One Strong Ad

05/25/2011 12:15 pm ET

For the past couple weeks's ad "General Betray Us" has dominated the news and even managed to be condemned by the U.S. Senate and House. It has gone so far as having almost every Presidential candidate put to the "patriotism test" by the media with questions related to their feelings toward the ad. It even got the President on record saying "I think it's disgusting." As if it's treason - well America, as an Iraq war veteran let me tell you, it's not.

This is a quite common tactic used in modern day politics, and some might argue that it originated with the Bush/Cheney 2000 campaign when they ruthlessly attacked John McCain in the South Carolina primary. They rallied the right wing against McCain with accusations of being the candidate of gay people, having an African-American love child, and that he was not mentally capable of being Commander in Chief because of his time as prisoner of war in Vietnam caused him to be "the Manchurian Candidate." I totally disagree with John McCain and his politics, but to this day, as a veteran, I am still outraged by what Bush did to him in 2000 with his Rovian style, cut-throat, political smear machine. To me that is "DISGUSTING."

Then it went on to Senator Max Cleland who gave up most of his body in service to his country. We all know how they despicably attempted to put a true American patriot like Max Cleland into the same category as Bin Laden in a campaign ad for one of their fellow draft dodgers -- Saxby Chambliss. That is just as low as you can go. To me that is "DISGUSTING."

Then came the presidential campaign of 2004 with the notorious "swift boat veterans for truth." They continuously bashed John Kerry's military service in Vietnam on behalf of two cowardly draft dodgers like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. At the Republican National Convention hundreds displayed purple band aids on their faces mocking John Kerry's multiple purple hearts. To me that is "DISGUSTING."

Bush didn't stop with John Kerry. He decided to attack the entire Democratic Party when they began to initiate legislation that would bring the war in Iraq to an end. Bush said the Democratic Party is "now the party of cut and run." Coming from a man who knows damn well how to "cut and run" from a war he supported (Vietnam) - that is "DISGUSTING."

In November of 2005 Congressman John Murtha made himself ripe for the picking by Bush's henchman who will search the entire planet to dig up anyone to counter decorated war heroes who question Bush's and Cheney's war, again - "DISGUSTING." But thanks to Senator James Webb, people saw right through the lies.

It doesn't stop at the top though - it goes down to the lower levels as well. And for the most part you don't hear about these incidents. When I returned home from Iraq I attended a Kerry/Edwards rally in Kansas City where I was greeted by the "Young Republicans" carrying signs that read "Students for Bush." Outraged at the sight of it I asked them "If you support George W. Bush and his war in Iraq - why don't you join the military and go over and fight?" In response they screamed at me "traitor," "you support terrorists," and "move to France." I will never forget how I was treated by a group of able-bodied males, who fully supported and advocated for a war I fought, but lacked the courage to go anywhere near. To me that is "DISGUSTING."

Up until now the swiftboating of heroic combat veterans was all fair game for Bush, his cronies in Congress, and his minuscule portion of left-over supporters (including Fox News). The ad from attacked General Petraeus's credibility, not his patriotism. But it finally woke America up to the reality of what George W. Bush has done for the last 7 years of his tragic presidency. It's just sad that no one came out on the national level in a similar manner in which they did to to condemn Bush and his Republican allies for their actual attacks on the patriotism of Cleland, Kerry, Murtha, The Democratic Party, and other patriots who wore the uniform in service to our great nation.

I am not writing this to attack General Patraeus. But when a General testifies to Congress on the so called success of a failed policy, he puts himself out there for those who disagree to practice their first amendment rights. General Patraeus, with all due respect, could not even say that what we are doing in Iraq is making America safer. He even had the audacity to suggest that success on the ground was the reason we can draw down 30,000 troops by July of 2008 - when that was already scheduled to happen because the surge is not sustainable for our military.

The surge was put in place to establish a secure environment for political reconciliation to take place in Iraq among multiple warring factions. Well folks, the Iraqi government practically collapsed during the surge. We had the bloodiest summer to date during the surge. And by next summer General Patraeus is going to draw down the surge? Then what? We will be right back to square one - Donald Rumsfeld's plan of fewer troops in a completely hostile civil war without end. All General Patraeus' testimony accomplished was a smokescreen for George W. Bush to hide behind and deny reality for the rest of his presidency. The reality is that the war in Iraq is Bush's failure, and he will continue to use people like General Patraeus to carry out his needless war in Iraq for the duration of his presidency while our troops die on a daily basis.


I'm glad the ad from raised awareness among Bush's loyal followers who for so long took pleasure in throwing decorated combat veterans under the bus just because those veterans had the courage and the right to disagree. For speaking truth to power and speaking up for the 70% of Americans who disagree with Bush's war policies - my hat is off to MoveOn.Org !