“Thank You for Your Service”

I don’t usually celebrate Veterans’ Day–my cold-war service in Europe while my age-mates were getting shredded in South Asia was never a big source of pride for me–but this year was an exception: it’s not every November 11 that a commanding general and his entourage of military parasites are brought to account. As every common soldier knows, malfeasance of command is seldom exposed and almost never punished, and so this was an occasion for reflection.

David Petraeus, universally recognized as a great leader among war buffs in government and the press, was consumed by a futile mission: to win wars solely by force of arms. In the process, he and his superiors incinerated children, dehumanized populations, turned the USA into a nation of terrorists and dishonored their own army of psychopaths and misfits. Certainly, that’s grounds for removal from the chain of command, but nobody removed him. He quit, citing acts of marital infidelity as his rationale.

It wasn’t his success with girls that brought Petraeus down but his failure in warfare. His fault wasn’t that he fought ineffectively or without resolve, but that he agreed to fight at all. He let his young recruits be used for political ends and advanced his career by this means, and now it’s all over. He’ll have to settle for employment as a law professor or arms-monger and pass into obscurity.

He deserves much worse. Between him and his paramour, a neojournalist and war profiteer, he has to be rated the bigger whore. The damage he and his outfit have done to this nation–if it is still a nation–is incalculable. The war debt alone will cripple the economy for a generation to come. Our moral bankruptcy is now felt as a sense of impending doom. That’s going to get worse. Petraeus knew he was risking all this, and he sold his troops and his command anyway. To get laid.

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