Paul Woodward of ‘War in Context’ has a good post, “Israel is putting American lives at risk”, that expands on the info that Mark Perry blogged Saturday, about the briefers whom Gen. Petraeus despatched recently to go tell JCS chair Mike Mullen that the administration’s Israel-Palestine policy is putting American lives at risk.
Woodward got Perry to discuss the circumstances behind his post a little more, and to give his assessment of what Petraeus is up to.
Perry told Woodward:
- My sense is that General Petraeus neither likes nor dislikes Israel: but he loves his country and he wants to protect our soldiers. The current crisis in American relations with Israel is not a litmus test of General Petraeus’s loyalty to Israel, but of his, and our, concern for those Americans in uniform in the Middle East.
It is, perhaps, a sign of the depth of “the Biden crisis” that every controversy of this type seems to get translated into whether or not America and its leaders are committed to Israel’s security. This isn’t about Israel’s security, it’s about our security.
Very well said.
This is, of course, another sign of how the discussion over the nature and value of our country’s currently joined-at-the-hip relationship with Israel is fermenting in different sections of the U.S. political elite.
As a serving military officer, Petraeus is of course not allowed to take a “political” stand on anything. But he is also the man who as head of Centcom is charged with ensuring that the hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops serving in combat zones in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other portions of the Greater Middle East are not exposed to any unnecessary dangers. And where he sees that Washington’s policies do indeed place U.S. troops in unnecessary danger, he has a duty to speak out through the appropriate channels.
Though in the past I have accused Petraeus of being a grandstander, I think in the present circumstances there is no evidence at all that he did anything to leak the news of his briefings to Mullen (or about his reported request that Israel, currently handled out of EUCOM, nt Centecom, be transferred to his command. That one, Perry wrote, got shot down immediately.)
… Anyway, readers here at JWN might like to note that when I read interesting and significant things I am now trying once again to tag them and get them onto the “Delicious” zone on the right sidebar of the Main Page here for your edification, with a few comments from myself. I realize the Delicious zone is quite far down on the sidebar, but do try to check it from time to time…. In my current redesign, I’ll try to bring it up a lot higher and more accessible.
For now, note that I put the Woodward piece on there yesterday. And today, there is this good roundup of pieces on the current “tipping point”, by Ali Gharib.
6 thoughts on “More on Petraeus”
1. Whoever leaked on Petraeus probably knocked him out of the 2012 presidential. There’s a clue.
2. Blowback on America comes not only from Israel’s military activities but also AND PRIMARILY from the US’s. But of course, except for Paul and Kucinich, that’s off the table politically.
Unless I have misread the relevant sentence, Perry seems to be reporting that Petraeus requested that the West Bank and Gaza be added to his bailiwick, not Israel.
An economist to point out how spending trillions of dollars to fight neo-con/likudnik wars against muslims is not too good for the lives of civilian americans either.
If this goes on we could be on our way back to sanity in foreign policy, for the first time since 1947.
Those holding their breath do so at their own risk
Perry wrote “West Bank and Gaza (which, with Israel, is a part of the European Command — or EUCOM)” which, according to the EUCOM Interactive Map, isn’t true. Only Israel is.
EUCOM and CENTCOM have only countries, not territories, in their areas of responsibility. Israel belongs to EUCOM. It’s inexplicable because CENTCOM has every other country west of China&India from Kazakhstan to Egypt.
The US military recently initiated the basing of troops in Israel, by the way.
Petraeus is an opportunist who doesn’t seem to give a damn about America’s security. What he does seem to care about is 2012. Contrary to the comment above, this is a bold move by Petraeus to distinguish himself politically and to step into the vacuum left by the unwillingness of all other major pols to criticize Israel. It is a shrewd and brilliant political move and at one stroke it virtually destroys Obama while raising Petraeus’ profile. This is about politics in the US and NOTHING else.
The general is rightly worried about the guys with F-16 and nuclear weapons.
He might agree with Sbig Brezinski that the thing for the UASAF to do if they head towards Iran is shoot them down.
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