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 Post subject: ROBERT SCHEER: THE GENERAL LIES
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:42 am 
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THE GENERAL LIES

Of course, Gen. David Petraeus predicts success in the Iraq war. What wonders couldn’t generals achieve with more troops and more time? The battle is always going well until it is lost, and then they blame defeat on the politicians and the public.

There’s no shortage of retired generals who will tell you we could have won in Vietnam, if only we had sent more troops, or bombed the dikes in the North, or been willing to kill more than the 3.4 million Vietnamese who died along with 59,000 American soldiers. Instead, the politicians and public, led by that bleeding heart President Richard Nixon, lost the will to win. Thus, the dominos fell to communism, and Red China and Red Vietnam now rule the world by dint of military force. Have you been to Wal-Mart lately? The triumph of communism is total.

Once again, we have a general repeatedly promising to save Western civilization by turning the corner in yet another intractable and unnecessary foreign war. Back on Sept. 26, 2004, in the weeks before the midterm congressional elections, Petraeus took to the op-ed page of the Washington Post to make sure the voters didn’t vote wrong. Despite appearances, he claimed the war in Iraq was going very well: “I see tangible progress. Iraqi security elements are being rebuilt from the ground up,"Petraeus wrote. “The institutions that oversee them are being re-established from the top down. And Iraqi leaders are stepping forward, leading their country and their security forces courageously ... there has been progress in the effort to enable Iraqis to shoulder more of the load for their own security, something they are keen to do.”

So keen, it makes one’s heart swell. So keen that three years later, after the expenditure of $450 billion more in taxpayer funds, and more U.S. troopsin proportion to the Iraqi population than, at the height of the Vietnam War, we had in Vietnam, the good general now insists it would be disastrous to even think about bringing any American troops home before next summer.

That’s at least another $150 billion and many more Iraqi and U.S. lives wasted. But wait—Ryan C. Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, also testified before Congress this week with Petraeus, and he has more good news about what he still celebrates as the “liberation of Iraq.” Remember that Bush administration promise that the oil-rich Iraqis would pick up the check for the cost of their liberation? Well, Crocker is bullish on that front:the Iraqi economy is on schedule to grow by 6 percent, according to his testimony. Perhaps he is referring to the additional money dumped into Iraq’s economy by American taxpayers chipping in for the surge.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 6:17 am 
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[url=http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20080409_everything_his_president_wants_to_hear/]Everything His President Wants to Hear
[/url]

Robert Scheer returns to blast The General again, and still says that Petraeus has indeed "Betrayed Us."

General Betray Us? Of course he has. MoveOn.org can hardly be expected to recycle its slogan from last September, when Gen. David Petraeus testified in support of escalating the U.S. war in Iraq, given the hysterical denunciations that worthy group received at the time. But it was right then—as it would be to repeat the charge now.

By undercutting the widespread support for getting out of Iraq, Petraeus did indeed betray the American public, siding with an enormously unpopular president who wants to stay the course in Iraq for personal and political reasons that run contrary to genuine national security interests. Once again, the president is passing the buck to the uniformed military to justify continuing a ludicrous imperial adventure, and the good general has dutifully performed.

So why are we surprised? Why do we expect the generals to lead us on the path to peace when that is the professional task of statesmen and not warriors? It is an abdication of civilian control of the military, the basic principle of American constitutional governance, to assign a central role to an active duty general to make the decision to end the war. It betrays the legacy warnings of our two most famous wartime generals, George Washington and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

American history offers no greater heroes, not because of their considerable success in battle but because they gained the wisdom to sound the alarm against unbridled militarism so passionately and effectively. The farewell addresses of both those departing generals-turned-president still stand as the essential bookends for what has been written about the limits on military adventure required for democracy’s survival. Washington’s plea to the nation “to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism” sets the standard for enlightened political discourse. A close second is Eisenhower’s warning that, “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”


More at the link.

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ANOTHER LINK: [url=http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/040408N.shtml]American Grand Delusions: Why the Testimony of General Petraeus Will Be Delusional
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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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