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American Traditions

Look, if you are going to pretend to be conservative, you are going to have to bite the damn bullet and read American history. The Cliff Notes or for Dummies version isn’t going to hack it, you need to sit down with actual books and read about this country.

Americans have been bad-mouthing their generals since before this was officially a country. People didn’t like the concept of free from criticism by virtue of birth that was part of the British system of the time, i.e. commoners should know their place and not “slander” General Lord Whoever.

After the Revolution was won, Washington became a paragon of virtue, but whenever things were going badly there were very unkind words said about old George and all of the other leaders. It’s what Americans do; we’re good at it; and we did it before we had political parties. If you look at the faces on Mount Rushmore remember that every one of those guys was subjected to brutal attacks the entire time they were in public life. They had to die before people decided they might not be so bad.

If you go back to World War II [because you can’t understand 19th century American English] you will find editorials attacking every American general in one newspaper or another. That is what the US is all about – if you want respect you had better damn well be prepared to earn it, because this country has never just handed it to its leaders.

If somebody like Rudy Giuliani wants to collect a lot of cash with an attack on Moveon.org and Hillary Clinton, maybe he should have asked before he decided to include picture of General Petraeus in his ad.

Via Steve Soto, Greg Sargent of TPM Election Central reports Pentagon: Rudy Ad’s Use Of Petraeus Image Done “Without His Consent”

Defense Department regulations prohibit uniformed personnel from appearing in political ads. And while these are stock photos, meaning that neither Petraeus nor the other military personnel actively moved to appear in Giuliani’s ad, their use in this ad makes the question of whether Petraeus or the Defense Department condone the use of images of him or other military uniformed personnel a fair one.

This is about fund raising, not respect: NY Daily News reports General Petraeus ad nets Giuliani big bucks from donors.

If you aren’t on dial-up, The Daily Show has the condensed version of the general’s testimony: Iraq Me Dave Petraeus

Fallenmonk noted a rumor floating around that the commander of Central Command called General Petraeus “an ass kissing little chickenshit” after meeting him for the first time.

This made me take a look at Admiral William J. Fallon, USN.

The Admiral is a Naval ROTC graduate, not the Academy, and a Naval aviator. He had Vietnam, Gulf War I, and Bosnia experience before his current assignment overseeing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He received his fourth star in October, 2000 when taking over the position of Vice Chief of Naval Operations. Since then he has been Commander of US Fleet Forces Command, Commander of Pacific Command, and now Commander of Central Command. Four positions like this is very unusual. Most four stars retire after they finish the tour that rated the fourth star.

He is in his 40th year in the Navy so nothing he does is going to increase his retirement, which he will surely want when he finishes at Central Command. He has to be one of, if not the most senior four-star officer currently serving, and it is his permanent rank, unlike General Petraeus.

My personal opinion is that the Admiral said it, and it is accurate.

The people complaining about “attacks” on Petraeus were no where to be found when Generals Shinseki and Riggs were unceremoniously pushed out of the military for disagreeing with policy. They support their political objectives, not the troops.