Friday, July 20, 2007

David Patraeus must be destroyed

I think I agree with John Hawkins' assessment of the Democrats' opinion: David Patraeus must be destroyed. The stakes are too high.

One can see the logic in destroying Patraeus at any cost. The power to run the United States - both the Executive and the Legislative - is at stake. The entire 2008 Elections will be decided in a September 2007 Kabuki Theater in a Senate Chamber. The summer and fall 2008 campaigns don't much matter. It's all about Sept. 2007.

Because the Surge is succeeding; because Patraeus' personally developed doctrine of counterterrorism is smashing Al Qaeda all over Iraq; because Patraeus' military talent hints at the hallowed visages of George Washington, Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, George S. Patton, et al - therefore: Gen. David Patraeus must be destroyed.

Patraeus will be Borked. There is no other way for the Dems. Too much is at stake.

Already, I see groundwork for the Borking being laid, as documented in this Hugh Hewitt post:

the assault mounted against General David Petraeus surprises. General Petraeus made the unforgivable mistake in [the left blogosphere's] eyes of appearing on my radio program and answering questions. (The transcript is here and the audio is here.) Both because he agreed to be interviewed by a journalist favorable to victory and supportive of President Bush and because his answers suggest progress is being made in Iraq, Petraeus has been savaged by leftist bloggers big and little.

Among center-right bloggers and pundits, the reaction of Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds was typical. “Every Member of Congress should have to read [the transcript]. Reynolds opined –the expected reaction of anyone interested in the facts about the surge. Others on the center-right applauded the general for agreeing to an extended interview and urging more, not fewer engagements with the press. For a couple of examples of thoughtful responses to the general’s answers, see The Belmont Club and In From The Cold.

In the aftermath of his efforts as an interviewer, Hewitt was labeled "a lunatic" who has "blind faith" in Patraeus, and who "failed to subject [Patraeus] to serious questions". Patraeus was derisively referred to as "the new Jesus", before being accused

  • of having a "track record of quite dubious claims over the last several years about the war" [Greg's note: bunkum, courtesy of Salon's Glenn Greenwald.]
  • of conveying "White House talking points"
  • of engaging in "happy war claims from the military"
  • of being on "Cheney's" side: "Expect spin, not truth, in September"
  • of being "Not only a politician but a political hack"
  • of using a lowdown strategy of bypassing the MSM in order to get his "unfiltered message" out [heh]
  • of being a "GOP Party organ"
About Hugh Hewitt, it's important to point this out: Hewitt is the most well prepared, factually accurate, and talented interviewer anywhere - on radio or television. Hewitt uses his background in politics, law, and logic to inform his interviews. He gives his subjects plenty of time to talk. A Hewitt interview might consist of a ten second question, followed by sixty seconds of reply, followed by a lucid, ten second follow up question, followed by sixty seconds of reply - then repeat until the commercial break. Hewitt is the best, period. To slander Hewitt is to be either ignorant, or a propagandist. Take your pick. More Hewitt:

And any member of the military who speaks candidly about the necessity of victory and with confidence in our forces and with facts about their increasing success is going to get slimed by the extremists, even if it is General Petraeus. That’s just the cost of defending the country these days –exposure to all the many dangers war brings, and a relentless smear campaign from the very people you are keeping safe
The ear-splitting shrieks of outrage at General Petraeus’ interview with me should be a huge signal that this is what the anti-war extremists fear most: The calm presentation of facts at length by those in a position to know them, engaged in an interview the unpredictability of which makes the exchange interesting. Speeches rarely hold the attention of an audience, which is why only small excerpts of them make it on air. Interviews –conducted professionally by a prepared host—can be riveting.
Captain Ed makes a good point:
Bush' critics have forever said: "Listen to the Generals! Put more troops on the ground!"
Now that we have more troops, "the Generals" are saying we are succeeding, and those same critics are saying "Don't listen to the Generals!"


Of course: "Listen to the Generals" never actually meant "Listen to the Generals."

It meant: "Bush is incompetent. Vote Democratic."

John Hawkins:

David Petraeus Must Be Destroyed
All I can say is that Petraeus better get ready, because the left is going to do everything in their power to destroy his reputation and his life. They're going to slander him, they're going slime him, and they're going to demonize him at every opportunity.
the reality is that our troops are succeeding. They're systematically tearing Al-Qaeda apart in Iraq, they are securing areas of the country that have long been out of control, and they're helping the Iraqis stand on their own two feet.
They'll smear and attack Petraeus and they'll encourage their pals in the MSM to do the same thing. Just wait and see -- the democrats will try utterly crush Petraeus simply because he's a competent general, who is getting the job done in Iraq and will be willing to say so on the Senate floor.

Update - neo-neocon:

It’s guilt by association, and there’s no need to point out the parts of the interview that are suspect; it’s the thing itself. The only good—and nonpartisan—interview would apparently be one with Seymour Hersh.

It’s not as though Petraeus has only been interviewed by Hewitt or the Right, either. Here’s a bunch of his recent interviews with venues that seem fairly varied: CBS and CNN to balance out Fox, for example.

The grouping includes a quote from Harry Reid in late April saying that he won’t believe Petraeus if he says there’s progress in Iraq, because whatever the General may say to the contrary, it isn’t happening there. Now, there’s another truly open and nonpartisan mind, like Sullivan’s and Iglesias’s.

And they call Petraeus biased.

During the Immigration Bill debate, the blogosphere did instantaneous research and analysis of the various assertions and maneuverings inside the Senate. Talk radio amplified the blogosphere research and analysis. An army of citizens surged email and phone calls into Congress. The Immigration Bill was stopped. Question:
Can a repeat of this process counter the coming false narratives about Patraeus/Iraq?

Let the countering of the false narrative proceed! Independent correspondent Michael J. Totten:
After having spent several days Baghdad’s Green Zone and Red Zone, I still haven’t heard or seen any explosions. It’s a peculiar war. It is almost a not-war. Last July’s war in Northern Israel and Southern Lebanon was hundreds of times more violent and terrifying than this one. Explosions on both sides of the Lebanese-Israeli border were constant when I was there.

You’d think explosions and gunfire define Iraq if you look at this country from far away on the news. They do not. The media is a total distortion machine.

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