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The news that President-elect Donald Trump called in disgraced retired Gen. David Petraeus for a job interview as possible Secretary of State tests whether Trump’s experience in hosting “The Celebrity Apprentice” honed his skills for spotting an incompetent phony or not.

Does Trump need more data than the continuing bedlam in Iraq and Afghanistan to understand that one can earn a Princeton PhD by writing erudite-sounding drivel about “counterinsurgency” and still flunk war? Granted, the shambles in which Petraeus left Iraq and Afghanistan were probably more a result of his overweening careerism and political ambition than his misapplication of military strategy. But does that make it any more excusable?

In 2007, Adm. William Fallon, commander of CENTCOM with four decades of active-duty experience behind him, quickly took the measure of Petraeus, who was one of his subordinates while implementing a “surge” of over 30,000 U.S. troops into Iraq.

Several sources reported that Fallon was sickened by Petraeus’s unctuous pandering to ingratiate himself. Fallon is said to have been so turned off by all the accolades in the flowery introduction given him by Petraeus that he called him to his face “an ass-kissing little chickenshit,” adding, “I hate people like that.” Sadly, Petraeus’s sycophancy is not uncommon among general officers. Uncommon was Fallon’s outspoken candor.

The past decade has shown that obsequiousness to those above him and callousness toward others are two of Petraeus’s most notable character traits. They go along with his lack of military acumen and his dishonesty as revealed in his lying to the FBI about handing over top-secret notebooks to his biographer/lover, an “indiscretion” that would have landed a less well-connected person in jail but instead got him only a mild slap on the wrist (via a misdemeanor guilty plea).

Indeed, Petraeus, the epitome of a “political general,” represents some of the slimiest depths of the Washington “swamp” that President-elect Trump has vowed to drain. Petraeus cares desperately about the feelings of his fellow elites but shows shocking disdain for the suffering of other human beings who are not so important.

In early 2011 in Afghanistan, Petraeus shocked aides to then-President Hamid Karzai after many children were burned to death in a “coalition” attack in northeastern Afghanistan by suggesting that Afghan parents may have burned their own children to exaggerate their claims of civilian casualties and discredit the US, reported The Washington Post, citing two participants at the meeting.

“Killing 60 people, and then blaming the killing on those same people, rather than apologizing for any deaths? This is inhuman,” one Afghan official said. “This is a really terrible situation.”

Yet, on other occasions, the politically savvy Petraeus can be a paragon of sensitivity – like when he is in danger of getting crosswise with the Israel Lobby.

Never did Petraeus’s fawning shine through with more brilliance, than when an (unintentionally disclosed) email exchange showed him groveling before arch-neocon Max Boot, beseeching Boot’s help in fending off charges that Petraeus was “anti-Israel” because his prepared testimony to a congressional committee included the no-brainer observations that Israeli-Palestinian hostility presents “distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests” and that “this conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of US favoritism for Israel. … Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support.”

So, telling the truth (perhaps accidentally in prepared testimony) made Petraeus squirm with fear about offending the powerful Israel Lobby, but he apparently didn’t hesitate to lie to FBI agents when he was caught in a tight spot for sharing highly sensitive intelligence with Paula Broadwell, his mistress/biographer. But, again, Petraeus realized that it helps to have influential friends. A court gave him a slap on the wrist with a sentence of two years probation and a fine of $100,000 – which is less than he usually makes for a single speaking engagement.

Military Incompetent Without Parallel

And, if President-elect Trump isn’t repulsed by the stench of hypocrisy – if he ignores Petraeus’s reckless handling of classified material after Trump lambasted Hillary Clinton for her own careless behavior in that regard – there is also the grim truth behind Petraeus’s glitzy image.

As a military strategist or even a trainer of troops, Petraeus has been an unparalleled disaster. Yes, the corporate media always runs interference for Official Washington’s favorite general. But that does not equate with genuine success.

The Iraq “surge,” which Petraeus oversaw, was misrepresented in the corporate media as a huge victory – because it was credited with a brief dip in the level of violence at the cost of some 1,000 American lives (and those of many more Iraqis) – but the “surge” failed its principal goal of buying time to heal the rift between Shiites and Sunnis, a division that ultimately led to the emergence of the Islamic State (or ISIS).

Then, in early 2014, the crackerjack Iraqi troops whom Petraeus bragged about training ran away from Mosul, leaving their modern U.S.-provided weapons behind for the Islamic State’s jihadists to play with.

In part because of that collapse – with Iraqi forces only now beginning to chip away at ISIS control of Mosul – the Obama administration was dragged into another Mideast war, spilling across Iraq and Syria and adding to the droves of refugees pouring into Europe, a crisis that is now destabilizing the European Union.

You might have thought that the combination of military failures and scandalous behavior would have ended David Petraeus’s “government service,” but he has never lost his skill at putting his finger to the wind.

During the presidential campaign, the windsock Petraeus was circumspect, which was understandable given the uncertainty regarding which way the wind was blowing.

However, on Sept. 1, 2015, amid calls from the mainstream US media and establishment think tanks for President Obama to escalate the US proxy war to overthrow the Syrian government, Petraeus spoke out in favor of giving more weapons to “moderate” Syrian rebels, despite the widespread recognition that U.S.-supplied guns and rockets were ending up in the hands of Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front.

The new harebrained scheme – favored by Petraeus and other neocons – fantasized about Al Qaeda possibly joining the fight against the Islamic State, although ISIS sprang from Al Qaeda and splintered largely over tactical issues, such as how quickly to declare a jihadist state, not over fundamental fundamentalist goals.

But more miscalculations in the Middle East would be right up Petraeus’s alley. He played an important role in facilitating the emergence of the Islamic State by his too-clever-by-half policy of co-opting some Sunni tribes with promises of shared power in Baghdad and with lots of money, and then simply looking the other way as the U.S.-installed Shia government in Baghdad ditched the promises.

Surge? Or Splurge With Lives

The so-called “surges” of troops into Iraq and Afghanistan are particularly gross examples of the way American soldiers have been used as expendable pawns by ambitious generals like Petraeus and ambitious politicians like former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

The problem is that overweening personal ambition can end up getting a lot of people killed. In the speciously glorified first “surge,” President George W. Bush sent more than 30,000 additional troops into Iraq in early 2007. During the period of the “surge,” about 1,000 US troops died.

There was a similar American death toll during President Barack Obama’s “surge” of another 30,000 troops into Afghanistan in early 2010, a shift toward a counterinsurgency strategy that had been pressed on Obama by Petraeus, Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Despite the loss of those 1,000 additional US soldiers, the counterinsurgency “surge” had little effect on the course of the Afghan War.

The bloody chaos that continues in Iraq today and in the never-ending war in Afghanistan was entirely predictable. Indeed, it was predicted by those of us able to spread some truth around via the Internet, while being blacklisted by the fawning corporate media, which cheered on the “surges” and their chief architect, David Petraeus.

But the truth is not something that thrives in either US politics or media these days. Campaigning early this year in New Hampshire, then-presidential aspirant Jeb Bush gave a short partial-history lesson about his big brother’s attack on Iraq. Referring to the so-called Islamic State, Bush said, “ISIS didn’t exist when my brother was president. ‘Al Qaeda in Iraq’ was wiped out … the surge created a fragile but stable Iraq. …”

Jeb Bush is partially right about ISIS; it didn’t exist when his brother George attacked Iraq. Indeed, Al Qaeda didn’t exist in Iraq until after the US invasion when it emerged as “Al Qaeda in Iraq” and it wasn’t eliminated by the “surge.”

With huge sums of US cash going to Sunni tribes in Anbar province, Al Qaeda in Iraq just pulled back and regrouped. Its top leaders came from the ranks of angry Sunnis who had been officers in Saddam Hussein’s army and – when the “surge” failed to achieve reconciliation between Sunnis and Shiites – the US cash proved useful in expanding Sunni resistance to Baghdad’s Shiite government. From the failed “surge” strategy emerged the rebranded “Al Qaeda in Iraq,” the Islamic State.

So, despite Jeb Bush’s attempted spin, the reality is that his brother’s aggressive war in Iraq created both “Al Qaeda in Iraq” and its new incarnation, Islamic State.

The mess was made worse by subsequent US strategy – beginning under Bush and expanding under President Obama – of supporting insurgents in Syria. By supplying money, guns and rockets to “moderate” Sunni rebels, that strategy has allowed the materiel to quickly fall into the hands of Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Nusra Front, and its jihadist allies, Ahrar al-Sham.

In other words, US strategy – much of it guided by David Petraeus – continues to strengthen Al Qaeda, which – through its Nusra affiliate and its Islamic State spin-off – now occupies large swaths of Iraq and Syria.

Escaping a ‘Lost War’

All this is among the fateful consequences of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq 13 years ago – made worse (not better) by the “surge” in 2007, which contributed significantly to this decade’s Sunni-Shia violence. The real reason for Bush’s “surge” seems to have been to buy time so that he and Vice President Dick Cheney could leave office without having a lost war on their résumés.

As author Steve Coll has put it, “The decision [to surge] at a minimum guaranteed that his [Bush’s] presidency would not end with a defeat in history’s eyes. By committing to the surge [the President] was certain to at least achieve a stalemate.”

According to Bob Woodward, Bush told key Republicans in late 2005 that he would not withdraw from Iraq, “even if Laura and [first-dog] Barney are the only ones supporting me.” Woodward made it clear that Bush was well aware in fall 2006 that the US was losing.

Indeed, by fall 2006, it had become unavoidably clear that a new course had to be chosen and implemented in Iraq, and virtually every sober thinker seemed opposed to sending more troops.

The senior military, especially CENTCOM commander Gen. John Abizaid and his man on the ground in Iraq, Gen. George Casey, emphasized that sending still more US troops to Iraq would simply reassure leading Iraqi politicians that they could relax and continue to take forever to get their act together.

Here, for example, is Gen. Abizaid’s answer at the Senate Armed Services Committee on Nov. 15, 2006, to Sen. John McCain, who had long been pressing vigorously for sending 20,000 more troops to Iraq:

”Senator McCain, I met with every divisional commander, General Casey, the corps commander, General Dempsey, we all talked together. And I said, ‘in your professional opinion, if we were to bring in more American troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq?’ And they all said no.

“And the reason is because we want the Iraqis to do more. It is easy for the Iraqis to rely upon us do this work. I believe that more American forces prevent the Iraqis from doing more, from taking more responsibility for their own future.”

The US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, sent a classified cable to Washington warning that “proposals to send more US forces to Iraq would not produce a long-term solution and would make our policy less, not more, sustainable,” according to a New York Times retrospective on the “surge” published on Aug. 31, 2008. Khalilzad was arguing, unsuccessfully, for authority to negotiate a political solution with the Iraqis.

There was also the establishment-heavy Iraq Study Group, created by Congress and led by Republican stalwart James Baker and Democrat Lee Hamilton (with Robert Gates as a member although he quit before the review was competed). After months of policy review, the Iraq Study Group issued a final report on Dec. 6, 2006, that began with the ominous sentence “The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating.”

It called for: “A change in the primary mission of US Forces in Iraq that will enable the United States to begin to move its combat forces out of Iraq responsibly… By the first quarter of 2008…all combat brigades not necessary for force protection could be out of Iraq.”

Rumsfeld’s Known-Knowns

The little-understood story behind Bush’s decision to catapult Robert Gates into the post of Defense Secretary was the astonishing fact that Donald Rumsfeld, of all people, was pulling a Robert McNamara; that is, he was going wobbly on a war based largely on his own hubris-laden, misguided advice.

In the fall of 2006 Rumsfeld was having a reality attack. In Rumsfeld-speak, he had come face to face with a “known known.”

On Nov. 6, 2006, a day before the mid-term elections, Rumsfeld sent a memo to the White House, in which he acknowledged, “Clearly, what US forces are currently doing in Iraq is not working well enough or fast enough.” The rest of his memo sounded very much like the emerging troop-drawdown conclusions of the Iraq Study Group.

The first 80 percent of Rumsfeld’s memo addressed “Illustrative Options,” including his preferred – or “above the line” – options such as “an accelerated drawdown of US bases … to five by July 2007” and withdrawal of US forces “from vulnerable positions – cities, patrolling, etc. … so the Iraqis know they have to pull up their socks, step up and take responsibility for their country.”

Finally, Rumsfeld had begun to listen to his generals and others who knew which end was up.?The hurdle? Bush and Cheney were not about to follow Rumsfeld’s example in “going wobbly.” Like Robert McNamara at a similar juncture during Vietnam, Rumsfeld had to be let go before he caused a President to “lose a war.”

Waiting in the wings, though, was Robert Gates, who had been CIA director under President George H. W. Bush, spent four years as president of Texas A&M, and had returned to the Washington stage as a member of the Iraq Study Group. While on the ISG, he evidenced no disagreement with its emerging conclusions – at least not until Bush asked him to become Secretary of Defense in early November 2006.

It was awkward. Right up to the week before the mid-term elections on Nov. 7, 2006, President Bush had insisted that he intended to keep Rumsfeld in place for the next two years. Suddenly, the President had to deal with Rumsfeld’s apostasy on Iraq. Rumsfeld had let reality get to him, together with the very strong anti-surge protestations by all senior uniformed officers save one – the ambitious David Petraeus, who had jumped onboard for the “surge” escalation, which guaranteed another star on his lapel.

All Hail Petraeus

With the bemedaled Petraeus in the wings and guidance on strategy from arch-neocons, such as retired General Jack Keane and think-tank analyst Frederick Kagan, the White House completed the coup against the generals by replacing Rumsfeld with Gates and recalling Casey and Abizaid and elevating Petraeus.

Amid the mainstream media’s hosannas for Petraeus and Gates, the significance of the shakeup was widely misunderstood, with key senators, including Sen. Hillary Clinton, buying the false narrative that the changes presaged a drawdown in the war rather than an escalation.

So relieved were the senators to be rid of the hated-but-feared Rumsfeld that the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Dec. 5, 2006, on Gates’s nomination had the feel of a pajama party (I was there). Gates told them bedtime stories – and vowed to show “great deference to the judgment of generals.”

With unanimous Democratic support and only two conservative Republicans opposed, Gates was confirmed by the full Senate on Dec. 6, 2006.

On Jan. 10, 2007, Bush formally unveiled the bait-and-switch, announcing the “surge” of 30,000 additional troops, a mission that would be overseen by Gates and Petraeus. Bush did acknowledge that there would be considerable loss of life in the year ahead as US troops were assigned to create enough stability for Iraq’s Shiite and Sunni factions to reach an accommodation.

At least, he got the loss-of-life part right. Around 1,000 US troops died during the “surge” along with many more Iraqis. But Bush, Cheney, Petraeus, and Gates apparently deemed that cost a small price to pay for enabling them to blame a successor administration for the inevitable withdrawal from America’s failed war of aggression.

The gambit worked especially well for Gates and Petraeus. Amid glowing mainstream media press clippings about the “successful surge” and “victory at last” in Iraq, Gates was hailed as a new “wise man” and Petraeus was the military genius who pulled victory from the jaws of defeat. Their reputations were such that President Obama concluded that he had no choice but to keep them on, Gates as Defense Secretary and Petraeus as Obama’s top general in the Middle East.

Petraeus then oversaw the “surge” in Afghanistan and landed the job of CIA director, where Petraeus reportedly played a major role in arming up the Syrian rebels in pursuit of another “regime change,” this time in Syria.

Although Petraeus’s CIA tenure ended in disgrace in November 2012 when his dangerous liaison with Paula Broadwell was disclosed, his many allies in Official Washington’s powerful neocon community are now pushing him on President-elect Trump as the man to serve as Secretary of State.

Petraeus is known as a master of flattery, something that seemingly can turn Trump’s head. But the President-elect should have learned from his days hosting “The Celebrity Apprentice” that the winning contender should not be the one most adept at sucking up to the boss.

(Now, with the whole Middle East in turmoil, I find some relief in this brief parody by comedienne Connie Bryan of Petraeus’s performance in training Iraqi troops.)

Ray McGovern was an Army officer and CIA analyst for almost 30 year. He now serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). He can be reached at: [email protected]. A version of this article first appeared on

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: David Petraeus, Donald Trump, Iraq War 
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  1. Ray McGovern is very knowledgeable and courageous, and I share his dislike for General P. However, whenever Trump invites someone for a meeting to collect info, the press makes up BS that crazy Trump is considering that person for a top job. The neocons spin these stories, Trump is attacked, then nothing happens.

    An example is at the fake pro-worker website HuffPo. Trump is not even President, but got Indiana’s Carrier Air Con to reverse plans to move to Mexico, while President Obama played golf. They attacked Trump for not saving all the jobs, and attacked Pence for giving them tax breaks. Puppet Bernie did the same.

    But Carrier Air had ignored the proffered tax breaks before Trump won, and despite wild claims, these are not “taxpayer funds” because if Carrier Air moved as planned, no taxes at all would have been collected, not to mention taxes collected from workers who became unemployed.

    The neocons are now spinning stories that Trump plans an insane and unneeded military spending splurge. I hope that proves false too.

    • Replies: @Wally
  2. these are not “taxpayer funds” because if Carrier Air moved as planned, no taxes at all would have been collected

    By this logic, any bribe for a corporation to do business in the U.S. would not come from “taxpayer funds.”

    • Replies: @Wally
  3. tl;dr but has Trump considered or appointed anyone worthy aside from Messrs Sessions & Bannon?

    • Replies: @Max Gibs
  4. I have two reactions to the article. First, David Petraeus even looks like someone who sucks up and pisses down. Second, the United States just doesn’t “do empire” very well. Best to cut our losses and get the hell out of there.

    • Replies: @Randal
  5. Randal says:
    @Diversity Heretic

    the United States just doesn’t “do empire” very well. Best to cut our losses and get the hell out of there

    Well Trump’s appointments so far don’t hold out much hope for that.

    Mattis, Flynn and Pompeo suggest a straight transfer of US foreign policy insanity from Russia to Iran. while giving mixed messages on the lunacy of R2P and not suggesting any pullback from the policy of aggressive forward confrontation of China.

    You’re in for another decade or so of empire doing, I suspect.

    • Agree: jacques sheete
  6. Greg Bacon says: • Website

    The end game has always been to ‘Shock and Awe’ Iran into a busted up state of anarchy, which is what Israel wants, and what Israel wants, our corrupt government gladly provides it, regardless of the amount of blood or treasure it costs Americans.

    Petraeus would gladly help his Zionist friends achieve that goal.

  7. Humpty Trump appears already to be power drunk. The dude so far seems to be as nuts as the War Whore, the Baggy Pantsuited Charnel House Madam.

    I never had any doubt this dolt would be a disaster, but he’s turning out to be worse than I could have imagined. There’s precious little comfort in the idea that he’s still not as bad as the Bomb Sow would’ve been.

    Who, in his right mind would do anything but shun Petraeus? What a low class goof. One look at the mass of meaningless but pretty colored trinkets on the man’s monkey suit ought to tell anyone with my (extremely low) IQ or better that there’s something seriously wrong with anyone who’d dress like that, especially in public.

    And these clowns wanna make ‘Merka great again?

    I wish I had a tenth the talents of Juvenal.:

    Difficile est saturam non scribere…

    • Replies: @Wally
    , @JamesG
  8. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The deaths of thousands of US troops and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians for the sole purpose of embellishing the legacy of Bush and Cheney. Why aren’t these people in prison in the most exceptionally enlightened nation on earth? Is this what is meant by the term post-truth?

  9. Sam J. says:

    “…Does Trump need more data than the continuing bedlam in Iraq and Afghanistan to understand that one can earn a Princeton PhD by writing erudite-sounding drivel about “counterinsurgency” and still flunk war?…”

    I don’t think this or many of the other comments are fair. We never had enough troops to control Iraq and possibly the only way to do so would be to be extremely ruthless. Much more than we as a country would feel comfortable with. This is how the rest of the middle east is run and is the only guaranteed tested method I know of.

    Blaming him for the surge and troops death is more of the same. If you have more troops in country and they act more aggressive you’re going to have more casualties. All of these are political decisions. He worked with what he had to fulfill the political goals he was given.

    The books were cooked when Paul Bremer fired all the Iraqi soldiers and let the county run to chaos. I believe, like the poster Greg Bacon above, that this was the plan all along. You really want to look at the reasoning behind our failure in Iraq look at the Israelis.

    David Petraeus may be a suck up, his Jewish mistress, undoubtedly a spy for Israel, certainly played him but blaming the loss of Iraq on him is wrong.

  10. John Jeremiah Smith [AKA "MCPO USN"] says:

    Petraeus should have been broken to buck sergeant, jailed for six months, fined all pay, and given a dishonorable discharge.

    If Trump appoints that ripe, grossly corrupt turd to any position in government, the red flag has been taken out of the backpack and is waving frantically.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  11. @John Jeremiah Smith

    What, exactly, do you have against buck sergeants? 😉

    With all that tinsel, I wonder if Petraeus jangles when he waddles…

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  12. Art says:

    Perhaps Trump is stalling for time. Putting up Petraeus is a diversion for the benefit of the hard right. He is hoping that time will help people will get over their aversion to Romney.

    Trump wants Romney – he thinks that Romney has the gravitas to represent America. Trump wants a steady hand at state – he wants the world to see a steady America.

    Rudy is just out of place as Secretary of State – to much a lightning rod. Sessions is a viable alternative. Bolton is only there because of Fox Jews.

    Peace — Art

    • Replies: @quercusalba
    , @Sherman
  13. Max Gibs says:
    @Kyle McKenna

    Kris Kobach attended a meeting, and is apparently under consideration for DHS. He’s staunchly anti-immigration, and supports stricter voter ID laws.

    • Replies: @Kyle McKenna
  14. Rurik says:

    Petraeus jangles when he waddles…

    if he appoints Bolton, then I’m 100% with ya, and we were all chumped

    the 21st century would be one of horrors to beat even the last one

    but with these other sniveling sycophants like mittens or the glittering monkey, I would prefer to think Trump is mollifying the war pigs and ZioNazis and looking for a good toady to puff up his chest like a proper toad and make grunting noises for the cameras, even as these cowardly lickspittles understand in no uncertain terms at whose pleasure they serve.

    Obama is a wet dish rag, the war sow had a free hand in Libya to rain down Zio-destruction unimpeded by rational or humanitarian or even world geopolitical sanity.

    Trump is not a wet dish rag. If he appoints Bolton, it will be because his whole campaign was a ruse, and we fell for it. With any of these other shitheads, I figure he’s just trying to stay alive until he consolidates his control over the security apparatuses, and doesn’t end up JFK’d. A prospect that Trump has no doubt given some consideration to.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    , @Truth
  15. Wally says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    And the fact that US corporate taxes are one of the highest if not the highest in the world goes unmentioned by critics of Trump.

    Cutting those taxes for all US corporations, as well as income taxes, and eliminating many of the costly ‘regulations’ is a good place to start. Trump has said he will do just that when in office.

    • Replies: @bluedog
  16. Wally says:
    @Stephen R. Diamond

    Please show us how tax cuts are a “bribe” from “taxpayers funds”.

    Carrier will get tax cuts which Trump has pledged to ALL US corporations.

    I note that you dodged the fact that US corporate taxes are one of, if not the highest in world.

    And do realize that those who would have lost their jobs would not pay a penny in income taxes.
    It is they who would actually have received “taxpayers funds”.

    Get over it, you lost.

    • Replies: @Sam J.
  17. Wally says:
    @jacques sheete

    And how long has Trump actually been in office?

    You lost, get over it.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  18. The Democrats have hated Petraeus for many years- the Democrats don’t have too much of a problem with the bloody, profit making imperial adventures he’s involved in – they just hate the guy, ’cause he’s not in their gang.

    I’m disappointed McGovern didn’t address the consensual sex Petraeus had with defense contractor Broadwell. The “sharing of top secret info” is standard amongst the DC mafia, through vetted procedure. However, any “sharing” that bypasses the security of bureaucratic process and hair-splitting absolutism is fair game for an entity like the FBI to make politics out of business as usual. But there’s no real crime here of course – no cell blocks, punishment or rehabilitation lies. Paula sold guns and guns under management of generals are used to go get “the bad guys” – and this is what America is all about. America is also about celebrities bedding super hot, dynamic and most importantly – young mistresses, and then variously screeching – with hypocritical outrage and seething prurience once it’s revealed in the press.

  19. Greg Bacon says: • Website

    I remember reading stories about General Petraeus ‘losing’ thousands of small arms and assault rifles in Iraq, then repeating that ‘mistake’ in Afghanistan, but searching thru Google, can only now find ‘Good, Double Good’ stories about this bumbling fool.

  20. @Art

    I certainly hope you are incorrect that Trump ‘wants’ Romney. I think Romney is a personality-less, dullard of the first order, and any way you look at the vicious comments he made about Trump his actions now make him appear an utterly obsequious, unctous character desperate to have a place in government after he FAILED in his two presidential bids. No, I hope Trump is stringing the sucker along with honeyed praise, only to drop the hatchet on his stupid square-head.

    • Replies: @Art
  21. Sherman says:

    Hey Genius-

    “To much a lightning rod” s/b “too much of a lightning rod.”

    Peace – Sherm

    • Replies: @Art
  22. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Petraeus is obviously a charlatan, a careerist who was able to sell himself. The dismal results speak for themselves. This is the type who floats to the top in many organizations. However, to be fair, he was tasked with an impossible job by the mental cretin Bush and his gang of pirates. What their actual purpose in Iraq was, as opposed to the lofty sounding cliches they offered, isn’t totally clear even at this point leading to all sorts of speculations. Muddled thinking leads to muddled results, one might surmise. Getting a bunch of people killed is apparently of no concern to Petraeus or Bush & company. That’s just how they are, the value of human life to them amounts to zero. Get those church sermons you heard when you were growing up out of your head; these people are a different breed. Tax money has been copiously spent, going from the mass of Americans into the bank accounts of the war profiteers, the Iraqi state has been smashed with all it’s less than human inhabitants brutalized and reduced to poverty, what’s not to like? US service personnel should be grateful for getting generous death benefits paid to their families or for the state of the art carbon fiber prothesis provided by the aforementioned taxpayers. Beats being on welfare in their no-job small towns that a lot are from, right? He’s not just a rotten apple in the barrel, it’s that the barrel is almost entirely rotten.

  23. bluedog says:

    Have to agree on corporate taxes in fact I think we should pay corporations just to do business in the world, after all we have all heard of corporate welfare one of the most pure welfare systems in the world, and not so long ago they consulted business as to their needs and regulations came in number [email protected]@@

  24. JamesG says:
    @jacques sheete

    Back in the day General MacArthur had the good taste to wear the Combat Infantry Badge as his uniform’s sole decoration.

    Most American officers didn’t go that far but they spurned the habit of the low-class Soviets who went full tutti-frutti on their chests.

    Unfortunately today Petraeus is not an exception. They all wear as much crap as they can carry and they look jackassy doing it.

  25. @Rurik

    t…he 21st century would be one of horrors to beat even the last one

    It certainly seems to be shaping up that way, but I hope to Gawd that Trump, as cocky rich bast*rds are wont to do, is just playing the hopeful, obsequious, suckers for the “cowardly lickspittles” that they are.

    Wouldn’t that be fun??

  26. @Wally

    Ha ha ha. I didn’t lose; I predicted all of this well in advance and am now enjoying tons of gloating, so you’ll just have to suck it up, El Tigre! 😉

  27. @JamesG

    Who do those cretins think they’re fooling with their cheesy cheesedick firewatch ribbons? Even the koteka wearing natives of New Guinea look much less ridiculous.

  28. @JamesG

    Those who have served tend to look down on the Latin American Junta/Dictator look that has taken hold among our current top brass, but don’t underestimate the sway it has with the man on the street, especially since an increasing number of them seem to be coming from Latin America.

    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
  29. “Fallon is said to have been so turned off by all the accolades in the flowery introduction given him by Petraeus that he called him to his face ‘an ass-kissing little chickenshit,’ ”

    Is one then to conclude that Señor Trump does not surround himself with ass-kissing little chickenshits?

  30. @The Alarmist

    “Those who have served tend to look down on the Latin American Junta/Dictator look that has taken hold among our current top brass, but don’t underestimate the sway it has with the man on the street, especially since an increasing number of them seem to be coming from Latin America.”

    Guevara and Castro were quite unornamented in this department. As were Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  31. Art says:

    Hey Sherm,

    Thaks mon – i apreciate the corection – i now me speling and gramar mar megger.

    Peace — Art

    p.s. Here is your problem. Israel’s War Crimes EXPOSED!!

  32. @Max Gibs

    Thanks; I had forgotten about Kobach. Here’s hoping he manages to get on the train in a useful and influential position. Of course the MSM will howl, but if the MSM aren’t howling you’re not doing a good job.

  33. Art says:

    No, I hope Trump is stringing the sucker (Romney) along with honeyed praise, only to drop the hatchet on his stupid square-head.

    I think that Romney is a weak pompous ass – my choice is Rand Paul.

    Peace — Art

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  34. @JamesG

    Steve Sailer noticed the quantity of ribbons being worn by today’s high-ranking officers and contrasted it with a photo of Admiral Raymond Spruance, who had a single line of ribbons on his uniform blouse.

  35. Sam J. says:

    “…I note that you dodged the fact that US corporate taxes are one of, if not the highest in world…”

    Let’s make a deal. Corporations are now considered people by the US supreme court. They give up their rights to be people for the purpose of campaign funding and we cut their taxes. If not then why should they get better rights, less taxes, then every other “person” in the US?

  36. Truth says:

    If he appoints Bolton, it will be because his whole campaign was a ruse, and we fell for it.

    Allow me to save you a little time here, Sport…

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  37. @E. A. Costa

    It would be the right-wingers in places like Chile, Paraguay & Argentina.

    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
  38. @Truth

    Ain’t dat de Truth?

    For the rest, which doesn’t fit? Trump. Casino owner. Ruse. Suckers. Losers.

    With Trump, we’ll get virtually the same as we did with Shrub the Compassionate Conservative, about as much Hope [for] Change as we did with the Piss Prize Prez and would have with the deranged, cackling, bloody, Charnel House Madam.

    All the rest of us can do is pop some corn and try to enjoy the show even though it’s a never ending rerun.

    Peace and Cheers! 🙂

    • Replies: @Truth
  39. @Art

    I think that Romney is a weak pompous ass – my choice is Rand Paul.

    Honest question, not trying to troll.: What do folks see in him? He certainly seems to be a disgrace to his old man, a fairly fine dude (except for his continuous yammering about the cornstitution).

    • Replies: @Art
  40. Art says:
    @jacques sheete

    Art: I think that Romney is a weak pompous ass – my choice is Rand Paul.

    Honest question, not trying to troll.: What do folks see in him

    He speaks up for peace – and he is not 1000% behind Israel like all the others.

    He shows some courage.

    Peace — Art

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  41. macilrae says:

    “Mad Dog” Mattis might have an opinion on Petraeus worth considering. Has he expressed a public opinion?

  42. Che Guava says:
    @jacques sheete

    In my brief military service, I was amazed by the tinsel (as you say) on the junior US officers. It seems they can wear ribbons for things like ‘fastest bed maker in training’, ‘neatest bed’, ‘most popular’, ‘best at knots’, ‘in a particular place in peacetime’ etc., all making their ribbons bizarre and stupid, to allies other than Japan, too, I would guess.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  43. To paraphrase sophocles: “When God wants to destroy an American General, he first makes him horny.”

  44. @Art


    That is a fine trait for sure. I gave up on him so long ago that I didn’t realize he was like that.

    • Replies: @Art
  45. @The Alarmist

    “It would be the right-wingers in places like Chile, Paraguay & Argentina.”

    Indeed–another echo with Petraeus–Pinochet also attempted to present himself as a brilliant strategic thinker, including writing a book on Geopolitics, which, even his partisans admit was mostly plagiarized.

  46. Truth says:
    @jacques sheete

    For the rest, which doesn’t fit? Trump. Casino owner. Ruse. Suckers. Losers.


    trump (v.2) Look up trump at
    “fabricate, devise,” 1690s, from trump “deceive, cheat” (1510s), from Middle English trumpen (late 14c.), from Old French tromper “to deceive,” of uncertain origin. Apparently from se tromper de “to mock,” from Old French tromper “to blow a trumpet.” Brachet explains this as “to play the horn, alluding to quacks and mountebanks, who attracted the public by blowing a horn, and then cheated them into buying ….” The Hindley Old French dictionary has baillier la trompe “blow the trumpet” as “act the fool,”

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  47. The Costa Theory Of United States Military is the result of long observation, both up close and distantly. The post World War II US Army version reads as follows: Everyone above the rank of Colonel is by definition a blithering idiot.

    There are structural reasons for this.

    One can actually see the structure at work in the War Between North And South and in the prelude to World War II as well.

    In both cases the pre-war leadership was mostly imbeciles. In the former case, some brilliant commanders emerged in the North. In the South, however, though a few good commanders advanced, the only genius was not recognized until it was too late.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  48. The American people need to let Trump know that the only place Petraeus belongs is behind bars in Guantanamo Bay. He is a treasonous Al Qaeda supporter:

    Trump needs to stop digging through the trash and start looking around for competent men and women to hold positions in his government. Rand Paul is right. The Iraq war should be a litmus test. If they are too stupid to see that that was a mistake then they shouldn’t be anywhere near power.

    • Agree: jacques sheete
    • Replies: @Hibernian
    , @jacques sheete
  49. donut says:

    IMHO we are f**ked . We would have been better off backing Ann Coulter for president She is more of a man than Trump is and she has more moral courage than the majority of other public figures , and she is a female type personnel . Can you imagine ? What would Cankles do ? Alas her devotion and faith was misplaced as was ours .

  50. @E. A. Costa

    Everyone above the rank of Colonel is by definition a blithering idiot.

    Everyone above the rank of Lt. Colonel is by definition a blithering idiot. The rest of the officers are garden variety idiots.

    Every officer trained at West point is a triple blithering idiot. A completely worthless narcissistic jackass, in fact.

    Naval officers are OK as long as they stick to Churchill’s rum, sodomy and the lash, unless they’re named “McCain,” in which case they’re as useless and dangerous as they are hopeless.

    Air Force officers? I don’t know. Probably just along for the rides and the sinecures.

    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
  51. Truth says:
    @jacques sheete

    Don’t read German. Read Spanish slowly, and French very slowly, but as I get older I rarely put in the effort.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  52. @jacques sheete

    Thanks for the fine-tuning. Ace crashed three planes in training as one recalls. Then he got shot down and spilled all his beans. And of course, it was inevitable, returned a war hero and parlayed his incompetence into a Senate seat, thus finally settling in among his peers.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  53. @Truth

    Google translate works pretty well. Interesting article.

  54. @E. A. Costa

    Yeah, how can such a worthless PoS as McCain get any traction as a leader of any form?

    He’s at least as horribly deranged as Hillary. But even he doesn’t often prance around in in public wearing some twinkling monkey suit with a goofus grin on his face.

    • Replies: @Rurik
  55. Art says:
    @jacques sheete

    Good news – this is a good guy!

    From Gotnews:

    Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) is still in the running for Secretary of State and will be in New York City and Washington, D.C. as soon as next week to have meetings with President-elect Donald J. Trump’s advisors and transition team, according to a source close to the process.

    The source told GotNews that, despite declining an offer to be Deputy Secretary of State, Rohrabacher would be “on the East Coast” next week to meet with the transition team and be vetted further.

    Rohrabacher refused an offer to be the next Deputy Secretary of State due to the possbility of serving under a “neocon” head of the State Department such as Trump-hating failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney, unstable warmonger John Bolton, or gun-grabbing classified info leaker David Petraeus.

    Peace — Art

  56. Rurik says:
    @jacques sheete

    how can such a worthless PoS as McCain get any traction

    venality Jacques

    the voters of Arizona are not just blitheringly stupid, they’re also venal. Not all, but enough.

    It’s like the Scottish voters wanting to remain under the reign of that moldering hag in Buckingham Palace and the congenital pederasts in the British Parliament. The old Scots were worried about getting a little less lucre from their masters. Same with the recent Austrian vote. They’re tossing their progeny on the pyres of diversity and Eternal WarⓊ in order to prompt the PTB to contemptuously toss them a few more shekels.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  57. Hibernian says:
    @Che Guava

    Yea, us lowly enlisted guys got that stuff too. Wouldn’t do for a LT or CPT to be less decorated than the men under his command.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  58. Hibernian says:
    @Johnny F. Ive

    “The Iraq war should be a litmus test. If they are too stupid to see that that was a mistake then they shouldn’t be anywhere near power.”

    That would leave out any career military whose job was to salute and say “Sir, yes, sir!” Maybe not a bad idea.

  59. @Rurik

    ….to contemptuously toss them a few more shekels.

    That’s the truth!

    And it’s long, if not always, been thus!

    Oh! what a lot of good things! Why it’s quite full! Oh! what a huge great part of this cake he kept for himself! [1220] He had only cut off the least little tiny piece for me.

    But this is what he has always done. Of everything he took, he only gave you the crumbs, and kept the bulk.

    – Aristophanes, The Knights, 424 BC

  60. @Johnny F. Ive

    If they are too stupid to see that that was a mistake then they shouldn’t be anywhere near power.

    True that, but I don’t think any mortal is to be trusted with much power if any. Come to think of it, most of that could be said of the gawdz as well!

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