Rich Galen

The New York Times accepted a full page ad by the extreme Left-wing organization, MoveOn.org which called General David Petraeus "David Betray Us."

General David Petraeus, PhD testified before the appropriate House and Senate Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees over the past two days and, as expected by anyone who has ever been in the same room with him, bowled them over.

Not everyone, of course, because some Members of the US Senate like Chris Dodd of Connecticut are running for President and therefore were not prepared to listen to a single word Petraeus said.

According to the Hartford Courant, Chris Dodd, who is attempting to break away from (Yikes!) Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel at the bottom of the Democratic Presidential barrel said he had been to Walter Reed Army Hospital where he had visited a wounded soldier:

"The veteran said an hour and a half after the military left, 'things are right back where they were before."

Again, according to Dodd's hometown paper, Dr./ Gen. Petraeus "calmly replied"

"There's 165,000 different views on the ground."

That, I think, is the issue. While my service in Iraq has long since passed its half-life (I was there from November 2003 through May 2004) I remain in contact with enough of the young people I served with to understand their point of view: We fight and defeat these people here and now, or my grand-daughter will be fighting them in Des Moines forty years on.

That wasn't something that they were reciting from some basic training manual; it was the cool, determined position of young men and women - active duty, reserves, and national guard.

Petraeus was such a powerful force that even Carolyn Lochhead wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Political analysts had predicted for months that Republican congressional support for the war would crumble come fall, as the election season begins in earnest [but] the testimony by Petraeus and Crocker before a joint hearing of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees showing a decline in violence appeared to be a successful plea for more time."

Because of the power of the testimony by Gen. Petraus and US Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, the Washington Post suggested "by the time President Bush speaks to the nation later this week, September's much-anticipated battle over Iraq policy may be all but over."

According to the analysis by reporters Karen DeYoung and Thomas E. Ricks,

"Judging by the relatively mild congressional reaction in a joint hearing of the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees, Petraeus and Crocker may well succeed this week in deflecting Democratic demands to bring the troops home sooner rather than later."

So, the real question now becomes: How will the Left respond to a Four-Star General who also happens to own a PhD from Princeton who came to Washington from Baghdad and wowed 'em?

If the George Soros/MoveOn.org wing of the Democratic Party has any guts at all it will DEMAND that the major candidates for President renew their pre-testimony positions that Gen. Petraeus is a liar, a betrayer, and nothing more than a shill for the White House or it will deny any aid in the general election.

In reality, MoveOn.org has been nothing more than a series of empty threats to Democrats in the House and Senate. Notwithstanding the group's libelous ad in the New York Times (which, by the way, did not have to accept it), its long-running demands that Democrats bend to its will have been largely ignored.

In spite of their irrational blather in debates and on the stump, serious Democratic candidates - which, by definition does not include (Yikes!) Dennis Kucinich - understand that, in the end, men like Petraeus and Crocker are saving their lives and the lives of their constituents.

You know, as I do, that there are people who want to kill every American in Iraq. And if they succeed in doing that, they will come here and try to kill every American in America.

This is a real war. We will either win, or we will die.

General David Petraeus made that clear to the Members of the House and Senate.

He is truly Pia Pium - a patriot.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.