I wrote a weekly column for a local newspaper for three years (2007-2009). One of the most explosively controversial was entitled “Soldier Gods,” inspired by the furor surrounding the MoveOn.org ad about “General Betray-us.”
The online progressive group had placed a full-page ad in the New York Times in advance of General Petraeus’ testimony to Congress about the progress of the troop surge in Iraq. The ad’s headline read “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?” The ad accused Petraeus of “cooking the books for the White House.” (You can’t find it at moveon.org anymore, they removed the page after President Obama nominated Petraeus to be the top commander in Afghanistan, but here’s the Wikipedia link.)
In the column I questioned the wisdom of offering such deference to the military. One of the greatest strengths of America, I believe, is our ability to make fun of, satirize, and ridicule anyone and everyone without fear. No one is immune, from the president on down. Oh—wrong—everyone except the military.