Saturday, November 10, 2012

Greatness in Great Ones Must Not Unwatched Go

I despair, at times, with our parochial society of penurious puritanism. Two fine patriots are now officially excoriated in the ethos of our nation - David Petraeus and his lover, Paula Broadwell. Petraeus is a downright hero, but not many people know that Paula graduated from West Point, served in the reserves, achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel and was the director of a counter-terrorism
think tank. Both worthy human beings. But because emails were analyzed by the FBI, the General felt a need to resign his position as the Director of the CIA. And Paula is taken down into the mud by unwanted press scrutiny.

Alright, it was the so-called 'honorable thing to do' for the General, and sorry, Mrs. Petraeus, that you're on the short end of the stick. But people - all people - have personal failings in my life. Even I have loved two women at the same time ... imagine. But for a valued general - an intrinsic component to our national security - to feel forced to abandon ship ... it is saddening.

I reckon the President did what he thought was right in accepting the general's resignation, but I would have preferred a different response: "General. Sir. I respect your decision in resigning your very important post, but the country cannot afford to lose you. You have proved yourself too able and essential to our country. Get a room next time, and don't email the chick ... but you, sir, are invaluable and I must ask you to return to duty, apologize to the wife and keep on defending America and the free world at large. You're not the first great man to be distracted by a hottie like Paula. Get over it and be Great!"

In a way, we need more Bill Cintons in the world - leaders who we know are great even when their penises, always guided to the true polar north of sexual opportunity, get them into mischief. A man's personal foibles should not be thrown into the petrie dish of combined superior assets and achievement and thus to be judged too harshly for the relative insignificance of those foibles.  David in the Bible had another man killed so that he could have at it with his wife, Bathesheba.  Did history look at David and vilify him?  No.  He knew how to kill giants with a sling and extol God.  Was Franklin D. Roosevelt demonized for his affair, while Eleanore dealt with the indiscretion as best she could?  No.  Roosevelt obliterated the Great Depression and killed Nazis.  Was John F. Kennedy regarded harshly for screwing everything female while married to Jackie while in the White House?  No.  He was remembered for bringing us out of the shadow of nuclear oblivion through the Cuban Missile Crisis and incentivizing us to go to the moon.
Point is, I wish we'd get over the whole 'well, Petraeus showed himself to be a deceiver and an unfaithful husband' bullshit.  He's helped kill evil jihadists that murdered 3,000 of our people on September 11, 2011 and up until yesterday, was assisting in taking down more of these scumbags. A man's personal life should not be a reflection on how he executes his duty and destiny - particularly when that duty and destiny is to keep America safe.
Abraham Lincoln was once approached by his cabinet about General Ulysses S. Grant. They said: "He's a drunk." Lincoln replied: "Maybe so. But he wins battles!" QED, my friends, QED.

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