Friday, September 28, 2007

Move-on.org: Betray Us Vs Patreaus

Betrayal is in the eyes of the beholder, or; context is everything…
By
Willie Hager
xbetray 1: to lead astray 2: to deliver to an enemy by treachery 3: to fail and desert esp. in time of need...Merriam Websters Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition

The last time that I tread in these waters, there weren’t just ripples; there was, relatively speaking, a resultant tsunami of vindictive rhetoric (ABC'S SPIN ON 9/11 ). Therein lies the culturally and politically destructive nature of Political Correctness and Political Spin (see Don't Think of an Elephant, George Lakoff , ironically; an apparent move-on founder) and lock-step politics. My pen now, once again, says Engarde! to those enemies of Truth who wield the swords of political spin.

In this particular instance, the literary gauntlet is thrown at the feet of www.Move-on.org. Today, one of the major political foils now currently in service to the Democratic Party. Somewhere in the fog of the Blogosphere, Move-on.org has transformed itself from a pioneer grassroots electronic Community Meeting Hall and soap-box for Truth, as seen through the eyes of the Beholders of those Truths. Beholders who before the advent of the Blogosphere and the creation of groups such as Move-on and Alter-net, had seemingly very little input into the public debate on issues that directly effected their day to day lives.

Beholders of Truth who made Move-on a cyber-media giant. Before groups like Move-on, there was no voice for the unwashed masses. Sadly, the Move-on of today's political content is controlled by the mainstream media's and party political operatives' choice of issues; not the Grassroots'. And, even more sadly, is now directly in the hands (pockets) of the Democratic Party, and no longer in the service of those unheard and disenfranchised voices of the politically downtrodden; The Grassroots. Move-on had originally created a cyber-port into which anyone with something to say could guide their cyber-sled, and be heard when they got there. A cyber-port that developed the ability to seriously impact social and political thought at the grassroots level…in my mind; the most important political base of all. This transformation was much like "mild man and reporter, Clark Kent" stepping into the phone booth and then bursting forth from it as Superman, an ever vigilant threat to evil doers of all stripes.

Move-on’s first major political impact came about when they focused their agenda on support of Cindy Sheehan’s emotionally powerful message, back when she was encamped out on Bush's doorstep in Crawfordville, Texas (see windbender.livejournal.com). For Move-on, she was an immediate Blogosphere “hit generator”. One that demonstrated that the anti-Iraq and anti-Bush True Believers and the anti-war types out there had finally found some traction, with Cindy as their poster person. This was a successful tactic, and it sent Move-on's hit counters spinning out of control! Thier cyber-ratings and political influence soared in geometric proportions, much to the thanks of the Cindy Sheehan spirited campaign for peace, as did Democratic Party Grassroots support. And then, just as suddenly, driven by Democratic Party dwindling supporter donations due to internal divisiveness on party direction with regards to the Iraq war, and in face of the up-coming Presidential elections in '08; unscrupulous Democratic Party operatives eased Cindy off the platform, and off the agenda. Move-on chilled it's jets on Cindy as a result of this in-house Democratic Party power struggle with Cindy and those who marched at her side. The one that ended up with very public "Resignation" by Cindy of her anti-war leadership role. They simply dumped her over the side, and sailed off into the sunset, hand in pocket.
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This Party loyalty put Move-on in tight cahoots with the Democratic Party power brokers who, ultimately, through major Democratic Party contributions and techno-cyber corporate funding; politically co-opted Move-on’s site, took control of their agenda and used Cindy’s commitment and resultant political rage to further their own agenda, as well. So much for the grassroots. To my mind, as one of those grassroots voices; this was a major sell-out of principle.
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Together, shrouded in that fog of the blogosphere, they became a powerful alliance, with Cindy Sheehan as the unifying standard bearer (see windbender.livejournal.com). Her courageous actions were the earliest attempts by anybody to foster a cohesive anti-war strategy regarding Iraq, and to bring cohesion to a badly fragmented since the '80s (see Cracker Swamp Manifesto) Democratic Party base. Today, however, despite these major successes; Move-on.org and the Democratic Party are uneasy with the company of the likes of Cindy Sheehan and her supporters, and, for the most part, consider them as loose cannons. Move-on.org is no longer a premier soap-box for the unwashed masses. It is now a powerful political foil employed for the most part by the Democratic Party to further it’s political agenda, leading up to the ’08 Presidential election. Superman has managed to sully the bright red cape...and all that it stood for, with smudges of political and economic opportunism.
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The Democratic Party is now using Move-on.org in their public personal attacks on General Patreaus in their efforts to undermine his credibility with the American people regarding his character. They present no documentable facts that I am aware of, nor do they provide any viable alternatives to counter his arguments. Instead, they offer 527 funded, unfounded public insults that they are hoping will take America’s objective and pragmatic eye’s and ears away from the conclusions of Patreaus's report to Congress and the American people. A job for which he was Presidentially commissioned, and Congressionally approved for by The People's elected Representatives and Senators, to research and report back to Congress and the nation, regarding his assessment of the current situation on the ground, in Iraq. Move-on, in paid for major newspaper ads, labeled him as "General Betray Us", in spite of his well documented history of Honorable Service to America, and their lack of hard evidence to the contrary, before he uttered the first word to Congress and the American People.
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Just prior to the date of the presentation of the report to Congress and the American People; Move-on paid for and enacted a character assassination campaign of the General. This campaign was strategically calculated to kick-off just prior to the General's presentation of the report for the specific purpose of literally "killing the messenger", in a very insidious attempt to re-frame the argument for the eyes and ears of the American people from the assigned results of the report, to one of the credibility and allegiance of the of the General to America, and our Constitutionally legitimate form of government; thereby seriously underarming confidence and belief in the General's findings in the field. This report was his assigned duty, as a high ranking military officer with vast command experience. It is beyond rational comprehension that anyone could question the man's loyalty and dedication to service and country, without even having heard what he had to say.
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As a Combat Veteran of Vietnam, as well as a past Regional Coordinator (1972-1974) of Vietnam Veterans Against The War, I am insulted by this blatant, politically motivated disrespect of an American fighting man, despite his political party affiliation…whatever happened to “Honor the warrior, not the war…”? But, that’s what political spin-miesters do; cloud up the Truth and attempt to re-frame the argument (Lakoff/Don't Think of an Elephant) with this kind of despicable rhetoric, rather than with factual reporting and empirical documentation of their assertions that he lied in his report to Congress on behalf of the Bush administration. If I am wrong about all of this; please...show me your evidence, for mine and the American People's consideration, that this man betrayed his country, his service, or the American People's trust...and I will apologize, right here on these very pages, to you, and all who have read this, and take issue with it. But don't respond with rhetoric; bring facts to the table for debate.
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In my humble opinion; the American Peoples' response to Move-on.org should be “Put up, or shut-up". Show me the facts, or some hard evidence of wrong doing and betrayal, otherwise; put a public apology to General Patreaus and the American People in the very same newspapers that you paid to print your libelous and politically inflammatory political rhetoric. You know; the one everybody's talking about; the one that your "organization" produced which portrys General Patreaus as General Betray Us, and accuses him of ‘cooking the books’ for the White House. Oh, yes; I also, unless proven wrong with empirical and pragmatic evidence, believe and will continue to believe that you owe the General a personal and public apology, as well...on all of the news networks, at prime time.
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And, finally; I think that you also owe an apology to the American People for attempting to color and influence the American Peoples perspective on the Truth of this critical national issue. This report is too important to America’s future to be the subject of political machinations, from either side of the aisle, or from political operatives from either Party. Hello! It is our very future as a nation that is at stake, here, folks. We better examine the FACTS before we act, and given the fervor and dedication of the jihadists; we better get it right, before we act or speak as a nation, or allow others to speak for us, without regards for empirical and pragmatic Truth. if the report is factually wrong; demonstrate your evidence, don't assassinate the reporter.
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Like the Swift Boat Veterans (Not So Swift Vets or NSSVs, in VetSpeak-ese), who coincidentally are still in business under the guise (see Cyber-camouflage) of Vets for Freedom, fronted by an Iraq Veteran named Wade Zirkle; Move-on.org believes that if they say something loud enough and often enough, it will become truth...facts be damned! These are the very same despicable tactics the Republican Party and the NSSVs used to undermine John Kerry’s campaign as a Presidential candidate, last time around. On either side of the vast political divide between "Conservative" and "Liberal"; "Swiftboating" (a term in popular use these days for smear campaign politics by 527s) is "Swiftboating"; whether from the left or the right, and should be denounced as such, by all, regardless of political party affiliation.
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The NSSVs did this through character assassination and lies regarding Kerry’s military record in Vietnam, and his stand as an anti-war Veteran. This last as a result of his association with Vietnam Veterans Against The War (VVAW), which he, like thousands of other Veterans joined upon his return from a combat tour in-country, Vietnam. That and his speaking out against the Vietnam war before Congress, as a spokesperson for VVAW. This in spite of having Honorably served combat tour in-country, for which he was highly decorated for his actions as a Swift Boat Commander. These were illegal campaign tactics, for which the NSSVs, as a 527 political organization, have since been heavily fined (Swiftie campaign fine). If these tactics were illegal for the NSSVs and the Republican operatives then; they should now be deemed illegal for Move-on.org and the Democrats' operatives involved in the Patreus smear, and they should be prosecuted prosecuted to the fullest extent Constitutional law.
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The moral of the story; no one is safe from the minions of Political Correctness, unless they learn to think for themselves...Truth is not about content, it is about context.

1 comment:

Dave Collins said...

Willie,

I read your posting with interest. Like you, I believe that MoveOn has been co-opted by the Democratic Leadership Council and no longer serves as a medium for expression of grassroots concerns and views.

I also agree that the ad placed in the New York Times was, at best, infantile. I would have been far more pleased with an ad that, as you suggest, examined the strength and balance of the General's presentation to Congress. Though it could not gain the wide exposure that MoveOn's misstep (if that is indeed what it was), there is just such an analysis available.

This analysis, prepared by my friend and colleague Dick Klass (Col., USAF Ret.), is available here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-klass/the-selling-of-the-presid_b_64620.html . As a reader can note by looking at Dick's bio (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-klass) in addition to being a decorated Vietnam veteran pilot, he is also an experienced business and salesman. His analysis of the General's speech draws on all of these experiences. I urge you to share his commentary with the readers of VetSpeak.

Dave Collins
VVAW contact, Texas Hill Country