Saturday, Aug 30, 2014
Columns

CIA chief Petraeus resigns – but why?

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 07:14 PM

General Petraeus (i.e., the "Betray us" of Iraq and Afghanistan infamy) has now been exposed, as not just another, typical, self-serving general officer, but also as an immoral and irresponsible human being.

Unfortunately, there are scores of other "flag-rank" officers that are no better than Petraeus; yet they continue to "serve" the nation—however poorly.

As I have written in the past, most of our top military officers are less focused on, and capable of carrying out, their mission (i.e., to defend the nation), than are main-stream, run of the mill, captains and majors, which try – actually try – to do their best for their country. The really dedicated officers have little heart, and no time, for the political game; thus almost never go on to become admirals and generals.

Petraeus, by adroitly and amorally playing the political game, ostentatiously piled undeserved ribbons on his chest, and pinned star after gleaming star on his shoulders; even eventually retiring to becoming his boss's CIA Director: a post for which he was signally unqualified.

Now, having apparently demonstrated that he was unfit to handle even a minor problem in Libya, Petraeus, the quintessential political general, quits because he's openly admitted to being morally corrupt. That seems strange to me.

The story behind this sordid affair, is that our sometimes celebrated military leaders are, all too often, little other than politically ambitious, selfish, imperious individuals, deserving of no particular public acclaim.

In fairness to the military, it should be noted that there is little difference between how politics shapes generals, and how the same sleazy business determines who controls our government, financial institutions, and major corporations. Morality and conscience apparently just get in the way of most of those persons dedicated to gaining power and prestige.

Sadly, Petraeus is no worse than thousands of others like him; his current infidelity incident is relatively trivial in such a power-hungry group. It makes one wonder if there is far more behind that resignation than news reports seem to indicate?


Of Cabbages and Kings is a syndicated column by j.g.nash. Relevant comment may be sent to him at jgn@jgnash.com.
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