David Petraeus’ winter wife: it was just sex dummy
WHY are we so interested in David Petraeus’s resignation? Sex sells. But the talk of State security and the like is bunkum. This is all about a man who had extra-marital sex and got caught. He’s been married to the same woman for 37 years. As an active soldier, you wonder who many of those years he has spent with his wife.
This would be a better story were Petreaus a hypocrite. But we don’t know what his relationship with his wife is. Maybe their marriage is an open one, allowing him and her to shag insignificant others. She might even get off on it. The shock always seems to be that women, in this case the married Paula Broadwell, enjoy sex, that they misbehave with their genitals as much as men do. Look at it not as an affair. Look at it as foreplay. Petreaus fell on his sword to protect his wife’s kink. Who knows? Not us. It’s none of our business.
It might just be – get his – that people reporting their outrage on Petraeus’s shaggings are up to much the same themselves. Maybe Petreaus is just being human, something more senistive and penis-driven than the swivel-eyed man of action who’s always right and righteous?
Don’t force him to resign. See him as human. Here’s a CIA man who can empathise with matters of the heart and loins.
Years ago, a colleague of mine was sent to report on the British Army overseas. He encountered the soldiers’ “winter wives”, women who cared for and shagged the soldiers while they were stationed overseas. They might even have loved one another. He was advised that reporting on this would serve no purpose other than require him to visit the dentist on a stretcher. The soldiers were right. It was none of my colleague’s business what these soldiers did with other consenting adults. It did not affect their ability to do their job nor their morale.
Still. This is sex. So, let’s analyse it. Stephanie Pappas writes in the Scientific American:
Why Men Like Petraeus Risk It All to Cheat
He wanted love and sex? And it’s not men like Petereaus. It’s all of us – men and women.
An admitted affair has crumbled the career of CIA Director David Petraeus, prompting the evergreen question: Why do people with so much to lose risk it all for sex?
No. The question should be: why is all at risk because of his genitals? Why do we think his shagging is so wrong that he should leave a job he was well-suited for?
In the last few years alone, several public figures, from former Rep. Anthony Weinerto action star and former California Gov.Arnold Schwarzenegger, have admitted to straying from their marital vows. In Petraeus’ case, a miscalculation of risk may have contributed to the decision to cheat, psychologists say. . . Men can become blind to risk at the sight of an attractive woman, and from an evolutionary perspective, cheating can be a positive mechanism for ensuring gene survival, regardless of risk, scientists say.
As we all know, Petraeus has dedicated his life to taking pretty major risks in the field of combat. He placed his own survival at risk many times, so this idiotic “evolutionary” explanation makes zero sense.
Michael Hastings writes on Buzzfeed:
The fraud that General David Petraeus perpetrated on America started many years before the general seduced Paula Broadwell, a lower-ranking officer 20 years his junior, after meeting her on a campus visit to Harvard.
Until this weekend, Petraeus had been incredibly successful in making the public think he was a man of great integrity and honor, among other things. Most of the stories written about him fall under what we hacks in the media like to call “a blow job.” Vanity Fair. The New Yorker. The New York Times. The Washington Post. Time. Newsweek. In total, all the profiles, stage-managed and controlled by the Pentagon’s multimillion dollar public relations apparatus, built up an unrealistic and superhuman myth around the general that, in the end, did not do Petraeus or the public any favors. Ironically, despite all the media fellating, our esteemed and sex-obsessed press somehow missed the actual blow job.
He talks of Petraeus’ “core dishonesty”…Before Dave fell for Paula, we fell for Dave. He tried to convince us that heroes aren’t human. They are human, like us, and sometimes worse.”
Jeez, folks, the dude just wanted to get laid. Why is this so hard to fathom?
Glenn Greenwald notes:
Instead, it takes a sex scandal – a revelation that he had carried on a perfectly legal extramarital affair – to force him from power. That is the warped world of Washington. Of all the heinous things the CIA does, the only one that seems to attract the notice or concern of our media is a banal sex scandal.
Margaret Carlson says the man who rose to the top is an idiot:
With Gen Petraeus’s resignation, it’s time to rethink why personal stupidity that doesn’t affect someone’s job should automatically result in resignation. In matters romantic, we can all be stupid.
Why was it stupid? He had sex and romance with an educated, even-featured woman. Stupid? But this is pretty much right:
There was no crime or breach of national security. The rules regarding personal behaviour at the CIA are more lenient than those in the military. The antiquated fear that someone with a sexual secret can be blackmailed is operative only if…others make it so. If having an affair isn’t enough to get someone fired, then it probably isn’t enough to be used as blackmail…
Why is there a different standard of private conduct for public servants than, say, for the reporters who cover them, or the lobbyists hoping they’ll approve the weapons system they’re selling? (On second thought, maybe the standards are the same, as illustrated by the resignation last week of Lockheed Martin’s CEO over a “close and personal relationship” with a subordinate. At least he got $3.5m to soften the blow.)
Yes, government officials are stewards of the public trust in a way that private executives are not. Still, it’s not clear that the Puritan streak that persists in US public life is serving the public interest…
The punishment suffered privately is more than enough.
Roger Simon also thinks Petreaus is a idiot – “he should have resigned because if he were any more dimwitted, you would have had to water him.”
Broadwell is “as smart as a bag of hammers”.
Dan K. Thomasson wants us to see Petreaus as lacking in moral fibre:
Forget about the morality or lack of it involved here. Adultery is never a justifiable act.
The title of this saga probably should be “Why Do Smart People Do Obviously Dumb Things?”
David Simon notes:
David Petraeus has had sex outside his marriage, as have many men and many women. Human sexuality and compulsion are not in any way related to intelligence. It’s not that the dumb or powerful are more prone to fucking around, or that the intelligent and powerless do it to any greater degree. It’s that men in general are hopelessly and permanently prone to contemplate sex and furtive romance and, sometimes, to act on it. The reasons they do so are crude, ordinary and inevitable. Women are also hopelessly and permanently prone to contemplate furtive romance and sex — and yes, I changed the order, I know — and the reasons they do so are only marginally less crude, ordinary and inevitable.
And by way of compare and contrast:
I remember when Francois Mitterand’s wife and mistress walked beside each other in the French premier’s funeral procession and few in that country thought it remarkable. The French have got their problems, but in some respects, they make our country, our political commentary, seem as mature and insightful as a fourteen-year-old unsticking the pages of his dad’s just-discovered skin mags. It’s a peculiar American hypocrisy that only the worst kind of journalistic hack would readily and willingly embrace as a meaningful metric.
Now, about those pineapple chunks…