Wednesday, September 26, 2007

General Betray Whom?

Much has been written in the last couple of weeks about the ad placed in the New York Times on the day of General Petraeus' testimony before Congress regarding the progress of the surge in Iraq, with the puerile, sophomoric headline "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?". From the stupidity of the ad itself, to questions about bias in breaks given to MoveOn by the NYT, a lot of ground has been covered. I'm lazy, so I'm not going to link to ANYTHING. Google it yourself. But I do want to focus on the title itself, in particular the last two words: "Betray Us."

First, "Betray." To betray someone, in whatever context, one must first have that individual or group's confidence. I.e., betrayal cannot occur unless the belief of the betrayed entity is that betrayal is unexpected. If betrayal is expected, it's not betrayal, it's simply outright hostility. To say that, its members, its sympathizers, and its "fellow travelers" EVER felt that Gen. Petraeus was "on their side" would be a ridiculous statement of mammoth proportions. Far from it, the effort to assassinate the character of Gen. Petraeus was (and still is) an ongoing effort by virtually all the anti-war Left (and pseudo-libertarian Paulnut Troofers, at that). If that's not the action toward a perceived enemy, I don't know what is. Thus, no betrayal could have occurred, regardless of what the General actually said that day.

Second, "Us". Who exactly is this? "Us" surely cannot be a reference solely to "the members, sympathizers, and 'fellow travelers' of", as witnessed in the above paragraph: to restate for clarity, General Petraeus was never associated with such people, and therefore could not betray them. Ok, let's set our sights wide: maybe "Us" is "The American People." Given the tendency toward populist rhetoric of leftist peaceniks, that seems reasonable. But how can an extreme fringe, albeit well-funded, group like claim, in any way, to speak for the American people? While now less popular, a majority of Americans voted for their bĂȘte noire, George W. Bush, and the support for the war, while having waned considerably, is somewhat on the upswing now that the surge has been shown to work against the insurgency. Once again, the vocal minority seems to confuse (or conflate) itself with the (relatively) quiet majority.

So there you have it. The crowd's "Betray Us" ad: not just stupid and wrong, but completely meaningless to boot. I suppose they've spent too much time thinking about postmodernism and deconstruction to actually say anything meaningful.

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Anonymous Marty said...

The Left really are a bunch of know-nothings.

9:41 PM  

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