General Disarray

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Speaking of the troops, here's OneLastMission.org: A resource for people who want to draft Gen. Peter Pace into Virginia's unwinnable Senate race.

General, the American people need your leadership in the U.S. Senate. The outcome of even one Senate race could mean the difference between pushing on towards victory and being driven from the field and rendering meaningless the blood that has been spilt in the sands of Iraq and Afghanistan. We cannot afford to be represented by a September 10th politician. We cannot spare you now.

I'm no Pace hater: He was a Rumsfeld loyalist who claimed that his friend "leads in a way that the good Lord tells him is best for our country," but he bucked some of the more lunatic arguments of the administration. Yet Pace is the third general that serious conservatives have pushed to run for office in the last year or so. In 2006 it was Tommy Franks for Florida's Senate race, and earlier this year it was David Petraeus for president or vice president. That's a whole lot of conservative rumbling for high-level military leaders to get into partisan politics.

Liberals have tried a little bit of this, too. The 2003-2004 Wesley Clark campaign was basically about nominating a guy with a chestful of ribbons who could shame Bush on the war ("The general versus the deserter," as Michael Moore put it. The closest Libertarians have come to doing this, I think, is former Defense official Earl Ravenal's abortive 1984 bid). There's something else in these conservative, pro-war overtures, though. With the exception of Petraeus (on whom the jury's out right now), none of these generals have, you know, won a war. And the rationale beyond the campaigns has less to do with repairing the GOP's image on foreign policy—which has been badly damaged—than it does with shaming war skeptics into backing Bush policy.

Also, the OneLastMission line about "a September 10 politician" needs some explanation. The frontrunner for the GOP nomination right now is Jim Gilmore, former governor of Virginia and former presidential candidate. And Gilmore has been critical of the PATRIOT Act. Thus, he's unacceptable.

NEXT: Fish Wrapper

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  1. Those activists are just jealous of all of the brass that have run on Democratic tickets lately.

    Wesley Clark wasn’t drafted by activists who convinced him to run – like Sestak, Hodes, and the rest of the military people the past few years, he went to the Democrats, not they to him.

  2. I wonder why there hasn’t been a draft Shinseki movement. I know he’s eschewed the limelight since retiring (even better). He’s probably a Republican. Remember when we thought the Republicans supported the military? Turns out they’re just war mongers.

  3. I hereby declare my intention to punch the next person who claims that “the troops sacrifice will be meaningless if we don’t achieve victory” in the fucking face.

  4. With the exception of Petraeus (on whom the jury’s out right now), none of these generals have, you know, won a war.

    The strategy is twofold. Get pro war guys in office and get those losers out of the military.

  5. Um, wasn’t GEN Clarke relieved by the President during his war? Were you counting him as some sort of winner or was he just tossed in there on the Left side as garnish?

  6. Amen, Captain Chaos. The key to prospect theory is the human animal’s persistent inability to accept sunk costs.

  7. Wait a second, what war did Patraeus win?

  8. Get Professor Chaos on board if the General won’t do it; that’ll show those pre-September 10th politicians.

  9. Wes Clark didn’t exactly win a war, he was supposed to be stamping out one that had burned out. He did nearly start one though, when he tried to order the British troops leading the ground force into Kosovo to stop the Russians occupying the airport. General Rose told him to get lost, not exactly in those words.

  10. What war did James Webb win? You don’t need to be on the winning side to parlay military service into a career.

  11. joe,

    Wait a second, what war did Patraeus win?

    I think that’s where Weigle’s “the jury’s still out” remark applies.

    Although, on the other hand, you could argue that Petraeus has in fact simply been presiding over a war that’s already been won.

  12. Hello, my name is Corporal Punishment and I’m addicted to throwing good maoney after bad.

  13. D’oh!

    Oh yeah, look at that. It’s almost as if the stuff in the parenthesis is meant as a commentary on what comes immediately before it.

    I R teh smart.

  14. General, the American people need your leadership in the U.S. Senate. The outcome of even one Senate race could mean the difference between pushing on towards victory and being driven from the field and rendering meaningless the blood that has been spilt in the sands of Iraq and Afghanistan. We cannot afford to be represented by a September 10th politician. We cannot spare you now.

    I call sunk cost fallacy on that!

  15. But remember, if a Democrat says that their lives have been wasted, it means he hates the troops and ‘Merica.

  16. All fear Professor Chaos! Bwaaa haa ha ha

  17. “”We cannot afford to be represented by a September 10th politician.”””

    It sounds to me like their one last mission is to distroy everything America has stood for in its first 225 years.

    I don’t trust anyone who has seperated America’s into pre and post 9/11. They are the true America haters.

  18. Of course they want the “still in service” Peter Pace. Like most of the generals that have retired in the last 5 years, he’ll probably have a different attitude about Iraq once he settles into retirement.

  19. Wars are only won by the companies that sell services to them. The people always and I do mean always lose in war. But Haliburton and it’s ilk and various private military groups make out like bandits in wars. Blackwater went from earning 1 million dollars to 1 billion. Wars are not about winning they are about looting. They take our tax money and make the above groups and those who have invested money in them billions off of the blood of our soldiers and the citizens of the countries we have decided to loot. War supporters at home are asses in my opinion it’s easy to support a war when you are not risking anything. How quickly would the warhawk Democrats and Republicans change there tune if the leaders had to actually fight. I agree with the Fighting Quaker – War is a Racket!! To Hell with War!!!

  20. They’re really grasping for straws against Mark Warner. Theres no question–barring a “Macaca” moment–who the next Senator in VA is, only if he will win by a 20 or 30% margin.

  21. Trickyvic, how DARE you question my patriotism!!!

  22. “Um, wasn’t GEN Clarke relieved by the President during his war?”

    By current GOP logic, wouldn’t this be a plus? If anything Clinton did is automatically bad, and Clarke was relieved by Clinton, then Clarke must be good. Or something.

  23. With the exception of Petraeus (on whom the jury’s out right now), none of these generals have, you know, won a war.

    That’s an exceptionally generous statement.

  24. General Disarray

    Didn’t he run against Bush in the last election?

  25. Clark wasn’t relieved by Clinton. His appointed term ended, and he wasn’t re-upped.

  26. Capt. Chaos:

    I believe that we need to stay there until we destroy the terrorists. Lets fight them over there before we after to have a fight here. We need elected officials who understand the importance of this fight around the world, not people who want to cowtow to the terrorists this is just like the people who wanted to give in to the communists we beat them and we will prevail this time as well.

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