A reader writes:
I'm a little tired of the fawning over General Petraeus and I appreciate your reluctance to anoint this man the savior of Iraq, Afghanistan and America in general. This is anecdotal, but I wanted to share a soldier's experience with this man.
I was in Iraq from 2009-10. Yes, the war was obviously winding down, but soldiers were still dying in Iraq and of course in Afghanistan. It was a usual night when we got the task. We were asked to set up a direct video feed (I worked in public affairs and broadcasting) to an event in Washington, DC. We weren't sure exactly what it was for, but we naturally obliged the command. Well, turns out it was a black tie Gala in honor of none other than General Petraeus. There he was, schmoozing with some yuppie DC folks while we were in the desert. The entire event was in his honor. He had requested soldiers in Iraq "be apart of the event." This included us sitting in some chairs and the screens in DC eventually panned to us and the crowd cheered. We shut it down and, I assume, the event continued.
I couldn't believe it happened. During a time of war, a 4-star has a black-tie event in HIS honor? We all walked away shaking our heads.