Capt._Eric_H._May_20070917_Petraeus_with_a_Kiss (“An ass-kissing little chickenshit…I hate people like that.”)
“An ass-kissing little chickenshit…I hate people like that.”
Give credit where credit is due. This week General Petraeus fully understood his role when he came to Washington.
His costume was dazzling, bedecked with nine rows of fruit salad and a fine collection of qualification badges. His spit shined shoes creaked with excitement, but his expression was as firm as his comb-over hairdo, and he was ready.
The four-star wanted to put on a stellar performance for a sold-out Congress. Everything was at stake, and everyone knew it.
Congress was a good crowd, especially when you consider that two thirds of the American people, whom they are supposed to represent, now oppose the war. Two thirds of the Iraqi people believe that the surge has only made things worse, and a majority of them think that shooting an American G.I. is an act of national liberation.
Congress gave Petraeus the best help they could by scheduling his performance for the day before and the day of 9/11, when (they hoped) there would still be some residual patriotic sentiment in favor of continuing to kill Arabs and call it democratization. The House Armed Services Committee started things off favorably by letting the general appear without bothering to take an oath to tell the truth. They didn’t trip him up with inconvenient details, such as recently released reports that our Iraq war has cost a million Iraqi lives, and has displaced several more millions from their cities and country. When his performance dragged, they allowed him numerous ad libs on how Al Qaeda and Iran were responsible for the force of the Iraqi resistance.
Unflappable, though, uncreative, the general competently danced solo around most of the issues. He was pretty much flawless in his falsehoods, and he showed it from the start with an almost convincing denial that his performance had been choreographed in advance by the White House. Petraeus has a natural aptitude for faking sincerity, which is the hardest part of any art. Indeed, it was his ability to take direction that earned him his prima donna role in the first place.
Sometimes he partnered with less gifted performer Ambassador Ryan Crocker. On a few embarrassing occasions, Crocker fell down altogether, and there he would lie. One egregious moment came after he was asked whether he had indeed said that it might be a good thing if Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki were removed from office. Completely nonplussed, Crocker awkwardly danced around in circles without ever getting anywhere. When he finally recovered, the best you could say was that he had avoided mentioning that al-Maliki a month ago demanded that Petraeus be removed from Iraq by the White House.
Watching the faux pas de deux from home on their television sets, unkind wags shouted “Betray Us with a Crock!” This was punishing pun.
Petraeus stumbled badly once, when Republican Senator John Warner, one of the few remaining World War II veterans in Congress, asked him if the war for Iraq was good for America. Caught flat-footed, the general admitted that he didn’t know. The White House press agencies who call themselves U.S. mainstream media have been working overtime to distract the American public from this singular faux pas.
Boo birds like Cindy Sheehan and the Code Pink crowd interjected the inconvenient voice of opposition into the Congressional hearings. The protesters had no appreciation for bureaucratic ballet, and committed such barbarisms as calling out for peace during the war performance, and screaming “Lies!” and “Liar!” when the liars were lying.
The masses often get in the way of the official massacres called wars, and they must be mastered. Sheehan and supporters were escorted out by police ushers, with promises of prosecution from a Congressional leadership who wanted to make it clear that in these United States no crimes will go unpunished — except for war crimes, that is.
Ghost Troops in the Gallery
“You are only interested in your career and provide no support to your staff — no mission support and you don’t care.”
Colonel Ted Westhusing to General David Petraeus
Unkind readers of this review may accuse me of prejudice in favor of the Army and against the State Department, but that’s not the case. I say without hesitation that General Petraeus outperformed Ambassador Crocker, and I believe that I am qualified to judge officer/ambassador tandems.
- “Can’t Give This War Away” a Wikipedia source (not thru me) for reporter Michael Hastings’ entry (waronterrornews.typepad.com)
- Five Interesting Facts About David Petraeus From His Daughters’ Food Blog (politicker.com)
- “Director Petraeus feels very privileged to be able to continue to serve our country in his current…” (shortformblog.com)
- General Petraeus: No, I’m Not Running For Elected Office (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Petraeus for VP – Obama’s nightmare? (hotair.com)
- 10 fast facts about Gen. Petraeus (politico.com)
- VP Petraeus? (townhall.com)
- No legal obstacle to David Petraeus pick (politico.com)
- CIA chief Petraeus denies interest in elected office (reuters.com)
- What you don’t know about David Petraeus (“”Worst of all, he’s a big-government liberal: His strategy in Iraq relied on numerous population-centric strategies that are called counterinsurgency when deployed inside a war zone but, if implemented in the U.S (gunnyg.wordpress.com)