Peter Feaver, a political scientist who until recently worked at the National Security Council, suggests, in this Boston Globe article, that MoveOn.org’s outrageous attack on General David Petraeus—they call our senior military commander in Iraq, a man who has spent three out of the last four years on the frontlines of the war, “General Betray Us”—may be the antiwar movement’s “McCarthy moment,” when its vile personal slanders lead to widespread revulsion among the general public.
That may or may not happen, but at the very least this ad will further undermine the conceit of the antiwar crowd that they speak on behalf of soldiers, and it will no doubt hinder efforts by Democrats to get back into the good graces of our military. Especially when so few Democrats—so far only Joe Lieberman and Joe Biden—have been willing to condemn MoveOn.org.
Such vitriolic outpourings against any senior American officer would provoke a strong backlash within the armed forces. This is all the more true when it comes to someone as respected as David Petraeus. No one who has ever met him can doubt his devotion to “duty, honor, country”—the credo of his alma mater, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. There is not, of course, a scintilla of evidence that he is “cooking the books,” as MoveOn.org alleges. Such charges will only further cement the impression in the minds of many soldiers, whether rightly or wrongly, that the leftist base of the Democratic Party is “anti-military.”