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Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in the Middle East, comes to BYU

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  • PD Laws
    March 28, 2010 7:01 p.m.

    I'm glad the General chose to speak @ BYU. That his visit has caused so much contentious bickering (in the comments) is regrettable. Latter-Day Saints have always (and continue) served faithfully in the armed services. As an Air Force vet with 20 years of faithful service whose father and grandfather both served in the Army I am proud of the tradition of military service in my family. So hoo-aah, hoo-rah, Airborne, and AIM HIGH General. I for one support you in the extremely difficult job you have before you!

  • Jimmyfrom LA
    March 27, 2010 1:56 p.m.

    It's been my observation that the professional military hate war more than other segment of society. Primarily because they have seen firsthand and upclose the high cost of war. God bless the General in his endeavors on behalf of our nation.

  • Duh
    March 26, 2010 10:06 p.m.

    I am a Soldier. It was General McArthur who stated: "The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war". For those who think we love to fight wars, get a life. You have never fought one nor do you even understand its reasoning. Don't make comments on subjects of which you have no concept.

  • Anonymous
    March 26, 2010 9:41 p.m.

    Ignorance is bliss. Too many clueless individuals who think that freedom just dropped into their lap and that they have to do nothing to continue it. Any individual who thinks that the U.S. should not have been involved in World War II has absolutely no brain nor understanding of what would have happened had we not done so. Go ahead and ask all the Jewish people what they think about that!

  • John Pack Lambert
    March 26, 2010 8:26 p.m.

    To Crusty,
    You think we should not have entered World War II? That is the war Eisenhower was a genera in.
    What should we have done. Said "Oh, the Japanese just killed a bunch of our soldiers, but we will not do anything"?
    My question is, what is wrong with tribalism? Should our goal be to preserve the nation-state of Iraq or to set up stable and logical governments in the Middle East? If it is the later, than maybe we should let Iraq seperate into multiple nations.

  • inverted pyramid
    March 26, 2010 8:01 a.m.

    What happened to the most important information being at the top of the story? Nice that BYU is having the General, great reading about him, but reading online you didn't know until page six whether he was still coming and when, of if this was a wrap on his visit.

  • Re: Recruiting @ 12:28
    March 25, 2010 2:41 p.m.

    You must just like to make stuff up. Not including the military academies, the BYU ROTC program is the largest Army ROTC in the nation. Hardly supports your claim.

    You clearly do not know the teachings of the LDS church om military service.

    As an officer and Marine veteran of Vietnam, I can tell you that the thought of going to war is abhorrent. I have learned first-hand what war entails. However--I also appreciate most acutely the words of Thomas Paine (look him up if you don't know the name) when he said "Those who would reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it". Or, as quoted by David O. McKay, "We love peace, but not peace at any price. There is a peace more destructive of the manhood of living man, than war is destructive to his body. Chains are worse than bayonets.”

    My sense is that you know nothing of freedom, or what it takes to ensure it.

  • Earl
    March 25, 2010 2:34 p.m.

    Apparently, if you don't fall all over yourself gushing for the general, your comments are subject to being trash-canned. Oh well, no opinions will be changed either way, I'm sure.

  • Cats
    March 25, 2010 2:33 p.m.

    To BYU Class of 69: You're entitled to your own opinons, but you're not entitled to your own facts.

    The Bush Administration NEVER at ANY TIME made the claim that Iraq or Saddam Hussein had ANYTHING to do with 9/11. They NEVER made that claim. Many people misunderstand this. The only claim they made was that Iraq was a hotbead of terrorists (which it was) and that there were weapons of mass destruction.

    The WMD considerations were based on the best available intelligence of the CIA, British Intelligence, Russian Intelligence and Egyptian Intelligence. They all believed Iraq had WMD and Saddam did nothing to disabuse them of this idea.

    In addition, an assassination attempt on a U. S. President is an ACT OF WAR. That alone provided ample justification for the invasion along with the fact that Saddam had violated many provisions of the cease-fire agreement and UN resolutions.

    People need to get up to speed on the facts.

  • @ Crusty 9:25
    March 25, 2010 12:59 p.m.

    You have the right to exercise your free speech. We ask you not to use it. Each statement you make paints an even less appealing picture of your intellect.

    @Recruiting 12:28- Stop while you're behind. There are a lot of Mormons who serve in the military. You are so cluless. I am one of them; a proud and current member and veteran who despises war, but understands that there are forces so diabolically opposed to freedom and protection of basic human rights; who's only exestince is to terrorize good people, that they must be stopped. Sometimes this means sending them to meet their god. It's ugly, it's sad, but it's also self preservation of our society that is at stake.
    Talk to most any military member and they will tell you just how bad war is. It would be great to sit down and sing and eat with these evil forces, but until the good Lord reigns again, we will be at war with these people. Obviously, you have never worn a uniform of the armed forces; you sit naked behind your freedom of speech and computer and spew ignorance.

  • Anonymous
    March 25, 2010 12:44 p.m.

    Keep up the good work general.

    Bring an end to dont ask dont tell.

  • Recruiting
    March 25, 2010 12:28 p.m.

    He must be recruiting for the Army in a place that is one of the most conservative universities in the nation. He must think that this will translate into patriotism. Little does he know that Mormons do not provide much military recruits and are patriotic only in their words, yet their actions are from from qualifying for patriotism. Stop the war-mongering.

  • Anonymous
    March 25, 2010 12:28 p.m.

    "BYU would have done better to invite a courageous human rights activist or a labor rights activist to speak." Most military commanders were against Bush's use of torture. It was General Petraeus who rained in the 101 st and made winning over the Iraqis their mission and not just killing them into submission. The current rules of engagement in Afghanistan were our soldiers can't fire unless they see someone shooting at them is an extension of General Petraeus' leadership.

  • Earl
    March 25, 2010 12:12 p.m.

    Well, it's worse than I thought. My comments keep getting "lost." I can't imagine there was anything offensive about seconding the comment from Crusty regarding his 11:19 AM comment. He was right on, just like General Smedley Butler was after World War I. War truly is a racket. There now, is that so controversial?

  • Re: Crusty
    March 25, 2010 12:06 p.m.

    LOL. You crack me up, brotha. Oooh. The mud of VN, eh? I, too, have served in Vietnam. What particular moral standing or "clue" does that give you, anyway?

    So tell me--who did you serve with, and in what campaigns? Who was your CO?

  • Earl
    March 25, 2010 11:55 a.m.

    Hey, what happened to my earlier comment? Can't a person refer to Dick Cheney without being gonged? Seriously. Who's running the paper these days?

  • Mike
    March 25, 2010 11:32 a.m.

    First Jim Lovell and then General Petraeus. What a great week at BYU.

    I went to hear Lovell speak on Tuesday and I'm going tonight to hear the General.

    Lovell is one of my all time heroes. Petraeus may turn into one.

    I'm in Nirvanna this week with two men of such stature.

  • FSM
    March 25, 2010 11:23 a.m.

    He is a great man. He came out AGAINST dont ask dont tell. Did this article mention that and I somehow missed it?

  • Cindy
    March 25, 2010 11:22 a.m.

    It is my understanding that some of the WMD's were quickly shipped to Syria.

    General Petreaus has a record that stands on its own, whether we approve of him or not.

  • Crusty
    March 25, 2010 11:19 a.m.

    @ the truth
    After TWO tours in the mud in Viet Nam I believe I have a clue. That was a political action like every war is a political action. Lie to the troops, tell them they are great and let them go die for some politicians trumped up cause.

    Go buy your own clue and then tell me what you have found.

  • Re: MVP
    March 25, 2010 11:17 a.m.

    MVP, you need to get some perspective. If you dont believe in the uniformed Service and what they do for your rights, I suggest you move to Afghanistan and fight with the terrorists.

    It is the soldier, not the reporter,
    who has given us freedom of the press.

    It is the soldier, not the poet,
    who has given us freedom of speech.

    It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
    who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

    It is the soldier,
    who salutes the flag,
    who serves beneath the flag,
    and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
    who allows the protester to burn the flag.

  • Phyllis Hughes
    March 25, 2010 11:15 a.m.

    I am comforted in knowing that someone such as Gen Petraeus is in his position of leadership at this time. I have two grandchildren in Iraq at this time, and one nephew. Other family members have completed their service and are proud to have been a part of this campaign. I only wish I could hear the General in person but will be very happy to read his words in Maridian when it comes out. Thank-you General Petraeus, my prayers are with you and your continued success.

  • Voice of Reason
    March 25, 2010 11:13 a.m.

    We seem to have short memories encrusted with irrational bitterness, bordering on hatred.

    When will the Deseret News do something to encourage civility and serious reflection on these message boards?

    Someone must raise the level of public discourse in the USA.

    Why not start here?

  • Earl
    March 25, 2010 11:07 a.m.

    Correction: President Kimball said we are a "warlike people," not war-loving.

  • Evets
    March 25, 2010 11:05 a.m.

    The first page of the article makes it sound like having a PhD is unusual for a General. Really it is not. Maybe having one from Princeton is but many Generals and even Colonels have PhDs from very good schools. You don't get ahead in the military unless you keep up your education.
    Now in addition to the civilian PhD General Petraeus would of graduated from a War College which is the equivalent of a PhD in Military Science. Before one is chosen to be a General one has to be a graduate of a War College.
    What many don't realize is that our career military is generally better educated than their civilian counterparts. Officers especially must have their civilian graduate education as well as their military graduate education to be promoted and retained.
    After serving 29 years in the military I was working in senior management in SLC. One of my employees asked me "Why are all you retired military officers such good managers?" I answered it probably has something to do with the fact that we spend about half our career in school learning management and leadership.

  • "Not welcome everywhere"
    March 25, 2010 10:33 a.m.

    "The General got a warm welcome at BYU. How many other college campuses would that happen in America? Liberals don't like military heroes because the military is the only obstacle left in their way of total domination of all thinking, acting and living the way THEY force the rest of us to do. God bless our troops and God Bless General Petraeus.
    To Anonymous: have you ever heard of Al Qaida? Yes those guys we fought and defeated in Iraq. Yeah, those guys who flew those planes into our buildings on 9/11? Wise up!"

    I am assuming you are LDS. However you dont live your life by the scriptors do you? (Based on your comment)

  • ECR
    March 25, 2010 10:30 a.m.

    Crusty and the rest of you cave dwellers who want to discredit a noble citizen you know nothing about, let me say that I'm so liberal I'm left handed. But that hasn't diminished my capacity to recognize an incredible person and outstanding leader of our nations armed forces. And if you ever got to know one of these folks (which by your comments I seriously doubt you have) you would know that the best and brightest in the armed forces are NOT warmongers and most of them abhor war and all of it's causes. They have been to the front lines and seen the death and distruction. But they still stand up and offer their lives for the rest of us. General Petraeus doesn't want to be a politician but I know from listening to him speak that he has a better understanding of what we all need, both here and abroad, than any politician ever has. If you can't accept his magnificant service then why don't you just use Mom's rule - If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. The General deserves at least that.

  • re: BYU Class of 69 | 3:28 a.m.
    March 25, 2010 9:28 a.m.

    "Salvaged a failed attempt to find weapons of mass destruction."

    I hate to be the one who breaks the news to you but there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq immediately before we invaded!

    I know it may sound shocking to some of you but yes that statement is true. Contrary to what you have heard from certain political comentators.
    ------

    You know who was TRULY shocked that no WMD's were found?

    -- The U.N., inspectors who were still trying to find the weapons Saddam was obligated to surrender by treaty, but whom had been blocked in every attempt to inspect.
    -- 60 Minutes, who SHOWED ON TV dismantled plants that were capable of producing bio-weapons, but had NOT been used to produce any medical products.
    -- The Kurds, upon whom Saddam used bio-weapons of mass destruction.
    -- Khadafi, who surrendered Libya's nuclear weapons program 5 minutes after the U.S. invaded Iraq

    Find five people to play hide-and-go-seek. Tell them you will give them $10 million if you can't find them within three days, then count to a million. Then pay out $50 million.

  • Crusty
    March 25, 2010 9:25 a.m.

    Goerge Washington-slaveholder. Wouldn't have trusted him.
    John Kennedy-Meneber of rich ruling clan. didn't trust him.
    Dwight Eisenhower-general in a war that we should never have entered. No trust.
    Harry Truman-basically a nobody who stole his election, just like Bush, who was a backwoods moron and one of the biggest warmongers.

  • Not welcome everywhere
    March 25, 2010 9:17 a.m.

    The General got a warm welcome at BYU. How many other college campuses would that happen in America? Liberals don't like military heroes because the military is the only obstacle left in their way of total domination of all thinking, acting and living the way THEY force the rest of us to do. God bless our troops and God Bless General Petraeus.
    To Anonymous: have you ever heard of Al Qaida? Yes those guys we fought and defeated in Iraq. Yeah, those guys who flew those planes into our buildings on 9/11? Wise up!

  • Vlade
    March 25, 2010 8:57 a.m.

    MVP,
    Yeah, maybe BYU should have a courageous PETA activist visit! You are obviously lost. Get a clue.

  • @ "MVP | 10:18 p.m."
    March 25, 2010 8:47 a.m.

    You said... "BYU would have done better to invite a courageous human rights activist or a labor rights activist to speak. A person that would be worth hearing".



    My response...
    -Do you think Gen Petreaus is the only speaker they will have speak at BYU this year?

    -If you want a courageous human rights activist... How about Thomas S. Monson? He and MANY others with a message of peace and love will speak at BYU this year too.

    IF you're not OK with that...

    -James Lovell (Former NASA Astronaut and Apollo 13 Commander) spoke at BYU Tuesday Mar 23rd.

    Tom Sederburg (Associate Dean of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Professor of Computer Science) is scheduled to speak there this spring.

    Greg Mortenson spoke on "Fighting for Peace through Eduction" October 27th.


    -Do you believe in DIVERSITY? So why NOT have speakers that may represent MANY sides? And not just yours? Why NOT invite a widely respected person like Petreus... just because he is associated with the Military???


    Hmmm?

  • A Nonny Mousse
    March 25, 2010 8:43 a.m.

    I served in the Canadian Army for a few years a long time ago as a very junior officer. It was not that long after WWII and Korea.

    Petraeus appears to be a good general and a good man. Operating under the constraints that he has and is faced with must have been difficult.

    For some reason, after WWII the idea of total victory and unconditional surreder seems to have died. It is probably a good thing that I cut that part of my life short, as I didn't fit in today's world.

    It still seems to me that if a lot of a countries young men are going to die, that some-sort of victory is essential.

  • Re: Crusty
    March 25, 2010 8:37 a.m.

    Yeah. Like George Washington. John F. Kennedy. Dwight Eisenhower. Harry Truman. The list is fairly long. And distinguished.

    And how is he a warmonger? Last I checked, all he is doing (and ever did) is carrying out the orders of the civilians placed in charge of the military--like Commander-in-chief Obama. Soldiers don't set policy. In fact, the use of the military is usually the last result of failed politics.

    So, Crusty--you can be ignorant, or you can be arrogant. Try not to be both at once.

  • To "Confused. | 8:56 p.m."
    March 25, 2010 8:16 a.m.

    You really are confused!

    Maybe it's because you are dealing in total hypotheticals and IMAGINED or preconcieved slights instead of reality.

    You say the DMN wouldn't write an advance article if Harry Reid, Stupak, Coburn, ect, came to give a speach at BYU.

    Well none of these people have come to Utah to give a speach. So HOW DO YOU KNOW the DMN wouldn't write about it? And what does somthing that NEVER HAPPENED... have to do with reality?

    Maybe that's why you're so confused.



    Come to think about it... Harry Reid DID come to speak at BYU last year, and the DMN DID print artcles about it. So your presumption is proven false by the facts of what actually happened when one of your Heros came to speak at BYU. The DMN covered it... just like Patreaus' speach.

    Wow! Maybe life isn't so confusing afterall!

  • Crusty
    March 25, 2010 8:09 a.m.

    MVP is right. Not only is this man a warmonger but he is also as dishonset as the day is long. You CANTNOT trust military officers! They make horrible politicians.

  • Remember "Patreaus Betrayus"?
    March 25, 2010 8:01 a.m.

    Remember, "Patreaus Betrayus"... The headline and marching cry of the Liberal Media, when Gen Patreaus was being considered for this position?

    They had judged him and condemned him before they even knew ANYTHING about him! Mainly because he was a President BUSH nominee... Eeeeuuw!



    And NOW the Left preaches that EVERYONE should support their guy and anything he proposes? and never let a question or criticism cross their lips...

    Remember all the bloggers here who would loudly proclaim that, "Bush is NOT MY President"... (Rocky Anderson and his followers among them). But now the SAME PEOPLE want everybody to accept Obama as their President?

    I don't think it works that way. With the, "We'll do our own thing for 8 years and try everything we can to tear the President down and block whatever he's doing and tie him and his administration up in endless investigations and non-binding resolutions and various other partisan political games... But NOW... Everybody fall in line and worship the President? I don't think so.

  • Modern truth
    March 25, 2010 7:45 a.m.

    For those of you belly aching at why the general is here and not in Iraq, he is a high commander. He has tons of capable commanders under him who are doing the day to day stuff. At his level of authority, part of their job is diplomatic/public relations and not just pure military strategists.

    The military AND public service sector could use more exemplary men like him. He is experienced, doesn't smoke and surrounds himself with smart people of differing opinions. He is a soldier from top to bottom and a great visionary leader. If he can get down with the basic private with pushups in the Army and still out duel the democratic scum/media which vilified him last year, he is obviously in a different sphere.

    Can you think of a politician who could do the same? I can't.....

  • kge
    March 25, 2010 7:26 a.m.

    Veteran perspective - Gen Petraeus doctrine of how to engage the people in Iraq has saved more lives on both sides and he is the only General that has turned the will of the people in a positive sense toward US policy. His command is based out of Orlando,FL; most of his schedule requires him to engage policy makers at all levels throughout the Middle East and Asian theater. My opinion having seen a CICNCCENTCOM in acton is that he is second in importance to those in the Middle East to only the President or maybe the Sec of State. Why?, because he's our envoy for most all events that occur in that region and is there all the time when he's not briefing President or Congress. This is the top General of his generation -- BYU is very fortunate to have him address them.

  • stupid title
    March 25, 2010 7:02 a.m.

    Is this a biography of Petraeus or an article of him visiting BYU. I wanted to know why he is coming to BYU in the middle of a war. I got bored of the article before I found my answer.

  • to MVP
    March 25, 2010 5:31 a.m.

    Wow, an interesting statement. Petraeus is all about building peace and nations. Somtimes bad guys have to be attaked and killed in the cause of a greater good. Although things are not perfect in Iraq, The people there are better off after the Warmongers got rid of their Dictator and started them on the road to real freedom.

    It looks to me like BYU did invite a human rights activist -- one that has in fact offered to surrender his life if needed to defend those human rights.

    If you love your freedom, thank a soldier, if you don't know one, start with Gen Petraeus.

  • ECR
    March 25, 2010 5:30 a.m.

    I saw a filmed interview with Petraeus in a leadership class at Harvard and then we got to compare his attitudes and actions to those of Paul Bremer, who was supposed to be rebuilding the country. Petraeus' understanding of priorities and how to get the Iraqi people on our side was totally opposite of the bungling approach of Bremer. It was enlightening to me to understand how much better our military leaders understand human nature than so-called diplomats - at least some of them. Petraeus is amazing.

  • justwonderin
    March 25, 2010 4:40 a.m.

    How come the troops are not allowed to just come home, roam the countryside and share their wisdom? Thought a Commander was there to COMMAND ? I guess I was wrong.

  • BYU Class of 69
    March 25, 2010 3:28 a.m.

    "Salvaged a failed attempt to find weapons of mass destruction."

    I hate to be the one who breaks the news to you but there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq immediately before we invaded!

    I know it may sound shocking to some of you but yes that statement is true. Contrary to what you have heard from certain political comentators.

    Also one more thing Iraq had nothing to due with 9/11 contrary to what Karl Rove and the Bush administration would have you believe.

    The unfortunate incidents of 9/11 were conviently used to drum up support for the invasion.

  • Leo
    March 24, 2010 11:19 p.m.

    Bush is the one who was in office when Petraeus was assigned to lead in Iraq. So one of his bosses at least was a good man (although I will admit, not really an amazing President). His current boss... well, one of the only good things I can say about Obama is that he hasn't been dumb enough to stop having Petraeus be one of the top leaders in our Military.

  • JL
    March 24, 2010 11:11 p.m.

    MVP - you make me sick with your human rights activist junk ! the only thing human rights people want to do is jam things down our throats and we all then have to accept it because otherwise we are a hateful people, if we had less human rights activists and more of Patreaus' we would not be in this mess !
    people like you need to wake up before it is too late.... or maybe not, that is the current agenda at the white house at the moment.

  • Anonymous
    March 24, 2010 10:26 p.m.

    How far do you have to read before you get to his visit to BYU?

  • MVP
    March 24, 2010 10:18 p.m.

    Why do we honor the warmongers? BYU would have done better to invite a courageous human rights activist or a labor rights activist to speak. A person like that would be worth hearing.

  • Dumb
    March 24, 2010 9:40 p.m.

    How many ways can you say Stupid?? It doesn't matter how many words you use to declare a law like Obamacare stupid. Disregarding the will of the majority of the people in this country is nothing but Dumb!!!! We the people rule this coountry. This is not a dictatorship of the Congress and the President.

  • Back down, there Confused.
    March 24, 2010 9:38 p.m.

    Yes, it was long, probably too long a profile, but seemed a thorough examination of a complex man with complex issues in this complex world. Can't help it if he picks the reddest county in the reddest state in the land to come speak to the cadets.

  • What in tucket?
    March 24, 2010 9:07 p.m.

    Is this man our next president?

  • Nice!
    March 24, 2010 8:58 p.m.

    I will for sure be there! Go USandA!

  • Confused.
    March 24, 2010 8:56 p.m.

    Deseret News, you wrote 2,400 words on an advance article of Gen. Petraeus' visit to BYU tomorrow. Why? This seems rather audacious fawning. Or maybe it's just to sate your ego? Regardless, I believe you could have said what you did in maybe 500 words. Being published online is great, and I get the "unabridged" methodology. Still, you needed to write 6 screens worth of web copy to get this news out? What's on tap for tomorrow's event? A whole section dedicated to the General? What he had for breakfast? Where in Provo he buttoned up his prepared speech? If you want to cover national news locally, that's great, but you missed a golden opportunity with the healthcare coverage this week. Your coverage was, well, weak. Or maybe you would have written 2,000 words if Sen. Harry Reid, Rep. Bart Stupak, Sen. Tom Coburn or other key players were also making a stop in Utah Valley? Sorry, weak. I call them as I see them.

  • Utah Citizen
    March 24, 2010 8:30 p.m.

    Thank goodness for such good men as general Patraeus and the equally good man like him that we have in the White House. The hand of providence is with the Leader of this great republic!

  • AIRBORNE . SIR !!!!
    March 24, 2010 8:16 p.m.

    It's very nice and wonderful to read an article about the commander of the famous 101st Airborne Division had been invited to speak at BYU. Very Nice of you, General Petraeus, and thanks for coming to Utah, Airborne, Sir!!! Bless You and the rest of Troops. Viet Nam Screaming Eeagle.

  • This man is great and so is
    March 24, 2010 7:45 p.m.

    his boss.


  • Anonymous
    March 24, 2010 7:41 p.m.

    What an inspiration to all of us.
    Thank you for your service sir.

  • Utah Marine
    March 24, 2010 7:33 p.m.

    A great man that is truly worthy of our respect.

    Thank You.

  • Anonymous
    March 24, 2010 7:00 p.m.

    This is one good man. I thank you sir for your service to our county. We could sure use a man like this in the White House.

  • awesomeron
    March 24, 2010 6:43 p.m.

    I Love This Man!!!

    Thank you Sir for your Service.