The Move On Ad

I have not been shy about the need to demythologize General Petraeus as the “honest broker” who will provide an independent assessment of the Surge. I wrote:

[T]his is not meant to doubt General Petraeus' integrity or competence. It is meant to treat him for what he is – not an infallible disinterested observer, but a soldier who believes he can accomplish an impossible mission and will view events in a manner that most favors that belief. This is to be expected from ALL human beings

What I must condemn is the use of the phrase “General Betrayus” by Move On in its ad today in the New York Times. This inexcusable use of the detestable Republican tactic of labelling those who disagree with you as “traitors,” something I have long objected to and I must, in good conscience, strongly condemn Move On's use of this deplorable tactic. Moreover, not only was this morally contemptible, it was political idiocy as the coverage of the ad clearly demonstrated. There is a way to take on the Petraeus myth. Glenn Greenwald demonstrated how to do it. And he is featured here showing how again:

Open Left has a petition you should sign.


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    • Armando on September 11, 2007 at 4:09 am

    That’s what we’re here for.

    • melvin on September 11, 2007 at 4:25 am

    It’s about the stupidest thing I have ever seen.

    And I’ve been around.

  1. and signed.

    • robodd on September 11, 2007 at 4:29 am

    They were looking for a cheap meme.  They got one.

    BTW, Glenn looks a little like Bogie doesn’t he?

    • pyrrho on September 11, 2007 at 4:30 am

    especially since the “betrayal” idea also stinks of “who could have seen this coming”… what a shock!  General advises war works… I’m all asstumble to hear such a thing.

  2. … it was sophomoric and stupid.

    But I don’t like the idea of protesting it to MoveOn, or asking for them to retract it.  We won’t be thanked for it — the Repubs will use that as an example of flip-flopping, weakness, etc., etc.

    For what will be gained by speaking out against this ad?  If we were dealing with honorable opposition, I’d be all for it.  But Repubs would only use our denunciation as proof that we are immoral, nasty libruls, etc., and that Petraeus is indeed, as the 73rd Virgin says, a “shiny, shiny hero.”

    I think it’s a wrong strategy.  I think the best strategy is to say nothing at all and let the Repubs rant — their rants won’t accomplish a thing.

    • Turkana on September 11, 2007 at 4:49 am

    because it’s not about “disagreement.” it’s much more than that.

    i do, however, think you have to take a very different tone in the corporate media. a tv ad has to use language and imagery that won’t alienate the less informed and less partisan.

  3. I went looking for op-eds written by previous commanders of the coalition forces – Iraq, while they were serving.  Couldn’t find any.

    Petraeus isn’t “a Republican”.  He is the guy who, when Bush asked for someone to step up and graft himself to Fred Kagan, causing everyone to resign or be passed over, said “Me, sir.”

    He is the Administration.  He has volunteered to be Cheney’s face.  He has gone above and beyond the call of PR duty, appearing on Hugh Hewitt. 

    If you find calling Bush a traitor to the constitution to be objectionable, then you have consistent grounds on which to condemn MoveOn.

    MoveOn is not calling Petraeus a traitor because of his political views and opinions, but for willingly making himself the spear-tip of the most dangerous and reckless administration in 100 years.

    Let me try an analogy.  If a Soviet General went to Moscow in the mid-80’s to report on the progress in Afghanistan, and some protestors called him a traitor, would anyone outside of the USSR find this objectionable, or even noticable compared to what the General was doing?

    There, that’s my shot.

  4. and it’s a ridiculous amount of other people’s money to invest in an attack that basically makes you look like a joke….

    but THAT frees up a lot of donation $$$ for the people who will surf into docudharma,

    They’ll come to [docudharma] for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll [click on] your [paypal] not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your [website] as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. It’s only $20 per person. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack.

    I shamelessly stole that from ‘field of dreams’. 

  5. …is stupid, but I don’t care that much, since I don’t care about MoveOn.

    I suppose perhaps I should care about MoveOn, but I just don’t.  Just another PAC, and not one I’m in or give money to.

    • pfiore8 on September 11, 2007 at 5:34 am

    he did betray his country… it’s not absurb… what is absurd is that we’re focused on this… let the republicans scream about it… how do we ever get anything done? we keep chasing after balls thrown by somebody else…

    if it is effective, then good. i hope it sticks.

    so there.

    • pfiore8 on September 11, 2007 at 5:37 am

    i’d like to know what mlw will tell me about traffic on those damned pony parties… i’ve been tracking the devilish ek hornbeck and all he does is throw me some toad with Marty Feldman eyes…

    now really, what is more important here!!!

  6. The only time the left shows a spine it is clearly seen at the end of their red baboon ass.

  7. Here’s a few other meanings that are very applicable:

    To prove faithless … to a trust

    to be false to; to deceive;

    To mislead;

    To lead astray

    disappoint, prove undependable to; abandon, forsake;

    cause someone to believe an untruth;

    But I’ve got to say my heart sank when I saw it. It was politically stupid I thought.

    You think that petition is worthwhile? It seems ridiculous to demand “reporters acknowledge Petraeus’s long record of errant judgment in Iraq” and “think tank ‘experts'” stop letting themselves be rolled, but it’s being delivered to the Democratic leadership in Congress? Huh?

  8. Like a bullied kid on the playground finally working up the courage to call the bully an asshole–at an entirely inappropriate time.

    Then, of course, is the substance: I would posit that this testimony event is one big example of the Irrelevant Reason Fallacy.

    • Turkana on September 11, 2007 at 10:02 am

    brandon friedman’s take interesting:


      • Armando on September 11, 2007 at 5:18 am


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