Ed Driscoll

Oceania Has Never Been at War with General Petraeus

OK, let’s count the left’s pivots on Iraq and war in the Gulf over the last 20 years:

  • It was wrong for George H.W. Bush to have left Saddam Hussein in power.
  • Regime change of Iraq under Bill Clinton: Good!
  • Regime change of Iraq under George W. Bush: Really, Really, Really Bad!
  • It was wrong for George W. Bush to have removed Saddam Hussein from power.
  • General Petraeus under George W. Bush’s command: General Betray-us.
  • General Petraeus under Barack Obama’s command: help us Obi-Wan Petraeus, you’re our only hope!

Or as Ed Morrissey writes at Hot Air, “Awkward: Dems trying to recast Petraeus as a savior:”

David Petraeus trudged up to Capitol Hill today to win a certain confirmation from the Senate, and one has to wonder whether the general is considering the odd twists of history that have surrounded him.  Today, he’s the heroic commander tapped by Barack Obama in desperation to salvage his Afghanistan surge and to reinstill confidence in the war.  Three years ago, Obama’s allies in Congress and on the Left painted Petraeus as a very different figure, and The Hill reports on the awkward position Democrats now face:

Liberal advocacy groups and senators at the time accused Petraeus of misrepresenting the success of the surge of nearly 40,000 troops. …

[Harry] Reid told CNN in April of 2007 he did not believe Petraeus’s claim that the surge was working in Iraq.

“I don’t believe him, because it’s not happening,” Reid said. “All you have to do is look at the facts.”

At a press conference a few months later, Reid said: “For someone, whether it’s Gen. Petraeus or anyone else, to say things are great in Baghdad isn’t in touch with what’s going on in Baghdad, even though he’s there and I’m not.”

In other words, the Senate Majority Leader strongly implied that Petraeus was either a liar or a fool three years ago.  Nor was he the only Democrat in the Senate to have made that accusation.  When Republicans offered a resolution defending Petraeus “and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus,” 25 Democrats voted against the resolution, including Hillary Clinton, Dick Durbin, Harry Reid, and Carl Levin, chair of the Armed Forces Committee.

What about Barack Obama, the Commander in Chief who wants Petraeus to rescue them from the debacle of Stanley McChrystal’s exit?  He didn’t vote at all, although he was certainly present.  Obama voted in favor of a measure that would have forced a retreat from Iraq on that same day in the very next roll call vote.  He also voted in favor of an amendment prior to the Petraeus vote that offered similar support for men and women in uniform but failed to mention Petraeus.  When it came time to defending the honor of the man Obama now needs to help him win a victory, then-Senator Obama was nowhere to be found.

Or as the Professor wrote last week, when the Ministry of Truth MoveOn.org was caught deleting their infamous 2007 “General Betray-Us” ad (which the New York Times gave them a sweetheart rate to run) from their site, “Have you noticed how these people are always airbrushing? It’s kind of an admission that their stuff won’t sell if they tell the truth…”

Mona Charen and Orrin Judd also note the irony.

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