Friday, August 3, 2007

Tony Blankley's Wrong on General Petraeus

Now, I don't always agree with Tony B. but I usually understand his point. He is a learned man with lots to say. This time he is dead wrong.

For those who are not readers, let me summarize. In 1942 the following resolution was tabled in the English house of Commons,
"That this House, while paying tribute to the heroism and endurance of the Armed Forces... in circumstances of exceptional difficulty, has no confidence in the central direction of the war."
Mr. B. goes on to point out that shortly after that and after firing a string of unsuccessful generals, Churchill promoted General Bernard Law (Monty) Montgomery. Monty took charge and all was good. Mr. B. then makes the astonishing suggestion that General David Petraeus might be Bush's "Monty".

The big difference is simple. Churchill was a man that let his generals lead. If they failed, he sacked them; eventually he found a good one. The current executive branch takes an entirely different tact: they hire generals that can follow.

Churchill did not just listen to his generals (as Bush tells us he does) he did what they said needed to be done.

This argument is not complete without a discussion of the greatest general of WWII, General Dwight David (Ike) Eisenhower. How much instruction to you think he took from FDR? He was given a job --to win-- and the authority to do it his way.

This is where Tony Blankley is wrong.

Petraeus might be a "Monty", or an "Ike", but the current administration has proven themselves incapable of letting competent people do their jobs. If he still there in '09 he might be the next president's "Ike" but he will not be Bush's and it is not his fault.
Read Tony Blankley's opinion here.


Anonymous said...

"... the greatest general of WWII, General Dwight David (Ike) Eisenhower ...". Yeah, he and Private Frank Sinatra did it, my foot...

Try Marshal Georgi Zhukov (1896-1974), the commander of the 1941 Battle of Moscow --- and of the greatest battle of the World War II, that decided its outcome, the 1942-43 Battle of Stalingrad.

G M Heslop said...

I take your point, Zhukov deserves to be mentioned in any discussion of the greatest generals of WWII and the Battle of Stalingrad did in many ways decide the outcome.

But, that does not take away from Ike's astounding accomplishments from North Africa to the Mediterranean theatre to Operation Overlord, (not to mention his undeniable diplomatic skills) his command was second to none of the day.

And as for the purposes of my piece, "Bush's Zhukov" would not have carried the same weight.

Frank Sinatra, indeed.