Thursday, September 20, 2007

"We Support the Troops," in a nutshell

Correct me if I'm wrong here. But by my calculation, more U.S. senators (72) voted today to condemn a newspaper ad attacking Gen. Petraeus than voted yesterday (56) to lengthen the time off troops get from the frontlines in Iraq, thereby reducing individual soldiers exposure to actual attacks. Am I missing something, or is that about right?

--David Kurtz

4 Comments:

Blogger International House of Pedantics said...

What could you be missing, it is just simple arithmetic.

If I was a Senator, I would think weighing in on a newspaper ad to be a stupid idea. Conceptually, as such a resolution has an anti freedom of speech tone. And tactically, as how better to call attention to a newspaper ad than to condemn it?

That said, I would probably join in the sentiment that Gen Peraeus does not deserve condemnation.

And, I would (party politics aside) not favor the Senate telling the military how much time off to give the troops. Granted, I think the US is making a significant long term strategic mistake in engaging in a protracted battle with weary troops. But the senate has no business micromanaging this. They want to get the troops more time off, then vote for big pay raises and let the free market handle troop availability. Or reinstate the draft. Otherwise, leave battle management to the military.

9:58 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

IHOP,

"They want to get the troops more time off, then vote for big pay raises and let the free market handle troop availability. Or reinstate the draft. Otherwise, leave battle management to the military."

Why are these things any less interfering than mandating time off? The president (who listens to the generals, you may recall) doesn't want a pay raise for soldiers, and the military brass themselves don't want a draft. I think you're using the Republican definition of "micromanaging," which includes any initiative the legislature might take to affect this failed war policy.

As for the optics, I agree it was kind of lame to attack Petraeus, since Bush just used him as a tool to provide cover for his own policies. However, did you see the column by George Lakoff, in which he argues that MoveOn basically suckered the Republicans into introducing the "betrayal of trust" frame into the public dialogue and associating it with themselves and their president? Not sure about that, but it is interesting that they are spending so much time on a gambit that appears to be doing absolutely nothing draw attention away from the horribly unpopular war.

8:12 AM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

Right now the war is savagely unpopular, and ironically this business about Betray Us is distracting people's attention, as mentioned above.

Is MoveOn.org TRYING to get the Republicans elected in 2008?

6:11 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

"Right now the war is savagely unpopular, and ironically this business about Betray Us is distracting people's attention, as mentioned above."

But that's the thing--it doesn't appear to be distracting anyone, and I believe I read that Petraeus' favorability numbers (just try to imagine a more irrelevant statistic) actually went down in the wake of all the "betray us" talk in the national media, which may lend credence to what Lakoff was saying.

12:06 PM  

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