Tags: petraeus | report

Democrats Attack Petraeus Report

Wednesday, 12 Sep 2007 02:57 PM

By E. Ralph Hostetter

Demeaning, debasing, and downgrading America is not new.

The principal source remains the same. Some of the characters have changed, but the drumbeat continues. The far left and the green movement members are still marching to the step of the same drummer.

Leading the demeaners at this time is U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., self-appointed to a leadership position in the Senate. On Friday, Sept. 7, Schumer incurred the wrath of many Americans with his reference to the ineffectiveness of U.S. troops in Iraq during the present surge which was planned to rein in al-Qaida influence within the insurgency in that country.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Schumer said, "Let me be clear. The violence in Anbar has gone down despite the surge, not because of the surge. The inability of American soldiers to protect these tribes from al-Qaida said to these tribes, 'We have to fight al-Qaida ourselves.' It wasn't the surge brought peace here, it was that the warlords took peace here, created a temporary peace here and that was because there was no one else there protecting [them]."

Perhaps Schumer's demented statement implies that the warlords were so successful they could replace our troops completely.

Presidential candidate John Edwards' earlier comment, "The war on terror is Bush's bumper sticker" keeps being repeated at every opportunity.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, not as vitriolic as Schumer and Edwards, nevertheless offered her degrading comment as follows: "I don't think General Petraeus has an independent view."

The purpose of all this rhetoric was to discredit, before it was delivered, this week's report by Gen. David Petraeus on the progress of the seven-month long "surge" in Iraq.

The New York Times, in its Monday, Sept. 10 issue, carried a two-pronged attack. The first is an editorial, "Hiding behind the General." The editorial claims: "Mr. Bush, we fear, isn't looking for the truth, only for ways to confound the public . . . at times, General Petraeus gives the disturbing impression that he, too, is more focused on the political game in Washington than the unfolding disaster in Iraq."

The second prong of the attack is an advertisement placed by the extreme left group MoveOn.org in the Monday edition of the New York Times saying: "General Petraeus or General Betray Us? Cooking the Books in the White House."

This low and most vile personal attack on one of the nation's most honored, able and competent Army generals displays the depths to which MoveOn.org and the New York Times have sunk.

The "great and honored" New York Times was once known as the flagship of free speech and press in America. Today it could be labeled "the most used press in America." This destructive use of America's most treasured rights of free speech and press by those who would undermine the nation itself to get to a political figure they hate is not new.

There was another president, now acknowledged as perhaps one of the greatest presidents in the last century, Ronald Reagan, who suffered constant attacks on his honesty and credibility. At the height of the attacks on President Ronald Reagan, a dedicated American arose and stood by his side. It was Jeanne Kirkpatrick, ambassador to the United Nations at the time, who had been invited to speak at the 1984 Republican National Convention. At the outset, Jeanne Kirkpatrick identified herself as a lifelong Democrat.

Her speech was principally on foreign policy but the basic message translated into today's terms was "Stop demeaning the United States."

The following are excerpts from her speech: “They said that saving Grenada from terror and totalitarianism was the wrong thing to do — they didn't blame Cuba or the communists for threatening American students and murdering Grenadians — they blamed the United States instead.

“But then, somehow, they always blame America first.

“When our Marines, sent to Lebanon on a multinational peacekeeping mission with the consent of the U.S. Congress, were murdered in their sleep, the ‘blame America first crowd’ didn't blame the terrorists who murdered the Marines, they blamed the United States.

“But then, they always blame America first.

“When the Soviet Union walked out of arms control negotiations, and refused even to discuss the issues, the San Francisco Democrats didn't blame Soviet intransigence. They blamed the United States.

“But then, they always blame America first.

“When Marxist dictators shoot their way to power in Central America, the San Francisco Democrats don't blame the guerrillas and their Soviet allies, they blame U.S. policies of 100 years ago.

“But then, they always blame America first.

“The American people know better . . .

“They understand just as the distinguished French writer, Jean Francois Revel, understands the dangers of endless self-criticism and self-denigration. He wrote: ‘Clearly, a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself.’”

It is time for Americans to stop self-denigration and focus attention on al-Qaida. We need to show terrorists that America — and the new government of Iraq, as well — do not lack the energy and conviction to defend themselves.

Ralph Hostetter, a prominent businessman and agricultural publisher, also is a national and local award-winning columnist. He welcomes e-mail comments at eralphhostetter@yahoo.com.

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