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Whose Honor

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Preparatory to General Petraeus’ testimony today,
some Congress members, incensed by a Move-On.org full
page ad in the NY Times referring to him as General
Betray us, lashed out at that organization and the
“Left” in general for daring to utter a doubting word
about the General. Then they extolled grandiloquently
about his virtue, honor, patriotism, truthfulness, and
their utter faith in his every word. The military code
of honor would forever hold its finest.
There was a time not long ago when these overwrought
protestations would have at least been grounded in
truth. There was a recent time when our nation looked
to such a General, a man whom we could trust without
reservation. In fact, without this fine General, the
very embodiment of military honor, George W. Bush
would not have been able to convince the Congress and
the public to let him start his criminal and murderous
But General Colin Powell let us down. He stood before
the United Nations and the world, and when he pointed
at the little maps and smudgy photos, he presented
“facts” that were no such thing, made sweeping
conclusions that were dead wrong, and when he was
finished, America lined up behind the administration
and smartly saluted.
Years later, when it was too late to do any good,
Powell owned up somewhat to his failure. But in the
meantime a country has been turned into a nightmare,
millions of people have had to flee their homeland,
and upwards of a million have been killed outright as
a result of the policies which he helped scam into
When Colin Powell enabled Bush/Cheney to launch their
crooked war, he had the same credibility and was
accorded the same honor as General Petraeus today. It
is not any slur against Petraeus if people are
skeptical about his testimony. This administration has
politicized the military to an alarming degree. They
have plowed through Generals at a steady pace during
this war and hope that finally Petraeus will be the
one to achieve their impossible dreams.
General Petraeus assures us that he wrote his own
speech, and he probably penned the words. But what
exactly was the purpose of all of the work being done
at the White House to help prepare the report?  This
General’s job is to do the bidding of the Commander in
Chief. This report was about justification and cheer
leading and there is no way that it can be seen as
anything other than the military leadership’s attempt
to spin the war on the administration’s behalf.
Whatever you think of Move-On.org, they have every
right to question this General’s testimony. The
Bush/Cheney administration has shown us that they will
lie and lie and lie again. The fact that anyone is
willing to give them any credibility at all is
astounding, let alone to presume that we should
automatically trust anyone who is associated with them
not to misrepresent reality when convenient.
Increasingly lost in this swirl of debate over the
quality of the surge’s “successes” is the fact that
the surge was not to prove that thousands of American
troops could control isolated areas of a small nation
that has been crippled by years of war. No, it was to
create breathing room for the politicians to organize
their democracy. But since that hasn’t even begun to
happen, they’ve just changed the debate, as they
always do, and now they’re all talking tactics and
strategies and we’ll soon see if the politicians are
all corrupted enough, and we’re all numb enough to
follow them once again down the yellow brick road.
Peace is War. Lies are Truth. Go Shopping.
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Dan Dewalt is a musician/woodworker/teacher who authored the Newfane impeachment resolution passed at March 2006 town meetings.
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