Democrats fail to prevent Senate condemnation of MoveOn ad

The Senate voted by a wide margin Thursday to condemn a controversial anti-war advertisement accusing Gen. David Petraeus of betraying the country. Only 24 Democrats, including presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, voted against the symbolic resolution.Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), both of whom also are seeking their party’s presidential nomination, joined Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) in declining to take a position for or against the MoveOn ad. Since last Monday, when the “General Petraus or General Betray Us?” ad ran on a full page of the New York Times, Republicans have launched relentless attacks on MoveOn and any Democrats who refused to outright condemn the ad’s message.

“The focus of the United States Senate should be on ending this war, not on criticizing newspaper advertisements,” Obama said. “This amendment was a stunt designed only to score cheap political points while what we should be doing is focusing on the deadly serious challenge we face in Iraq. It’s precisely this kind of political game-playing that makes most Americans cynical about Washington’s ability to solve America’s problems. By not casting a vote, I registered my protest against this empty politics. I registered my views on the ad itself the day it appeared.”

In a statement released Thursday Obama continued, “All of us respect the service of General Petraeus and all of our brave men and women in uniform. The way to honor that service is to give them a mission that is responsible, not to vote on amendments like the Cornyn amendment while we continue to pursue the wrong policy in Iraq.”

President Bush entered the fray himself Thursday, calling the ad “disgusting” and an attack on the military.

Sen. Gordon Smith, a Republican who favors a timetable for removing US troops from Iraq, blamed the MoveOn ad for keeping Republicans aligned with the White House in voting against measures to de-escalate the war.

“It was stupid on their part and disgraceful,” the Oregon Republican told the Associated Press.

Thursday’s Senate resolution was sponsored by conservative Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). who took time away from questioning Petraeus to condemn the ad as “reprehensible slander” during a Senate hearing last Tuesday.

Earlier Thursday Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced a resolution that would’ve condemned all attacks on troops and veterans, including those from MoveOn and conservative groups that disparaged former Sen Max Cleland and John Kerry in 2002 and 2004. That resolution fell nine short of the 60 votes needed to end debate on it. Obama voted in favor of that measure, an hour before the vote on Cornyn’s bill he skipped.

In substantive votes Thursday, Democrats failed to attract enough Republican supporters to end a filibuster on Sen. Jim Webb’s amendment to a defense spending bill that would have given US troops as much time at home as they are stationed in a warzone. Currently some troops are subject to 15-month tours of duty with only a year off in between.

Webb was among the Democrats who supported the measure condemning MoveOn.

From The Raw Story

Read our editorial about this ad here.

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  1. companyone

    Hi,

    This General is an honorable man who has dedicated his life to OUR country and has the Bronze Star Medal for Valor

    ___

    Gen. David H. Petraeus
    Commanding General ~~ Multi-National Force – Iraq

    General David H. Petraeus assumed command of the Multi-National Force-Iraq on February 10th, 2007, following his assignment as the Commanding General, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth. Prior to assuming command at Ft. Leavenworth, he was the first commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq, which he led from June 2004 to September 2005, and the NATO Training Mission- Iraq, which he commanded from October 2004 to September 2005.

    That deployment to Iraq followed his command of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), during which he led the “Screaming Eagles” in combat throughout the first year of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His command of the 101st followed a year deployed on Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia, where he was the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations of the NATO Stabilization Force and the Deputy Commander of the US Joint Interagency Counter-Terrorism Task Force-Bosnia. Prior to his tour in Bosnia, he spent two years at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, serving first as the Assistant Division Commander for Operations of the 82nd Airborne Division and then as the Chief of Staff of XVIII Airborne Corps.

    General Petraeus was commissioned in the Infantry upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1974. He has held leadership positions in airborne, mechanized, and air assault infantry units in Europe and the United States, including command of a battalion in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and a brigade in the 82nd Airborne Division. In addition, he has held a number of staff assignments: Aide to the Chief of Staff of the Army; battalion, brigade, and division operations officer; Military Assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander – Europe; Chief of Operations of the United Nations Force in Haiti; and Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    General Petraeus was the General George C. Marshall Award winner as the top graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Class of 1983. He subsequently earned MPA and Ph.D. degrees in international relations from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and later served as an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the US Military Academy. He also completed a fellowship at Georgetown University.

    Awards and decorations earned by General Petraeus include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Defense Superior Service Medal, four awards of the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal for valor, the State Department Superior Honor Award, the NATO Meritorious Service Medal, and the Gold Award of the Iraqi Order of the Date Palm.

    He is a Master Parachutist and is Air Assault and Ranger qualified. He has also earned the Combat Action Badge and French, British, and German Jump Wings.

    In 2005 he was recognized by the U.S. News and World Report as one of America’s 25 Best Leaders.

    LIAR…I do not think so.

    Peace!
    Steve
    General David Betray Us

  2. Mary

    Dear MoveOn member,

    Yesterday, an amazing thing happened. After the Senate’s shameful vote, and after President Bush called MoveOn “disgusting,”1 our email started to fill up with messages like this one:

    I’m currently in Iraq. I do not agree with this war, and if I did support this war, it would not matter. You have the RIGHT to speak the truth. We KNOW that you support us. Thank you for speaking out for being our voice. We do not have a voice. We are overshooted by those who say that we soldiers do not support organizations like MoveOn. WE DO.

    YOU ARE OUR voice.

    And then came the donations. By midnight, over 12,000 people had donated $500,000—more than we’ve raised any day this year—for our new ad calling out the votes who blocked adequate rest for troops headed back to Iraq.

    The message from MoveOn members was loud and clear: Don’t back down. Take the fight back to the issues that matter.

    All day, messages from vets and military family members kept pouring into our email, many of them aimed at the Senate:

    I have given a son to this country. My brother, my father, my uncle have all served honorably and bravely. I am a loyal American. I am outraged and sick to death of the tactics this administration uses to try to silence dissent to a war that is unjust, built and maintained on lies, political power, and greed. I was content to let others fight more loudly, but no more.
    –Sharyn W., NC

    I am a prior soldier who served in Iraq for 13 months, and am now an expecting mom with a husband who is deployed in Baghdad. I don’t think I can ever forgive the Bush administration for the lies that tricked America into this war and hurt my family so badly. I am ashamed of those American politicians who would condemn an organization for practicing the Freedom of Speech that so many soldiers have died for.
    –Danielle B., OH

    As a US Navy veteran and an Iraq war veteran of over a year I want to ask, What has happened to us? What has happened to our voice? Where is this country going with stopping free speech and free press? … Every time I think of the long nights I had in Anbar remembering what I was fighting for, well here it is….
    –Ahmad H., LA

    These folks have made sacrifices many of us can’t imagine. Their charge to us was clear: keep speaking the truth about how President Bush and the Republicans have betrayed our trust.

    So we’re going to expand our ad campaign—keep it on the air longer and run it against other politicians who helped block adequate rest time for our troops.

    And still the messages kept coming …

    I’ve had three nephews serve since 2002, one of whom was killed in Anbar Province. I have a fourth nephew at Quantico training. I want this war over before he is deployed and before any more of our soldiers are sacrificed.
    –Michele R., NE

    Three members of my family are military. Two Marines have served in Iraq and an Army Lt. is deploying in November. If we had all spoken out when the administration used General Powell perhaps we would not be in this mess.
    –Carol B., PA
    As a Marine I served for many reasons but one of them was to allow people the freedom of speech, whether I agreed with it or not. Wearing a uniform does not mean someone isn’t a shill, is spewing propaganda, and downright lies. MoveOn has every right to buy an ad and say what they want about a public figure. This administration has lied to us, deceived us, misled us and when posed with a challenge this is how they respond?
    –Keith G., VA

    The Senate won’t pass a policy to end the war or even to make sure our troops in the field have enough rest time between deployments, but they hold votes to crack down on millions of Americans who are upset about the war?

    Well—it isn’t going to work. We put together a hard-hitting ad that highlights how Republicans failed our troops and if we can raise enough money today, we’ll air it across the country.

    MoveOn was attacked by nearly the entire Republican party, while too many Democrats ran for the hills. But what kept us going were messages like these—and the incredible privilege we feel to serve all 3.2 million Americans in MoveOn.org.

  3. calie

    I didn’t like the ad.
    I’m a dem.
    I’m also in the military.
    Do I like war?
    No.
    Do I like the way this war is going, or how it was started? No.
    Do I realize that only one dem spoke out against it at the very beginning and was roundly criticized by fellow dems? Yes.
    Do I think moveon speaks for all Dems? no.

    I find most dems to be terribly adrift from any cognizance of what it is to be in the military.

    The way I see it, move on has conveniently established itself as the very thing that could be the undoing of its own party.
    So be it.

  4. Gerald

    The senate democrats cannot make a dent in the entrenched position of the republicans supporting the war, but 20 or so, including California Senator Dianne Feinstein have the time and mindset to condemn the moveon.org ad against Bush’s puppet General Petraeus and their war. I find it reprehensible that Feinstein and other democrats actually voted in concert with the republicans to censor 3.3 million Americans who find the war despicable, disgusting, unconscionable immoral and appalling. If this is the best performance they have in regard to the war, they are completely hopeless.

  5. donald fisher

    Gerald, Fantastic comeback to the” hurt sensibilities” of the murderous war lovers in the Senate. The general did betray all Americans, especially our beleaguered troops, because he kissed Bush’s bottom and read his lies about Iraq, unlike many other officers who told the truth and were subsequently punished. Bush was in effect wrongly trying to politicize the armed services. In the case of the MoveOn ad, it’s the same old story. If the message can’t be discredited, kill the messenger.




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