So is current and previous praise. John McCain once called him "one of (our) greatest generals." His judgment leaves much to be desired.
He's not the best and brightest on Capitol Hill. He once admitted to graduating near the bottom of his Naval Academy class.
White House and media spin praised Petraeus' performance as Iraq commander and CENTCOM head. It was falsified hype. Performance contradicted facts. Iraq was more disaster than success. His Afghanistan surge failed. Syria on his CIA watch didn't fare better.
Before he fell from grace, he was called aggressive in nature, an innovative thinker on counterinsurgency warfare, a talisman, a white knight, a do-or-die competitive legend, and a man able to turn defeat into victory.
In 2008, James Petras described him well in an article titled "General Petraeus: Zionism's Military Poodle. From Surge to Purge to Dirge."
He explained what spin doctors concealed. He quoted Petraeus' former commander, Admiral William Fallon, calling him "a piece of brown-nosing chicken sh*t." Petras added:
"In theory and strategy, in pursuit of defeating the Iraqi resistance, General Petraeus was a disastrous failure, an outcome predictable form the very nature of his appointment and his flawed wartime reputation."
The generalissimo is more myth than man. He shamelessly supported Israel "in northern Iraq and the Bush 'Know Nothings' in charge of Iraq and Iran policy planning."
Petraeus had few competitors to head CENTCOM. It was because other candidates wouldn't stoop as low as he did. He shamelessly flacked for Israel and supported Bush administration belligerence.
Petras criticized his "slavish adherence to....confrontation with Iran. Blaming Iran for his failed military policies served a double purpose - it covered up his incompetence and it secured the support of" uberhawk Senator Joe Lieberman.
Doing so also served his unstated presidential ambitions. He climbed the ladder of success by being super-hawkish, brown-nosing the right superiors, lying to Congress, surviving the scorn of some peers, hiding his failures, hyping a fake Iranian threat, supporting Israel, unjustifiably claiming Iraq success, and boasting how he'd do it throughout the region.
In other words, he hoped to rise to the top by manufacturing successes and concealing failures. Manipulated media hype made a hero out of what Petras called "a disastrous failure" with a record to prove it.
Petraeus benefitted from supporting Bush imperial ambitions and Israel's regional agenda. At one time, the Israeli Lobby loved him. Perhaps no longer after March 2010. In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, he said:
"The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the AOR (Area of Operations)."
"Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of US favoritism for Israel."