Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
NewsOpinionReaders Respond

Petraeus thought he was above the law

AfghanistanDavid PetraeusMilitary EquipmentIraqJustice SystemCentral Intelligence Agency

Gen. David Petraeus' actions over the past several years show that he considers himself more of a prince than a member of the armed forces who answers to his civilian commander-in-chief ("Did Petraeus have to step down?" Nov. 13).

In Afghanistan, he insisted on fresh pineapple each night and fresh bananas sliced on his cereal every morning. A fawning media and Congress evidently went to his head, leading him to believe that ordinary rules of conduct and law did not apply to his princely persona.

The disastrous "surge" in Iraq was sold as a success to a compliant Congress and an ill-informed media, just one more wonderful move by the genius general. The real reason violence in Iraq diminished was that ethnic cleansing was already complete when he got there, and Mr. Petraeus paid the Sunni militants not to fight for a year or so until the U.S. left.

But what about the nearly 1,000 U.S. service members who died as a result of the surge? Who is thinking about them as they laud Mr. Petraeus for his more recent surge in Afghanistan?

When you are a prince, you don't wait for your new commander-in-chief to be sworn in, you just announce to President Hamid Karzai on Jan. 20, 2009, that the U.S. will send an additional 30,000 troops. How can this rank insubordination be considered patriotic?

Why did Mr. Petraeus feel empowered to decide U.S. policy? What purpose have the additional troops in Afghanistan served? The Petraeus strategy involved arming and training Afghans who then turned their guns on the U.S. soldiers serving there.

Yet Mr. Petraeus' failure in Afghanistan was rewarded with the top job at the CIA, where he asked for more drones just weeks before he resigned.

It is time to get out of Afghanistan, end the drone wars in Pakistan and re-establish civilian control over our military. How many more generals have to fall because they feel they are above the law and entitled to princely perks?

Roger Fitzgerald, Hampstead

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
AfghanistanDavid PetraeusMilitary EquipmentIraqJustice SystemCentral Intelligence Agency
  • Time to re-think U.S. use of drones
    Time to re-think U.S. use of drones

    Drones over Syria? Hold on! ("CIA eyes drone strikes in Syria," March 16). The whole business of drone strikes on nations with whom we are not at war gets murkier and more distasteful daily — and cries out for transparency from the Obama administration on drone practice and...

  • Rand Paul's filibuster worked
    Rand Paul's filibuster worked

    Our view: A filibuster produces some clarity — though not enough — about the Obama administration's policies on domestic drone strikes

  • Obama made U.S. weaker, more vulnerable

    I must live in a different country than Sen. Jim Rosapepe ("U.S. stronger, safer under President Obama," Oct. 27). Unfortunately, my country has a terrible economy with 23 million people out of work. In four years, the price of gasoline has doubled, the average family has seen a...

  • Middle East mess was born in the U.S.A.
    Middle East mess was born in the U.S.A.

    American meddling in the Arab world has produced decades of disasters, so why are we still there?

  • The real problem with David Petraeus

    There are a lot worse things going on in our country right now than Gen. David Petraeus cheating on his wife, and one of them is our country's invidious use of drone warfare. The worst part about it is that we have been brainwashed to believe that it is an acceptable plan of action. The...

  • The law of drones
    The law of drones

    Our view: Despite Congress' efforts get more information about U.S. drone strikes abroad, details of the program remain as elusive as ever

  • Drone strikes stir hatred of the U.S.

    "No more drones" is the right policy, as writer Agnes Merrick said in a recent op-ed ("The real Petraeus problem," Dec. 8). Bravo to The Sun for printing it.

  • Where's the concern for the innocents killed by U.S. drones?

    President Barack Obama, the Rev. M. Cristina Paglinauan and columnist Dan Rodricks all have expressed sorrow and outrage over the slaughter of innocent children in Newtown, Conn. ("Stand vigil for gun victims and new laws," Dec. 23). Yet their vocal concern is in stark contrast to...

Comments
Loading