I can’t say I ever held Petraeus in really high regard. For all his tactical acumen at conducting counterinsurgency, he has never seemed able to see the big strategic picture: no western power can win Muslim “hearts and minds” and our best bet is to avoid contact with the Middle East as much as possible. And I sure am not surprised to see him as the one millionth example of an ambitious man whose ambition extends to women and who is willing, through force of one million years of evolution, to throw away his career and other achievements for the excitement and thrill of bedding an attractive women. I can easily imagine the fawning biographer and the charismatic Petraeus easily falling for one another. Truly, ambition is hard to bridle, as we’ve seen in such varied figures as Bill Clinton and Dwight Eisenhower, and, just as important, nothing is more attractive to most women than a man with power and prestige.
I am sure, however, this situation was known pre-election and concealed as an assist to Obama. I also think it is more-than-strange that somehow this will cancel Petraeus’ turn to testify before Congress re: the disastrous security failures at Benghazi. There is no reason his personal problems and resignation should give him a pass there. Further, one wonders if this was held until now as an “ace up the sleeve” for Obama to prevent any kind of damaging testimony by Petraeus, as head of the CIA, who likely knows the various intelligence that led to the American compound being overrun and our ambassador being killed. Surely he knows whether any real intelligence ever made it Obama’s way suggesting what turned out to be a highly coordinated operation was, as first suggested by Obama, a spontaneous protest regarding an obscure anti-Islamic film.
Anyway, an overrated man has revealed the most typical of character flaws. What is more worrisome is how we have made a cult of personality of this ordinary careerist man until now and also the ways his trajectory overlaps with the endemic corruption of the Obama administration.