Tuesday, September 11, 2007

moveon.org's Petraeus Slander: A Fisking

We finally got a chance to take a look at moveon.org's repulsive New York Times ad (possibly sold by the paper for a heavily discounted price, BTW) slandering General Petraeus and, by extension, the U.S. military which, of course, moveon's Democrat pals "support."

(For a full-size PDF of this classic Stalinist smearfest, visit Hugh Hewitt's site here.)

We're surprised no one on the better-known conservative blogsites has bothered to fisk this vile brew. HazZzMat will rectify this omission immediately by pasting in the offending text here and rebutting this feeble, predictable, formulaic screed. It's not too tough because, like most of today's infantile propagandists, moveon's lazy writers don't back up a single thing they say with either fact or content.

Let's begin with their opening paragraph.
General Petraeus is a military man constantly at war with the facts. In 2004, just before the election, he said there was “tangible progress” in Iraq and that “Iraqi leaders are stepping forward.” And last week Petraeus, the architect of the escalation of troops in Iraq, said, “We say we have achieved progress, and we are obviously going to do everything we can to build on that progress.”
Like every classic piece of Marxist propaganda, the moveon ad opens with a breathtaking assertion that purposely confuses the issue. General Petraeus is supposed to be "at war with the facts." So what are the "facts?" In 2004, according to the ad, he stated that there'd been "tangible progress" and that "Iraqi leaders are stepping forward." In point of fact, both statements were true. Progress was, in fact, being made. Admittedly with painful slowness, but it was happening.

Furthermore, Iraqi leaders were indeed stepping forward and still are. Perhaps not on moveon's theoretical timetable (which like everything else is never enumerated). But certainly faster than our own leaders stepped forward after we won the Revolutionary War. Without disproving General Petraeus' alleged statements or making any actual connection to his 2004 pull quotes, moveon breezily juxtaposes the earlier quotes with a current quote. A clever tactic, implying, but never proving, untruthfulness on the part of the general.

Cocooned in their own self-congratulatory rhetoric and never having to prove their sweeping assertions, the hard left has grown accustomed to making such statements without having to worry about criticism.
Every independent report on the ground situation in Iraq shows that the surge strategy has failed. Yet the General claims a reduction in violence. That’s because, according to the New York Times, the Pentagon has adopted a bizarre formula for keeping tabs on violence. For example, deaths by car bombs don’t count. The Washington Post reported that assassinations only count if you’re shot in the back of the head — not the front. According to the Associated Press, there have been more civilian deaths and more American soldier deaths in the past three months than in any other summer we’ve been there. We’ll hear of neighborhoods where violence has decreased. But we won’t hear that those neighborhoods have been ethnically cleansed.
Again, the paragraph begins with a sweeping assertion. "Every independent report?" Implicit in this uncorroborated statement is that in moveon's universe, "every" includes only those reports that moveon agrees with. But they're too dishonest to admit this. To the contrary, they cite no report whatsoever that backs their argument. They merely allege that such reports exist. Moveon states X. Therefore it is true.

Ergo, "every independent report" of which we have none in this context, is said to claim the surge has "failed." Of course, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also asserted this even before the surge was undertaken. This is a classic propaganda tactic we've seen again and again from the anti-American left whose base dwells within the Democrat Party. Take your unproven and unprovable talking points, trumpet them again and again into a lazy media filled with fellow travelers, and repeat loudly and often until the talking points, based upon nothing at all, become the perceived truth.

The remainder of this paragraph lists undocumented assertions allegedly made by the military followed by undocumented rebuttals culled only from reliable leftist newspapers. In all honesty, moveon offers no proof as to the veracity of any of these statements, whether made by the military or by the media, although you can be sure that everything is excerpted or twisted out of context. By positioning the military statement first followed by the press statement in rebuttal position, moveon's clever propagandist creates the impression that the media have effectively rebutted the military's "lies." The propagandist thus creates the appearance of an intellectual argument where none actually exists. And since the military "always lies" and the New York Times and the Washington Post "always tell the truth," we know who gets to win.

Alas, it's all smoke and mirrors.

The paragraph ends with a mini-version of the same game. Violence is reported to have decreased in certain neighborhoods. "But we won't hear that those neighborhoods have been ethnically cleansed." Huh? Non sequitur. The second sentence does not necessarily follow from the first. And even if it did, who did the ethnic cleansing? Moveon doesn't say. But, of course, the implication is that our evil troops, which everyone "supports," did the cleansing.

Back to the real world. If anyone in Iraq has indulged in "ethnic cleansing," it's been Al Qaeda and the Sunnis vs. the Shi'ites and the Mahdi Army and vice-versa. Or before them, Saddam vs. the Shi'ites and the Kurds. But who cares? To pause a moment to consider moveon's breathaking lack of proof for their baseless assertions is to spoil the fun. In the end, we all know that Bush did it anyway.
Most importantly, General Petraeus will not admit what everyone knows: Iraq is mired in an unwinnable religious civil war. We may hear of a plan to withdraw a few thousand American troops. But we won’t hear what Americans are desperate to hear: a timetable for withdrawing all our troops. General Petraeus has actually said American troops will need to stay in Iraq for as long as ten years.
The first sentence here contains another propaganda classic: EVERYONE KNOWS. Well gosh, if everyone knows that Iraq is mired in an "unwinnable religious civil war," why aren't we outta there? That's because EVERYONE KNOWS NO SUCH THING. What Al Qaeda, we mean, moveon "knows" is only the propaganda they put out, propaganda that needs no proof because they said so.

The key here is to present the appearance of an irresistible groundswell of negative public opinion where, in fact, a universality of opinion does not exist. (Same deal with the "global warming" freaks.) This enables the propagandist to summarily dismiss any "outliers" as morons and, well, move on, liberating leftists from the necessity of engaging in rational argumentation: something they are no longer equipped to do.

The throwaway in this paragraph is also clever if transparent. For weeks, pundits on both left and right have assumed the general would offer some sort of withdrawal timeframe in his testimony to Congress. So moveon simply dismisses what the general has not yet said as an outright falsehood. Like Harry Reid's idiotic assertion addressed here earlier, there's nothing like pre-emptively dismissing a statement you haven't even heard by slandering and discrediting the messenger prior to the delivery of the message. In so doing, you free your target audience from the responsibility of actually having to listen and evaluate opposing arguments. Why? Because, well, EVERYONE KNOWS.
Today, before Congress and before the American people, General Petraeus is likely to become General Betray Us.
This final graf, such as it is, has grabbed most of the headlines. It's an all time low for a leftist organization that has yet to touch bottom. Moveon's cheap shot is, in fact, just that: a cheap shot. It's pure Stalinist sloganeering, still entwined in the DNA of old-style Communists who have yet to acknowledge the guilt of the Rosenbergs or the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The ideology and indeed the very lives of hardcore leftists and their many fans in the Democrat party seem forever enrobed in the sticky Marxist amber of 1968, like prehistoric bugs, perfectly preserved in their tiny, translucent tombs. With their infantile tantrums and Freudian resentments frozen in time, there can be for them no loving and no learning. Blinded by a resentful, hate-filled ideology and organically unable to distinguish wily foes from intelligent friends, they will continue to attack in perpetuity the American system and philosophy that even now still graciously permits them to behave like the suicidal, self-destructive idiots they truly are.


The Interface said...

Excellent! Well done fisking.

Wonker said...

moveon said...

"Thank you, sir. May we have another?"