David Petraeus: A US war hero?

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

After a scandalous affair brought him down, we ask how successful the retired general’s military strategies have been.

A scandalous affair has brought down a man referred to by many as one of the greatest generals in US history. But how successful have David Petraeus’ strategies really been in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Until a few years ago, few people had heard of Petraeus. But in Washington DC, he has been long revered.

He has been compared to the likes of Dwight Eisenhower, the man who led the allied forces to victory in World War II.

His counter-inserguency strategies in Iraq and Afghanistan have been hailed as great sucesses.

How one can compare David Petraeus to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower is beyond me.  Eisenhower led a coalition of Allied Forces which defeated Nazi Germany.  Ending one of the darkest periods in European and world history.

What has David Petraeus accomplished that equals the military record of General Eisenhower? Nothing he’s done even comes close.

Earlier this year, Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Davis released a whistleblower report on conditions in Afghanistan.

He said that Petraeus consistently gave glowing and inaccurate accounts of US military progress and that Petraeus built a so-called “cult of personality” around himself.

“A message had been learned by the leading politicians of our country, by the vast majority of our uniformed service members, and the population at large [that] David Petraeus is a real war hero – maybe even on the same plane as Patton, MacArthur, and Eisenhower …. But the most important lesson everyone learned [was to] never, ever question General Petraeus or you’ll be made to look a fool!”


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  1. Like Colin Powell, Petraeus was a master of self-promotion though far inferior to the Powell standard.

    Powell not a hero?

    Not in my book.

    Think of the Powell Doctrine:

    – We should only fight wars we can win with minimum cost.

    What kind of morality, or even realism, is that?

    Shouldn’t we only fight wars that have great impetus, such as our very survival?  

    The mindless slaughter in Iraq that mostly benefited Iran (the Kurds benefited as well but were never more than a minor consideration) is a bleeding wound that will not soon be healed.  The Greatest Heroic American General, Colin Powell, contributed mightily to that disaster.

    If Colin Powell was fooled into his promotion, it was surely by a most negligent consideration of the facts.

    Yeah but Colin Powell was a black man and therefore deserving of extraordinary respect.

    In a pig’s eye.

    Colin Powell was a Jamaican.  Jamaicans have a quite different history and culture than Africans who were brought to the U.S. as slaves, for better or worse.

    It’s a particular peeve of mine how we impute intrinsic qualities to people based on nothing more than extrinsic features and appalling when we are so far off base in cases like Colin Powell, American Heroic General and propaganda tool.

    Thanks for the essay, which is very much on target IMHO.

    All JMO.

    Best,  Terry

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