Now it is revealed that CIA director David Petraeus, a general himself, also believed he was God's gift — his arrogance bringing him down like a Mideast government.
P&J haven't trusted Petraeus since he stepped in as head ramrod in Afghanistan. No matter who was president, how grim the on-the-ground reality, or how Paleozoic the Afghans' living conditions, Petraeus would always spout the official party line fed to him by the Oval Office.
Generally (no pun intended, but it works), everything was peachy keen: the troops were enthusiastic and optimistic, Afghan President Hamid Karzai was doing "a heckuva job, Brownie," and the locals were absolutely delighted, don'tcha know, that the US was occupying their country, killing innocent bystanders when it targeted radicals, and inspiring vicious retribution by the Taliban on anyone who cooperated with the Americans.
You absolutely cannot believe what any top brass tells you these days, which is a sad, sad situation. If that sounds harsh, may we remind you of the cases of Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman? The Pentagon is merely a top-notch p.r. outfit, one that no doubt makes the best-of-the-best Madison Avenue firms green with envy.
So why wouldn't the four-star, CIA chief spook — the big dog, numero uno, top of the heap, head honcho, king of the hill — think he couldn't get away with a little screw-my-biographer without being taken to task?
Mad Men, indeed. Maybe Jon Hamm can play you in the inevitable made-for-TV movie, General Petraeus.
A MEMORABLE EVENING AT RICPA
With Phillipe away in the Sunshine State, Jorge sashayed over to the Rhode Island Center for the Performing Arts (the former Park Theatre) in Cranston for an evening of music with Dr. John and the Blind Boys of Alabama, playing the last stop of their tour. These legendary pros put on a show that was one of the most memorable Jorge has ever seen (and Jorge's seen a lot in the past 50 years).
J. was accompanied by Doug James, saxophone player with Duke Robillard's and Jimmie Vaughn's bands and an old friend of Mac Rebbenack (Dr. John). Jorge met Mac about 30 years ago through a mutual friend, the late songwriter Doc Pomus ("Save the Last Dance For Me," "Viva Las Vegas," and too many more to mention). Before the show, J. ran into Mac on the stairway backstage and the pair had a nice chat about Doc.
Dr. John opened the show with his new band, the Lower 911, and he was spectacular. There was a seamless transition into a set by the Blind Boys of Alabama, one of the premier gospel groups on the planet. With Mac and the Lower 911 in a support role, the Blind Boys did a typically rousing set, opening with the Curtis Mayfield chestnut "People Get Ready." They also did an interesting version of "Amazing Grace" to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun."
Jimmy Carter, patriarch of the Blind Boys, was simply amazing: waving his microphone at the audience, shouting out call-and-response verses, and finally "walking the room" around the lower level of the hall.
Jorge urges all of you to support the shows at the Rhode Island Center for the Performing Arts. It's a first-class facility with an eclectic performance schedule. Yet another Rhode Island treasure that needs to put butts in the seats to keep it going.