The decline of the leftwing netroots into one great, venomous snarl is far advanced, well-known, and much remarked upon by political observers from across the spectrum. But even given its deserved reputation for poisonous invective, the assault mounted against General David Petraeus surprises. General Petraeus made the unforgivable mistake in their eyes of appearing on my radio program and answering questions. (The transcript is here and the audio is here.) Both because he agreed to be interviewed by a journalist favorable to victory and supportive of President Bush and because his answers suggest progress is being made in Iraq, Petraeus has been savaged by leftist bloggers big and little.
Among center-right bloggers and pundits, the reaction of Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds was typical. “Every Member of Congress should have to read [the transcript]. Reynolds opined –the expected reaction of anyone interested in the facts about the surge. Others on the center-right applauded the general for agreeing to an extended interview and urging more, not fewer engagements with the press. For a couple of examples of thoughtful responses to the general’s answers, see The Belmont Club and In From The Cold. (“The exceptionally high tempo of special forces activities suggests that they have been ‘unleashed’ in Iraq, and are engaging the enemy with deadly efficiency,” concludes the retired spook who is “In From The Cold.” “While most media reports focus on conventional units, engaged in large-scale operations such as the recent clearing of Baquba, there is another equally important conflict being waged in the shadows. And that’s where Al Qaeda is taking a major beating.” The Belmont Club’s Wretchard noted that in the interview “Petraeus gives us a glimpse into the sharp end of the war. The kinetic battle,” and he goes on to speculate on the long-term impact of the war’s tactics on the American military.)