RANGER AGAINST WAR: General Betrayus <

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

General Betrayus

--We think he looks like Alfafa, 
though "Spanky" would be a better nickname

Tell me how this ends?
--David Petraeus

The power of example is very important
to people under stress
--General Sir John Hackett

[We at RangerAgainstWar find the scuttlebutt surrounding the General Petraeus incident interesting and provocative on many levels, and so will examine its implications over the next week.]

Today: Officers, not Gentlemen

Once upon a time there was a military academy called West Point, which held as its highest imperative their Honor Code, a road map for behavior suiting an officer and a gentleman, a man who would reflect the highest moral values of a brave new nation.

Many years later, after the United States failed to win its first two military actions in as many decades (Korea and Vietnam), there came a graduate who would endeavor to restore shine to his nation's military by being a part of  grand plan -- the redefinition of warfare, late-20th century-style.  This cadet, David Petraeus, would write his thesis explaining the new way of war for the United States (the Counterinsurgency) and he would go on to pen the titular FM 3-24 -- COIN -- which promised a new and winning outcome to foreign wars by applying the moral values of America to win far-flung hearts and minds of people less moral than we.

In its moral high dudgeon, the United States tromped off to find its success in the woman-demeaning Middle East, hoping to teach them to not stone women for adultery, for instance.  The now-General Petraeus staked his claim on the success of his doctrine and sought to redeem his country's esteem, but all the Brasso at his disposal could not remove the tarnish he himself would re-apply.

True, he did not (literally) stone a woman, but his adulterous behavior is not consonant with the morals he and his fellows would purport to be exporting. He recognized this (as a CIA report threatened to go public), and correctly removed himself from public office.  It is unknown if the affair began while he was still ISAF Commander; if so Petraeus was derelict and guilty of battlefield cowardice by espousing one set of values with his words and defiling them by his actions. If so, he may be subject to military charges.  Knowing, however, there are different spanks for different ranks.

How can a hypocrite win anyone's heart or mind?  Is it a greater good to export adultery or to disapprove of its punishment?  Should not the man tasked with imposing our belief system upon a foreign land not at least implement the best of that heritage in his personal conduct? Is it any wonder the U.S. is seen as morally bankrupt hypocrites?  Maybe there is a corroding worm that lives within our vaunted freedoms.  Maybe man is destined everywhere to corrupt the good he would do.  How did an honor code become so fuzzy?

If we have no fixed moral compass, how can we expect FM 3-24 with its "panoply" of pretty words to export the thing we cannot manage ourselves?  Stoning a woman for adultery is one step beyond adultery only because we value each human life.  However, seen from a more traditional perspective, all transgressions that threaten to unseat the authority of one's culture and jurisprudence are equally offensive.  Our Ten Commandments are not listed in hierarchical order; killing and adultery are both theological crimes.

Further, on the nuts and bolts level, how was Gen. Petraeus's dalliance financed?  Did our tax dollars finance his "bad decision"?

Counterinsurgency and morality should be complimentary concepts. Why could a major COIN war not produce a Four Star 0-10 that could decisively affect the outcome of the effort? [Generals McKiernan and McChrystal were previously both relieved of duty.] Will it be the moral, tactical or strategic deficiencies which will prove the greatest detractor from U.S. COIN policy? Why is the U.S. Army incapable of producing 0-10's capable of theatre Army command?

General Petraeus has now reached the tail end of his teleological inquiry.

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Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...

"Bertayus"... Sad that he would live up to that slander. But, I'm reminded of Sin City

Which while a gross piece of fascist crappola did have some genius lines.

"He [Marv] just had the rotten luck of being born in the wrong century. He'd be right at home on some ancient battlefield swinging an axe into somebody's face. Or in a Roman arena, taking his sword to other gladiators like him. They would've tossed him girls like (Paula Broadwell) back then."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 4:40:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I don't think we will ever get sex out of life.

General Petraeus was unfortunate in his choice of Broadwell but I can understand the attraction and why he might have thought she was "safe."

What captured my attention was that a Kim Kardashian look alike who has the arms and legs of a Swedish lumberjack and the mouth of a pirhana can get a full scale, tax payer funded investigation of an unpleasant email as a personal favor. Who authorized the investigation and on what grounds? Where is the line that I join to have the FBI investigate people who annoy me? Holy hell! My best guesstimate is that probably at least 15 people in the FBI need to lose their jobs immediately.

I don't especially care what happens to Petraeus or Allen but I flat don't believe that Allen sent 30,000 emails to Jill Kelley in 1-2years, whatever time frame they are using.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 8:46:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about General William Ward? What a soldier! What a general!

Just imagine if that had been some SFC or MSgt. I don't think the punishment would have been the same.

Maybe we should fire them all, including the staff at West Point, and start fresh. I've thought for years that a blind decimation of Pentagon officers would benefit the nation and the military.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 11:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Betrayus, Allen, shirtless FBI agents, reservist/bored doctor's wife biographer/mistress and her rival.....literally a cluster fuck.

"General Petraeus was unfortunate in his choice of Broadwell but I can understand the attraction and why he might have thought she was "safe.""

No such thing as safe; especially when getting involved with power groupies. Worse, it's even less safe when a man doesn't know how to conduct himself in such a relationship and, apparenlty, lacks maturity and social accumen concerning women.

20,000 to 30,000 love letters - well, love emails??!!?? Who has time for that? That's lke some puppy dog school boy crush. Even if you had the time, is that what you'd do with it? No wonder grunts are caught up in situations like Restrepo. Flag officers are apparently, umm, distracted.

Low level intelligence personnel can - and do - get canned for extra-marital affairs, bad credit that sort of thing. He wasn't just demonstrating bad values to the world, he was demonstrating poor leadership to those under his command. Inexcusible.

BTW, Does Betrayus really have the CIB/CAB - I thought I saw the CAB on his chest? Where did it come from?


Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 11:57:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Avedis... :)

"... a man doesn't know how to conduct himself in such a relationship and, apparenlty, lacks maturity and social accumen concerning women."

You mean there are such men (or women for that matter) who know how to avoid the infinite risks involved in sexual relationships? My own experience has been that even the good relationships were occasionally like minefields. :)

I meant that a younger, fit, nice looking military officer such as Paula might be thought to understand and appreciate the need for discretion and carefully guarding the secrecy of the affair.

I'd still like to hear some comments on General Ward's behavior.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 12:46:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

avedis has the crux of the biscuit:

No wonder grunts are caught up in situations like Restrepo. Flag officers are apparently, umm, distracted.

anon: Both women look like lumberjacks; Broadwell just piles on the pancake. Petraeus + Broadwell is a true case of narcissistic love if ever I've seen it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:57:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

DP has a CAB.
CIB's are not authorized for GO's. It's 06 and below. He got his CAB for whatever.
On THE GOOD WIFE recently JAG female O's were wearing the CAB, as does Jake on the new 2&1/2 Men series.
What would happen to DP IF he were a 1LT?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 12:22:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I do not wish to cmt on Gen'l Ward as i'm not familiar with the case, but it is similar to Mc Chrystals in that both traveled lavishly and enjoyed the high life.
Sorta sounds like a congressional junket to me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 1:12:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Frankly, I can't imagine anyone, from the greenest shavetail to the most brilliant GO, "figuring out" counterinsurgency. It beat Napoleon, it beat the German generals in Russia, it beat pretty much everyone in our flag ranks in Vietnam. Rebellion suppression is what it has always been; you go Roman or you go home. And since the advent of the electronic media it's nearly impossible to go REALLY Roman. Crucifying entire cities just don't play well on CNN...

So while I'd argue that Dave's dick didn't get the memo, I'm not sure that Paula's donut hole was any more screwable than Iraq or Afghanistan. Some things just don't respond well to conventional weaponry...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 1:24:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Concise, as ever.


Per, "a younger, fit, nice looking military officer such as Paula might be thought to understand and appreciate the need for discretion and carefully guarding the secrecy of the affair" --

What does "younger, fit, nice looking" have to do with discretion, or even sanity? Glenn Close looked pretty do-able in "Fatal Attraction" ...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 1:54:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous CholoAzul said...

I'll take "Maybe man is destined everywhere to corrupt the good he would do" for 200 Alex.

Or Lord Acton...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 4:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

spot-on, Cholo -- precisely my thought.

I think I shall write more later on this toothsome morsel ...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 5:00:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

And - just because I'd a contrary sonofabitch - let me throw in my observation that military and political success is by no means directly related to personal moral failings and/or rectitude.

Folks like Alexander, Caesar, and Napoleon wenched their way across Eurasia without any notable effect on their military success. FDR had a mistress, Lincoln may have been depressive, US Grant was known to drink to excess.

I'll agree that it'd be nice if people would keep their promises and their dicks in their pants when appropriate.

But that is a personal attribute. Genghis Khan was a bloody-handed conqueror to his enemies and might well have been a personal scoundrel, but within his empire it is said that a virgin carrying a bag of gold could walk from one end to the other without fear.

In this case I'm not impressed with Dave Petraeus the general. But I'm even less impressed that we supposedly insist that he be defenestrated for tapping some trim on the side unless it can be shown that said tapping somehow related back to his effectiveness as a government agent.

Had Napoleon been our Centcom CINC would we have insisted that his liaison with Marie Walewska made him ineligible for command?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 5:25:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous jim at ranger said...


as u say-you are comparing hand grenades and pineapples.

You can't compare the morals of true warriors with that of our make believe warriors.

None of the men that you mentioned spent 1 oz. of mental energy getting laid. If anybody questioned them then they'd swing from a lamp post.
As for Waleska- she worked for the interests of other than her vagina


Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 6:10:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous jim at ranger said...

We got away with crucifying Fallujah.
Then we figgured out it was cheaper to pay them tribute.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 6:19:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

jim: No question that our gilt-crusted perfumed princes are far from the old hardcases that came up through the bloody school of war; hell, by the time he was an O-3 Napoleon had seen more war than most of our star warriors get in a lifetime.

Still, not sure if there's a 1-1 correspondence between military or political genius and getting some outside the little brick houses.

Now...whether our military system is set up to produce the Napoleons and Mansteins and Giaps - that's a whole 'nother question, and a good one.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 11:27:00 AM GMT-5  

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