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Last Updated: Friday, 21 September 2007, 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK
US senators condemn Petraeus ad
Moveon.org ad attacking Gen David Petraeus
The ad accused Gen Petraeus of exaggerating successes in Iraq
The US Senate has voted to condemn an advertisement attacking the country's top commander in Iraq as he gave key testimony on military progress there.

The ad, published in the New York Times by anti-war group MoveOn.Org last week, sparked controversy by referring to Gen David Petraeus as "General betray us".

US President George W Bush accused Democrats of being afraid to stand up to the group over the "disgusting" ad.

A Moveon official said political debate should focus on an Iraq exit strategy.

'Cooking the books'

The Senate voted by 72 to 25 to approve the Republican-sponsored bill to "strongly condemn personal attacks" on Gen Petraeus and US armed forces.

Most Democrats are afraid of irritating a left-wing group like MoveOn.org - are more afraid of irritating them than they are of irritating the United States military
George W Bush
US President

In the ad, Moveon.org accused Gen Petraeus of "cooking the books for the White House" by declaring that its troop surge strategy in Iraq had been a success.

In the House of Representatives, Republican leader John Boehner recommended a similar move.

But a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told The Associated Press news agency that the priorities of Americans lay elsewhere.

"The House is going to devote its full attention to providing healthcare to children... reducing global warming and responsibly redeploying US forces now in Iraq," Nadeam Elshami said.

The vote came after Mr Bush said he was disappointed in the Democrats' response to the ad earlier on Thursday.

"Most Democrats are afraid of irritating a left-wing group like MoveOn.org - are more afraid of irritating them than they are of irritating the United States military," he said.

MoveOn.org Executive Director Eli Pariser accused Mr Bush of being more interested in political attacks than developing an exit strategy for US troops in Iraq.


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