WASHINGTON -- Any objective observer who watched or read this weeks House and Senate testimony of Gen. David Petraeus received an informative assessment of the battlefield situation in Mesopotamia. Our top military commander in Iraq proffered a cool, level-headed report on successes and failures to date, gave a survey of the challenges ahead and provided rational recommendations for the future.
By contrast, Americas Democrats gave the world a revealing look at the depths they are willing to plumb in their insatiable quest for raw political power. In what transpired before and during these hearings, Democrats made transparent their willingness to destroy anyone or anything that interferes with their design.
During a telephone conversation three days before Petraeus sat down next to Ambassador Ryan Crocker in the Caucus Room of the Cannon House Office Building, my friend, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., told me that Democrats were conducting a "guerrilla campaign of character assassination" to impugn the general and that it would culminate with a frontal attack on his integrity. Hunter posited that, based on my personal experience in a similar atmosphere, I would understand. But not even I could gauge how low the Democrats would sink and how vicious they would become.
On Monday morning (Sept. 10) -- just hours before the first day of hearings -- the New York Times published a full-page ad paid for by MoveOn.org, the leftist, anti-U.S.-military organization that has become a major financial and propaganda organ for Democrats. The text below a photo of the general read: "General Petraeus or General Betray-Us? Cooking the Books for the White House." The clear implication was that a dishonest general, doing the bidding of the Bush administration, was going to dissemble before the Congress.
The hearings began with a familiar routine: shrill diatribes from Democrat committee chairmen Ike Skelton and Tom Lantos who lectured and hectored -- denouncing the campaign in Iraq in general and Petraeus in particular. Lantos, who once stood steadfast with the Reagan administration against communism, launched a pre-emptive strike on the battlefield commanders testimony before hed even seen or heard it with a dismissively insulting: "I dont buy it."
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.