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Nov 19

I have no idea how the general will be assessed by historians; the following is worth the read simply for the writing:

A Phony Hero for a Phony War

…The fact is that none of our generals have led us to a victory since men like Patton and my grandfather, Lucian King Truscott Jr., stormed the beaches of North Africa and southern France with blood in their eyes and military murder on their minds.

Those generals, in my humble opinion, were nearly psychotic in their drive to kill enemy soldiers and subjugate enemy nations. Thankfully, we will probably never have cause to go back to those blood-soaked days. But we still shouldn’t allow our military establishment to give us one generation after another of imitation generals who pretend to greatness on talk shows and photo spreads, jetting around the world in military-spec business jets.

The generals who won World War II were the kind of men who, as it was said at the time, chewed nails for breakfast, spit tacks at lunch and picked their teeth with their pistol barrels. General Petraeus probably flosses…

A novelist and journalist [Lucian K. Truscott IV] who is writing his new book on the blog Dying of a Broken Heart.

Earlier from the same writer about another American Afghan general:

The Unsentimental Warrior

More on American Generals:

I Like Ike [note comment on MacArthur]

“Generally Mediocre”

Eric Morse, for his part, observes (links added):

But it took a couple of years to breed that generation to that level during WW II. Remember Kasserine? Also remember Mark Clark. Also that Union generalship in the Civil War followed the same pattern. The author apparently forgets.

Mark Collins is a prolific Ottawa blogger

2 Responses to “Mark Collins - Petraeus the Flosser”

  1. MarkOttawa Says:

    Tom Ricks (no friend of many US generals):

    ‘Lucian K. Truscott IV on Petraeus: Perhaps the worst op-ed I’ve ever read

    Truscott unknowingly displays his ignorance when he mocks Petraeus’ beribboned uniform, admonishing that, “I would propose that every moment a general spends on his uniform jacket is a moment he’s not doing his job, which is supposed to be leading soldiers in combat and winning wars.” He contrasts Petraeus with the men who won World War II.

    What Truscott IV doesn’t seem to know is that some fine World War II generals, including one Lucian K. Truscott Jr., were much more into natty military tailoring than Petraeus ever has been. As Rick Atkinson, who unlike LKT IV, actually knows a lot about World War II, once wrote, “In uniform, Truscott was almost foppish: enameled helmet, silk scarf, red leather jacket, riding breeches.” I would propose that LKT IV owes Petraeus an apology. (Grandpa’s leather jacket clashed with his yellow silk scarf, by the way.)..’
    http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/11/19/lucian_k_truscott_iv_on_petraeus_perhaps_the_worst_op_ed_i_ve_ever_read

    Mark Collins

  2. MarkOttawa Says:

    A letter in the Washington Post:

    ‘A model for current generals to emulate

    The “four-star lifestyle” of generals described by The Post in a Nov. 18 front-page article
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/petraeus-scandal-puts-four-star-general-lifestyle-under-scrutiny/2012/11/17/33a14f48-3043-11e2-a30e-5ca76eeec857_story.html
    contrasts sharply with the five-star lifestyle of Gen. George C. Marshall, the Army’s chief of staff from 1939 to 1945.

    Marshall often told his driver to hide evidence of his rank as they drove through Washington, so he would not attract undue attention. He sometimes told the driver to pick up a GI on the street, which led to considerable surprise when the soldier climbed into the back seat to find the chief of staff.

    Marshall lived in Quarters 1 at Fort Myer and had a second home (Dodona Manor) in Leesburg, which is open to the public. The Marshalls’ lifestyle there was far from manorial, however: He and his wife purchased secondhand furniture and Marshall worked on hands and knees in his vegetable garden. Guests, including Army Air Forces Gen. Henry “Hap” Arnold and Madame Chiang Kai-shek, sometimes toiled in Marshall’s garden, too.

    Marshall’s five-star rank entitled him to one orderly in retirement, not a full contingent of leaf-rakers and chefs.

    As Thomas E. Ricks points out in his new book, “The Generals,”
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1594204047/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1594204047&linkCode=as2&tag=slatmaga-20
    the quality of Army generalship has declined since George Marshall.

    Tom Bowers, Ashburn

    The writer is director of docents at Dodona Manor in Leesburg.’
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-model-for-current-generals-to-emulate/2012/11/19/e490d3ea-318e-11e2-92f0-496af208bf23_story.html

    Mark Collins

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