RANGER AGAINST WAR: Tarnished Stars <

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tarnished Stars

 How much is that doggie in the window
The one with the waggly tail
How much is that doggie in the window
I do hope that doggie's for sale 
--Doggy in the Window, Patti Page 

The dame made a curtsey,
The dog made a bow;
The dame said, "Your servant,"
The dog said, "Bow-wow"
 --Old Mother Hubbard 

Say, a doggy is nuttin'
 if he don' have a bone 
All doggy, hold ya' bone, 
all doggy, hold it 
--Who Let the Dogs Out? 
Baha Men

The image is from the cover of this week's The Week magazine, "Intelligence Failure: How Could CIA Chief David Petraeus Be So Dumb?", the implication being, Petraeus should have been more circumspect either in his choice of mistress or his execution of the affair.  To ask how he failed (how was he so DUMB) implies the CIA head conducted himself with aplomb in other matters -- that he was not ordinarily such a dim, nitwit doofus.

However, the question should be, "How could David Petraeus be so immature?", and the answer can be found in the cosseted cult of higher echelon military corps.  The elect "have spent much of their professional lives in cloistered military bubbles," and may have a sense of infallibility not the privilege of the average soldier (Petraeus Scandal puts four-star General Lifestyle under scrutiny).  Maturity, not intelligence, is what is found wanting. The same lack was found in General Stanley McChrystal and now General Allen, et. al.

These Generals exhibited the maturity of a green 0-1 rather than an 0-10, a fault built into our immature soldier state of existence.  The selection criteria for admittance to our service academies, like West Point, rewards immature behavior.  Independent or rebellious thinkers are quickly eliminated. The cadet mentality is carried through many a West Point officer's career -- a mindset of entitlement and privilege.

Our selection and reward system need examination and review.  Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced an ethics review Thursday, something said to be in the pipeline prior to Petraeus's resignation, due to a number of recent ethical lapses among other General Officers.

Since the military has now re-branded itself as warriors, this sacred cow will be hard to attack.  However, the arrested development which allows for such poor behavior must be tackled lest we continue to be shocked over such predictable disappointments.

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Anonymous name's Deryle said...

Left out Mr General Tommy Franks.
Bet we could run this one all the way back to Custer.

There it is.


Sunday, November 18, 2012 at 11:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Yes, I s'pose we could run this one up the flagpole. Custer sure qualifies, but there have been some stellar exemptions, no?

Monday, November 19, 2012 at 9:18:00 AM GMT-5  

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