It would be foolish to discount the political power of the Internet phenom known as MoveOn.org. After all, it claims 3.2 million members, and there's no denying that it has become a major player in the Democratic Party.
But it appears that MoveOn.org misfired, public relations-wise, when it ran an ad in the New York Times raising questions about the integrity of General David H. Petraeus, the leader of U.S. forces in Iraq.
The U.S. Senate has now approved a resolution condemning the liberal organization's provocative ad. Yet, Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton reportedly voted against the resolution. One is only left to wonder if the current Commander-in-Chief had been a Democrat if Senator Clinton would have voted differently.
In the midst of the controversy, now comes word that the Times management regrets the decision to run the advertisement, which was famously headlined, "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?"
The public editor of the Times, Clark Hoyt, now says the advertisement violated the newspaper's own standards. In addition, according to Hoyt, MoveOn.org was seriously undercharged for the ad. Hoyt noted that the spokeswoman for the Times, Catherine Mathis, has stated, "We made a mistake."
Meanwhile, the Commander-in-Chief has issued this assessment of AdGate: "I felt like the ad was an attack, not only on General Petraeus, but on the U.S. military," said President George W. Bush. "And I was disappointed that not more leaders in the Democratic Party spoke out strongly against that kind of ad."
As the President eloquently pointed out, it seems that the Dems are more afraid of irritating MoveOn.org than they are of irritating the U.S. military.
There are certain values that should be upheld, no matter what the political controversies of the day. One of those is support for our military—both the troops on the battlefield and the commanders who must make excruciatingly difficult decisions about how to conduct a war. General Petraeus should be given the respect he deserves and not be made the scapegoat of a political squabble.
But, if some find it difficult to give credit to anyone wearing a military uniform, perhaps they can at least respect the truth. As General Petraeus has noted, the U.S. troop surge has achieved success, especially with respect to Al Qaida insurgents west of Baghdad.
Some liberals have created a cottage industry based on the claim that President Bush lied to force the U.S. into a military engagement in Iraq. But, with Bush critics such as MoveOn.org hurling insults at an honorable man like General Petraeus, the only logical question is: Who's lying now?