Tuesday, September 11, 2007

General Petraeus, General Betrayus, and Tolerance

As I write this, Senators are questioning General David Petraeus about the situation in Iraq.

In other words, they are taking turns making speeches as the General waits with military courtesy, on the off chance that a question will come his way.

I have thought, from time to time, that one of the best proofs of American strength and durability is the way this country has endured more than two centuries of Congressional action.

The General's presence in Congress has pointed out another aspect of America.

A lot of Americans have funny-sounding names.

That's understandable, since people from many different countries came here: some of them hardly the sort that you'd want at your country club. Take "Petraeus," for example. If he'd had a nice, normal, name, like Smith or Ainsworth or Stapleton, we wouldn't see statements like this: Reacting to the allegation that these statements represented some sort of insult, the majority party in Congress acted with the swift resolve that we have learned to expect. The ruling party said that they didn't want to consider disavowing the "General Betrayus" remarks at this time. Maybe later.

I can understand why the general has been renamed "Betrayus" by the best and brightest of those who seek their vision of a tolerant, open-minded, world. General Petraeus came to Capitol Hill with facts that they don't like.

And, instead doing something childish, like closing their eyes tight, sticking their thumbs in their ears, and humming real loud, many of the philosophical leaders of this country are acting like petulant high-schoolers, and making fun of of the messenger's surname.


Great Idea said...

My reply to the moveon.org ad



Brian H. Gill said...

I wouldn't have expressed myself quite the way you do, but I see what you mean.


seems to have started as an online movement concerned with one of former president Clinton's escapades, and has since evolved into a Democratic party fund-raiser and anti-war movement.

An interesting evolution.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.