Monday, September 10, 2007

American Traditions: Bush's Second Strike

In the second half of the twentieth century, Republicans expressed fears that core American values could be subverted by a foreign ideology. They were right.

After years of tearing down the separation between church and state, George W. Bush is now politicizing the military to a point that should impress his allies, Pervez Musharraf and Nouri al-Maliki.

Tomorrow, as General David Petraeus testifies before Congress, the antiwar group will run 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."

The Standard calls this “disgusting,” and such Generals as Washington and Eisenhower who became Presidents would likely agree.

Washington spoke about “an insidious foe...plotting the ruin of both, by sowing the seeds of discord and separation between the civil and military powers of the continent.”

In his farewell address, Eisenhower famously warned against “the disastrous rise of misplaced power” by the military-industrial complex, “Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of...defense with our peaceful methods and goals.”

Now Bush is breaking down the barriers between military and civilian by attempting to use Petraeus and “the generals” who agree with him, after replacing those who don’t, as a battering ram against Congress to keep them from challenging and changing his disastrous policies.

The invective of the ad against Petraeus is misplaced. He is doing his job in the way that the Commander-in-Chief has defined it. It’s that definition that is now not only causing ruin in Iraq but subverting the Constitution.

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