Tale of 2 generals
“When Abraham Lincoln famously sent word to Gen. George McClellan that he’d like to ‘borrow’ the army if the general wasn’t planning on using it, the commander of Union forces likely did not take it kindly. McClellan, after all, was a man whose letters home referred to Lincoln as an ‘idiot’ ‘a well-meaning baboon’ and other colorful language,” Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn writes.
“In the first few pages of ‘The War Within,’ Bob Woodward opens with another presidential remark that offended another wartime gen- eral. This time the recipient was the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, Gen. George Casey. During a videoconference with Baghdad, the president said, ‘George, we’re not playing for a tie. I want to make sure we all understand this.’ Gen. Casey, Mr. Woodward writes, took this as ‘an affront to his dignity that he would long remember.’
“Whether or not Gen. Casey long remembered, ‘The War Within’ makes clear his disdain for his commander in chief. If the views and re- marks attributed to Gen. Casey are not accurate, Mr. Woodward has done him a grave injustice. If they are accurate, they come as further evidence of the obstacles President George W. Bush had to overcome to get his commanders to start winning in Iraq.”