Tuesday, March 20, 2018


Someone told me a Fox News dummy had turned and even the New York Times was covering it...
“In my view, Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration,” [he] wrote in his message, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times
“Over my decade with Fox, I long was proud of the association,” he added. “Now I am ashamed.”
...and damned if the dummy didn't turn out to be Col. (Ret.) Ralph Peters -- better known to alicublog fans as Eleventy-Star General Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters! His alicublog archive is available for all to see.

I've been following the General since he was an Iraq War cheerleader for the New York Post ("America is, indeed, the modern Rome. And Rome does not ask permission of Thebes or obey the orders of Gaul"). I was late to the General generally: Back in 1996, he was talking about using military invasion tactics on American cities. But it was Iraq that made him a true public buffoon.

Back then he was very concerned that the hippies were going to spoil this war for him -- and as the war got more spoilt, Peters got more mad (as in crazy as well as in angry):
In the War Against Terror, no other power or organization can defeat America. But America remains dangerously capable of defeating itself... 
The terrorists will seek to convince American voters that the War on Terror is failing, paving the way for the electoral victory of a weakling [John Kerry] and allowing them to surge back into vacuums created by an American retreat... 
The media weren't reporting. They were taking sides. With our enemies. And our enemies won. Because, under media assault, we lost our will to fight on...

Make no mistake -- The anti-war voices long for us to lose any war they cannot prevent... 
Forget about our dead soldiers, whose sacrifice is nothing but a political club for Democrats to wave in front of the media...

The media are now combatants -- even if we're not allowed to shoot back...
He wasn't sentimental about Iraqi democracy, either: "We're overdue to take a lesson from the Romans and the British before us," barked the General, "and recognize the value of punitive expeditions… we need not feel obliged to rebuild every government we are forced to destroy… Where you cannot be loved, be feared.." (Also: "We didn't even have the common sense to declare martial law. It convinced our enemies that we were naive and weak." And see his tribute to Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf, "who sought the best for his tormented country but never knew how to package himself.")

Oh, and for those of you who are big on stories about how SJWs are the Real Threat to Free Speech, Blood 'n' Guts was there waaaay ahead of you:
It's fashionable in left-wing circles to describe anyone who admires America as a fascist. But the real totalitarian threats of our time come from the left. And no public figure embodies the left's contempt for basic freedoms more perfectly than Howard Dean.
Amazing we have any free speech left after Dr. Dean's reign of terror!

In the waning days of the Bush Administration the General seemed becalmed and unfocused. In 2008 the specter of Obama sometimes excited that ol' Blood 'n' Guts insanity ("There was a good reason the assassins of 9/11 attacked the targets they did, rather than steering those planes into Columbia University or Harvard Yard: They knew that the potency of the intellectual is illusory, that it dissolves at the first shot"). But after the election the General withered, as if his troops had abandoned him as the enemy breached the perimeter and the enemy wouldn't do him the honor of an execution; he was reduced to complaining that Obama was escalating the war in Afghanistan -- yes, that's how low he fell. The General became a TV clown, occasionally getting ink for calling Obama a pussy. I assumed he'd die in the saddle, slumping into some Fox blonde's lap.

But this new attention-getter shows that the General is at least trying to come back. Peters' current gripe is that Trump is in hock to Putin and Fox has been covering it up ("Despite increasingly pathetic denials, it turns out that the 'nothing-burger' has been covered with Russian dressing all along" -- now there's some of the old Blood 'n' Guts!), which is interesting, because back in 2004 Peters was soft on Putin himself ("An angel won't replace Putin in the Kremlin. But Putin isn't entirely a devil. The glass is dirty, but it's nearly three-quarters full"). Putin hasn't changed much; has Peters "evolved"?

Ha! Men like RB&GP don't evolve -- evolution's for liberal traitors! What changed is, back then George W. Bush liked Putin and Peters liked Bush; more to the point, Bush was popular. Trump, on the other hand, looks to be destroying the national Republican Party and the nation is turning against him -- which may explain why the General is turning against Trump. There will be a Morning After, and with it a Morning Show After, and the General wants to be on the dais. Let Sean Hannity go down with the ship; the General Shall Return.

UPDATE. Comments, as always are worth a look, particularly those of BigHank53 and glen_tomkins, who have followed Peters' career as a Soviet-watcher in the U.S. military and have intelligent speculations on his motivations that somewhat contradict my cynicism. I accept that the General may have legit feelings about the Bear, but before Trump conservatives generally reacted to Putin's intransigence with tough talk and calls to drill more oil. All these years after the Soviet Union collapsed, they generally treat adversaries as opportunities to enrich their donors, such as the oil and gas industries and the military contractors who will profit when we invade Iran.  It may be Peters is simply responding to a patriotic impulse, but as he's been in the propaganda service almost as long as he was in the armed forces, I'm not inclined to interpret his actions charitably.

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