David Petraeus

Imagine A President Trump Confronting Speaker Paul Ryan, The Intelligence Agencies, And The Military Hierarchy!

Imagine just for a minute a President Donald Trump and a Speaker Paul Ryan, and the constant clash they would be engaging in for ultimate control of domestic and economic policy!

Trump has no clue as to how Congress works, and he fails to understand that the Speaker of the House wields great power over anything that goes through the House of Representatives.

So be assured that Paul Ryan would not allow any kind of mass deportation of Muslims, or the building of a Mexico wall, along with many other ideas that Donald Trump has!

And be assured that the intelligence agencies and the military would never follow through on what a President Trump wanted to do in foreign and military policy, and this has already been made clear by people in the intelligence agencies and the military hierarchy! This includes David Petraeus, Michael Hayden, Leon Panetta and John Brennan, and many others!

President Dwight D. Eisenhower discovered that he could not “bark orders” and get things done, as had been true in the military!

Donald Trump would discover that he would be put in a “strait jacket” in both domestic and foreign policy, and the likelihood of an impeachment is likely, since he is a very dangerous man, with his ignorance and shortcomings in both domestic and foreign policy are massive.

The greatest danger would come from the “mob psychology” of the crowds who come to cheer him on, thinking they are at a football game or some such event.

But even scarier is the image of the Nuremberg rallies where Adolf Hitler spewed for this antisemitism and his belligerent war threats, as Trump’s “minions” are totally terrifying.

Trump represents an evil that must be overcome, and this idea of disillusioned voters staying home creates perfect conditions for a Trump victory, and an attempt at a Trump dictatorship, which would turn the American nation upside down and inside out, far worse than the threat of Richard Nixon!

David Petraeus Returns To Public Life After Resigning From CIA Over Love Affair Five Months Ago: What Does It Mean?

Retired General David Petraeus, former head of the CIA and of the military effort in Iraq and Afghanistan, has returned to public life after his sudden resignation over a love affair five months ago.

Long rumored to be interested in a political career as a Republican, including a possible plan to challenge President Barack Obama, which went by the wayside when Obama made him CIA head, Petraeus, apologizing for his misbehavior in a public speech, can now be seen as a possible GOP candidate for the White House in 2016, when Obama is leaving.

Being a candidate when the Presidency will be open to change is a lot better bet than challenging a sitting President, and when one looks at the GOP field, Petraeus is certainly a more viable and legitimate candidate than many of the Republican officeholders now considering the Presidency run in 2016.

Of course, he would need to clarify what his views are, and if he turns out to be a moderate conservative, he would be a competent and competitive choice for the White House, certainly more than anyone now seen as a candidate, other than, maybe, Jeb Bush, and Jon Huntsman!

But Jeb Bush has a major burden to carry with his name, and Huntsman is too intelligent and sensible and experienced in foreign policy, and in the crazy Republican Party of 2013, he would probably get no traction!

Petraeus, at least on paper, would be far better than anyone else, and could bring the GOP back to common sense and a responsible image, almost like another Dwight D. Eisenhower, but the question is how he would approach the major issues of the day, and whether he would be able to communicate effectively as a candidate and nominee, and be able to overcome the loonies in the GOP, including the evangelical right wing Christians that want to use the Bible to govern America!

Loss Of Best General Since World War II: General Norman Schwarzkopf!

The news this evening of the death of General Norman Schwarzkopf, the commander of troops in the Persian Gulf War of 1991, at the age of 78, is sad news, indeed.

Schwarzkopf was easily the best General we have had in America since the giants of World War II—Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, George C. Marshall, Omar Bradley, and George Patton!

Schwarzkopf was not an egotist, like MacArthur and Patton. He was not a liar as William Westmoreland was in the VIetnam War. He was not a man of poor character and judgment as David Petraeus has proved in recent days, after heading our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was not a drunk, as Ulysses Grant was in the Civil War.

Schwarzkopf was a modest man, of great achievement, who gave all Americans pride in a job well done, and in a war that lasted only six weeks!

May he rest in peace, with the high regard of his countrymen on a job well done!

The Susan Rice Controversy: The Final Disgrace Of John McCain And Lindsey Graham!

The announcement by Susan Rice, the United Nations Ambassador, that she is withdrawing her candidacy to be Secretary of State, due to the controversy over the Libyan terrorist attack in Benghazi, which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others on September 11, is a great tragedy.

It is the character assassination of a woman who has devoted her career to public service, and was only stating what was known on September 16, five days after the attack.

If anything, the CIA head, David Petraeus, now disgraced by an affair with his biographer, should be held accountable for this mess, but of course, he is so much idolized by many that he is given a free pass by politicians, and just allowed to resign, when he should be investigated for the danger he represented as our chief spy, allowing himself to be compromised!

It is not a question of whether Susan Rice is the best qualified person to be Secretary of State, as this author truly believes that Senator John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, is the best person available.

But to trash the reputation of Susan Rice over something she was not responsible for is a human tragedy, and shows how far Republicans are willing to go to destroy others in their desire to damage President Obama, even after his second term victory!

Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham both had reasonable reputations before now, but what they have done is enough to destroy their historical image and their effectiveness for the rest of the time they might serve in the upper chamber!

They are two bitter men who have become negative forces, and are part of the problem of the Republican Party for the future!

If these two men have become destructive forces, that is a sign that the Republican Party is dying, and will soon be replaced by a new, moderate centrist party!

Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower are all in deep mourning in the afterlife, wondering how their beloved party became so self destructive and hateful, and the dirty deeds of McCain and Graham will, likely, be two of the final nails in the coffin of the “Grand Old Party”!

And the best thing Barack Obama could do now is select Susan Rice to be National Security Adviser, a position not subject to the whims of the US Senate for confirmation! Prove that John McCain and Lindsey Graham have been upended by putting Rice in a position on an equal footing with the Secretary of State, and make the Republicans scream and yell in protest! It would be just desserts!

John McCain Losing All Respect And Credibility Over Benghazi–Susan Rice Controversy

Senator John McCain of Arizona, the 2008 GOP Presidential nominee, once was treated with great respect, but it is apparent that he is now on a tirade against the Obama Administration in a way that reflects on him in a horrible manner.

McCain has totally politicized the tragedy of the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens, along with three others, in Benghazi, Libya, at the American Consulate in that city on September 11.

The fact that United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, in an interview on a Sunday talk show, gave information from the Central Intelligence Agency that turned out to be inaccurate, has been used as a weapon by McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, New York Congressman Peter King, and many other Republicans as an excuse to question Susan Rice’s qualifications to be a potential Secretary of State in the second term of Barack Obama, with McCain claiming that Rice is not very smart, and ridiculing her credentials in a very dismissive manner.

President Obama has come to her defense, and has made it clear that he might elevate Rice to the State Department, and has clearly expressed his disgust with McCain, Graham and others for their personal attack on a good public servant, who was simply reporting what the CIA head, David Petraeus, had told her the weekend after the tragic event.

McCain has said he would personally block her nomination to be Secretary of State, so there may be a confrontation in the making.

This massively insulting and stupid behavior by McCain brings a few ideas to mind.

1. Is McCain still showing resentment and envy because Barack Obama defeated him in 2008?

2. Does McCain realize how ridiculous he sounds, regarding Rice’s not being smart and having a lack of qualifications, when he had the temerity to give us Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate, creating the fear of this supremely unqualified woman being a heartbeat away from the Presidency, and still defends his terrible choice to this day?

3. Also, McCain’s increasingly erratic behavior, and his growing anger and rage, and irrational stands on many issues, can make one wonder if he is starting to lose it mentally, and is in early stages of Alzheimers Disease. It makes one thankful he did not win the Presidency four years ago, and also makes one remember the thought at that time that his well known temper tantrums could be a sign of mental illness, caused by his imprisonment and torture in North Vietnam forty years ago during the Vietnam War.

The point is that there is a case that can be made that John McCain has passed his prime, and should consider resigning, due to his advanced age and weird behavior!

General David Petraeus As Vice President? Why Would He Do It?

Rumors are flying that four star General David Petraeus, presently head of the Central Intelligence Agency, and formerly engaged in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and seen as a national hero, might agree to resign his position in government to run as Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential running mate.

Certainly, if Petraeus did so, it would electrify Mitt Romney’s candidacy, and give him a real shot at winning the White House over President Barack Obama.

But although Petraeus is registered Republican, it is hard to imagine him giving up his responsible position in the government for the Vice Presidency.

Yes, Petraeus could be an active Vice President, and would certainly add stature to Romney in the area of foreign policy, national security, and defense, in which Romney has no background at all.

But despite that, Petraeus, having worked with Barack Obama very closely, and with the understanding that the two men have high regard and respect for each other, it is inconceivable that Petraeus would agree to run against the man, who, technically, has been his boss.

And the question of who would replace Petraeus, with his depth of knowledge and expertise, is also one to consider, and to imagine Petraeus really doing this, considering it is still a long shot that Romney would win the Presidency, is hard to conceptualize.

We will know in less than a week what Romney is doing, but again consider the likelihood of Paul Ryan or Kelly Ayotte as more likely, with Rob Portman or Tim Pawlenty as safer choices and alternatives!

The Failure Of “Americans Elect” As A Third Party Movement In 2012

Independent minded centrists, disgusted with the two party system and the failure to promote political compromise, made a valiant effort to promote an online third party under the name “Americans Elect”, but they have utterly failed for the upcoming Presidential Election of 2012.

This is a bad sign for the future, as it indicates that the party conflict, greatest since the Civil War, is going to continue, and it endangers any hope of our system working, unless one party is able to win and keep control of government for a sustained period of time.

Having said the above, the author still feels that the victory of Barack Obama is essential, and that IF he is given a Democratic Congress, the country can make progress on the many issues that divide us, and loom in the future.

What it comes down to is that all of the potential independent candidates, symbolized by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, simply did not want to break with their party, did not want to go through the literal Hell that is the reality of running for President at a divisive time as we are now going through.

The list of potential candidates included also Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, Rick Santorum, Hillary Clinton, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Howard Dean, Donald Trump, Al Gore, Sarah Palin, and David Petraeus.

One looks at this list and is shocked that Christie, Santorum, Paul, Trump, and Palin are on the list, all horrible choices in so many ways.

But to put most of the others on the potential list is also totally out of touch with reality, particularly with Powell, Rice, Clinton, Dean, and Gore.

Daniels, Huntsman, and Petraeus join Bloomberg as the most reasonable candidates, but again none wanted to put their name in the running.

The reality is that the Presidency is becoming such an obstacle course, that many good people will decide NOT to run in the future, leaving us with the danger of the kind of mediocrity we saw this year in the Republican Presidential race.

The Long List Of Republican Presidential Dropouts: Why If 2012 Is Such A Great Year For The GOP?

Common belief is that 2012 will see the defeat of President Barack Obama, and recent polls seem to indicate such, except, of course, for the fact that polls in the summer and fall of the year BEFORE the national elections are notoriously misleading!

But with such predictions and prognostications, why is it that a long list of Republicans, some of them very attractive possibilities, have decided NOT to seek the Presidency?

First the list of candidates in no special order:

Jeb Bush
Haley Barbour
John Bolton
Mitch Daniels
Jim DeMint
Mike Huckabee
Bobby Jindal
Mike Pence
David Petraeus
Paul Ryan
John Thune
Donald Trump
Rudy Guiliani
Sarah Palin
Chris Christie

That is a list of FIFTEEN people, some of them very appealing in different ways, who have decided NOT to run!

But why?

1. It is an arduous chore, costly, dominating, stressful to run for President, and becomes all encompassing to the candidate and his or her family.
2. It requires tremendous financial and organizational support to make a serious run for President, not easily achieved.
3. It requires a “thick skin” with the strong criticisms and investigations of one’s record, of everything ever said or done, that is automatic when one runs for President.
4. It requires a candidate to be knowledgeable, informed, and to have good debate skills against potential opponents.
5. It is required that a candidate have the “fire in the belly” that he or she is meant to run, and willingness to sacrifice his or her life for a year or more.

With all of the above, one other point should be made in conclusion: The candidate has to believe that Barack Obama can be defeated in 2012, or else it is better to wait to 2016!

The author would contend that many on this list, maybe all of them, see the chore of dislodging Barack Obama from the Presidency to be a very difficult job, no matter what is uttered publicly!

The President will have a billion dollar campaign fund; a record of major accomplishments rivaling the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson domestically, certainly the most since the first term of Richard Nixon, the most in FORTY YEARS, that he can be proud of; PLUS exceptional achievements in the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and general respect around the world! His record on defense and foreign policy is outstanding, with his ONLY major failure being the economy, one that he inherited and has been unable to overcome due to the total intransigence of the opposition party, which now controls the House of Representatives, and is doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to create jobs, build infrastructure, promote education and innovation, and will go down as the worst Congress in decades!

Barack Obama will be able to call them the “do nothing” Congress as Harry Truman did when he ran for election in 1948. The difference is that even the GOP Congress of 1947-1948, the 80th Congress, DID support the President on foreign policy initiatives, while the Republicans today ignore or dismiss accomplishments of the President in that area! So this is actually a far worse Congress, the 112th Congress, than the 80th Congress was!

So the ultimate conclusion is that the Republicans who decided not to run assume that Obama will win, and are holding their future to 2016, when it is likely MANY of the above will be running for President in a year they project as a year when the incumbent President will NOT be able to run, an open year which maximizes their opportunities for the White House!

Finally, the reception that those candidates for President who are running are receiving is NOT a good sign for any of them, that they will somehow unite the Republican Party and defeat Barack Obama in 2012! There is great discontent over the choices, and that is the reason why there has been a clamor, unsuccessful, to get others in the race. And of course, the Tea Party Movement is also destroying any chance for GOP unity, so if the Republicans want a future, they must divorce the Tea Party Movement after what will be a likely debacle in 2012, if they wish to succeed Barack Obama in the White House in the Presidential Election Of 2016!

Barack Obama And Afghanistan Withdrawal: Promising, But Not Enough!

President Obama gave a 13 minute speech last evening, outlining his strategy in Afghanistan.

Pointing out that Al Qaeda had been weakened with Osama Bin Laden’s death, plus the death of other terrorists by air strikes and drones, Obama announced the withdrawal of 10,000 soldiers by the end of 2011, and another 23,000 by September of 2012.

This would mean the removal of the “surge” troops put in after his speech in December 2009.

This is an important development, but it would leave 68,000 troops in Afghanistan to the target date of sometime in 2014, but Obama did not say that all troops would be removed even then.

The Afghanistan War is costing $10 billion a month at a time when we are in such dire economic straits, and therefore, although he called for a focus on domestic needs and infrastructure and nation building at home, how are we supposed to do this if there is no end to the involvement in Afghanistan?

The military, led by David Petraeus, new head of the CIA; and Mike Mullen, retiring head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Leon Panetta, new head of the Defense Department; and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, wanted a slower approach, as did John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

At the same time, the left is disgusted with the slow pace of the Afghanistan withdrawal, and even some Republicans seem disgusted with the feeling that there is no end to war involvement, and the reality that it is bleeding this nation dry!

So Obama is not pleasing the left or the right, is instead following the advice of Vice President Joe Biden, and is seemingly in the middle on an issue that a majority of Americans feel should not be a priority for the future, particularly with the domestic crises we now face, an imminent threat!

Barack Obama, Commander In Chief: Reluctant Warrior!

As Barack Obama speaks to the nation this evening, commemorating the end of the combat phase of the war in Iraq after seven years and six months, there remains uncertainty about the future of that nation, and continued concern about the war in Afghanistan, and the expansion of actions against terrorism in Pakistan and Yemen!

Obama entered the Presidency with two wars to deal with, along with all of the other burdens regarding the economic recession, and the interest in reforming health care and other parts of his domestic agenda!

He had to adjust to the military culture, and the reality that many in the military and the defense structure were not thrilled by his ascendancy!

As he decided to escalate the war in Afghanistan, and to use drones in Pakistan and utilize intelligence operations in Yemen, he received the criticism of liberals and Democrats who wanted him to get out of the war! But at the same time, Republicans and conservatives have remained skeptical about his long range commitment to the war on terror!

Obama was smart to lean on and rely on Defense Secretary Robert Gates and General David Petraeus, and they both were very willing to assist him in difficult moments!

Obama has been described as a “reluctant warrior”, who felt the burden of the wars, and felt oppressed by the deaths of soldiers and the massive injuries many young war veterans have suffered!

It is clear he would prefer to be remembered as a domestic President who brought major reforms, and it is hoped that he will work to prevent what President Dwight D. Eisenhower called the “military industrial complex” from overtaking the purposes of his Presidency!

This is a time to wish him the best as he faces tough decisions on the future of our military operations as the Presidential election nears over the next two years!