This is a short, but I think important diary. Sifting through my comments on my diary about Petraeus's failures yesterday, I found this jewel linking to a Petraeus thread in Jeffrey Feldman's diary from Jiminy Cricket. The gist of it is, the "Betray Us" nickname came from troops who served under Petraeus.
Mr. Feldman -- I think it would be very helpful
to this discussion, if we looked to the origins of the nickname "Betrayus".
Many people are falsely assuming that "Betrayus" was a clever rhyme made up by Moveon.org for the New York Times ad. Which I think is a key assumption for this ad controversy to work for the republicans.
And that assumption is false. The nickname did not originate with Moveon.org.
I clearly remember reading Petraeus's nickname on various military forums/comment threads over two years ago. I remember it so because I thought it was very clever and suitable nickname. In the past couple of months, I have also started seeing the nickname used on progressive blogs and comments.
So when this "controversy" happened yesterday, I did a google search (i swear google really is a blogger's friend!) to see if I could find an old posting or comment that used the nickname.
Here's a comment from 2005:
FromBLACKFIVE: Generals of yesterday and today
I don't know GEN Petraeus personally...but when I was in the "Devil Brigade" folks called him "Colonel Betrayus". He came up with things like the "Devil button" (button your BDU collar up to the top when on jumps) and the "Devil grip" (special name for keeping your trigger finger out of the trigger well) which sounded hokey to most of the troops at the time.
Can any other All American paratroopers out there expand on my comment?
Posted by: TBone | November 19, 2005 at 10:52 AM
For the record this is getting pulled from a very Pro-military blog:
The tenets of Blackfive.net are:
Supporting the Military
Caring for the Wounded
Remembering the Fallen
Honoring the Sacrifices
I hope that you'll join us in supporting our warriors and
become a Small Sphere of Influence!
As Jiminy Cricket notes, with no little understatement:
"This kind of changes the narrative, doesn't it?"
Note: Apologies to Jiminy Cricket for running with this, but I didn't see a diary yet and apparently the Moveon.org ad brouhaha isn't going away any time soon.
Update: Terre in the comments has a great find:
From the Times Online
AFTER being hailed as King David, the potential saviour of Iraq, the US commander General David Petraeus is facing a backlash in advance of his report to Congress in September on the progress of America’s troop surge.
Critics, including one recently retired general, are privately calling him "General Betraeus" on the grounds that he is too ambitious to deliver a balanced report on the war.
Lawrence Korb, a defence official under Ronald Reagan who is now at the Center for American Progress, a Democratic think tank, said Petraeus was regarded as "the most political general since General [Douglas] Mac-Arthur", a reference to the second world war hero who was touted as a possible president.
Another important comment from fellow Kossack Brandon Friedman:
You guys should've just emailed me.
People were calling him General "Betray Us" during the summer of 2003 when he was commanding the 101st Airborne Division. I know this because many of the soldiers doing so were in my company. Trust me: This guy has carried the nickname from unit to unit, probably for most of his career. However, I don't know if it has more to do with his "actions" as a commander, or if his name just makes it an obvious nickname for him.
Formerly known as The Angry Rakkasan | My book on Amazon
by Brandon Friedman on Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 12:21:05 AM EDT