I don’t want to cause a Petraeus overload here but there are two things that strike me about the Code Pink/ Fringe Moonbat/ Crazytown High Pep-Squad campaign to discredit General Petraeus:
I. The slam on Petraeus has been carefully orchestrated for months. In a NYTimes Magazine profile* of a newish, more savvy anti-war group, AAEI, the moonbats tip their hand:
Even before summer’s end, Matzzie and company were working to undermine the credibility of an upbeat progress report from Petraeus, who appears to oppose a substantial drawdown of troops in Iraq. “Most of what we have to do will be done before he lands in Washington,” Matzzie told me in late August. “We have to frame his statements before he makes them. He’s not Saint Petraeus — he’s General Petraeus.”
That Petraeus was very much on A.A.E.I.’s radar was clear from another conference call I witnessed late last month. …But the main topic of conversation was a story in that day’s Washington Post reporting that Petraeus had “softened” judgments in a recent White House National Intelligence Estimate to reflect improved conditions on the ground in Iraq. The operatives saw a chance to bash the White House for distorting intelligence and to depict Petraeus as a calculated spinner. “I’m gonna move it around like it’s a big deal,” said Brad Woodhouse, a progressive gadfly with Americans United for Change, an A.A.E.I. coalition member, who specializes in bombarding reporters with advocacy e-mails.
This is their swan song, you realize. One of the loudest and longest complaints from the Left (and not just the fringe, but all over) is about the firing of General Eric Shinseki before the Iraq invasion. Their narrative runs that General Shinseki said we’d need more troops, and so the White House attacked him (and fired him). Back in March 2003, when we were handily defeating the Iraqi army, the Guardian was already crowing about Shinseki’s vindication.
General Petraeus doesn’t even say we need more troops. But the Left is attacking him and slandering him and militantly ignoring him–holding their fingers in their ears and saying no no no we won’t listen! They are deliberately and systematically doing exactly what they accuse the Bush White House of doing with Shinseki.
They’re jokes. And not even funny ones.
II. Code Pink’s disruptions are counterproductive. We know that–as commenter Professor Blather said below:
Do you ever get suspicious that maybe 95% of the liberal movement is actually made up of arch-conservative moles that infiltrated their nuttiness and now work daily to make them look terrible?
Seriously. It’d be amazing how much better liberals would appear if they ever started just shutting up. Or if they could unravel the vast conspiracy in their midst. Somebody get the Truthers on it.
Oh – and Code Pink? It’s gotta be 99.5% conservative double agents. Gotta be. With Pink Xerxes as the obvious devious mastermind.
The thing is the moonbats have figured that out as well. It’s not just Harry Reid trying to pull back from MoveOn. Notice they’ve dialed back the massive street protests as the election approaches? They’ve been burned too many times by photos of freakazoids holding up signs that say “Peace in Our Time” or “We Support Our Troops When They Shoot Our Officers” percolating through the blogosphere. Except for the Code Pink/Rosie O’Donnell Fan Club, who didn’t get the memo that antiwar has gone corporate. From the NYT magazine profile:
And instead of a freewheeling circus managed from college campuses and coffee houses, the new antiwar movement is a multimillion-dollar operation run by media-savvy professionals. “They are to the left what the N.R.A. is to the right,” says a Democratic strategist with close ties to the party’s congressional leadership. “They’re very effective in turning up the volume and demanding a response.”
Matzzie put it this way to me: “Last time [it] was done in the streets. People were concerned about civil society breaking down. You have to play in politics, which is something we do very explicitly.”
* Note this quite positive, if rather dull, look at anti-war activists is written by a senior editor at The New Republic.