November 13, 2012

The Petraeus Illusion

Jon Lee Anderson, New Yorker

AP Photo

Americans love a good rise-and-fall story, and resurrections, too. Our history is made up of such redemptive stuff; it is part of our folklore, our very national essence. Just as Douglas MacArthur became our Second World War savior-soldier in the Pacific campaign, so, too, a few years later in Korea, when he overstretched his authority, was he fired from his commands and sent home. MacArthur’s legacy was tarnished, but not overly so, for in those patriotic days of the Cold War and of Fortress America, he was allowed to keep his earlier laurels and bask in that glory. Americans do not like getting rid of heroes whom they have helped to concoct.

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TAGGED: Afghanistan, Iraq, COIN, United States, David Petraeus

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