stand by if there was even a hint that Bush was inclinated to pull a Hitler and sacrifice troops in the field.

    The onus would be on Bush by pressure from the joint chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, and his party. They would force Bush to sign a Democratic bill.

    Whatever would happen, the troops would never be in danger because of what the Democrats do or don’t do.

    IT IS BUSH WHO is continually putting the troops in danger and has been doing so for nearly five years now.

    The Right Wing Echo machine has really gotten Americans conditioned to a large degree to believe baloney such as denying Bush his war funds will put the troops in harms way.


    The Democrats are compromising anything to gain power in 2008, even sacrifice our troops because they openly say that they want to protect American assets in Iraq.

    I am getting exhausted so for the sake of getting myself out for dinner I am quoting two paragraphs of Seals comments about what Democrats will do if they get to power, its surrender of our constitution to do just that. I am quoting Seal, so that my gut may not grumble (I owe you a Cyber-Beer Seal).

    Seal says:

    “So, we have a congress majorily comprised of individuals who will kill our soldiers, bankrupt the citizens, strip us of our constitutional rights, and do anything else necessary for the sole purpose of gaining the power and money that will come from complete control of both the executive and legislative branches of the government”.

    “And, if they are successfull in installing Hillary Clinton as president, do not expect them to return our rights that have been stripped from us (habeas corpus, warrantless wire taps, etc.), resending the Patriot Act, or any of the other things that transferred so much power to the “commander in thief.”

  7. Klaus, sounds like you voted for Nadar. I totally lost all respect for him during the 2000 election. He repeatedly said that Gore and Bush were the same. That was ridiculous on its face.
    Polls showed the election was going to be close. Nadar could have told his supporters to not vote for him in critical states like Florida. In which case, large numbers would have voted for Gore. He didn’t and the consequences have been disasterous for the people that Nadar claims to care about.

    I am not sure how Gore could have contested the Supreme Court decision. It is the last court of appeal. That’s why it is called the Supreme Court. If you know a way to contest its decisions please share it. We will need to find a way around the decisions of the majority of conservative justices that Nadar helped get on the Court.

    As for cutting funding for the war that is a draconian step that would likely backfire if the soldiers in any way suffer because of a lack of financing. The Dems do have some new approaches for a change in direction of the war. As Senator Webb (former Secretary of the Navy) says we have to be as careful of how we get out of the war as we were careless in getting into it.

  8. Please! Stop the, ‘Dems don’t have enough votes’ in congress rationale. The plain and simple fact is Congress has the power to cut funds for the occupation. Dems aims are not to redeploy the troops, it is to preserve ‘American assets’ meaning Dems are going along for the BushCo ride to have an American reaction force in the the center of the ‘oil patch’; which by definition means Dems are quite at ease with using our troops as sacrificial lambs for Halliburton and BushCo.

    Gore won the 2000 election. The election was stolen by
    the Brownshirt Neo-Con gang, not because ‘purists’ on the left voted for Nader.

    After the 2000 elections numerous re-counts, and the ultimate decision by the supreme court to put Bush into the center seat, Gore had an opportunity to contest the the supreme court selection of Chimp during the certification of the 2000 Election in the Senate, but he didn’t do it because claimed he didn’t want to put the nation through anymore then it had been through with the re-counts.

    Our nation could have took it. It was Al Gore who couldn’t take it, he didn’t have the (again) INTESTINAL FORTITUDE to carry through.

    Now where the Hell were Democrats over the next four years after 2000 to weed out vulnerabilities in the election system? The Democrats were out to lunch, the Election was stolen again in Ohio. Dems had a chance to examine the broken voting apparatus in the years between 2000 and 2004 but Noooo….The Dems were once again asleep at the wheel.

    In the 2004 presidential debates between Kerry and Dubya, we get a wet noodle John Kerry who practically acts apologetic for being for a key Democratic principle, a womans right to choose in the reproductive rights phase of that debate. The problem with the Democrats is they don’t stand for anything; as bad as Bush is, he unequivocally stands up for his beliefs.

    It is the most weakest contention of Democrats to always blame Nader for the Democratic partys own inadequacies.

  9. The thinking of some on the left remind me of those who voted for Ralph Nadar in 2000. Here in Florida a decisive 96,000+ voted for Nadar over Gore, because Gore was not “pure” enough for them. We have seen the results of that sort of unrealisitic, idealistic mind set. These people were dupes of Republicans who tacticaly contributed to Nadar’s campaign.

    I will continue to help fund MoveOn ads, but only those ads I think will help the cause not hurt it.

    I also think that the continued trashing of Ds in Congress is not helpful. Their power is limited by their numbers. They need to be encouraged and supported in their efforts to redeploy the troops.
    More Ds need to be elected in 2008 to bring that about. The maligning of D leaders only plays into R tactics. Keep it up and we will have a replay of 2000, where the “purists” helped elect the worst president ever.

  10. Ah,…they forgot that it’s only okay to run ads like this against those who’ve worn the uniform when they are running for office as a democrat.

  11. Klaus: I think you sumed it all up very nicely. There is no mystery to any of it nor is it complicated. The democrats are simply selling the nation out in order to gain complete control of the government in 2009.

    They will go ahead and give Bush whatever he wants and blame the republicans for having to do it because they will not support a bill and override the veto. But, as you said, we know that all they have to do is send the same bill back over and over or not send one at all. That cuts off the funds for the war.

    That would be the right thing to do for the nation but not for the party because the repugnant propaganda machine would decry them for failing to support the troops. They have allowed Bushco to get away with “support the troops” for 4 years. I used to wonder why but it appears they deliberately planned to place themselves in this position so that they could lay all the blame on the repugnants at election time.

    So, we have a congress majorily comprised of individuals who will kill our soldiers, bankrupt the citizens, strip us of our constitutional rights, and do anything else necessary for the sole purpose of gaining the power and money that will come from complete control of both the executive and legislative branches of the government.

    And, if they are successfull in installing Hillary Clinton as president, do not expect them to return our rights that have been stripped from us (habeas corpus, warrantless wire taps, etc.), resending the Patriot Act, or any of the other things that transferred so much power to the “commander in thief.” There will be a show orchastrated that will appear to bring a large number of the troops home but the only ones actually withdrawn will be the National Guard troops Bush conscripted. They have to do that because all of the Guard troops are not reuping when their enlistments expire under the present condition. They will have to know they will not be used in Iraq or they won’t sign up for another hitch. No matter what it looks like, they will maintain at least 100,000 army and marines and many thousands of expensive private contractor troops in Iraq for “security to prevent the catastrophy of all out civil war.”

    By the end of Clinton’s first term we will have turned over all of the security to the Iraqis so that she can be reelected but at least 50,000 american troops will be permanently stationed in Iraq. That has been the plan all along. A large combat ready permanent amercan military force smack dab in the middle of the oil patch. Once we rebuild the army and marines, we go after Iran. In other words, everything is working out just dandy for them. Yanno “them” who are the actual government behind which ever party is out front for us to see and get mad at. Yup, everything is just dandy for “them.”

  12. “He wasn’t put under oath prior to his testimony either which I find interesting and was accommodated by both sides of the aisle.”

    As in any other fascist dictatorship with a rubber stamp legislature and an equally compliant court.

    As long as we’ll take it, this is what shall be.

    — Kent Shaw

  13. Klaus, truly a spot-on indictment concerning this toady sycophant general. He can’t go any higher in rank other than to JCS etc. but his facilitation of Bushco’s agenda assures him a high level corporate position in the MIC, or a government job post retirement.

    He wasn’t put under oath prior to his testimony either which I find interesting and was accommodated by both sides of the aisle.

    It’s obvious at this point they are all working together in this ongoing nation destroying scam;ie., of both Iraq and the United States. Their feigned outrage concerning MoveOn’s tag concerning the general was truly high theater to say the least. 😐

    Carl Nemo **==

  14. Criticizing General Patraeus for a clerical oversight of over 180,000 Kalashkinov rifles that has fallen into the hands of insurgents that has used them to kill our troops is not a personal attack -it’s a fact.

    How do you know this add is counterproductive to change peoples minds, from the tepid Democrats that are surrendering our constitution to the neo-cons.

    What poll do you base this on? has there been any polls with reaction to this add, that’s a fair and balanced question.

    The time for kid gloves with the neo-cons is long gone.

    If the mass media is to be believed about the negative effect of this add I would be very doubfull. The Republikans decreeing it is by default. The Democratic party is decreeing this add and I sure as heck don’t believe them after all the back-flips the Democrats have been doing.

    There is no law that forced the Democrats to pass a spending bill for Bush last May, in fact, they would not have to sent one at all, and the Democratic party is about to put up a brave front again this time for the next 50 billion Bush wants by saying, “Oh, will never give in”, and do they’re little symbolical wait period of a month at most, then capitulate to every dollar Bush wants with no strings.

    Harry Reid has defense industry investments, Diane Feinsteins husband is a war profiteer, Carl Levin never ever said no to the AIPAC lobby which supports this war. The Democrats noses are all in this war citing the idea of leaving a small force of troops to protect American assets meaning the Super McEmbassy.

    Thomas Friedman, famous for a book he wrote, From Beirut to Jerusalem, from his time as a reporter in Beirut in the mid 1970’s, who was a proponent for the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, has stated emphatically that it is a fantasy that any troops at less then half the level that are there now can be maintained safely with the state of anarchy existing in Iraq; therefore the Democrats are nothing less then accomplices to be a willing part of this faisco, and tip-toeing through the tulips and not confronting Patraeus is proof of Democratic compliance with the status quo.

    If the Dems can’t do it, and MoveOn has the
    intestinal fortitude to take on the neo-cons, then so be it. Proud not to be a Democrat!

  15. Perception is everything. Patraeus is percieved as a respected four star general. Attacking him personally is not helpful in winning over Americans. Like it or not, everyone does not think like MoveOn members. The task of an ad is to win favor for your message. This particular ad is counterproductive to that effort. The same message could have been presented in a more convincing way without the personal attack.

  16. The respected 4-Star General is an incompetent poop who lost track of over a hundred thousand Kalashkinov rifles that he himself admitted has gotten into insurgents hands. He is responsible for that ‘clerical’ error as he put it.

    I agree with Steve Horn that the minute Patraeus lined up with Bush that he impugned his integrity. we don’t have to worry about MoveOn making Democrats presentable targets, they already make themselves presentable targets because all they do is roll over. MoveOn merly did what the Dems have no intestinal fortitude to do themselves because their just thinking about the next election cycle.

    I don’t see how a better way for MoveOn to state its case is by “There they go again” -The Democrats already say that line add-nauseam, and then pass non-binding legislation. Dems do stupid things like give Bush the power to overide the FISA court.

    Democratic Spineless retorts against Bush have done nothing for the Democratic party. Pulling punches with Bush achieves nothing. Right wing fear mongering that criticizing Patraeus will make Democrats look un-patriotic when poll after poll shows the American public is squarely for bringing the troops home is outright foolish of the Democratic party.

    I am glad MoveOn did what they did becaue my former party has abandoned me as it has abandoned many Americans; MoveOn fights because the Democrats Don’t.

    Not a Democrat and proud!!!

  17. Although I have no problem with Moveon’s political ads. I have even contributed to produce some. However, I do believe this ad was not the best way to get the message out that the Bush regime is trying to hoodwink us again. By using an ad hominen attack against a respected 4 star general, the ad itself presented too good a target.

    There were better ways to say the same thing. Just
    “there they go again.” or a replay of Bush’s “fool me once shame on you—– ” would have gotten the message out much better without arming the right.

  18. I agree, Elmo. Although in my little fantasy world I’d rather see a Paul/Kucinich or a Kucinich/Paul ticket. Never happen in a million years.

    — Kent Shaw

  19. And what will it finally take to wake up Americans such that they finally rise up, enraged, hungry for the blood of their MIC masters?

    — Kent Shaw

  20. General Patraeus is given his mission by POTUS. It is in the context of this mission that Patraeus is reporting to Congress the current results. Change the mission and you change the context in which the General devises his plan to fulfill the mission. Different mission, different tactics, different results.

    Regrettably, we who oppose the occupation of Iraq by our troops are stuck by an intransigent Senate. That is why it is critical we take back the Presidency and get a majority in the Senate in 2008. Then and only then will Patraeus be charged with the mission we are seeking – withdrawal and redeployment!

  21. Carl, the Weimar hyper inflation you mentioned reminds me of an interview with a German citizen interviewed on the World at War WW-II documentary who said that back in the Weimar days near its total collapse, that things were so bad that people now could probably never understand how bad it was back then; if someone promised you a daily meal of a piece of bread and soup, that was it, they would support that politician, that was Hitler. The conditions were so abject at the time as a result of the American stock market crash that there were no shortage of men joining the Brownshirts, and just the promise of a bowl of soup and bread was manna from heaven it was so bad.

    We got a bunch of cowering Democrats that are just good for nothing while our little Mini-Fuhrer is just laughing at them, and justifiably so the Damn fool Democrats.

  22. Kucinich v. Paul

    Now that is a set of candidates I’d be happy to choose between. Much better than bland, blander, and blandest.

  23. There is Only One Candidate for the Democratic nomination for President who got it right all along. And he promises that “THEY WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE” for their crimes.

  24. Thanks Donnat for nailing down the core issue concerning this ongoing criminal enterprise. I second your sentiments.

    Nemo **==

  25. Maybe it’s time both parties got the message – this war was a lie from the beginning, it’s for the personal benefit of a few rich, powerful people who control the oil business and don’t mind killing a few thousand Americans to keep their bank accounts fat.

    MoveOn has at least said what I’ve been thinking. Thanks, MoveOn, for making the pigs in Congress a little uncomfortable.


  26. In light of many of the postings here, today, may I offer the following, penned by the late Woody Guthrie, should be sung loud and clear to the current administration and congress – and it still stands today:

    I’ve Got To Know

    Why do your war boats ride on my waters?
    Why do your death bombs fall from my skies?
    Why do you burn my farm and my town down?
    I’ve got to know, friend, I’ve got to know!

    What makes your boats haul death to my people?
    Nitro blockbusters, big cannons and guns?
    Why doesn’t your ship bring food and some clothing?
    I’ve sure got to know, folks, I’ve sure got to know!

    Why can’t my two hands get a good pay job?
    I can still plow, plant, I can still sow!
    Why did your lawbook chase me off my good land?
    I’d sure like to know, friend, I’ve just got to know!

    What good work did you do, sir, I’d like to ask you,
    To give you my money right out of my hands?
    I built your big house here to hide from my people,
    Why you crave to hide so, I’d love to know!

    You keep me in jail and you lock me in prison,
    Your hospital’s jammed and your crazyhouse full,
    What made your cop kill my trade union worker?
    You’ll hafta talk plain ’cause I sure have to know!

    Why can’t I get work and cash my big paycheck?
    Why can’t I buy things in your place and your store?
    Why do you close my plant down and starve all my buddies?
    I’m asking you, sir, ’cause I’ve sure got to know!

  27. Rather than blather on with one of my lenghty info-rants, I’ll keep it simple. “We the People” are dead “broke” and cannot afford to wage a continual, full-blown land or city-based war against a “noun”; i.e, terrorism…! Terrorism has been with the world for a long time. Now with 6.3 billion humans running about there’s no shortage of malcontents regardless of the “axe they have to grind” religious, political or otherwise.

    The war on terrorism has to be waged via international police agency co-operation. Iraq itself is engaged in civil strife between factions and our presence at this point has nothing to do with the interdiction of terrorists that threaten civilian populations anywhere and everywhere on planet earth. This conflagration serves no other purpose then to continue to enrich the MIC and the guys in the “oil patch” with obscene amounts of lucre’ courtesy of the U.S. tax debtor; all facilitated by our criminal leadership with an agenda.

    The evil, village idiots running this nation sitting in the Whitehouse and our Congress are nothing but liars, thieves, and counterfeiters to boot!

    America and it’s citizens are headed for a very painful, financially-based demise within the next few years or less. No one in this country can even imagine either Weimar or Argentenian based hyper-inflation where everything increases in price daily to obscene proportions until a wheelbarrow-load of their evermore worthless cash won’t even be able to buy a book of stamps nor a “slice” of a loaf of bread. Think it can’t happen then you best think again. Get ready down below!

    Carl Nemo **==

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