Monday, September 24, 2007

MoveOn Backlash

When General Petraeus gave his Iraq report, MoveOn ran a full page ad in the New York Times questioning the bizarre calculations of violence and calling him "General Betray Us". Since then, Republicans and Fox News have blasted MoveOn as anti-American for questioning the accuracy of his report. Senator McCain said the organization "ought to be thrown out of this country."

A few days later, Republicans blocked a bill giving soldiers more leave time between tours and instead decided it needed to react to a newspaper ad and passed a resolution condemning personal attacks on General Petraeus by a vote of 72 to 25. While I do not always agree with MoveOn's statements, I certainly believe they have the right to condemn or question anyone they want to. If you agree, please add your name to a statement from MoveOn:
Sign the MoveOn Statement

The most interesting part of this story is the solidarity the 3 million MoveOn members have formed since the congressional resolution. Within 1 day, MoveOn exceeded their goal of $500,000 in donations for their next ad campaign, more than any day this year. A few days later, the goal of $1 million was exceeded, and now a few days later, the amount is at a staggering $1.7 million. The ad is highlighting the Republican leaders that blocked the bipartisan bill to give troops more leave time, but it represents something much greater. It's an opportunity to show congress we will not quietly sit back any longer, nor will we let them stifle the voice of questioning and dissent. I try to avoid asking folks for donations, but consider joining me in making a donation to MoveOn's next ad campaign:
Donate to Ad Campaign

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Petraeus Report on Iraq

General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker testified before a joint hearing of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees. The general stated major progress was being made, that the surge has worked and we need to stay the course. According to several news reports, Petraeus and the Pentagon are using a bizarre formula for measuring violence and therefore progress in the country.

- The Los Angeles Times reports that people killed in car bombings don't count.
- The Washington Post reports that victims shot in the face don't count.
- The Center for Strategic and International Studies reports that Shi'a vs. Shi'a and Sunni vs. Sunni violence doesn't count
Petraeus Numbers:

Associated Press:

In addition, a comprehensive Government Accountability Office report ordered by Congress found that the "average number of daily attacks against civilians have remained unchanged from February to July 2007." In August, civilian casualties actually increased according to the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times. More U.S. troops died every month this year compared to the same month last year.

Unfortunately, it appears that some of the main stream media has missed these facts. On CBS, Katie Couric echoes the White House almost verbatim:
YouTube Video from MoveOn
And for you locals, WNC's Representative Heath Shuler has given a formal response to the Petraeus report:
Citizen-Times Article