Monday, September 17, 2007
THE WEEK THAT WAS
t was to be the long expected Petraeus Week, and American battle lines were drawn well in advance. General David Petraeus, the man now tasked with defending a fledgling Arab democracy from unspeakable terrorist brutality, was home from the front -- required by law to testify before a number of congressional committees on the current conditions in Iraq. But while the General has been focused on his complex and difficult task there, very different opposing forces were waiting for him in his capital.
A domestic war against victory has been waged since before the actual defeat of Saddam's armies. Even before the invasion of Iraq, the war against the war was well under way. Indeed a strong case can be made that the struggle of some Americans (and their like-minded foreign legions who hate the United States with passion) against American success in Iraq (and Afghanistan, which was a "quagmire" in the pop media by the second week), actually has its roots in President Bush's "stolen election." These are the people who cannot, and never will, accept the 2000 election result. Bush must not be allowed to succeed, at any cost. For these elements, victory is not an option -- not even against terrorists or genocidal tyrants. Saddam was both.
Despite the undeniable progress being made in some of the most violent parts of Iraq -- areas tormented by various al Qaeda and associated thug gangs and forced to live under al Qaeda's particular brand of Shari'a law -- some national "leaders" anticipated Gen. Petraeus' testimony by declaring their disbelief in advance. They had thought it clever to rebrand the September "Petraeus Report" by launching a campaign to call it the "Bush Report" (alleging that the White House would write it), until they were reminded that it was testimony.
So -- what's left but to do a sudden re-evaluation of the man they had recently confirmed to do this job (with no opposing votes - such is his reputation), and to suggest that he might be dishonest? I recall some of the leftier senators, during his last appearance before them, demanding a promise that he would deliver the unvarnished truth, regardless of whomever might not like it. He gave them his word of honour, and I saw them accept it. The week before his appearance they changed their minds about that.
At the hearings last week, Hillary! told him his words required the "suspension of disbelief." A nice weaselly way to call him a liar without quite saying it. How can one deal with such people? "We trust your integrity and honesty, and we confirm you without reservation to lead Multi-National Force Iraq. Come back in September and give us the unvarnished truth. The parts which agree with our preconceived notions that the effort is futile and has already failed irretrievably, we'll accept. Anything positive, including use of the words "success" or "progress," is White House lies and spin, which we reject and disbelieve." There's only one right answer for these folks, true or not.
"So who's that other guy in the picture up top?" I hear you ask. Just another attention-seeker wanting to get noticed. Or possibly, an ex-attention-seeker whose followers still want to be noticed. He (or they) sent us a video prior to the September 11 anniversary, then another, and another one coming soon (according to jihadist websites).
It was his first new material in almost three years (he tried to muck around in the 2004 US election, late October), yet most of the talking heads could only talk about his bristles, and their length, colour etc. Last seen, he was trending more toward the Maharishi Mahesh look, au naturel. Now, the barber of either an Iranian mullah or Grizzly Adams has apparently had his way with Old Sama. Either that or it all fell out due to illness, or he shaved so he could hide out in Indonesia (among the theories proffered by tv-based "experts") -- either case necessitating a trip to Acme Joke and Novelty, and perhaps they only had it in black. [The image of suit 'n tie babyface Osama was produced by US investigators of one agency or another. AllahPundit recalled having seen it and a reader located a copy.]
Whether bin Laden merely wants to appear more youthful and vigorous for his followers, or the movement's media arm is just getting more adapt at video trickery, is still a mystery. Voice and facial analysis by US investigators indicated that it was really him, and yet all his references to recent events were uttered when the video image was frozen (as it was for all but a few minutes). But much more interesting than the make-over, was the content of the Sept. 7 communique -- parts of which could believably have been written by Dennis Kucinich or MoreOn.org.
Who could have guessed that al Qaeda was deeply concerned with "global warming and its woes" and the US sub-prime mortgage problems? It was a laundry list of "progressive" talking points -- apart from the promise of lower taxes under an al Qaeda caliphate. Take a read through the translation if you haven't. It should have been highly embarrassing for the progressively Bush-deranged community, but it only fueled the derangement and delusion to new heights. As always, the Huffington Post comment contributors furnished a brilliant cross section of this type of "thinking." Osama (or his grieving followers) seem to be reaching out to new recruiting fields, positioning the caliphate movement as a standard bearer for "progressive" issues. The new Che Guevara, so to speak. Jihadi Trotskyism anyone?
Oh, and he once again claimed responsibility for the September 11 attacks, causing further cognitive dissonance among the 911 "truther movement" (they apparently got Fidel Castro over to their side, so they have that at least). Coincidentally with this first video, newly released testimony by a doctor who was with him at Tora Bora painted a picture of a man concerned only with his own safety, and without any regard for the welfare of his mujahideen. Perhaps some of the followers have discovered his cowardice, as new reports claim Zawahiri has taken over the leadership.
In any case the old terror master, or his software-generated likeness (wai Hot Air) managed to hog the limelight in advance of Gen. Petraeus' testimony, but not for long. The Can'tMoveOn.org folks teamed up with the New York Times for a full-page spread published that very morning, accusing the General of "cooking the books" for Bush and betraying his country. I know these people don't believe in class, but isn't branding Petraeus a traitor -- even in a slightly oblique way, like Hillary! called him a liar -- reaching a new low, even for them?
I'm sure the General was happy to see his family back home (at least I hope he did have time for that), but I imagine he must have been happy to be heading back to the battlefield. The slander and libel he was subjected to couldn't have been easy to take, given that he's not permitted to fight back. His patience in the face of grandstanding senators, including campaigning presidential candidates, as well as the Code Pink mommas screaming on cue every five minutes, demonstrated the integrity he has in spades.
Capping off the week was Saturday's moonbat convention in Washington, viewable over here via C-SPAN. These things seem to get stupider with every iteration. The giant puppets are getting ragged, the amplified screeching of revolutionary slogans more inane, and attendance must have been disappointing to the ANSWER, Revolutionary Workers Party, Code Pink (etc.) organisers. Many managed to get themselves arrested, including one who had an "incendiary device." For these elements of American society, whose anthem must surely be 'America the Ugly', their actions are a selfless sacrifice for the noble cause. Don't tell them about the selfless sacrifice of courageous men and women far away, or the many noble deeds being done every day in their name. They disbelieve. Only one cause matters -- American defeat and/or surrender. Success is not an option, and it never will be.