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Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:08 AM

The Fall of the American Empire (Writ Small)


from TomDispatch:



The Fall of the American Empire (Writ Small)
History, Farce, and David Petraeus

By Tom Engelhardt


History, it is said, arrives first as tragedy, then as farce. First as Karl Marx, then as the Marx Brothers. In the case of twenty-first century America, history arrived first as George W. Bush (and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith and the Project for a New America -- a shadow government masquerading as a think tank -- and an assorted crew of ambitious neocons and neo-pundits); only later did David Petraeus make it onto the scene.

It couldn’t be clearer now that, from the shirtless FBI agent to the “embedded” biographer and the “other other woman,” the “fall” of David Petraeus is playing out as farce of the first order. What’s less obvious is that Petraeus, America’s military golden boy and Caesar of celebrity, was always smoke and mirrors, always the farce, even if the denizens of Washington didn’t know it.

Until recently, here was the open secret of Petraeus’s life: he may not have understood Iraqis or Afghans, but no military man in generations more intuitively grasped how to flatter and charm American reporters, pundits, and politicians into praising him. This was, after all, the general who got his first Newsweek cover (“Can This Man Save Iraq?”) in 2004 while he was making a mess of a training program for Iraqi security forces, and two more before that magazine, too, took the fall. In 2007, he was a runner-up to Vladimir Putin for TIME’s “Person of the Year.” And long before Paula Broadwell’s aptly named biography, All In, was published to hosannas from the usual elite crew, that was par for the course.

You didn’t need special insider’s access to know that Broadwell wasn’t the only one with whom the general did calisthenics. The FBI didn’t need to investigate. Even before she came on the scene, scads of columnists, pundits, reporters, and politicians were in bed with him. And weirdly enough, many of them still are. (Typical was NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams mournfully discussing the “painful” resignation of “Dave” -- “the most prominent and best known general of the modern era.”) Adoring media people treated him like the next military Messiah, a combination of Alexander the Great, Napoleon, and Ulysses S. Grant rolled into one fabulous pińata. It’s a safe bet that no general of our era, perhaps of any American era, has had so many glowing adjectives attached to his name. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175619/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_an_obit_for_the_general/



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Reply The Fall of the American Empire (Writ Small) (Original post)
marmar Nov 2012 OP
ROBROX Nov 2012 #1
ChazInAz Nov 2012 #2

Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:40 PM

1. TRASH IN & TRASH OUT

 

I think most officer types are just pompous people who are over paid and do NOTHING. It would be better to give these jokers a mop and broom so that they can make a difference.

This is the problem with the military by giving these people GRACE when they should be made EQUEAL since this is AMERICA and not AMERIKA.

This may explain why the 1% seem to think they are the chosen ones when they are just plain lucky to be where they are today. In fact I think being MEXICAN AMERICAN and RETIRED makes me a LUCKY ONE.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:40 PM

2. No-one seems to have noticed

That Petraeus's character (or lack thereof) is remarkably similar to that other self-aggrandizing Bozo...George Armstrong Custer. Right down to his boastfully laminating his jacket with every damn medal and ribbon he has ever earned. He DID earn those didn't he? Are any of them for Outstanding Performance As Latrine Orderly?

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