Saturday, April 10, 2010

Featured Article - No Consent

Featured Article - No Consent
JB Williams is a business man, a husband, a father, and a writer. A
no nonsense commentator on American politics, American history,
and American philosophy. He is published nationwide and in many
countries around the world.

"Without the Consent of the Governed
By JB Williams

Obama’s Unconstitutional Health Care Treachery is just the beginning of a dark and sinister age in American history. Now that Obama & Co. have found the legislative mechanisms to subvert the Law of the Land on the federal health care grab, they intend to rush forward with the passage of “financial reform”—“energy reform”—and “Immigration reform”—none of which are any type of “reform.”

All of these measures are massive federal power and resource grabs, moving the vast resources of the United States from private sector control to public sector control. It is called socialism, by way of democratic process.

All of it will be done over the next few months without the consent of the governed, before the November election when leftists expect to lose their fifteen minutes of power in the voting booth. They plan to advance their anti-American agenda no matter how many stand opposed, and in such a manner that it can never be reversed.

As I pointed out very clearly in my most recent column, for any federal law to be “constitutional,” it must meet this minimum standard…

1. It must be within the limited federal powers enumerated in the Constitution.
2. It must enjoy the support of the vast majority of “the governed,” from which all federal powers are derived.
3. It must not infringe upon the unalienable individual rights of any citizen.
4. It must not infringe upon the rights of any state, protected by the Tenth Amendment.
5. It must become law by way of legal legitimate legislative process.

Obama’s Health Care treachery violates all five of these standards and as a result, it cannot be allowed to stand. They are just getting started. This is about much more than health care, yet health care is where the people must put a stop to all of it.

How the rest of the world runs is of no consequence to Americans. In the United States of America, “the people” are the government, and our federal government derives every ounce of its power strictly from the “consent of the governed.” Our elected officials are not Kings - they are “servants.”

Implied Consent in the Election
Leftists claim, while they are in power of course, but not when they are not in power— that winning an election “implies full consent” from the people and authorizes anything the newly elected want to do on the basis of the election results alone.

This is false, and even leftists know it when it is not leftists in charge. In the Unites States, even the majority does not have the authority to run roughshod over the minority, even when that minority is a single individual. So the notion that any minority has the authority to run roughshod over a vast majority is blatantly false.

Unlike any other nation on earth, the United States of America is a “representative republic,” which is to say that our elected officials must at all times “represent” the “will of the people.” Not the will of any minority, but the will of all Americans, defined by a “majority” of legal U.S. citizens.

Further, our representative republic is limited in scope and power, to the enumerated powers granted the federal government via the U.S. Constitution. Then federal powers are even further limited by certain “unalienable individual rights”—further defined in the Bill of Rights.

As noted above in the five minimum standards, our federal government derives all of its power from the consent of the governed—all elected officials have taken an oath to uphold and defend these principles as their first obligation of office—and they are further prohibited from acting at odds with “the governed” by way of “unalienable individual rights” and extended specific limits found in the Bill of Rights.

Winning an election in no way releases any elected official from their oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, or represent the will of the governed. Leftists scream this loudly when they are not in power.

Thomas Jefferson explained why we do NOT have a “democracy”—“A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”

Karl Marx explained why this is a problem—“Democracy is the road to socialism…”

Obama & Co. answer only to their powerbase, which is found in the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Congressional Black Caucus, both of which are taking orders from their parent organization, the Democratic Socialists of America.

Today’s Democratic Party is not “like socialism,” it is “democratic socialism.”

As even USA Today was forced to report, candidate Obama campaigned on his health care overhaul with a price tag of only $50-$65 billion. President Obama signed a health care seizure bill estimated to cost more than ten times that amount, at $938 billion.

Politicians lie on the campaign trail. They promise what they think the people will buy, and then act differently once elected. This is why all politicians are limited in power to the “consent of the governed.” Winning an election does not make one King in America.

A Velvet Revolution
We the people—town hall—912 and Tea Party folks all over the country are involved in a “velvet revolution” in defense of individual freedom and liberty. A peaceful resistance against the rushing tide of anti-American Marxist principles, values and policies oozing out of the White House, Pelosi and Reid.

The left is working around the clock to paint every resister a “domestic terrorist” despite the well-known fact that it is demonstrators on the left, ACORN, SEIU and Teamsters who have a long history of violence.

It’s the leftist green movement and even the leftist anti-war movement which has again and again resorted to violence to get their message across.

Last September, more than a million American patriots showed up for the 9/12 March in DC and there was not one arrest, not one broken window, not one reported act of violence, no burning streets, and, in fact, not even any garbage left behind.

In contrast, when Obama’s inaugural event ended, it looked like Woodstock had just left town, with piles of garbage in the wake. When a handful of Berkeley students heard that their college “entitlements” might be reduced in this tough economy, the streets of Berkeley burned once again.

To be certain, if the left keeps pushing for a fight with the pro-freedom American right, one day they are likely to get a fight for which they are ill prepared. But few Americans seek violent revolution, preferring the constitutional tools put in place to make protecting freedom and liberty a peaceful process in this country.

Without Consent
There are two sides to every fight and despite modern leftist psychobabble on the matter—there is a significant difference between the attacker and the victim.

Whether foreign enemy or domestic enemy - when people attack the Unites States of America at the core, at its foundation - they are the aggressor - the agitator - the provocateur. It short, they caused the fight to happen and they are responsible for whatever consequences follow…

They cannot pick a fight and then legitimately accuse their victims of “violence” in response. Every individual has an unalienable right to self-defense, and every American has both a right and a responsibility to the defense of the nation and all that it stands for…

What Obama & Co. are doing today, they are doing without the consent of the people, which is to say, beyond the scope of power given them in the U.S. Constitution. That is a silent means of picking a fight with the pro-liberty right.

What we see today is that Americans are VERY tolerant people. They tolerate a whole laundry list of anti-American nonsense that they cannot really afford to tolerate. But because they are a peaceful and optimistic bunch by nature, they persist in the search for peaceful solutions and resist the urge to resort to violence.

They can be provoked to violence, however… and I don’t recommend it.

Calling them names won’t do it - the left has been calling them names for decades now. Disagreeing with their views won’t do it either.

But keep attacking their freedom and liberty in a heavy-handed manner, shoving them into an economic corner and making them believe that there is no peaceful solution to the daily assault on everything they believe in, and you just might get them fighting mad sooner or later.

If the people of this country become convinced that their elected “servants” are going to destroy their nation and their children’s future no matter how many citizens stand opposed peacefully, they very well could resort to non-peaceful action to save the things they care about most.

If any elected politician or political party thinks that they are more important than the US citizen they are sworn to serve, they are sadly mistaken.

If you won’t listen to the American majority, and can’t be reigned in or replaced by peaceful processes, then what comes next won’t make anyone happy.

This isn’t Europe or North Korea. This is the Unites States of America and this country belongs to the governed, not the elected servant.

Elected officials come and go.

Thomas Jefferson said it best—“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

America is the beacon of freedom and liberty all over the world. If America is not free, no place on earth will be free. So tread carefully in Washington DC.

The American people will not live in fear of their government for long. It’s not in our DNA. Am I “inciting” violence?”—I work around the clock to promote peaceful solutions.

But I have no hesitation in predicting violence. Violence is what happens when all peaceful solutions for conflict have been eliminated.

No matter one’s political ideology, if your agenda does not enjoy the consent of the majority of citizens, don’t do it. You are picking a fight you don’t want…"

Friday, April 9, 2010

Radical Extremism - What's That?

Obama denies the existence of "radical extremism" by deleting all references to it in government documents. Yeah, that will make them go away - you IDIOT! America, we are being led by a rank amateur when it comes to foreign policy. Obama says if there is a biological, chemical, or cyber attack against the United States, if is's a country part of the Non-proliferation Treaty, America will NOT use nuclear weapons against them.

Sarah Palin says "It's unbelievable, unbelievable. No administration in America's history would, I think, ever have considered such a step that we just found out that President Obama is supporting today. Ya know that's like gettin' out there on the playground with a bunch of kids ready to fight and one of the kids saying go ahead punch me in the face, I'm not going to retaliate, you can do whatever you want to me."

We get it, but our fearless "leader" (and we use that word loosely) does NOT GET IT. He believes we can talk our way out of a terrorist war against America. We have elected a fool for our leader. Obama refuses to realize that radical extremists exist. We will pay dearly for this mistake.

Newt Gingrich says that Obama is the "most radical President ever." Too bad for us as he destroys America, piece by piece.

America is in grave danger with these policies. We have a weaker National Security because of Obama and no one else. What will it take before he shows ANY strength? A nuclear or biological attack?

Action To Take
Pray that this IDIOT does not compromise our lives for his stupidity.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

We Need a VAT Tax?

Why is it that the Obama regime is busily floating a trial balloon to raise our taxes here in America with a Value Added Tax (VAT) or as it's otherwise known as a National Sales Tax? If that balloon flies without any opposition, Obama will JAM THAT NEW TAX DOWN OUR THROATS to help pay for his record spending fiascos.

We Don't Need New Taxes
Are you aware that 47% of Americans do NOT pay ANY Federal taxes at all? That's right – 47% pay NO Taxes. Why is this? Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability. That's according to projections by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research organization. A family of four making as much as $50,000 will owe no federal income tax for 2009, as long as there are two children younger than 17. This results in a tax system that exempts almost half the country from paying for programs that benefit everyone, including national defense, public safety, infrastructure and education.

So the remaining 53% of American are footing the bills for Obama's spending spree! Gee, that sounds like re-distribution of wealth doesn't it? Earning $51,000 or more? You are taxed! You're not earning the $250,000 that Obama was talking about. Why can't everyone pay their fair share of taxes? Share the wealth! Spread the responsibility among ALL Americans. Wouldn't that be Social Justice instead of punishing 53% of the country? Or how about a FLAT TAX that everyone pays – say, 12% maximum. Word the law so that it can NEVER be raised. Everyone pays, no deductions, no write-offs, no BS!

What Do We Really Need?
We need to cut spending – not raise more taxes. Cut spending where? Wherever a government program has failed and continues to fail. Consider AMTRAK. That boondoggle has been draining money ever since the government took over. Dump it. Get rid of the Post Office too. Same reason. UPS and FedEx will do it just fine – maybe ever faster. Also consider cutting spending on government departments that are unreasonably growing and regulating small businesses and the general population. Example: The EPA. They want to regulate carbon dioxide. Fine. Stop funding the EPA and shut them down! No more regulations against carbon dioxide (used by plants and NOT poison like they say it is).

The Obvious Cuts
Nationalized government healthcare should be unfunded. That will save us at least $1 Trillion dollars. Do NOT fund ObamaCare because we cannot afford it. Are you aware that in the last year Congress raised their respective salaries? Why not cut Congressional salaries down to say a maximum of $75,000? We could save billions right there. While we're at it, we should CUT or eliminate all Congressional lifetime pensions. Right now they serve one term and then can draw full salary $175,000 for life. That's just not right.

Action To Take
Is the current system fair? Elect a candidate in the mid-term elections that will adhere to these cuts. Accept no one who will not. Tell your friends and neighbors that this should be their goal as well.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Follow Up - - FCC Regulations are Illegal!

FCC loses key ruling on Internet `neutrality'
By JOELLE TESSLER - AP Technology Writer

A federal court threw the future of Internet regulations into doubt Tuesday with a far-reaching decision that went against the Federal Communications Commission and could even hamper the government's plans to expand broadband access in the United States.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC lacks authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks. That was a big victory for Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable company, which had challenged the FCC's authority to impose such "network neutrality" obligations on broadband providers.

Supporters of network neutrality, including the FCC chairman, have argued that the policy is necessary to prevent broadband providers from favoring or discriminating against certain Web sites and online services, such as Internet phone programs or software that runs in a Web browser. Advocates contend there is precedent:

Nondiscrimination rules have traditionally applied to so-called "common carrier" networks that serve the public, from roads and highways to electrical grids and telephone lines.

But broadband providers such as Comcast, AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. argue that after spending billions of dollars on their networks, they should be able to sell premium services and manage their systems to prevent certain applications from hogging capacity.

Tuesday's unanimous ruling by the three-judge panel was a setback for the FCC because it questioned the agency's authority to regulate broadband. That could cause problems beyond the FCC's effort to adopt official net neutrality regulations. It also has serious implications for the ambitious national broadband-expansion plan released by the FCC last month. The FCC needs the authority to regulate broadband so that it can push ahead with some of the plan's key recommendations. Among other things, the FCC proposes to expand broadband by tapping the federal fund that subsidizes telephone service in poor and rural communities.

In a statement, the FCC said it remains "firmly committed to promoting an open Internet and to policies that will bring the enormous benefits of broadband to all Americans" and "will rest these policies ... on a solid legal foundation."

Comcast welcomed the decision, saying "our primary goal was always to clear our name and reputation."

The case centers on Comcast's actions in 2007 when it interfered with an online file-sharing service called BitTorrent, which lets people swap movies and other big files over the Internet. The next year the FCC banned Comcast from blocking subscribers from using BitTorrent. The commission, at the time headed by Republican Kevin Martin, based its order on a set of net neutrality principles it had adopted in 2005.

But Comcast argued that the FCC order was illegal because the agency was seeking to enforce mere policy principles, which don't have the force of regulations or law. That's one reason that Martin's successor, Democratic FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, is trying to formalize those rules.

The cable company had also argued the FCC lacks authority to mandate net neutrality because it had deregulated broadband under the Bush administration, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in 2005.

The FCC now defines broadband as a lightly regulated information service. That means it is not subject to the "common carrier" obligations that make traditional telecommunications services share their networks with competitors and treat all traffic equally. But the FCC maintains that existing law gives it authority to set rules for information services.

Tuesday's court decision rejected that reasoning, concluding that Congress has not given the FCC "untrammeled freedom" to regulate without explicit legal authority.

With so much at stake, the FCC now has several options. It could ask Congress to give it explicit authority to regulate broadband. Or it could appeal Tuesday's decision.

But both of those steps could take too long because the agency "has too many important things they have to do right away," said Ben Scott, policy director for the public interest group Free Press. Free Press was among the groups that alerted the FCC after The Associated Press ran tests and reported that Comcast was interfering with attempts by some subscribers to share files online.

Scott believes that the likeliest step by the FCC is that it will simply reclassify broadband as a more heavily regulated telecommunications service. That, ironically, could be the worst-case outcome from the perspective of the phone and cable companies.

"Comcast swung an ax at the FCC to protest the BitTorrent order," Scott said. "And they sliced right through the FCC's arm and plunged the ax into their own back."

The battle over the FCC's legal jurisdiction comes amid a larger policy dispute over the merits of net neutrality. Backed by Internet companies such as Google Inc. and the online calling service Skype, the FCC says rules are needed to prevent phone and cable companies from prioritizing some traffic or degrading or services that compete with their core businesses. Indeed, BitTorrent can be used to transfer large files such as online video, which could threaten Comcast's cable TV business.

But broadband providers point to the fact that applications such as BitTorrent use an outsized amount of network capacity.

For its part, the FCC offered no details on its next step, but stressed that it remains committed to the principle of net neutrality.

"Today's court decision invalidated the prior commission's approach to preserving an open Internet," the agency's statement said. "But the court in no way disagreed with the importance of preserving a free and open Internet; nor did it close the door to other methods for achieving this important end."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Death of Free Speech

The Obama regime is actively attacking our liberties one by one. Their approach is to systematically chip away at our individual freedoms and "Transform America" as we once knew it into (at the very least) a Socialist country. The current wave of attacks is coming from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Under the guise of something they call "Net Neutrality" the Fed is trying to take over and control free speech on the Internet. This is worse than the "Fairness Doctrine" which was banned in the 1980s. That affected the content of radio and television broadcasts. The FCC tries and justify such "regulations" with the excuse that the government needs control over the Internet when there are cyber attacks.

Keep in mind that the Internet Czar Mark Lloyd, idolizes Hugo Chavez and how he controlled the mass media in Venezula during his political take-over. Mark Lloyd believes that Chavez knew that if the government was to succeed, they would have to control ALL forms of communication – including the Internet! Chavez has a record of closing opposing radio and TV stations for no apparent reasons. China also censors the Internet and the press. There is NO FREE SPEECH in these countries.

What Net Neutrality really is means is that they (OUR government) wants to control the content permitted, by whom and when, if allowed at all. This is a direct attack against the 1st Amendment of the Constitution. It is being used to silence political opposition to the Obama regime's policies.

The Federal government has no business regulating the Internet or it’s content. This is clearly one of the few remaining places where free speech and political ideas (of any kind) are allowed. It is unconstitutional to prohibit free speech and yet the FCC is aggressively doing so under this administration.

Why does the Lame Stream media ignore this blatant attack against one of our most basic of freedoms? Because they are part of the problem! They try and silence political opposition to Obama by painting the Tea Party movement as violent extremists – when the facts are just the opposite. In a recent egg throwing attack AGAINST Tea Party members, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers were filmed throwing eggs at Tea Party busses and misdirecting them in the wrong direction to miss the rally. The Lame Stream media ignored these facts altogether. In other words, the Lame stream media, is ALREADY controlled by the Obama administration.

Action To Take
Tyranny is growing stronger in this country. Americans need to unite and start raising their concerns before our liberties cease to exist. There is a website where you can voice your opinion to the FCC and let them know you are against ANY government regulation of speech. It is at the following location…

Monday, April 5, 2010

Featured Article - Obama's Friends?

Disrespecting Foreign Allies
By Charles Krauthammer

"WASHINGTON -- What is it like to be a foreign ally of Barack Obama's America?

If you're a Brit, your head is spinning. It's not just the personal slights to Prime Minister Gordon Brown -- the ridiculous 25-DVD gift, the five refusals before Brown was granted on-one with The One.

Nor is it just the symbolism of Obama returning the Churchill bust that was in the Oval Office. Query: If it absolutely had to be out of Obama's sight, could it not have been housed somewhere else on U.S. soil rather than ostentatiously repatriated?

Perhaps it was the State Department official who last year denied there even was a special relationship between the U.S. and Britain, a relationship cultivated by every U.S. president since Franklin Roosevelt.

And then there was Hillary Clinton's astonishing, nearly unreported (in the U.S.) performance in Argentina last month. She called for Britain to negotiate with Argentina over the Falklands.

For those who know no history -- or who believe that it began on Jan. 20, 2009 -- and therefore don't know why this was an out-of the-blue slap at Britain, here's the back story:

In 1982, Argentina's military junta invaded the (British) Falkland Islands. The generals the British, having long lost their taste for foreign lands, would let it pass. Besides the Falklands have uncountably more sheep than people. They underestimated Margaret (the Argentines, that is, not the sheep). She was not about to permit the conquest of a people whose political allegiance and ethnic ties are to Britain. She dispatched the navy. Britannia it back.

Afterward, neither Thatcher nor her successors have countenanced negotiations. Britain doesn't covet foreign dominion and has no shortage of sheep. But it does believe determination, and will negotiate nothing until and unless the Falkland Islanders indicate desire to be ruled by a chronically unstable, endemically corrupt polity with a rich history dictatorship, economic mismanagement and the occasional political lunacy.

Not surprisingly, the Falkland Islanders have given no such indication. Yet inexplicably, Clinton sought to reopen a question that had been settled for almost 30 years, not just pointlessly stirring the embers but even taking the Argentine side (re: negotiations) against Britain -- a nation that has fought and bled with us for the last decade, and that today has 10,000 troops, far more than any other ally, fighting alongside America in Afghanistan.

Of course, given how the administration has treated other allies, perhaps we surprised.

-- Obama visits China and soon Indonesia, skipping India, our natural and rising ally in region -- common language, common heritage, common democracy, common jihadist enemy. Indeed, in his enthusiasm for China, Obama suggests a Chinese interest in peace and stability in South Asia, a gratuitous denigration of Indian power and legitimacy in favor of a regional rival with hegemonic ambitions.

-- Poland and the Czech Republic have their legs cut out from under them when Obama unilaterally revokes a missile defense agreement, acquiescing to pressure from dreams of regional hegemony over Eastern Europe.

-- The Hondurans still can't figure out why the United States supported a Hugo Chavez ally seeking illegal extension of his presidency against the pillars of civil society--Supreme Court, church and army -- that had deposed him consistent with Article 239 of own constitution.

But the Brits, our most venerable, most reliable ally, are the most disoriented. "We British only speak the same language. We tend to think in the same way. We are more likely than anyone else to provide tea, sympathy and troops," writes Bruce Anderson in London's Independent, summarizing with admirable concision the fundamental basis of the U.S. special relationship.

Well, said David Manning, a former British ambassador to the U.S., to a House of Commons committee reporting on that very relationship: "He (Obama) is an American who grew up Hawaii, whose foreign experience was of Indonesia and who had a Kenyan father. The sentimental reflexes, if you like, are not there."

I'm not personally inclined to neuropsychiatric diagnoses, but Manning's guess is as good anyone's. How can you explain a policy toward Britain that makes no strategic or moral And even if you can, how do you explain the gratuitous slaps to the Czechs, Pothers? Perhaps when an Obama Doctrine is finally worked out, we shall learn whether it was pique, principle or mere carelessness. And even if you can, how do you explain the gratuitous slaps to the Czechs, Poles, Indians RealClearPolitics - Disrespecting Foreign Allies?"

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Featured Article - Gen. Petraeus for President?

Published in the United Kingdom, this article explains why it would be feasible for this General to run for the office of US President. Why haven't American newspapers or the American "Lame Stream Media" published this idea? Funny how you have to read the news outside of the US to find out what people ARE really thinking in the US!

"David Petraeus for President: Run General, run
by Toby Harnden of the (published in the United Kingdom)

With many voters yearning for an outsider, and military officers looked up to, General David Petraeus could be a powerful presidential candidate and a potentially accomplished President.

Americans have never been so disgusted with their politicians. More than three-quarters of Americans disapprove of Congress. President Barack Obama's favourability ratings have slumped to below 50 per cent and he is no longer trusted or believed by many who voted for him.

Republicans are faring little better and the growth of the Tea Party movement reflects the widespread disgust with Washington and the political class. Incumbents across the board are vulnerable in November's mid-term elections.

Many voters yearn for an outsider, someone with authenticity, integrity and proven accomplishment. Someone who has not spent their life plotting how to ascend the greasy pole, adjusting every utterance for maximum political advantage.

In this toxic climate, perhaps the only public institution that has increased in prestige in recent years is the American military. Its officers are looked upon, as General George Patton once noted, as "the modern representatives of the demi-gods and heroes of antiquity".

Where better to look for Obama's successor, therefore, than in the uniformed ranks? Not since 1952, when a certain Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe during the Second World War, was elected President, have the chances of a military man winning the White House been more propitious.

Within those ranks, no one stands out like General David Petraeus, head of United States Central Command, leader of 230,000 troops and commander of United States forces in two wars. Having masterminded the Iraq surge, the stunning military gambit that seized victory from the jaws of defeat, he is now directing an equally daunting undertaking in Afghanistan.

Petraeus, 57, has survived the collapse of his parachute 60 feet above the ground. After he was shot in the chest during a training exercise and endured five hours surgery, the then battalion commander refused to lie in hospital recuperating. Demanding that the tubes be removed from his arm, he declared: "I am not the norm."

A Princeton PhD, he has revolutionised the way America fights its wars, inculcating the doctrine of counter-insurgency in a new generation of officers who have finally put the ghost of Vietnam to rest. At West Point he qualified for medical school just to prove he could, never bothering to apply.

The problem is that Petraeus appears to have no desire to be commander-in-chief. His denials of any political ambition have come close to the famous statement by General William Sherman. The former American Civil War commander, rejecting the possibility of running for president in 1884 by stating: "I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected."

Yet speculation about "Petraeus in 2012" persists. The White House is wary of him just as President Bill Clinton was wary of General Colin Powell in 1995. Rumours that he wants to run have even reached Downing Street.

At a recent appearance in New Hampshire - which happens to be the state in which the first presidential primary will be held in January 2012 - Petraeus was emphatic.

"I thought I'd said 'no' about as many ways as I could. I really do mean no," he insisted when asked if he was destined for politics. "I've tried quoting a country song 'What part of 'no' don't you understand?' but I really do mean that...I will not ever run for political office, I can assure you." Almost Shermanesque.

Some note, however, when the future President Barack Obama was asked in February 2007 if he would serve his full six-year term in the Senate (due to expire in 2010), he responded: "If you get asked enough, sooner or later you get weary and you start looking for new ways of saying things." When asked directly if he would run for the White House in 2008, he said flatly: "I will not."

There's little reason to doubt the sincerity of Petraeus's denials. He recently confided that he has remained so steadfastly apolitical since he became a major-general that he has not voted. And he has maintained a much lower profile since the Bush administration, when he became closely identified with the former President.

This month, in an interview for a lengthy and laudatory profile in Vanity Fair, he evens praises Obama as being "everything that everyone says he is... exceedingly bright, very focused - and very competitive, by the way".

Petraeus, wire-thin and an accomplished runner, is known for being one of the most competitive men on the planet and he lacks nothing in the self-assurance department. No one has ever accused him of being deficient in his sense of patriotism.

Whether as an independent or as Republican, he could be a powerful presidential candidate and a potentially accomplished President. He may not want to run but if the clamour to draft him grows he might just find the call of duty - not to mention the contest of a lifetime - difficult to resist.