30 July 2007

Rhymes with Betray Us

The pun – Petraeus and “betray us” – has crossed my mind many times since President Bush first elevated him to the status of the next-in-a-series general in charge of losing the Iraq war for us. In fairness, we lost this war long before Petraeus took over, but the play on the general’s name was and remains apt. Reading Frank Rich’s insightful and disturbing column in yesterday’s New York Times was just a reminder of how ass-over-elbows is both our current government generally, and their management of the war specifically.

But if I thought my pun was clever, I was only one of many:

  • Under the banner of “One Pissed Off Veteran,” the joke was made here...

  • A bunch of gung-ho Bush-and-war types, calling themselves “Red State Rascals,” picked up the pun in a different context: it seems to be the concluding line from an editorial in Investor’s Business Daily: “The choice for Democrats is Petraeus or betray us.” (Who will tell IBD that the GOP lost the war, not the Democrats? The Democrats have certainly helped, no doubt about that. But Bush, Cheney, and their Republican minions [formerly known as members of Congress] lost this war all by themselves.)

  • There’s even a YouTube video called “Petraeus to Betray Us” to make the point about the expectations the general has had placed on his shoulders – and the likelihood that he, too, will bow to politics (President Bush’s politics) rather than reality in Iraq.

There is more, of course; a Google search will turn up plenty, some of it supporting Petraeus and much of it excoriating both the general and the civilian administration that launched, and lost, the Iraq war.

One almost feels sorry for General Petraeus: an American victory does not seem possible, and yet he is reporting to a president for whom anything other than a consist verbal expression of success – even in the face of utterly failed actions – is considered nearly treasonous. In the end, it seems that General Petraeus will be likely to betray someone, no matter which direction things go.


Blogger Mike said...

As one of the so-called Rascals referenced in your post, I'd like to make one small clarification. We are most certainly gung-ho, but I think the "Bush-and-war" types label is a little off. We're not pro-war any more than you are. We would prefer to not have to fight Muslim terrorists in Iraq or anywhere else. However, we don't really have that option. This war started more than a decade ago when Muslims declared war on the U.S. and we can't just "end the war" by deciding we don't want to fight anymore. They want to kill us, and if they aren't fighting us in Iraq they will be fighting us in America.

You ought to read our blog... I think you'd find it very informative.

Red State Rascals

11:32 AM  
Blogger The Editor said...

Point taken, Mike. It's too easy, and too glib, to suggest that people who support Bush also support the war, or vice-versa.

I'll add a comment of my own, which is to say: I have consistently said that I don't know what the solution is to the problem of Iraq. I just know that I don't buy the so-called logic allegedly embedded in the "if we don't fight them there, we fight them here" dogma. The problem of terrorism and religious fundamentalism is more complicated than merely battling a "them" in a never-ending series of unwinnable fights.

For related examples:

11:51 AM  

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