That the great American General David Petraeus is an five-star bullshit artist comes as so real revelation to those of us who have been watching him operate for years. The SURGE was the most successful piece of propaganda in modern American history, turning a brutal and costly sucking-black hole of blood and chaos in Iraq into a golden-hued triumph and then gone flickering into the recesses of the collective American mindset as they turned their channels. The SURGE was so brilliant that Helicopter Ben Bernanke used a similar strategy in pimping a devastated economy, ruined by degenerate Wall Street gamblers and on permanant taxpayer life-support into the near miraculous GREEN SHOOTS of recovery. Well, nearly two years after Chairman Ben's vaunted 60 Minutes infomercial the economy is still in ruins, inflation is skyrocketing and food costs driven into the proverbial stratosphere are rapidly destabilizing the globe. So when I read the recent Rolling Stone piece by Michael Hastings entitled King David's War I was not one bit fazed when it was revealed that the man on the white horse was utilizing propaganda and perception management to keep his war in Afghanistan in it's rightful place in the line at for funding priorities. Only in America could a country that is unravelling as quickly as this one is, infrastructure crumbling, jobs fleeing to cheap labor Meccas, a failed political system and a crusing debt to China could such ruinous wars of choice continue to drain the nation's coffers.
Despite the legend erected around him by Republican syscophants like the McCain-Lieberman-Graham three-headed monster and his own oversized ego and crackerjack public relations team Petraeus has always been less miracle worker than he is a product. The high water mark for King David came in early 2009 when he goose-stepped out to the middle of the NFL logo in full dress regalia to flip the coin at Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa. A national television audience, a massive display of militarism with the thundering flyover barely drowning out the roar of the crowd for the American Caesar (or General James Mattoon Scott) and the loving adoration of a nation braying for the blood of brown skinned Muslim devils reveled in the near orgasmic release of energy of that moment. Petraeus was also riding high after the SURGE PR campaign that convinced millions that their hero had finally won the Iraq war and brought some degree of revenge for that damned Saddam Hussein's support of the 9/11 'terrorist' attacks. Petraeus was in another of those cheap, warmed over versions of real American history honored like the second coming of Eisenhower, a welcome comparison for a man with long-term political aspirations. Only a few years ago, he had been dissed in an ugly public manner by his former boss Admiral William Fallon as an "ass-kissing little chickenshit". Fallon of course paid the price for his candor, being sent packing by the Bushreich high-command, the final straw being an interview that he did for Esquire magazine back in 2008.
The legend of General Petraeus continued to grow in stature with the successful SURGE that has been touted by every self-interested politically connected asshole in order to present the illusion of not being defeated in Iraq because as Christ knows, America WINS wars. Or at least America WINS wars when the war effort isn't being undermined at home by a liberal fifth column, a Commie liberal media and dope-smoking draft dodgers, long-haired stinky hippies and black militants rioting on the nation's cities, so the myth goes. The war machine DID learn one hugely important lesson from the Vietnam debacle and that it was imperative that the perception of the public had to be managed in order to gin up support for future imperialist ventures. With the reinstatement of the draft being political suicide in that it would immediately result in a mass antiwar movement when hundreds of thousands could be plucked from their living room sofas and transported into a real live war zone and therefore being out of the question the public had to be convinced to support or even better forget about ongoing military occupations to plunder on behalf of corporations. Reagan hit paydirt with the Blitzkrieg of global military power Grenada, Poppy Bush kicked ass on former CIA asset and big time narcotics trafficker Manuel Noriega and the first Gulf War was a spectacular masterpiece of stage managed propaganda brought into the living rooms of millions courtesy of CNN. Add to that a decade of high profile ass-whupping propaganda films such as Rambo, the Chuck Norris Missing in Action series and other sordid lesser movie franchises that re-fought the Vietnam war and the seeds had been planted, the bitter taste of defeat washed from our mouths.
Then of course came the granddaddy of them all, the lynchpin upon which the reset button could be hit on the entire society and justify an Orwellian future of never ending wars - 9/11. Before the bodies had even been pulled from the wreckage of the World Trade Center the Bush-Cheney junta was already plotting the new world order as exemplified by The Project For The New American Century or PNAC. The alleged 'terrorist' attacks" (attacks pulled off with something like a super military style precision that would seem to be beyond that which a bunch of guys in caves could hope to pull off) would launch the expansion of the U.S. global empire. Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney played off of Junior Bush's Oedipal complex to goad him into invading Iraq to finish the old man's job. First though, there would have to be the strike against the land where the supposed 9/11 materminds had plotted the attacks from and were presiding over a network of terror camps (note the stock footage of the masked men and the monkey bars) from - Afghanistan. Never mind that Afghanistan is historically famous for having chewed up empires like the Brits and the Soviets, we Americans would never repeat the mistakes taught by history and get bogged down in a brutal and primitive quagmire. A quagmire that nearly ten years later would require the genius of the brilliant General Petraeus to save us from but more on that in a little while. With Afghanistan attacked first and the public's blood boiling after the 9/11 attacks, the USA PATRIOT Act rammed through Congress like shit through the proverbial goose and any influential road blocks being eliminated when the anthrax letters started being received by key members of the Democratic party Senate leadership and news anchors the game was on.
The ramping up of the apocalyptic rhetoric leading up to the attack on Iraq was like a loundening drumbeat of the tom tom's at some sort of bizarre island ritual where the natives get jacked up on some sort of magical hallucinogenic concoction and then go and slaughter animals as tribute to their gods. In our case, here in the new American HOMELAND our god was and always has been war. The entire country went through some sort of strange and inexplicable phase of indoctrination by propaganda and intimidation by the now common denunciations of "traitor", "unpatriotic" and "terrorist sympathizer" to tamp down the opposition to phase two of the American conquest of the Middle East and Eurasia. When the deal was done, Colin Powell's lies at the United Nations enshrined as truth and Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction ready to be loosed upon our preciously innocent American children while they slumbered in their comfortable beds the order was given and the Baghdad lit up like the Fourth of July with a sustained Shock And Awe display of U.S. taxpayer dollars. And of course it was all on television....and the lemmings ate it up as usual.
Fast forward to early 2011, Iraq has largely been relegated to the memory hole with much thanks to the miraculous SURGE. George W. Bush's wars have become Barack Obama's wars and the situation in Afghanistan, while predictably forgotten by most Americans and erased from the corporate media in favor of the latest Charlie Sheen update is continuing to deteriorate. This even after King David Petraeus found himself plucked from his posh post at CENTCOM in Tampa and sent off to work his magic in the land where empires go do die. When Rolling Stone published an article that portrayed General Stanley McChrystal, the four star clown then running the Afghan circus in a very nasty light of insubordination and disrespect it was the final straw for even the jelly-spined Obama who summoned him to Washington and 'accepted his retirement'. The article, The Runaway General was written by Michael Hastings who won the coveted Polk Award for his efforts. King David's War is his followup and can't have made the great man Petraeus very happy, unconfirmed anonymous reports allege that the puckering of his asshole could be heard all the way from Kandahar. The piece brilliantly lays out the levels to which Petraeus will plumb in order to cynically ensure that his media polished halo continue to glow. The great general, acting on behalf of Boobus Americanus to preserve our precious way of life cajoles, bribes, threatens, grandstands and allies himself with bloodthirsty, illiterate murderous, drug trafficking thugs like Col. Abdul Razzik to keep the war effort going. If the U.S. is relying on a guy Razzik, a real nasty piece of work by anyone's standards to 'win' the war then it is further evidence of the damnation of America's soul. Not that it troubles King David, who the Hastings piece brilliantly sums up in this statement:
A better nickname for Petraeus might be the Godfather: He is relying on a network of warlords and drug runners that he himself once called a "criminal syndicate".
I suppose that Petraeus, like Colonel Kurtz was winning the war 'his way', and another Hastings piece that is actually succeeding in finally putting a weed up the asses of the right people, again for Rolling Stone and entitled Another Runaway General: Army Deploys Psy-Ops on U.S. Senators may be the one that seals the deal for Petraeus. Of course the general with a true idea on the value of propaganda, P.R. and other little white lies, half-truths and prevarications has ordered an investigation, it will predictably be about as credible as Tony Soprano and Silvio Dante doing an internal audit of the Bada Bing Club blooks. Could it be that General Petraeus is about to reap the whirlwind of his own bullshit? With the Rolling Stone articles pissing on his presidential parade after it was already seriously damaged by Obama's exile of Petraeus to Afghanistan. The King David piece speaks of tensions between Gen P. and Obama who allegedly felt had been bent over (what a surprise) and butt-fucked by the Pentagon and it's agents in escalating the conflict which according to unnamed sources were becoming increasingly wary about a potential Petraeus 2012 bid and were seeing him "..as a general on his white horse", according to an unnamed senior U.S. military official. With his medal bedrecked showboating for the media Petraeus would have been a big hit with the right-wingers who are now desperately in search of a new champion since the political career of Sarah Palin went down in a blaze of idiocy, violent rhetoric and the televised murder of animals that proved too much for even cable TV diehards to take. The GOP is now, at least being exposed as the pack of sleazy, opportunistic jackals primarily interested in wresting control of the lead position at the golden trough shorn of their most visible leader Palin. The glue that keeps the nutjobs, war freaks, Raptureheads, nationalists, Birthers and brokedick peckerwood Jesus freak base together has been a charismatic cult leader and let's face it, Newt Gingrich is not that man (the Birchers HATE him) and Michelle Bachmann is just a more deranged version of Palin and an embarassment. The exposure of Petraeus as a pathological and cynical con artist is a devastating blow to the Republican party as a whole and to the rest of America in that it practically ensures a second term of Obama's Bush Lite.
Hasting's first article displays the arrogance of King David when he is quoted as telling his spokesman that the White House was "fucking with the wrong guy". Then came the McChrystal debacle and the assignment of Petraeus to what might as well have been the Aleutians. When Obama summoned the recalcitrant Stanley McChrystal back to D.C. and then in an unexpected whirlwind turn of events accepted his "resignation" it sent shockwaves through the administration's war council. So sudden had the shitcanning been and so contrary to the positive lobbying on his behalf despite his obvious disregard for civilian authority that the perpetually conniving Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bush appointee Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen were not expecting Obama's decision. Even more surprising was the annoitment of the great General Petraeus, his superior to replace him because as stated in the piece, "If Petraeus can't do it, the thinking went, then no one can - and no one back home could blame Obama for losing with Petraeus in charge." It was a political master stroke for Obama, at once hanging the war that the neocons and Petraeus had so long propagandized in favor of like a millstone around his neck and taking out his most potentially dangerous political opponent at once. It is one of those extremely rare instances when the mythical Obama as the cool and collected mastermind, like Michael Jordan just sizing up the opposition before systematically thrusting the dagger through their hearts and shredding the defense like so much Reagan surplus cheese actually can be seen and the O-Bots and apologists momentarily vindicated. Then of course Obama continues to do what he does best, cut deals with fascists, redistribute wealth upwards to his Wall Street benefactors, screw the poor and push through increasingly obscene violations of civil liberties that Bush never could have dreamed of getting away with.
Now that Petraeus, up to his ass in alligators in the Afghan swamp and resorting to cutting deals with thugs and murderers like Razzik as well as turning a blind eye on the drug trade is desperate, he is a four star rat on a treadmill and history is cranking up the speed. So despearate is Petraeus now that his subordinates are unbelievably running psy ops campaigns on Senators, not that this isn't routine procedure but that it is felt that blood thirsty death junkies like John McCain and Joe Lieberman have to actually be conned into supporting more murder in the name of the almighty American empire. The wheels are coming off now, Petraeus's talking points are sounding more like those of Karl Rove or Frank Luntz by the day, the latest and most bizarre being that Afghan parents are burning their own kids to make the U.S. look bad. There are rumors circulating that the great general is about to quit his Afghanistan command and the collateral damage of the civilian body count exploding thanks to the Petraeus COIN method which is being exposed as a sham are indicative of a desperate and cunning charlatan working frantically to save his rapidly diminishing political future. I suppose that he could always slink back to Der Homeland in shame and become a cause celebre and hero to uber fascist right-wing degenerates, much like Douglas MacArthur after he was shitcanned by President Harry Truman in Korea for his insubordination. MacArthur in his time may have also believed that "they are fucking with the wrong guy". It is actually quite fitting that Petraeus would be presiding over the long running Afghanistan clusterfuck which has no end in sight - after all, it's better to rule in hell than to serve in heaven.
Petraeus or no Petraeus, the wars will continue because as obedient little historical revisionist flag-suckers we Americans have the slaughter of brown-skinned, non-Christians for our national glory in our blood. From the day that a child exits the womb the indoctrination of American exceptionalism, we are the good guys and the heinous lie that they ALL hate us for our way of life and therefore must be annihilated to preserve freedom and democracy ensures that the wars will never end. This very morning Obama and the establisment are in the process of plotting another foreign adventure in Libya (their bankers must be getting nervous), this latest use of raw force will be justified under the left cover of a humanitarian intervention, the sort of hogwash that was peddled to the useful idiots to justify escalation in Afghanistan because of the brutality towards women. Time Magazine featured the war porn of a noseless Afghan woman on the cover to pimp the war to the butterflies, moonbeams, zebras and fairy tales liberals who never met a war that couldn't be justified under such phony pretenses of protecting human rights. The neocon mighty wurlitzer propaganda machine is already churning as well with the ludicrous claims that the financial collapse was all the fault of those damned dirty Ay-rabs, this Washington Times post has the title: Financial Terrorism Suspected in 2008 Economic Crash, credited to another of those evil little reports that are assembled in Pentagon propaganda chop shops. The headline does have one thing right though, the crash was the result of financial terrorism only the terrorists weren't wearing turbans and red headbands, rather they were wearing thousand dollar suits and floating off of the coast of the Hamptons in yachts while their derivatives exploded like the financial weapons of mass destruction that they were. War and lies and credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligations and tainted, buffoon presidential candidates like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich are proof that you can sell anything in America. As Mencken once famously remarked, "nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public" or something along those lines. Welcome to Chumpland and stock up on canned goods because the real financial terrorists of Wall Street are bidding up commodities (especially oil) and whiling away their time before unleashing their latest mass casualty attack on America, a Roman orgy of gross speculation: C.M.B.S. 2.0.
War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.
In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows. [Please note these are 1935 U.S. dollars. To adjust for inflation, multiply all figures X 10 or more]
How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?
Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few – the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill. And what is this bill?
This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.
- General Smedley D. Butler
Just my two cents