18 November, 2008

Petraeus the Person

Milblogs and other informed media outlets both large and small have thoroughly documented General Petraeus--his intelligence and leadership style, the success of the concepts and plans he put into practice, his intellectual and physical stamina, and the adoration he received from soldier and civilian alike in Iraq.

But here's another side... a bit more personal, and someone it sounds like I'd enjoy knowing.

Let’s just talk about you, then, I say. You know, personally.

“Okay!” he says.


“Sure. What’s your sign?”

Did General Petraeus just ask me what my sign is? Like an idiot, I tell him. Is he really into astrology?

He laughs, hard. “I don’t even know what mine is,” he says. “I’m only funning you.”

Colonel Steve [his aide] pipes up. “That’s how the whole surge worked. It was astrology!”

“It’s late in the day here, you know?” says Petraeus.

For the next couple of hours, he puts the clipboard down and tries to explain how David Petraeus, who as a kid was known as Peaches—seriously, he was that sweet—turned out to be the right man at the right time in the wrong war.