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The Petraeus Papers: Defeating Pomposity At Home

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Ten thousand Roman eyes sought shade as they squinted against a savage Italian sun. Tall Roman-built concrete steps beckoned early risers who wanted to glimpse the man in uniform on the red carpet, as it rolled him out of the pallet.  Nubian guards surrounded Petronius and his precious papers quickly. Before reaching the steps of the senate the crowd lined the Appian  Way where they had watched, in awe, the parade of popular politicians each wearing their region's colors.

The political circus circled the forum, where the man they had come to see waved briefly and spoke softly: "Before Bush, the surge god, speaks let me remind every citizen what every good soldier knows, only men on the ground win the war." He raised his hands, but not his voice. "We have defeated pomposity abroad now we must defeat it at home (wild applause). Whom, I ask, denounced the placard-carrying populace in front of the palace? Precious few senators or men of letters I daresay. The Ides of March are nowhere in sight, yet I stand at the ready to fall on my dagger should the surge not succeed. As for those who resist, Petronius will mock you to death."

He turned and disappeared through large purple double doors. He adjusted his toga as he made his way onto the senate floor where insider-assassins were quickly foiled. Seated before a newly built podium he presented his argument: I wrote this article/report all by myself. I had no help. (He pounded the podium with closed fists.) I did not visit Iraq or other countries. I did not talk to the soldiers, nor their families. I did not first talk to Bush, nor confer with the palace guards (shaking his head side to side). From Google earth I was able to see no dead Iraqis. For that matter I did not see any violence in the streets, to be sure, but there was virtual violence directed at my entourage. Imagine, I virtually escaped a chariot bombing. Another soldier took the hit for me in the field, what a loss of a trusted Sheik ally

We not only lost an ally, but we also lost much money. Booty sent to the field in billion-dollar brick bullions–where has it gone people? I am reticent delivering such a scathing soliloquy about the knot heads who lost that money. But we must expose the money mess. A democracy is a far cry from a dictatorship (cheers). And money greases the squeaky chariot. We have had to spend a mere near-trillion dollars to takeover, defend, defeat, and put back together again a country the size of Spain, with a capital the size of Rome. How’s that for pompous politics? These billions are a drop in the Republic, he expressed, while dispatching his page boy. We will not be outspent by neighboring countries, nay the world. Nothing is too good, no amount of gold too great to line the pockets of our purveyors. We will win, we must win. He was on his feet now. The Republican guard roared, the compliments flowed from the senate, heads bowed in obeisance, then nodded in silent approval.

What would you rather see — a showdown in Iran or a draw-down in Iraq? If you trust in your leadership, you will see both before the summer solstice. Our brothers in Judea don’t want to swim in a bloodbath across Megiddo. There will begin a draw down reluctantly after the festival of Janus, I promise on my dear mother's grave, that about 30,000 men (a full five legions) will return home. But that will leave a mere million men in place until doomsday or the Bush god leaves office, whichever comes first.

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About Heloise

  • dfctomm

    Do you have a point? There is a reason why you can’t get published, and anyone who read this article has probably guessed it.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Heloise,

    Thank you for the Google Map of Israel. I’ve been exploring Samaria to see if I can find my little village…

  • bliffle

    Did anyone notice that they never swore Petraeus in? Ray McGovern, an experienced congressional reporter, was in the audience and when he started shouting “swear him in!” he was ejected.

    Well, that way Scooter Petraeus avoids the fate of Libby and Gonzales who lied after being sworn in and had to be pardoned by Bush. This way no pardon is required. Petraeus can say “I wasn’t sworn in, therefore no problem”.

    Sounds like a good deal to me.

  • JustOneMan

    Its seems blog critics are so desperate for a posting they will allow Helloise to post this rambling pile of disjointed sentences…

    JOM

    PS Thank you for the google map of the welfare state in the mideast…

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    JOM: Why don’t you sign up and show us all what REAL writing is like?

  • troll

    …perhaps it’s jom’s brilliant scathing critiques that have driven off timid authors

    or not

  • gonzo marx

    JoM sez – “PS Thank you for the google map of the welfare state in the mideast…”

    ummm..you missed the Trick there, the largest welfare state in the ME, by a LARGE margin, is the new one created by the GOP in the last few years…

    you know…Iraq….

    i’m just sayin’ i’m wondering which one JoM was talking about

    Excelsior?

  • Nancy

    I thought the use of classic Roman imagery was brilliant, but I also didn’t get the point of all this, or several of the illusions – & I’m not exactly uneducated in the classics. Some of it was just a little too esoteric (see thread on 9/11 & culture for fuller discussion on meanings of ‘esoteric’) to follow.

    I’d love to see this re-written & tightened up some. As I said, the imagery is inventive & excellent.

    JOM – I second Gonzo’s proposal: how about’s you put your money where your fingers are & write your own article, prove you can do better?

  • JustOneMan

    “JOM: Why don’t you sign up and show us all what REAL writing is like?”

    When the editors and other assorted life forms resort to “begging” JOM to publish just to post some fresh and worthwhile content you know BC has fallen on hard times…

    Looks like BC may have finally “jumped the shark”

    Thank you for proving my point…and I may take you up on your challenges..

    JOM

  • Nancy

    JOM, what would you write about (politics or opinion, or something else)? When you want to, you seem to be capable of some very good writing, turns of phrase, etc. It would be interesting.

  • Heloise

    Well, considering this is gratis, I think it’s pretty damn good. I wrote it in like, ten minutes and then let it sit and rewrote it a couple of times, adding more stuff. It is supposed to be over your head, actually. Petronius has returned as Petraeus and got his instant satirical karma from some folks. That’s all really.

    BTW Petronius was gay…as was much of Rome…

    I work and write when I feel like it. Writers and journalists imitate me all the time…hello.

    Mostly, it’s disjoined, discombobulated joy, spelling check me on that. But all these folks talking crap and ain’t wrote crap.

    Heloise

  • Heloise

    Folks talking crap who ain’t wrote crap, how’s that for crap? This is gratis folks. No one is getting paid. I do it for fun. And it is fun. I wrote this in like ten minutes. THe debates take much longer. Then I added to it and edited it a bit. But basically not writing a thesis here.

    The point is that Petraeus is Petronius reborn. That is the point. Petronius was a gay Roman as were many in the day, and may be now.

    Heloise

  • bliffle

    Petraeus? Gay?

    Well, that would be another heavy rock in his rucksack.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Really now, Heloise – gay bashing? That’s not very nice.

    More significantly, in what way is Petraeus lying or misleading? You get smart points for name dropping an obscure historical figure into a pop culture blog. Groovy. But what is the point of the comparison other than that they were two generals who had a “P” in their name?

    Mere sarcasm is not an argument.

  • zingzing

    didn’t you know? all it takes is the same first letter (much less first syllable) and a similar amount of letters and you are that person reborn.

    therefore, i am… james taylor. or something. wait, jt ain’t dead, is he? hrm. must rethink. jimmy hoffa! nope. he ain’t dead either.

    heloise believes some fascinating things. and some fantastic things. and some false things. and some fucking things.

    jesus. to see me agree with jom is to see me biting my own butthole.

  • Otis B. Driftwood

    Its seems blog critics are so desperate for traffic they will allow JOM to post his rambling pile…

  • Clavos

    “Its seems blog critics are so desperate for traffic they will allow JOM to post his rambling pile…”

    Or maybe Blogcritics’ mangement believes in the Bill of Rights.

    Which, apparently, you don’t.

  • JustOneMan

    Gee Dick… I mean Driftwood doesnt like freedom of expression unless he approves of it…punkass!

    JOM

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Hey jom! One of the local radio stations had one of their female disc jockeys and her sister on a motorcycle “jumping the shark” last week. It was pretty funny…

    I’m sure that’s what you meant by jumping the shark…right???

  • JustOneMan

    Andy NO!! are you an idiot or something!!! Its from Happy Days and Fonzi you moron…

    JOM

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I’m telling you that just last week, one of the local radio staiton…WNOR, did this thing in the parking lot. If you look at this link you’ll see what I’m talking about!

  • JustOneMan

    Andy….heres the link http://www.jumptheshark.com

    JOM

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Heloise,

    “This is gratis folks. No one is getting paid. I do it for fun. And it is fun. I wrote this in like ten minutes. … But basically not writing a thesis here.”

    Understood, Heloise. You’re not getting paid here – neither am I. But you get free publicity and you have a free forum. There are very few restrictions on what you can write in your articles. Comments like the above from the article’s author make the site look bad. The implication – that the article is a mere knockoff, something you would never get paid for – or what some people might read into the above, “I’m handing this out for free, so if it’s shit don’t complain” – lowers the site’s rep.

    That hurts you – and it hurts me. I also write here, and my works are not ten minute knockoffs.

    Were I to rip this piece to shreds criticizing it – I would never imply that it was a ten minute knockoff – even if I thought it was.

  • JustOneMan

    Ruvy…your posts are much different than Hels…your post usually consist if

    – 80% quotes from the Old Testament
    – 10% ramblings from your persona Nostradumbass
    – 5% yiddish
    – 5% Prayers for the end of the world and Armageddon

    JOM

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    My dear sir,

    Thank you so much, JOM, for your rousing approval of my writing. Compliments from a well versed and edumacated individual like yourself are indeed welcome. I feel honoured that you have Daned to notice the scribblings of this humble writer.

    If this is how you characterize my writing, I must be doing something right…. Freshly inspired anew, I shall continue to endeavour to produce similar works in future.

    Best regards,
    Your obedient servant,
    Ruvy in Jerusalem

  • JustOneMan

    Ruvy..
    “My mother thanks you. My father thanks you. My sister Thanks you. And I thank you.” james cagney

    JOM

  • alessandro

    Stating that much of Rome was gay is misguided and misses the nature of that society at the time. They weren’t gay as we understand it today.

  • Heloise

    My point is not to make the site look bad, but unintended consequences have arisen in that I am an ideas person and think fast. I write fast and ramble and like all Kennedys I am big on hyperbole. Get it?

    So, I exaggerate a bit. It is also a case of hubris. That’s better then STDs.

    I am a good writer, that makes BC look good period. Read some of my stuff any of it. On The Lot people were obviously reading me and took my damn good advice. And guess what happened? Their work improved greatly and the ones who took my advice to heart won or stayed in the race.

    That’s my point. Bloggers and net root folks are waking up the masses.

    More later

    Heloise

  • Heloise

    Hyperbole: all Romans gay. Most were practicers of “homosexuality.” That is the difference. They had sex with other men and were not GAY. They might be bisexual really. But they were the true “homosexuals” in its literal sense.

    Heloise

  • dfctomm

    Well, considering this is gratis, I think it’s pretty damn good. I wrote it in like, ten minutes and then let it sit and rewrote it a couple of times, adding more stuff. It is supposed to be over your head, actually. Petronius has returned as Petraeus and got his instant satirical karma from some folks. That’s all really.

    BTW Petronius was gay…as was much of Rome…

    I work and write when I feel like it. Writers and journalists imitate me all the time…hello.

    Mostly, it’s disjoined, discombobulated joy, spelling check me on that. But all these folks talking crap and ain’t wrote crap.

    Heloise

    Your confusing the ability to read with the ability to write. I don’t need to be an accomplished writer to realize that you just masturbated all over the page. The ability to read allows me to do that.