Democrats Skipping Military Briefings — Where’s the Media Outrage?
By: Warner Todd Huston
A few sources, not the least of which is Michael Barone, are reporting that the Democrats are ignoring important Iraq briefings conducted by General David Petraeus in an apparent effort to stymie efforts in Iraq. It is well known that they are not supportive of the troops in Iraq and the president’s “surge” plan they are currently conducting, but whether they like the plan or not, to skip these briefings is an act of blatant negligence that borders on the criminal. So where is the MSM’s outrage? Why are we not being told of this Democrat negligence?
Barone, one of the best political pundits out there today, closed his recent Real Clear Politics Report with the following:
What’s curious is that congressional Democrats don’t seem much interested in what’s actually happening in Iraq. The commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, returns to Washington this week, but last week Pelosi’s office said “scheduling conflicts” prevented him from briefing House members. Two days later, the members-only meeting was scheduled, but the episode brings to mind the fact that Pelosi and other top House Democrats skipped a Pentagon videoconference with Petraeus on March 8.
It has also been reported that one recent meeting with Gen. Petraeus on the Hill only saw one Democrat in attendance, that being Senator Carl Levin of Michigan.
It might be too early to say directly that it is some concerted effort or plan of the Democrat leadership to steer clear of Iraq briefings, but at the very least it certainly reveals their collective feeling that the war is already lost and that it’s time to move on past it all.
But here is the thing; they simply cannot claim to “support the troops” if they won’t even attend briefings held by the General in command of those troops. If the Democrats don’t attend these briefings they simply cannot claim to have the knowledge they need to make decisions necessary for policy direction. Unless, that is, they have fully decided, regardless of what is actually going on on the ground where our troops are facing the enemy, that all is lost.
If they have, indeed, completely quit wanting to have the discussion of what is actually going on in theater, then it is downright abusive of our troops for Democrats to ignore them in this way. This unconcern over what is happening to our forces simply makes it impossible for the Democrats to claim they support the troops.
It should be remembered that General Petraeus was given a unanimous vote in Congress and he never made any bones about the fact that he intended to implement the president’s surge plan, so Democrats simply cannot claim they didn’t know he was going to do so. But, it appears that the support they gave him for the surge was a cynical attempt to allow the plan to crash and burn if their ignoring his efforts to inform them of the actual accomplishments of the plan is any indication.
I have seen a few pundits and commentators claiming that the Democrats are somehow putting themselves in a bad position by ignoring these briefings and to that I say pish tosh. They have surely weakened their moral position and made their claims of supporting the troops untenable, but this will probably not harm them at all — not that it shouldn’t. The problem with the feeling that this will harm the Democrat Party is that no one, by and large, will ever hear of this betrayal of our troops. It is doubtful whether the story will ever break through the din of the cycles controlled by a news media supportive of the Democrat agenda.
In any case, the Democrat Party is acting irresponsibly to say the least, criminally at the worst. The biggest question, however, is will the News Media allow the American people to become aware that the Democrats are so badly falling down on the job? Will they be held accountable for the harm they are causing our country, cause and our troops not to mention the harm they cause the Iraqi people by this turning away from their needs and concerns?
Sadly, my guess is no.