General Petraeus, Would you like to join our army?

It would be an opportunity to leverage your superb leadership skills…In the greatest cause of your career.

Dear General Petraeus,

General David Petraeus

Everyone makes mistakes, but we all find a way to move on. In your case, you are used to winning. You’ve been a winner your entire life and will continue to be. But you need a challenging cause—to help put the mistakes behind you and to make more of a difference in this world than you ever imagined.

Here’s the deal. About one percent of our population understands why we have so much chronic disease in this country and why our outrageous cost of healthcare is choking our economy. But the problem is that no one in authority is listening to us.

No one in medicine, academia, the food industry, the pharmaceutical industry, or the federal government of the United States. Why are they not listening? The short answer is MONEY. What is desperately needed is leadership—and that’s why I am appealing to you now.

I am not worried about any mistakes that you may have made. I am only interested in the many qualities that would make you an ideal general in our army that is committed to “taming the healthcare monster.” Here are a few reasons why I want you on our team:

  1. You are a proven leader and the most-respected general since Eisenhower.
  2. You are highly regarded by Democrats and Republicans alike.
  3. With a trim body and a reputation as a fitness nut, you are a great role model for vibrant health.
  4. You’re just the right age—too young to retire and far too driven not to have a major purpose in your life.
  5. You would love the opportunity to make a HUGE difference in the entire world.
  6. Almost everyone in the world knows your name.

Dr. Regina Benjamin, Surgeon General of the United States

Recently, I wrote a blog about the three most prominent “generals” in our War on Obesity. Guess what, they’re all obese themselves. (One of them is pictured here.) We’re never going to win a war of any kind with role models like that. We need a grisly veteran of many wars like you. We need leadership desperately—and we need it now.

Getting started. You may not know a darn thing about how a whole foods, plant-based diet style can change the world, but everyone knows that you’re extremely smart. And it won’t take you long to connect the dots once you’re fully briefed with all the “intelligence” available on this powerful truth.

I am asking you for four hours with me and a handful of experts—a group that would include the three men who influenced President Clinton to ignore our government’s food guidelines and choose an almost vegan, health-promoting diet. They are Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr. and Dr. T. Colin Campbell.

Bill Clinton also made a few mistakes, but he’s now more highly respected than ever—because he is working tirelessly to make the world a better place—and he remains our most prominent spokesman for eating plant-based.

The Bottom Line. All we need is leadership to win this war and tame that healthcare monster. It’s a great time for you to consider turning a bad situation into something great.

Since I was a very young man, I have always tried to focus on the positives of any bad situation. You probably do the same thing. And while this may be the darkest hour of your life, you’re not going to be in the dark for long.

Hopefully, you will give this opportunity serious consideration. For a better feel of why we need superior leaders like yourself, you may want to take a look at a letter that I sent to Bill Ford of the Ford Motor Company. It, along with the other links below, will give you all the background you need for our meeting.

Consecutive Daily Blogs

FYI, I served as an officer in the United States Coast Guard in Honolulu—while you were in high school. Please give me a call at your convenience: 917-399-9700. Regards, Jim Hicks

Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from

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J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

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Blogging daily at…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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16 Responses to General Petraeus, Would you like to join our army?

  1. Angela says:

    Well done! I like this post and your plea to General Petraeus. So, Jim, has General Petraeus responded to you yet?

  2. billkranker1 says:


    I see your point but on the other hand we need not rush to sign up all of these flawed characters when so many hard working and up standing people are out there and could provide much better symbols of this cause. Yes, life is difficult and temptations are many but there are millions of us out here that walk past our weeknesses every day and are not famous or make the news. I was always told that when you search in a bar you will find a drunk and likewise when you are looking for a spokeperson in the news you likely will find one who is flawed.

    Be patient and look past the surface and eventually you will get your true champion.


    • Going on about his “mistake” (singular) with women diverts us from his complicity in our sustained mindless military adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan.- which rival Viet Nam as examples of foreign policy FAILURES resulting in deaths and injury of untold millions.

      The simplistic “he kept us safe” makes little sense to serious observers of terrorism. Are you safer now than before the ill-advised invasion of Iraq? Answers remain open to discussion. and reflect my view.

  3. sara says:

    oh. And his ‘little mistake’ wasnt a one- off moment of passion. It was months and months of lies and deception. Surely, as head of the CIA, he would need to be a good liar. You still so sure he would make a good ambassador? Notwithstanding he is a decorated soldier, I wouldn’t take life advice from him.

      “How do ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?” 21 April 1971 John Kerry

      Although I agree with Sara, “lies and deception” surrounding our foreign policies under several successive US Presidents are of much greater importance than personal sins.
      Never have so many in so many countries hated us so much. Being held hostage to the Israeli Lobby does not help Nor does supporting countries like Saudi Arabia. (home of nearly all 9-11 terrorists). Their treatment of women is HORRIBLE – as is the way their schools sustain antisemitism. With friends like this who needs enemies? Search “Dictators supported by USA” for details. At first blush;,only a keystrokes away; you’ll see 38,000,000 hits! Search “Dual-Citizenship of So-Called Leaders” to make sense of our special unique relationship with Israeli hawks.This search yields over a million hits!

  4. sara says:

    Not impressed. Jim, I’m sorry but you are way too transparent. Clearly you want to jump on the bandwagon of the momentum of this story however perhaps it would have been wise to wait for the sensationalism to die down. I highly doubt General Petraus is planning his comeback so soon. I think Americans need to see him as remorseful and keeping a low profile for now.
    And lastly, if he is thin and fit now, why does he need a change of diet?
    Sorry, I’m seeing a lot of bullsh** in all of this and the integrity is getting lost.
    Good luck ‘selling’ your product!

    • Claire Wilson says:

      I’m with you Sara. For some reason, and I happen to like the guy, Mr. Hicks seems a little biased here without sorting through the facts. I’ve been folling Mr. Hicks for some time now and read all his blogs but I’m really disappointed with this one.

      By the way, I would expect a General, or anyone in the armed services to be fit but I bet very few are vegans.

  5. J. Morris Hicks says:

    Thank you everyone for your comments. I felt that I should post a general response as I may not have explained my position very well.

    As you may know, many of our nation’s greatest leaders have committed a few sins here and there. We’re human and we make mistakes; I know that I have. As far as General Petraeus is concerned, this affair may very well be one of only a very few serious mistakes he has made in his life. No one really knows—except him. Meanwhile, he has distinguished himself throughout his career and has played a big role in helping to make America safe for all of us.

    Likewise, most people today think that Bill Clinton was a great president and that he did some great things for our country. Did he make a few mistakes? Yes. Would I like to have Bill Clinton on our team? Absolutely!!

    Personally, it’s really not for me to judge the mistakes of anyone else, including many of our greatest leaders; I just care about waking up the world to what the human race is doing to the planet and her ability to sustain life as we know it. I sincerely believe that changing what we eat is the most powerful step that we can take toward doing that.

    It is a fact that world-famous people like Bill Clinton, Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and David Petraeus can all influence millions, if not billions of people. The bottom line is we need all the well-known leaders we can get. And there are a lot more leaders who have sinned than there are those who have always been righteous.

    So yes, if David Petraeus embraced the whole foods, plant-based, diet-style to help promote health and to help ensure the longterm sustainability of the human race—then I would love to have in on my team. Guys like him and Clinton can reach hundreds of millions of people, whereas I can only reach a few thousand. I will end with this passage from the Holy Bible:

    According to the Gospel of John, the Pharisees, in an attempt to discredit Jesus, brought a woman charged with adultery before him. Then they reminded Jesus that adultery was punishable by stoning under Mosaic Law and challenged him to judge the woman so that they might then accuse him of disobeying the law. Jesus thought for a moment and then replied, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.” The people crowded around him were so touched by their own consciences that they departed.

    Thank you for your continued interest and support and for doing your part to promote the plant-based lifestyle—for our health, for our families, for our planet and for the longterm sustainability of the human race.

    Sincerely, Jim Hicks

    • Claire Wilson says:

      Jim, now I’m even more shocked. Arnold, Lance, Tiger along with Petraeus as role models. Surely you are joking. We already have Clinton as a Plant Based citizen but at least he’s done some great, great, things for this country and the world in the past years and worked night and day to spare us a disastrous president. Lance has done a lot of good things as well but the day Arnold, Tiger and Petraeus join our league well………..I just can’t imagine. Now I would like to know the views of T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. McDougal, Dr. Fuhrman, and other pioneers in this field. These men have my admiration and respect but please don’t put them beside Arnold, Tiger and Petraeus who I can’t see giving up meat ever.

      Yes, we’ve all made mistakes along the way, it goes with life and I don’t like to judge but …….


      • Succinct points made by Claire Wilson are very well taken. Regarding an earlier post citing John 8-7 (“Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone”) let us not confuse high morals with (1) Lack of opportunity, (2) Lack of desire and (3) Lack of ability.

        Another common confusion is a semantic one. A “mistake” is not synonymous with a war crime. Let’s call things by their right names. Neither Viet Nam nor Iraq were a mere mistakes. Study the history starting with Oliver Stone’s Untold History Of The US:

        LANCE? Say it isn’t so. As a old bicycle “fanatic” for many decades (I’ve ridden transcontinental North America as well as all of the main European “river routes” such as Rhine, Elbe, Danube etc) the Armstrong story was very depressing. I’ve all of his books in print and in audio. What could be more inspiring than to go from death’s doorstep to record-breaking world class performance ! VERY SAD. But his records will stand.

        However the pervasive doping of cyclists pales into insignificance as compared with the “doping” of animals in the food chain with promiscuous use of antibiotics and other bad stuff. Just saw an on-line video entitled “Nie Wieder Fleisch” (Never Again Meat) by Arte. I’m going to download and make DVDs for German friends. I doubt if this film could be run in USA – our “free press” notwithstanding. Jim’s web site remains a force for free inquiry.

        The search for truth continues. “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

  6. Claire Wilson says:

    Sorry but I am very dissappointed in Mr. Morris’s blog. True that he is slim but do we know if he smokes? You just can’t look at a slim person and assume they are healthy. He doesn’t look especially healthy to me and I certainly doubt he eats a plant based diet.

    And as for a leader and his morals. Well I care Mr. Hicks. And I must add that you’ve fallen from my admiration of you and though I’ll continue to to read your blogs at least for a while longer depending upon content.

  7. Adrian says:

    I read your blog daily. Today when I saw this article I was just wow! Why oh why would you want a general and a CIA director be a role model for anything let alone for plant based COMPASSIONATE eating. Can you imagine what unimagionable bad things you have to do as a CIA director or general of the US Army. I fully agree with the previous comment. I will however continue to read your blog and hope this was just a bad dream. Bye

    • Adrian says:

      I agree with the comment of Gerhardt obviously

    • Claire Wilson says:

      Adrian, I completely agree with you. A leader should be disciplined enough not to “make mistakes” like this one at his age especially. I don’t even want this guy any where near the CIA or leader of anything other than, well I was going to say Boy Scouts but nix that one cause with this guy’s morals, I don’t think I’d want him leader of my son as a role model of anything. And I DO NOT the fallen General eats a plant based diet. He’s slim that’s true but that’s about the only thing I care to say about him.

      I am aghast at J. Morris HIcks, who I quite admire, coming out with this article. Uh, no Hicks, I’ll continue to read your blogs but not with the admiration I once had for you.

  8. AnneLedbetter says:

    Jim I think this is one of your BEST ideas ever, I just love it!
    After all- anything IS possible. This could be the “perfect storm” we’ve been (patiently) waiting for!
    Let us know!

  9. Your “Three Generals” article deserves the widest possible distribution.
    Image of obese Dr. Regina Benjamin, must evoke thought for readers.
    A stethoscope hanging around her neck does not help her credibility.
    PHYSICIAN HEAL THYSELF – Precept needs Benjamin´s attention.

    But with all respect, fans of General Petraeus and his obese wife could well exercise some restraint in their misplaced praise of him and his very obese wife. Even with what must be one of the largest displays of ribbons in US history on his chest for “service” in wars and invasions that should not have been started in the first place, he is not a role model in health optimization.

    We in the USA will never create an honest not-for-profit health system as long as our so-called “defense” sector gets an “entitlement” blank check as various pundits give the war lobby a blank check. General Petraeus fictions sustained by the US popular media are so pervasive that one hardly knows where to start. For starters, how about the “success” of his “surge” wherein more troops were sent to Iraq? A stroke of genius? NO! Visit .

    Search “Surge + Petraeus” for his tragic FAILURES in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Above hits are replete with “insider” reports from military experts worldwide.
    Fiscal conservatives must be outraged at our “The Three Trillion Dollar War.”

    ONE MUST START SOMEWHERE: Visit for basics.

    Sample a few of the millions of hits citing Iraq and Afghanistan invasions.

    MISPLACED LOVE? If you like Iraq and Afghanistan, you will love Iran.
    Petraeus and his adventures with young women are only a side show.

    PLEASE! For health role model “heros” look beyond Petraeus. WHEW.

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