By Alan Bean
As I write, America is mesmerized by the sins of General David Petraeus, the man who reportedly turned around the Iraq fiasco. As this BBC story suggests, Americans have always venerated our generals, electing exactly ten of them to the presidency. Although we haven’t elected an ex-general to the nation’s highest office since 1952, military men like Colin Powell and Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf have been talked up as presidential possibilities. As the gap between the military and civilian life widens, our love affair with the American general grows apace.
Apart from America’s love affair with the military, the rock star-groupie relationships between women like Paula Broadwell and Jill Kelley and generals like Petraeus and John Allen would be hard to believe. Why are these women fighting over these men? And why are we so shocked to learn that a talented egoist like Petraueus would be seduced by an adoring and beautiful biographer like Ms. Broadwell? Why are we on pins and needles as the email relationship between Allen and Kelley is probed for evidence of romantic dalliance? (more…)