Tomorrow--as General David Petraeus provides his Iraq assessment to Congress--the antiwar group MoveOn.org is running a full-page advertisement in the New York Times under the headline: "General Petraeus or General Betray us? Cooking the books for the White House."
Let's be clear: MoveOn.org is suggesting that General Petraeus has 'betrayed' his country. This is disgusting. To attack as a traitor an American general commanding forces in war because his 'on the ground' experience does not align with MoveOn.org's political objectives is utterly shameful. It shows contempt for America's military leadership, as well as for the troops who have confidence in him, as our fellow soldiers in Iraq certainly do.
General Petraeus has served this country for over 35 years with honor, distinction, and integrity. And this is not just about General Petraeus. After all, if General Petraeus is "cooking the books," then the entire military chain of command in Baghdad, and all the staff, military and civilian, who have been working with General Petraeus are complicit, since Petraeus did not write his report in isolation. They are all, apparently, 'betray[ing] us.'
MoveOn.org has been working closely with the Democratic congressional leadership --as an article in today's Sunday New York Times Magazine makes clear. And consider this comment by a Democratic senator from Friday's Politico: "'No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV,' noted one Democratic senator, who spoke on the condition on anonymity. 'The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us.'
So, veterans who served in Iraq ask the Democratic leaders in Congress: Does MoveOn.org speak for you? Do you agree with MoveOn.org? Or do you repudiate this despicable charge?
MoveOn.org has helped frame the core choice: Whom do we trust to run this war--MoveOn.org and its allies in Congress, or Gen. David Petraeus and his colleagues?
Pete Hegseth is executive director of Vets for Freedom and an Iraq War veteran.