Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Veterans, from The Greatest Generation to the Petraeus Affair

Veteran's Day should have been a lot more than a day to shop. Most Americans skipped participating in the national expression of gratitude for the untold disruption, pain, courage and accomplishment for the men and women who serve in our military.  Our service personnel deserve recognition far beyond a single day's pause.

From my dad's days in the service
My father was a Major in the Army in World War II, one of the Greatest Generation whose sweethearts and families were also directly affected by the war effort. My mother answered the call by working at Douglas Aircraft; she was a secretary but many other women there acted as iconic "Rosies the Riveters," taking on jobs considered masculine. Americans lived with product shortages and rationing, with blackouts when it was feared enemies might fly over and attack.

Here's a belated shout-out to all the veterans I know, and a fond remembrance to those gone who made real sacrifices to keep our nation safe and democracy flourishing. Thanks for your service.

So what do we make of this riveting scandal about General David Petraeus and his "biographer," as she's come to be called (not his "fellow adulterer" or even "nemesis" as are appropriate), Paula Broadwell? What about the twist of Broadwell's "harassing" emails to Tampa "socialite" and "unpaid social liaison" at MacDill Airforce Base Jill Kelley, and the extended connection to Afghanistan commander, 4-star general John Allen?

I'm a suspicious sort when it comes to politics, and see the logic in accusations by Fox News commentator Judge Jeanine Pirro that the Petraeus affair was kept under wraps until after November 6, lest his testimony or unofficial comments detract from the president's spin on the Benghazi embassy attack and murder of four--and thus prevent his re-election. It seems too much of a coincidence that the affair, which was apparently known for several months, is revealed and Petraeus resigned before spilling the beans on what really happened during the real-time viewing of the attack, which occurred after pleas for protection were denied.

Meanwhile, our sordid curiosity forces us to focus on Paula Broadwell, married mother of two little children, whose creepy anonymous emails scared Jill Kelley enough for her to seek an investigation. Which brought into the picture Gen. Allen, whose 20,000 pages of emails with Kelly have been deemed "flirtatious," and will occupy our dedicated Defense Department employees for many an hour.

Why is this even an issue; after all, it's "just sex," as defenders of President Clinton said of his Monica Lewinsky dalliance in the Oval Office. My skeptical brain tells me it's an intentional decoy away from the Benghazi mega-flub; away from the fact that Obama has yet to speak out about the 100 missiles lobbed on Southern Israel from Gaza while Syria shells the north. Our president has some serious international issues, and the news media are consumed by military flirtations and adulteries. This is not a good way to start a new term of office.

Paula Broadwell with biography of her 'close mentor'
And it makes our military look bad. If our most trusted officers don't have the self-discipline to keep their sex urges under control, how can we trust them to uphold the highest standards of propriety in their duties? How can they focus on our national security when they're juggling the tangled web of deceit required by affairs and even flirtatious emails? I'm sorry, "just sex" is the euphemism for larger ethical lapses. And it's going to cost in many ways as it continues. Transparency is the guarantee of honesty, but even the lauded term transparency can be smudged and fudged, and I'm very worried for our nation.

1 comment:

  1. So glad to have found your blog again

    Unfortunately the press's preoccupation with the sex aspects of this only perpetuates the moral lapsing of our nation....if 'everyone' is doing it, it isn't such a big deal, is it? This is, of course completely aside from the attention it takes away from finding the truth about the deaths of those four Americans.