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  • General Petraeus or General Betray Us

    MoveOn.Org sparked much controversy by running the following ad called General Petraeus or General Betray Us. In response to the article, I thought it was worth posting another piece I found online in the LA Times. Petraeus nears a precipice of history

    INo matter what side people are on, one thing appears clear that MoveOn seemed to ignore, and the LA Times fortunately recognized:

    Known as an optimist and a communicator, the general possesses a skill set suited to his task: assessing the progress of the Iraq war.
    MoveOn.org went too far in my opinion by beginning their piece with "General Petraeus is a military man constantly at war with the facts."

    This goes beyond just challenging General Petraeus' assessment. It attempts to call into question his capacity to make any assessment while focusing entirely on Iraq.
    "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

  • #2
    I think Petraeus is doing the right things, but it's still too little too late.
    no one can recover from the huge mistakes of the past.

    as in any investment, you don't pour money or more resources on a loosing streak. you cut and move to better investments.

    as for moveon - it's politics and they voice the opinion of many. there is a history in the white house (and not only this administration) to cook info to fit politics. reality is a dirty word in the world of politics and people die.

    remember Gen Powell, lying in front of the world at the UN? generals have to obey orders..... I think it's wrong. the armed forces should not be in politics and jsut say the reality.
    "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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    • #3
      In a perfect world I'd agree . . .

      Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
      . . . remember Gen Powell, lying in front of the world at the UN? generals have to obey orders..... I think it's wrong. the armed forces should not be in politics and jsut say the reality.
      But this is as much psychological warfare as anything else and we should be doing a much better job of considering the political impact of our public statements than we have been up to this point.
      Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

      Questions about our site? See the FAQ.

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      • #4
        A general is not required to say what the President would like him to say. He can hand in his stars anytime he wants and then say what he wants. The fact that General Patreaus is saying what he is shows that he believes it and the fact that the war is not going the way the Demos want it to (go down in flames taking tens of thousands of troops with it in death so they can say "We told you so").

        Even before he had said a word the Demos were already calling him a liar. Then I heard they were equalizing him to the "disgraced" General Westmoreland. Disgraced? Since when? Obviously the news pundits are now making up history as they go along to show what they want.
        "If you are right, then you are right even if everyone says you are wrong. If you are wrong then you are wrong even if everyone says you are right." William Penn.

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        • #5
          The General's approval rating is far higher than that of congress - Demo's included. This attack on him is their way of damage control and I hope it blows up in their face.

          D1
          "War is hell, but actual combat is a motherf#cker"
          - Col. David Hackworth

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          • #6
            Originally posted by DeltaOne View Post
            The General's approval rating is far higher than that of congress - Demo's included. This attack on him is their way of damage control and I hope it blows up in their face.

            D1
            I could not agree more.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by piero1971 View Post

              remember Gen Powell, lying in front of the world at the UN?
              By using words like "lying" you are asserting that Powell made his misstatements knowingly and willfully.

              There is an important difference between lying and being wrong despite your best intentions...everything I have read...and Powell's entire career up to that moment suggest that he was wrong but was not lying.

              You can disagree with what they did but you do not have to smear people to make your point.

              General Powell's life and actions indicate he is a principled man. Honest and well intentioned men make mistakes too. Sometimes big mistakes...but there's no need to unfairly attack their intentions.

              Please remember to judge others the way you would hope to be judged.

              The above remarks are not meant as a personal attack on you...it is just my reaction to this typical approach of calling General Powell's presentation a big lie.

              As for General Petraeus...I think he is a highly capable and upstanding man...and if I can not believe his testimony as being his real and true assesment then I can't believe in anything.
              Publisher
              Armchair General Magazine
              Weider History Group

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              • #8
                I find it extremely childish and sickening that anyone could stoop to spout such diarrhea about a man that has given the majority of his life in service to his country. Is this a group of politically motivated five year olds?

                Out of the desire to remain objective I thumbed through their site a bit. The unfailing impression I get is that this is the radical wing of the Democratic Party mud slingers, and thus they are worse than those snails that gather on wet roads.

                One of these days maybe we'll find a group/party/etc.. that is really unbiased and objective. Till then, all career politicians (and lawyers for that matter) are slime.
                Welcome to the adult world. Kinda sucks when you have to be the responsible ones and take all the pot shots from the chagrined lefties and mongoloid celebrities, who don't know their collective posteriors from sound economic policy. - 98ZJUSMC

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm retired, so I had the opportunity to watch the entire "show" until c-span decided that some "speachifying" about 9/11 was of infinately more importance than the hearings in progress. (No disrespect to 9/11 victims.)

                  The General came across to me as professional, although I had to chuckle about his method of delivery of his report. He chose to use the tried and true "flip chart" method to graphically display salient points during his delivery. Exactly the same method we used 25 years ago delivering Intell briefings to all and sundry. Can anyone say "Power Point" display? However, noting the microphone failure, perhaps "them newfangled things" might be left alone to prevent "technical failure".

                  The Ambassador did OK, although his "ad lib" speaking ability is somewhat less than that of the General's.

                  Given the Democratic "lead up" to this report, it was of no surprise to anyone what their reaction would be. It is always a dissappointment to me when these supposedly "Openminded Liberals" show anything but openmindedness.

                  I took notes:

                  On both reports (Military & Political):

                  1) Both gentlemen did exactly what was expected of them. Both reports were entirely predictable. You will never find a General who is going to report in a public forum that the "cause is lost", if for no other reason than the reaction this would cause on the morale of the troops.

                  2) Both reports pointed to "good things" and glossed over "bad things". Again, expected.

                  3) From an Intell gathering point of view, I did glean a few things of note I had been previously unaware of. Some of which, I am sure, have been deliberately "overlooked" by our biased, populist media.

                  4) Overall, however, no surprises.

                  On Congress:

                  1) Pretty much "party line" for both sides. (Ho Hum...) The "questioning", aside from allowing the "posturing for the cameras", was not overtly hostile except in the cause of following the party line.

                  2) I did note two Congresspersons to add to my list of "people I'd rather not see reelected", Ackerman of NY and Lantos of California. Both managed to irritate me a bit with their antics and posturing. I had thought about adding Payne of NJ to the list, but he appeared too dumb to be of great harm.

                  3) I noted that both partys used the "defer to junior member" ploy when it was time to tout the respective party lines. As if it was beneath the dignity of the "Senior Members" to stoop to repeating common knowledge. (Then why bother at all?)

                  4) I noted that every member of Congress that spoke paid homage to the service of the "witnesses" and, in general, to the troops. Now that was a refreshing change for an ol' Viet Vet, demonized, shunned and generally treated like plague carriers in our time.

                  5) Mention was made, by a Democrat, of course, of the two Generals who were "retired" by Bush for having the audacity NOT to tout the Bush/Rumsfeld line. (A left handed swipe at the veracity of Gen. Petraeous' report.)

                  6) Congressman Skelton (Dem) did run a tight hearing, did not show bias (except when he "slapped down" one Congressman complaining about demonstrators) and had little truck with the demonstrators.

                  7) I also noted that the demonstrators were charged with "disturbing the peace" NOT "contempt of Congress". (Hell, half the country could be arrested on that charge ) Cindy Sheehan managed to get herself arrested (again). That woman has GOT to get a life!

                  Overall, the entire experience was "your Government in action", revealed no startling facts, changed no one's opinion (in Congress anyway) and probably did not pull too many TV viewers from soap operas, shopping networks or the other drivel.

                  Tomorrow, the two "witnesses" appear before the Senate Commitee under Joe Biden. Might have more fireworks in that Joe Biden is a long standing "wise ass" and Senators, in general, tend to consider themselves powerful enough that the concept of gentlemanly conduct towards those they consider "beneath them" often evades them.

                  I look forward to it.

                  GG
                  "The will of a section rooted in self interest, should not outweigh the vital interests of a whole people." -Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain-

                  "Fanatics of any sort are dangerous." -GG-

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Eric Weider View Post
                    By using words like "lying" you are asserting that Powell made his misstatements knowingly and willfully.

                    There is an important difference between lying and being wrong despite your best intentions...everything I have read...and Powell's entire career up to that moment suggest that he was wrong but was not lying.

                    You can disagree with what they did but you do not have to smear people to make your point.

                    General Powell's life and actions indicate he is a principled man. Honest and well intentioned men make mistakes too. Sometimes big mistakes...but there's no need to unfairly attack their intentions.

                    Please remember to judge others the way you would hope to be judged.

                    The above remarks are not meant as a personal attack on you...it is just my reaction to this typical approach of calling General Powell's presentation a big lie.

                    As for General Petraeus...I think he is a highly capable and upstanding man...and if I can not believe his testimony as being his real and true assesment then I can't believe in anything.
                    none taken.

                    I actually met Powell once. nice guy and strikes me as a decent man. Lying once does not make one bad by the way. wether he lied or thought he was saying the truth but was wrong, or thought it was in the interest of his nation to lie (my take), is indeed a difference but does not make one a bad person per se.

                    I think he said many times that he regretted that moment and hinted that he had doubts that what he was saying might be wrong.

                    I am not saying that Petraeus lied or not. but for sure there is an envornment in the high levels of the armed forces today where if you say something against what is expected your career stops. Armed forces have to stick to reality.

                    hell I lied all the time to my girlfriends! (you are the only one, i love you, etc.)
                    "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      That one's a low blow. Real low.

                      The anti-war crowd and lefties must be real proud of themselves now.

                      Just when I thought my contempt for them can't get any worse ... they go ahead and do something that made it worse.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
                        hell I lied all the time to my girlfriends! (you are the only one, i love you, etc.)
                        Character counts, which is why statements like this only tend to reinforce the attitude that the folks on this forum have of you. I wouldn't count on a job reference from anyone here if I were you.
                        "If you are right, then you are right even if everyone says you are wrong. If you are wrong then you are wrong even if everyone says you are right." William Penn.

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                        • #13
                          I've got time for this Petraues guy. He strikes me as a smart man ( I believe he's called the thinking mans general)and I do know about his excellent work in Mosul back in 2003. He was however given a poison chalice and he's had to do the best he can with a bit of a mess not of his own making. He knows public opinion back home is wobbly and Congress etc with it. He's not just going to sit there and say yeah its all crap, nothing is going right. He's going to be as honest as he can be but put as a positive a light on the situation as he can otherwise he really is screwed. He may well think privately , hell we should get the hell outa here but he cant do that can he.
                          Last edited by copenhagen; 11 Sep 07, 05:49.

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                          • #14
                            Things money could never buy.

                            Getting me to lead the country.

                            Getting me to lead much of anything beyond a company of troops.

                            Right or wrong, I would never walk into a General's footsteps in the 21st century.

                            Way too much grief.
                            Life is change. Built models for decades.
                            Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
                            I didn't for a long time either.

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                            • #15
                              As a commissioned officer in the armed forces of the United States he is required to support the Presidents "Policies", "Goals" and "Strategies" or resign.

                              However he is both duty bound and legally obliged (he is under oath and it's a crime to lie in testimony before Congress, not just contempt of Congress--Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001 makes it a crime to: 1) knowingly and willfully; 2) make any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation; 3) in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative or judicial branch of the United States) to answer the questions honestly. If he knows facts about a situation and it's not classified information, and he is asked about that situation then he is bound to answer it. Doesn't matter if that would be not supporting the President etc.

                              Facts are facts and he must report them. I believe that he did a accurate and faithful job of that in his testimony.
                              “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
                              “To talk of many things:
                              Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
                              Of cabbages—and kings—
                              And why the sea is boiling hot—
                              And whether pigs have wings.”
                              ― Lewis Carroll

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