July 2024


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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Petraeus: The hero that never was

From the photos you would think General David Petraeus was a genuine hero. The left side of his jacket is filled with ribbons that make him look like a true warrior. Looks can be deceiving, only one of those ribbons is attached to a medal for action, the Bronze Star (with V device) and there is some question about how he earned that, See: “Petraeus Allegedly Earned A Bronze Star For Combat Valor ‘Without Firing his Rifle'”The others are service ribbons or medals awarded for good staff work or just being in country while others were fighting. Petraeus apparently has never engaged in combat.

Clicking on the photo below will take you to a laudatory article about General Petraeus. It has a much different tone that the Future of Freedom Foundation article or the other articles posted on the Recorder Online.

Petraeus’ reputation is based on his expertise in counter-insurgency operations and his “success” in Iraq. I will state categorically that the Iraq operation was not a success. After seeing the techniques fail in Vietnam, I had hoped that lessons had been learned and that proper implementation would lead to a peaceful, democratic Iraq. It has not.

The failure of counter-insurgency doctrine as espoused in Army Field Manual 3-24, the centerpieces of Petraeus’ career, must now be called into question. Either the doctrine is faulty or his implementation is a failure. The answer may lie in the level of forces needed to successfully occupy the land as in Franco’s conquest of Spain and the Union occupation of Confederate States, though the success of latter is still in question. According to Wikipedia, “Another option in combating an insurgency would be to make the presence of troops so pervasive that there is simply no place left for insurgents to hide, as demonstrated in Franco’s conquest of Republican Spain during the Spanish Civil War or the Union occupation of Confederate States with Federal troops following the American Civil War. In each of these cases, enormous amounts of manpower were needed for an extended period of time to quell resistance over almost every square kilometre of territory. In an age of ever shrinking and increasingly computerized armed forces, this option too is precluded from a modern commanders options.”









Petraeus Fell for the Wrong Reason
by Sheldon Richman

David Petraeus has fallen — but not as he should have. Before being disgraced by an extramarital affair, the retired four-star general and ex-CIA director should have been shamed out of public life for his horrendous military record in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Are we talking about the same David Petraeus who is said to have heroically saved Iraq with the famous surge and then salvaged a floundering military effort in Afghanistan?

That’s the one. But those “accomplishments” are merely the products of sharp public relations.

The fact is that Petraeus presided over the brutal occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, complete with torture, terrifying night raids, and violent sectarian cleansing. If Americans knew the truth — which the news media are uninterested in disclosing because it detracts from their narrative — they would not see heroism in David Petraeus. They would see the villainy of a man who carries out the orders of his imperial superiors and the ruthlessness with which the American empire treats whoever gets in its way. Alas, unfaithfulness in his marriage is the least of Petraeus’s offenses.

Journalist Eric Margolis, who has vast experience covering the Middle East, notes that

Petraeus and his fellow generals used every weapon in the US arsenal against Iraq’s eleven resistance groups (deceptively misnamed “al-Qaida” by Washington), including the mass ethnic cleansing of two million Sunni Iraqis, death squads, torture, and brutal reprisals.…

Petraeus was then sent to work his magic in Afghanistan before returning to Washington to head CIA. There, the brainy general, who had a knack for self-promotion and public relations, tried again to crush the Pashtun resistance by massive bombardments, billions in high tech gear, reprisals that wiped out entire villages, search and destroy missions.

What’s to show for all this? A quagmire, … READ MORE



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