Thursday, September 20, 2007

American Senate Almost Makes
Bold Statement
About General Betrayus

"Another War-on-Terror Blog" isn't intended to be political. However, sometimes efforts to stop religious fanatics from killing people have to wade through politics.

Over a week ago, I posted "General Petraeus, General Betrayus, and Tolerance," about Senators making speeches at one of America's generals, and how a political action groups was making fun of the General.

It's arguable that it's the general's fault. He has a funny-sounding name. If he had a nice, American, name, like Aikin, or Carter, or Johnson, or Wilson, he wouldn't have been called "General Betrayus."

I'm inclined to see such mocking of a major military leader as one of the unpleasant side-effects of having a nation which allows free speech.

At any rate, someone in the Senate had the odd idea that the Senate should put some distance between itself and petulant outbursts like the "Betrayus" remarks.

That made sense to me. It's one thing for an advocacy group to sling mud at someone who is trying to preserve their right to insult him, and their lives, for that matter. It's another thing for one of the august legislative bodies to, by their silence, tacitly approve of such lack of respect.

The ruling party in the Senate didn't want to defend General Betrayus's integrity at first. Sorry, that's General Petraeus. See how a crack like that can squirm into everyday speech? Finally, though, after the Senate ruminated on the idea for a while, and let the legislative process work.

What came out was an amendment on the defense authorization bill.

Here's the Statement of Purpose for S.Amdt. 2934 to S.Amdt. 2011 to H.R. 1585 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008): "To express the sense of the Senate that General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces."

I really am impressed. They went on record with a strong condemnation of "personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces."

The measure passed 75-25. None of the ruling party's presidential candidates voted for the measure. Some ducked out, others voted against it.

I'll say this for the United States Senate: They let people know who the membership voted. The Senate's website posted U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 110th Congress - 1st Session, where you can read how each Senator voted., the political fund raiser and advocacy group that started the "Betrayus" thing with an ad in the New York Times, wasn't mentioned in the amendment, but it's still a remarkably blunt and clear statement.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.