Sunday, September 9, 2007

Quotation Sparks

It has become axiomatic to suggest that liberals thrive on bad news (and whenever such news does not make itself apparent, they will distort good news to their purposes.) Nowhere is this more true than as it pertains to the Iraq War. The Left has repeated ad nauseum their assertion that the military surge in Iraq has failed, and - with less than 24 hours prior to General David Petraeus' testimony before Congress - have prepared themselves well in advance to discredit any encouraging news that he might reveal.

Doubtless, this effort did not just begin on the eve of his report; liberal bloggers have being laying in wait for Petraeus for some time now. They fully recognize what House Majority Whip James Clyburn pointed out in July (begrudging H/T to the Washington Post): namely, that if the Petraeus report was positive, that would constitute "a real big problem for us." So both the White House and the General have had to endure a blizzard of pre-report tarring and feathering. I share with you a small sampling of the most egregious examples. (Emphasis added as appropriate.)

Andrew Sullivan - July 18, 2007

If I were eager to maintain a semblance of military independence from the agenda of extremist, Republican partisans, I wouldn't go on the Hugh Hewitt show, would you? And yet Petraeus has done just that. I think such a decision to cater to one party's propaganda outlet renders Petraeus' military independence moot. I'll wait for the transcript. But Petraeus is either willing to be used by the Republican propaganda machine or he is part of the Republican propaganda machine. I'm beginning to suspect the latter. The only thing worse than a deeply politicized and partisan war is a deeply politicized and partisan commander. But we now know whose side Petraeus seems to be on: Cheney's. Expect spin, not truth, in September.
Daily Kos - August 15, 2007
So the White House will lie in the report it writes under Petraeus' byline, then "interpret" it on its own to justify anything it wants.

Let me predict the future:

The report: "Success!"

The interpretation: "Smashing success!" - August 22, 2007
If Gen. Petraeus is to present a genuine military report in September and not a "cooked" political document, he will have to buck the system. It should be fairly easy to judge whether he has done that or not, because if he has, the White House will howl. The gap between the reality in Iraq and the administration's rhetoric is so wide that it should show dramatically in any genuine military analysis. If it does not, and if the White House regards his report complacently, with just a few quibbles as part of the kabuki, then it amounts to nothing more than one of Napoleon's bulletins – from which we got the phrase, "to lie like a bulletin."
The American Prospect - August 22, 2007

Without many arguments left in the well, the White House will be hiding behind Petraeus, just as President Bush has been since the general took the job seven months ago. At first the administration didn't want Petraeus to publicly testify about his report, perhaps because it was concerned he might be a little too forthcoming about what is really happening in Iraq. But now the administration seems to have come to its senses, realizing that either Democrats will be cowed into deference by the blinding glare created by all those ribbons and the glittering aura of Petraeus' reputation, or they will question him harshly, at which point they can be accused of hating the troops and their saintly, infallible commander.

Don't interpret my sarcasm to mean that I think Gen. Petraeus is cut from the same dishonest cloth as the rest of the Bush administration. But by this time he is, most certainly, part of that administration. There has never been much dispute over the fact that throughout his career he has been a capable and accomplished, even brilliant, officer. But Petraeus was selected for his current job because of his willingness to support "the surge" (even today, saying it gives you that little shot of testosterone, the scent of victory wafting into your nose). And if he has any desire to keep his job, he will be sure to deliver the message the White House wants. Unity - September 4, 2007

The war criminals and their enablers in Washington DC - both in the Corporate Congress and the Corporate Media - are waiting breathlessly for the Petraeus Cheney Report on the achievement of Bush's January benchmarks for Iraq to justify throwing yet another $200 billion into a living hell.

But if the preliminary Petraeus Cheney report is any indication, the final report will be full of lies.
Not to be outdone, Democrat politicians have expressed their own misgivings about General Petraeus' findings, with VOA News reporting that Sen. Diane Feinstein said earlier today that she doubts that Petraeus is an "independent evaluator" of what's happening in Iraq, and ABC News noting that Sen. Harry Reid says that the report "will pass through the White House spin machine, where facts are often ignored or twisted, and intelligence is cherry picked." More of the same can be found at the Washington Post's blog, and elsewhere.

To be sure, all of this overheated preamble is to be expected from the Left. The short story on them is that good news from Iraq - no matter how infinitesimal - cannot be countenanced. They seek a rapid withdrawal from Iraq entirely because they hate George W. Bush more than they care about America, or Iraq for that matter. Liberals want America to leave Iraq sooner rather than later entirely because they want the withdrawal - and the resulting loss of national prestige - to occur on Bush's watch, even as they see this as his war. They so want the President to ache with the grief of ignominy that all else fades from their view.

The question soon to be answered is whether Americans are prepared to trust those who are so recklessly single-minded with responsibility for our national security.

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