Tale of 2 gen­er­als

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

“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.”

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