PETRAEUS: THEOCRAT? AMERICA HATING HIPPIE?
(updated with medical news)
Today, Elisabeth Bumiller of The New York Times revived Petraeus-for-president talk, oddly enough because he doesn't seem particularly important in the Obama administration. Or maybe that's not so odd.
No longer does the man who oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have one of the biggest voices at National Security Council meetings, as he did when Mr. Bush gave him 20 minutes during hourlong weekly sessions to present his views in live video feeds from Baghdad. No longer is the general, with the Capitol Hill contacts and web of e-mail relationships throughout Washington's journalism establishment, testifying in media explosions before Congress, as he did in September 2007, when he gave 34 interviews in three days.
The change has fueled speculation in Washington about whether General Petraeus might seek the presidency in 2012.
I can see it. I think he could be a strong contender. In my dreams, though, I occasionally have the completely preposterous fantasy that doing something like this might make it hard for him to run for president in America:
"Under the rubric of free speech and the twisted idea of separation of church and state," reads a promotion for a book called Under Orders: A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel, by Air Force Lieutenant Colonel William McCoy, "there has evolved more and more an anti-Christian bias in this country." In Under Orders, McCoy seeks to counter that alleged bias by making the case for the necessity of religion -- preferably Christian -- for a properly functioning military unit. Lack of belief or the wrong beliefs, he writes, will "bring havoc to what needs cohesion and team confidence."
McCoy's manifesto comes with an impressive endorsement: "Under Orders should be in every rucksack for those moments when Soldiers need spiritual energy," reads a blurb from General David Petraeus....
Nahhh. Who am I kidding? That's a selling point for his campaign (certainly in the primaries).
On the other hand, if Petraeus does want to run as a Republican, he's going to have to hope no one brings any of this up:
General David Petraeus said this past weekend that President Obama's decision to close down Gitmo and end harsh interrogation techniques would benefit the United States in the broader war on terror.
In an appearance on Radio Free Europe on Sunday, the man hailed by conservatives as the preeminent military figure of his generation left little room for doubt about where he stands on some of Obama's most contentious policies....
"With respect to Guantanamo," Petraeus [said], "I think that the closure in a responsible manner, obviously one that is certainly being worked out now by the Department of Justice -- I talked to the Attorney General the other day [and] they have a very intensive effort ongoing to determine, indeed, what to do with the detainees who are left, how to deal with them in a legal way, and if continued incarceration is necessary -- again, how to take that forward. But doing that in a responsible manner, I think, sends an important message to the world, as does the commitment of the United States to observe the Geneva Convention when it comes to the treatment of detainees."
That could hurt. He'll have to flip-flop on that.
UPDATE: Or maybe not. Petraeus has revealed that he's being treated for prostate cancer, and no one in the Free Republic thread seems to know that he ever said a kind word about the Geneva Conventions or closing Gitmo:
In Jesus' name. Not yet.
Oh no .. most earnest prayers for Gen. Petraeus, America's rock of duty, country, honor.
Lord, guide his docs, rejuvenate him with healing.
Gen. Petraeus is a hero among heroes. Lord, please bless and protect this man. We need him among us much longer.
This news should cause more than a few Democrat orgasms.
And the Freepers assume the release of the news is a Democratic plot to undermine Petraeus, now and for 2012. (I guess they didn't notice that John Kerry and Rudy Giuliani ran for president after successful prostate cancer treatment.)