Skip to comments.New York Times: (Petraeus) A Phony Hero for a Phony War
Posted on 11/19/2012 6:06:56 AM PST by Zakeet
Fastidiousness is never a good sign in a general officer. Though strutting military peacocks go back to Alexanders time, our first was MacArthur, who seemed at times to care more about how much gold braid decorated the brim of his cap than he did about how many bodies he left on beachheads across the Pacific. Next came Westmoreland, with his starched fatigues in Vietnam. In our time, Gen. David H. Petraeus has set the bar high. Never has so much beribboned finery decorated a generals uniform since Al Haig passed through the sally ports of West Point on his way to the White House.
Whats wrong with a general looking good? you may wonder. I would propose that every moment a general spends on his uniform jacket is a moment hes not doing his job, which is supposed to be leading soldiers in combat and winning wars something we, and our generals, stopped doing about the time that MacArthur gold-braided his way around the stalemated Korean War.
And now comes Dave Petraeus, and the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. No matter how good he looked in his biographer-mistresss book, it doesnt make up for the fact that we failed to conquer the countries we invaded, and ended up occupying undefeated nations.
The genius of General Petraeus was to recognize early on that the war he had been sent to fight in Iraq wasnt a real war at all. This is what the public and the news media lamenting the fall of the brilliant hero undone by a tawdry affair have failed to see. He wasnt the military magician portrayed in the press; he was a self-constructed hologram, emitting an aura of preening heroism for the ever eager cameras.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Yet another graphic reminder why we so hate the New York Times. Incidentally, Gen. Lucian K. Truscott served his country with valor during WWII in the ETO ... the grandfather perhaps of the idiot writing this screed.
Apparently, he never outgrew his teenage rebelliousness.
Thanks for the history. I suspect Lucian K. Truscott IV has never ever worn a military uniform and possesses some animous towards his Grandfather who wore it with distinction. I can’t stand it when no nothing pussy’s are given space to rag on the military.
The phony is the one that refuses to release his records.
Nope. That is the winner. Obviously most Americans could care less...not sure why.
I believe this was written by his son, also a USMA alum and a novelist.
The Left has such disgusting contempt for the military! If the red states secede, the blue states might not object to the red states taking the military with them.
Typical liberal broad brush dropping Douglas McArthur in the same pot with little pro-faggot Petraeus. But his specific charge against McArthur is that he was overly concerned with uniform cap cat guts. Mac had his vanities but he was NOT obsessed with uniforms.
The Left hates Mac because he crossed swords with the State Department, Truman, and Soviet dignitaries.
Actually, Truscott IV briefly wore the uniform (after a legacy appointment to West Point), and was essentially drummed out for being a rabble-rouser as a Lieutenant.
...when Odungo picked Petraeus as head of the CIA all sorts of red flags SHOULD have been waving. The General who the libtards attacked repeatedly for years (everyone suddenly forgot “betrayed us”)was used as a “patsy”..... just another wheel chock under the bus
“And now comes Dave Petraeus, and the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. “
Obviously the New York Times is doing a hit piece on the general—part of a campaign?
And that’s about the one thing that could get
me on his side...
Now the betray us bunch wants to put John the Traitor Kerry the head of the state department or defense. Talk about a phony hero.
No matter how good he looked in his biographer-mistresss book, it doesnt make up for the fact that we failed to conquer the countries we invaded, and ended up occupying undefeated nations.
I tend to agree with aspects of this argument. Starting with Vietnam, it often seems we handcuff our troops to achieve a level of political correctness. But, I don't believe for one second that the New York Times is suggesting that we do whatever is necessary to win actually win a war.
Truscott was known to his classmates and fellow officers as “Luch the Dooch”. He graduated from West Point, but was thrown out of the Army for numerous petty offenses designed to advance his anti-war literary career and avoid completing his military obligation. He is the worst form of parasite on the planet and deserves to be ridiculed.
if the damn ROE’s hadnt been so damned restrictive and PC, we would have won both of these in a cake-walk, instead of trying to ‘win the hearts and minds’ of the peeps...
i dont recall any animus lately from germany or japan despite our less than PC ‘peace thru firepower’ show some 70+ years ago....
This hit piece sounds like it was written in the NY Slimes gaysex hot tub for opeders under the influence under the guidance of Jayson Blair.
The NY Slimes never learns as it charges out again to win one for the Obozo:
The Jayson Blair Affair
Can the New York Times learn important lessons from its plagiarism/ fabrication scandal?
Related reading: All About The Retrospect
By Rem Rieder
Rem Rieder (email@example.com) is AJR’s editor and senior vice president.
We’ve been here before. Too often.
There was Ruth Shalit, the young New Republic writer who was Washington journalism’s It Girl in the mid-’90s, until she imploded with a couple of high-profile plagiarism episodes and a powerful but error-riddled assault on the Washington Post’s approach to race.
Then there was Stephen Glass, also of The New Republic, whose stories, packed with amazing, dead-on detail, seemed too good to be true. And were. Glass will long be remembered as the guy who would build a Web site to corroborate his fabrications.
Now it’s Jayson Blair, the 27-year-old New York Times national reporter who destroyed his career in a stunning conflagration of pilfered material, outright fiction and just plain bizarre behavior. (See “All About the Retrospect”)
The Times has a well-earned reputation for circling the wagons when its reporting comes under attack. It often chooses not to respond to questions about its coverage, as if it were above scrutiny. It did own up to some serious shortcomings after the Wen Ho Lee train wreck, but in a grudging, defensive Editor’s Note rather than a forthright mea culpa.
Not this time. Once the San Antonio Express-News brought a clear-cut case of piracy to its attention, the Times unleashed a posse of reporters and editors to put Blair’s national desk oeuvre under a microscope. It played the devastating findings of Blair’s serial crimes against journalism at the top of page one, with four open pages inside.
So give the Times its props for an extraordinary airing of some very dirty linen. That’s a courageous—and appropriate—thing to do. Now it faces the harder challenge.
Because the Blair report exposed a frighteningly porous management structure, one that allowed a truth-challenged journalist to not only survive but thrive, despite a blinding array of warning lights.
In April 2002, the Blair problem was so severe that Metropolitan Editor Jonathan Landman wrote in a memo, “We have to stop Jayson from writing for the Times. Right now.” Blair was warned he was in danger of losing his job. He took a leave to try to straighten himself out. But—astoundingly—by December he was the national staff’s lead reporter on top-of-the-charts news: the sniper story. For the New York Times.
Worse yet, the national editor and Washington bureau hadn’t been told of Blair’s pothole-strewn track record. So no alarm bells went off when serious questions were raised about two of his sniper scoops. Editors didn’t even ask the young reporter to ID the anonymous sources on which they were based.
While the Times report pummeled Blair unmercifully, it wasn’t quite as tough on the institution that allowed him to do his damage undetected. “The person who did this is Jayson Blair,” said Arthur Sulzberger Jr., Times publisher and chairman of its parent company. “Let’s not begin to demonize our executives—either the desk editors or the executive editor or, dare I say it, the publisher.”
No, let’s not demonize them. And, no, there’s no way to stop unscrupulous people from doing bad things. But there’s got to be a way to catch them more quickly—particularly when there are so many clues.
The Blair fiasco has furnished ample ammunition to people who don’t like the Times in general and Executive Editor Howell Raines in particular. Raines has been a bête noir of conservatives since his days as Times editorial page editor (although he was an equal-opportunity scold—his page was brutal in its criticism of Bill Clinton). Many on the right have claimed that Raines used the Times’ front page to promulgate his opposition to the war in Iraq. And, internally, he has broken a lot of crockery in the Times newsroom, particularly in dealing with the national staff.
You can already hear the beginnings of the Howell-must-go drumbeat.
Yet there’s no denying that the Times has done some splendid journalism in his 21-month tenure. Its performance after September 11 was nonpareil. Its coverage of the war in Iraq was very strong. And Sulzberger has made it clear that Raines is still his guy.
The rosy scenario would be if Raines, an enormously talented journalist, took away—and to heart—some important lessons from this debacle. If he harnessed a much more inclusive, much less top-down management style and a more open attitude toward his audience to his formidable skills and drive, the result would be a stronger New York Times.
And that’s the most important part of this story. Sadly, unethical journalists will come and go. The critical issue here is the health of our most important news organization.
...said the phony “news”paper
Truscott IV is to the Army and West Point what Pat Conroy was to the Marine Corps and The Citadel.
Kerry’s situation is being used as a poke in the eye....typically an Odungo “see what I can do” maneuver.
So true. Hit piece. Why?
I have never been a big fan of Petraeus after his campaign to remove a Navy guy from heading CENTCOM. However, it appears to me he has done or is about to do something courageous that threatens Obama. How else to explain the character assassination? Let’s hope they just stick to character.
The author of this piece is neither a patriot nor a man with a sense of decency: There are thousands who have given their lives and multiple thousands more who have sustained injuries, and years of warriors who have give time in deployment, absence from family, endurance of scenes humans shouldn't have to witness.
Don't tell me it's a phony war. The blood of the dead cries from the ground to contradict your foolishness.
I would strip you of your citizenship and set you adrift to land where someone has need of of an ignorant man.
Is this the opening salv0 to totally discredit Petraeus over his Benghazi testimony the other day?
Another example of an outright LIE by the NYT as MacArthur actually lost fewer men in the entire Pacific war than Eisenhower did in his invasion on D-Day! Check it out!Doug may have been flamboyant but he was a leader dedicated to protecting his soldiers and, like Patton, a military genius.
I served with a Lucian Truscott, must have been Truscott III or maybe II
Having a brilliant scion is a hard act to maintain through multiple generations as the gene pool gets diluted
That’s a good title for a newspaper that practices phony journalism.
American commies will use any and every opportunity to smear our military.
This story isn’t even over yet; it may be a matter of someone coming forward and being able to break through the blackmail to bring the truth to light, even if it could cost them their future.
MacArthur is easily the most overrated general in US history. The problem is hating/liking him became politicized, but an objective look at his record reveals a mix of horrific incompetence (initial defense of the Phillipines, getting surprised by the Chinese in Korea) and accomplishments that aren’t nearly as great as they appear once you look at them more closely (New Guinea campaign, Inchon).
A bit odd the author attacks Petraeus for being “fastidious” but then holds up Patton as an ideal (who practiced his facial expressions in a mirror).
I just read his bio. He is worse than what I suggested was someone who never wore the uniform. He wore it and dishonored it. An obviuosly disgruntled leftist who has a grudge against the military.
>> we failed to conquer the countries we invaded
That was a political problem the NY Times had a large part in creating, not something our military failed at.
the article is not half bad, and I agree with him to a certain extent, until he waffles...
How does a military genius get his entire air force destroyed on the ground in the Phillipines 10 hours after Pearl Harbor?
And how does a military genius deliberately ignore multiple reports of Chinese troops in large numbers in Korea?
Thank you, maybe if the military was actually allowed to do that job....
One of the reasons Hitler was able to dominate the German military was due to the military leaserhip’s reluctance to do the right thing and insist upon lawful conduct and compliance with the law of nations. One of the most courageeous acts is to standalone and risk personal disgrace for refusing to obey illegal orders. This is especially true when you may agree with the purpsoes of the military operations, but you must refuse illegal orders or sacrifice your personal and legal integrity.
Using the threat of assignment to a combat assignment as a means of intimidation and/or punishment is grossly illegal conduct under military law, and the person subjected to such an illegal order does have an extreme conflict between complying with the illegal order or permitting the illegal conduct to go unchallenged and unpunished.
How many people here would have the wisdom and the courage to stand in opposition to such an illegal act?
Mighty harsh words coming from a wimp who probably would cower from the power of a squirt gun.
Indeed, those generals had their flaws, but they had the advantage of actually having talent.
Not so for the writer of that piece.
So, esteemed writer, please go back to what you do best...wimpering, complaining, and wishing that you actually had something useful in life to do.
Never has so much beribboned finery decorated a generals uniform since Al Haig passed through the sally ports of West Point on his way to the White House.
I beg to differ: Gen Wesley Clark is the worst in the last 40 years.
As conservatives we should insist that all war efforts get a proper Constitutional Declaration from Congress. Then we would not have to defend them against absurd attacks.
'Ol Lucian IV is a piece of work - according to his bio, he wrote an article for the Village Voice, exposing heroin use in the unit he belonged to at the time (1970). Let's put this in perspective: if he, as a 2nd Lieutenant knew of specific evidence that soldiers were selling, buying, or using illegal drugs, it was his responsibility to report that use to his criminal investigative agencies. Instead, he chose to "expose" the army during the height of the Vietnam War in a gay/Communist rag that was dedicated to supporting the VC/NVA at the time. Then, horror of horrors, he was "threatened" with orders to Vietnam - which is where any real officer would want to go, since that is where the "rubber met the road", so to speak - but he resigned instead.
Now this disgrace to his uniform and his family history is attacking Gen Petraeus and Gen MacArthur all in one package. Whatever their individual flaws, neither of those gentlemen turned down orders to combat and they both served with distinction in war.
Unbelieveable. But it is the New York Times, after all.
Actually, we were loaded with cowards who found every slimy way possible to avoid combat. "The most courageous act" is to volunteer to lead men in combat - as your training was designed to do - and not make someone else do it in your place.
You used the quote about Patton and then proceeded to talk about what MacArthur did. MacArthur did not like Patton. It seems rather bizarre for you to try damning Patton for the things done by MacArthur.
MacArthur has many errors to answer for in his career, but it should also be recognized and acknowledged that he did much to minimize casualties during WWII. That is one redeeming virtue shared by Patton and MacArthur, they eschewed conentional tactics to overcome the enemy with far fewercasualties than less competent generals and admirals.
It is also little recognized that MacArthur may have been able to win the Philippine Defensive Campaign if Eisenhower had not persuaded the Army to abandon the Philippines. The Japanese offensive in Bataan had failed, causing the transfer of major forces from French Indochina to resume the offensive. These Japanese reinforcements also were failing. With even a modeest reinforcement, food, medicine, and other support, the whole Japanese offensive into Indonesia and the Solomons may have been derailed and those costly counter-offensives have been made unnecessary.
Am I the only one who is disgusted by how the Benghazi failure to come to the aid of fine men who fought for their lives for 7+ hrs is being ignored. Maybe I missed it, but do we know who refused to send help to Woods & Doherty?
It started in Korea when Truman “relieved” MacArthur who wanted to “win” that war.
British spy Maclean told the Russians that Truman wasn’t going to allow MacArthur to use atomic weapons if China crossed the Yalu, as Mac wanted. Russian, duly informed, gave the “go ahead” to China. That’s the story of Korea
As long as this has drug on, it’s clear it should have received a full declaration of war. It’s far beyond what one would expect of a reprisal. Reprisals aren’t necessarily quick, but they’re certainly not extended. I’ve long maintained — even at the outset — that this should have been a reprisal and exit.
At the same time, despite the proper declarations, paperwork, speeches, etc. in the hallowed halls of the talkers club on capitol hill, we have thousands dead.
We don’t besmirch them by asserting after all that blood and anguish that it was “phony”. Moreover, the troops themselves know an idiot when they hear one. Those who fought know damn well that they were getting shot at.
We do know. We know it was the situation room of the White House, because we now have an email in which a terrorist attack is acknowledged.
Despite the president’s protestations that he gave quick instructions to provide relief to Doherty/Woods/Ambassador, we also know that Obama personally, by his own words last week, sent Rice out to spread the video trailer nonsense.
1. Obama knows in real time to give orders to rescue our people.
2. Obama knows terrorist attack is taking place real time
3a. Obama knows his orders not carried out
3b. Obama sends Rice out to complain about a movie trailer
4. Obama himself complains at UN about a movie trailer
Putting those together, we realize that the Leader did not practice the simple rule of following up and tracking his own orders.
Therefore, Obama is responsible for the deaths of Doherty & Woods
“...MacArthur is easily the most overrated general in US history...”
Nonsense! The record proves otherwise.
MacArthur was kind to Ridgeway in his writings while Ridgeway dumped on MacArthur but note Ridgeway made statements like “The Korean War would be the last fought completely without nuclear weapons”.
We need generals who risk being fired rather than careerists who glide along in Vietnam-like situations as decisive action gets lost to good staff work and routines.