Thursday, August 23, 2007

Deification of Generals

I have viewed with a jaundiced eye the parade of generals in Iraq, each presented as the modern personification of Patton, MacArthur and Eisenhower rolled into one body, each lauded and simultaneously ignored by the administration and each cast onto the slagheap of ignominy after failing to pacify our military occupation of Iraq.

Even as General Petraeus was being initially being elevated to the status of Saint David I was having misgivings. I vaguely recalled his claims of pacification in Northern Iraq going awry pretty promptly after his rotation out, but that could have been due to the poor performance of his successor. I clearly recalled his claims of success in training the Iraqi Army ringing terribly hollow, however, and I distrusted a general who would inject himself into an election as he did with his op-ed piece on Iraq in September of 2004.

Brent Budowsky sums up Saint David’s performance and tendencies very well in his post yesterday on the Huffington Post.

Our current commander, General Petraeus, is a great military thinker from a great military organization, the 101st Airborne, with a near perfect record of failure in Iraq. His original efforts early in the war led to ultimate sectarian conflict within his regional command. His next mission for training Iraqis to "step up so we step down" was terribly failed, obviously. He allowed American weapons to fall into the hands of our enemies through mismanagement during his tenure.

Shortly before the 2004 presidential election, General Petraeus injected himself into the campaign on behalf of the President through a pre-election op-ed in the Washington Post that exactly three years ago this September. He gave glowing reports about the Iraqi military, Iraqi police and Iraqi leadership that look ridiculous now, three years later.

Petraeus is a good man and great military thinker with a record in Iraq that was so failed and flawed that only in the George Bush era would such a record be deified, and only with such incoherence from the Democratic national security establishment and such insiderism and laziness from the major media could such a deification of past failures be accepted.

He goes on to say,

Now we learn: the "Petraeus report" will not be the "Petraeus report" but will be the White House report. We learn he will not testify about his report but before the White House rewrite of the report.

With the latest maneuvering the Administration will try to time his pre-report testimony with, you guessed it, the anniversary of September 11, 2001. Is there no shame left in Washington?

So I will wait with bated breath for 9/11/07 to hear what Petraeus the White House has to say, even though, like 300 million other people, I know pretty much word-for-word what it will be. And I know that everything he will have to say will be utter crap.

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