Harmful Rhetoric

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 12, 2007 | Go to article overview

Harmful Rhetoric


Byline: Greg Pierce, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Harmful rhetoric

"Important as was [Monday's] appearance before Congress by Gen. David Petraeus, the events leading up to his testimony may have been more significant," the Wall Street Journal says in an editorial.

"Members of the Democratic leadership and their supporters have now normalized the practice of accusing their opponents of lying. If other members of the Democratic Party don't move quickly to repudiate this turn, the ability of the U.S. political system to function will be impaired in a way no one would wish for," the newspaper said.

"Well, with one exception. MoveOn.org, the Democratic activist group, bought space in the New York Times [on Monday] to accuse Gen. Petraeus of 'cooking the books for the White House.' The ad transmutes the general's name into 'General Betray Us.' ...

"MoveOnorg calls itself a 'progressive' political group, but it is in fact drawn from the hard left of American politics and a pedigree that

sees politics as not so much an ongoing struggle but a final competition Their Web-based group is new to the political scene, but its politics are not so new. More surprising and troubling are the formerly liberal institutions and politicians who now share this political ethos.

"In an editorial on Sunday, the New York Times, after saying that President Bush 'isn't looking for the truth, only for ways to confound the public,' asserted that 'Gen. Petraeus has his own credibility problems.' We read this as an elision from George Bush, the oft-accused liar on [weapons of mass destruction] and all the rest, to David Petraeus, also a liar merely for serving in the chain of command. With this editorial, the Times establishes that the party line is no longer just 'Bush lied,' but anyone who says anything good about Iraq or our effort there is also lying. As such, the Times enables and ratifies MoveOn.org's rhetoric as common usage for Democrats."

Kucinich's pal

Democratic presidential candidate Dennis J. Kucinich went on Syrian television late last week to lambaste the United States for what he called its "illegal occupation" of Iraq.

The Ohio congressman, in his address to the Syrian people, praised Syrian President Bashar Assad, whom U.S. officials have accused of allowing Islamists to cross his border into Iraq for the purpose of killing U.S. troops.

"I feel the United States is engaging in an illegal occupation," Mr. Kucinich said.

Later, in Lebanon, Mr. Kucinich said he didn't plan to visit Iraq on his trip to the region because he considers the U.S. military deployment there illegal, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Mr. Kucinich told reporters that Syria deserves credit for taking in more than a million Iraqi refugees. He said Mr. Assad was receptive to his ideas of "strength through peace."

Romney's denial

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign distanced itself yesterday from involvement in a Web site that attacked rival Fred Thompson.

The Web site, PhoneyFred .org, had opened with the line: "Phoney Fred. Acting like a conservative." It was taken down Monday after inquiries by The Washington Post, which found links between the site and Warren Tompkins, a South Carolina political consultant hired by Mr. …

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