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Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:51 PM

Generals Who Run Amuck, Politicians Who Could Care Less, an “Embedded” Media... And Us


from TomDispatch:





Sucking Up to the Military Brass
Generals Who Run Amuck, Politicians Who Could Care Less, an “Embedded” Media... And Us

By William J. Astore


Few things have characterized the post-9/11 American world more than our worshipful embrace of our generals. They’ve become our heroes, our sports stars, and our celebrities all rolled into one. We can’t stop gushing about them. Even after his recent fall from grace, General David Petraeus was still being celebrated by CNN as the best American general since Dwight D. Eisenhower (and let’s not forget that Ike commanded the largest amphibious invasion in history and held a fractious coalition together in a total war against Nazi Germany). Before his fall from grace, Afghan War Commander General Stanley McChrystal was similarly lauded as one tough customer, a sort of superman-saint.

Petraeus and McChrystal crashed and burned for the same underlying reason: hubris. McChrystal became cocky and his staff contemptuous of civilian authority; Petraeus came to think he really could have it all, the super-secret job and the super-sexy mistress. An ideal of selfless service devolved into self-indulgent preening in a wider American culture all-too-eager to raise its star generals into the pantheon of Caesars and Napoleons, and its troops into the halls of Valhalla.

The English used to say of American troops in World War II that they were “overpaid, over-sexed, and over here.” Now we’re overhyped, oversold, and over there, wherever “there” might happen to be in a constantly shifting, perpetual war on terror.

In our particular drama, generals may well be the actors who strut and fret their hour upon the stage, but their directors are the national security complex and associated politicians, their producers the military-industrial complex’s corporate handlers, and their agents a war-junky media. And we, the audience in the cheap seats, must take some responsibility as well. Even when our military adventures spiral down after a promising opening week, the enthusiastic applause the American public has offered to our celebrity military adventurers and the lack of pressure on the politicians who choose to fund them only serve to keep bullets flying and troops dying. ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175622/tomgram%3A_william_astore%2C_generals_behaving_badly/#more



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Reply Generals Who Run Amuck, Politicians Who Could Care Less, an “Embedded” Media... And Us (Original post)
marmar Nov 2012 OP
Uncle Joe Nov 2012 #1

Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:58 PM

1. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, marmar.

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