09/12/07 — Move on, now: Organization’s ad, Democrats reaction unacceptable

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Move on, now: Organization’s ad, Democrats reaction unacceptable

Disagree if you want. This is America.

So, the fact that MoveOn.org and some prominent Democrats expressed doubts over the testimony by Gen. David Petraeus on his analysis of the situation in Iraq is not, in itself, a faux pas.

That is why we have debates in this country — so that differing viewpoints can get together and find common ground and learn from each other.

But there is a difference between healthy disagreement and unwarranted character assassination.

And what MoveOn.org and some Democratic legislators said or wrote in reaction to the general’s comments was nothing less than offensive.

And cowardly.

They did not hear what they wanted Monday — and because the arguments did not mesh with their preconceived views on the situation in Iraq, they decided the messenger must have been the problem.

So, an anonymous, of course, ad appeared this week in the New York Times — unclaimed, indefensible and untouched by Democratic leaders who should have been the first to say it was out of line.

But by that time, it was too late. They had already been disrespectful and insulting during the hearings — treating the general like a criminal.

What makes this attack particularly distasteful is that this was not a politician with a record of succumbing to whatever wind blows by or towing the company line.

This man is a decorated U.S. Army general who has dedicated his life in service to this country. He did not seek this post. He did his duty when called upon to handle a tough situation.

And what does he get in return?

He gets cowards insulting his integrity, calling him a mouthpiece for the Bush administration.

He gets congressmen with no right to call his honor into question hurling veiled insults — and not-so-veiled attacks — his way.

And worse yet, some of his critics imply that he would sell out the safety and welfare of the men and women under his command to help a political party win an election or a president to increase his poll rating.

The Democratic Party has claimed that this is not about the men and women fighting the war and that they deserve the utmost respect.

So, when an organization takes a potshot at a hero, where is the support, the condemnation of the attack, the outrage?

You guessed it, gone with the political wind.

It is time for MoveOn.org to get the message — they do not represent most Americans. Their efforts have had little effect and as long as they resort to tactics like these, they will continue to lose credibility.

But in the meantime, they — and their Democratic supporters — owe Gen. David Petraeus an apology.

Published in Editorials on September 12, 2007 11:19 AM