Home / Politics / The Petraeus Affair

 

We’ve all encountered the media spectacle of General Petraeus’ affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell. In fact I’m sure most of us are quite sick of hearing about it. For me it hearkens back to the days of President Clinton and the 24-7 coverage of that sex scandal. Today, just as then, the media is fascinated by the sexual element rather than what this tells us about the political element, and it obscures the reality of what is happening.

I need to say at the outset that I do not offer this as an independent journalist, but as a biased commentator expressing a view and drawing a conclusion from the available information. Frankly, I wish the rest of the media commentators would admit the same.

Now, what we have in this scandal is actually a reverse wag the dog principle. In the wake of the Lewinsky scandal, a movie was produced called “Wag the dog”, where the president used a war to cover up the sex scandal. It was said that Clinton had stepped up operations in Serbia and Iraq in order to keep eyes focused there rather than to a stained dress. Today we have the opposite, we have a sex scandal which has been lowered onto the public stage in order to cover up a war.

Or should I say wars? There are many facets of this story and many questions which are not being asked, such as how does the FBI get the authority to spy on the CIA director without warrants? What does this say about the relationship between journalists and the government? What is the reason behind all of the personnel shifts in the military? Why did Obama sit on this info until just after the election?

The “access” of access journalism

In the first place this reveals what has become more apparent over the years, although it makes literal what we usually say figuratively, the prostitution of the media. A very close and intimate relationship between the media, academia and the military was created in the new war fighting model that had been forged since the passing of the Patriot Act and the integration between the media, high tech companies and cyber warfare both via viruses and unmanned agents of death, namely drones. In this war fighting model, failures such as the complete fiasco in Iraq and the massive drug war in Afghanistan had been covered up by journalists and academics serving the interests of one branch of the military. This cover-up has been buttressed by partisan accounts of the role of differing Generals. Paula Broadwell’s biography of Petraeus is no exception to this. In fact, her biography was criticized for being too glowing with respect to Petraeus even before the affair became public. This brings to mind “embedded” journalists in general. Although they actually get out of a hotel room and keep fit with troops, where is their real interest? The relationship necessary for the scoop or reporting facts? As critical as it appears liberals are of the military, they very rarely talk about real things. Just as they never speak of the bravery of some troops who do good things for people in the theater of operations, they likewise do not report on the crimes of others, until it is much, much, later, and then only begrudgingly. The Paula Broadwell case should bring a new level of scrutiny to Access journalism in particular, and anything the media puts out in general.

The security breach and conflict of interest

It is reported that Broadwell had classified documents on her computer (source). Did she abuse her access to Petraeus or worse did she steal information? Did he give it to her? Was she a spy? Was she a voracious journalist satiating a different appetite, namely for the scoop? What else does she know? Similar concerns, I recall, were raised during the Lewinsky affair. Did the President compromise himself? Did he open himself up to blackmail? In this case could someone have blackmailed Petraeus to get info? This is why the moral law ought to be followed. Not only could Broadwell obtain information she shouldn’t have, she could be a spy or she could be the source for blackmail.

This story gets more interesting when we see that there is another woman involved, Jill Kelly. The news reports she is a “socialite”. I have to confess I hadn’t the faintest idea what that was and had to look it up. She is someone who hangs out with important people, and she has dined at the White House 3 times this year. Petraeus also had some involvement with this woman, what kind is not clear, both have denied any romantic entanglement. Nevertheless, this irritated Broadwell who then sent harassing e-mails to Jill Kelly. Folks, never send e-mails. As the facets of this story show, nothing is private. This is how the FBI discovered the affair between Petraeus and Broadwell. But wait! The FBI agent gets so excited over this woman, he sends a photo of himself topless! And again, General Allen, who is the top commander in Afghanistan and was in the wings to become the commander of NATO’s European theater, attempted to take the more classical route through poetry. Who is this woman that leaders of the government are prostrating themselves for the chance of a night out? Perhaps this might help the reader to understand my apathy when it comes to our government, to elections and everything else. These are not men.

Yet we need to step away from the honeypot, that is Broadwell, Jill Kelly and the love triangle. That is just a cover to distract us from what is really going on. In good fashion, the media, which is obsessed with sex, will do nothing but focus on this facet and ignore the real story. As we said above, the media has become the whore of government officials though normally in a figurative sense. They cozy up and limit themselves to what the government wants reported, and ignore important things. What is most important in the Broadwell case is not what’s uncovered, but what has been covered over and quickly forgotten. I hope to bring this out just a bit.

The Benghazi connection

What is interesting is what Petraeus may or may not have known what happened in Benghazi, Libya. Apart from the horrors and devastation that the NATO intervention caused in Libya, a stable country with growing economic opportunities in a difficult region turned into a 3rd world war-zone, was the allegation that the Benghazi consulate had prisoners inside. The death of the American ambassador in Benghazi is at the center of the scandal. The White House changed its story numerous times and then blamed the intelligence community for not getting him the information. The real story is different.

In the first place it is necessary to understand what happened in Libya. Qaddafi,  had brought literacy from 20% to 80%, provided free schools and free health-care with the oil and gas surpluses that the state industry had yielded. He was providing jobs to sub-Saharan Africans and drilling underground for water, which large international corporations wish to privatize (source). He also killed political opponents and did bad things, like most rulers. This is not a defense of Qaddafi but a clarification of the situation. Last year Obama and Hillary simply decided it was time for him to go, for largely economic reasons. Qaddafi, in improving Libya, was bringing his country into conflict with a Nixon era memorandum that is still gospel in the state department: NSSM 200. This memo, authored by Henry Kissinger, states that 3rd world countries realizing their resources, are a threat (!) to American security because we won’t be able to steal their resources anymore. So Obama’s regime, just as the Bush regime had done in Iraq, created a phony case using such unsubstantiated and fantastical phantasms of “troops on viagra to rape the population”. These type of things, apart from being unsubstantiated by any intelligence, in any way, much like the mobile production centers in Iraq in 2003, are just ridiculous. Nay more, they’re absurd. The real cause was the consternation of the Obama regime and its corporate contributors that Libya treated its people like human beings and not serfs.

None of Qaddafi’s achievements could stop NATO from bombing schools, hospitals and civilian areas with drone strikes. The US African command, AFRICOM, established by the Bush regime in 2007, coordinated with and armed the Libyan “rebels”, much in the same way the State department and NATO is openly arming the Syrian “rebels” today. Yet many of these “rebels” were not Libyan at all, they were veteran Al Qaeda fighters from Iraq who had killed American soldiers in that conflict, and who later were the recipients of American funding.

That, however, is not the story. After toppling Qaddafi, an utterly unnecessary action, we established a consulate there with a CIA facility nearby. During the September 11 2012 attack on the consulate, in which Ambassador Steven’s was killed, we now know what actually happened. At 10:15 pm local time armed assailants opened fire. Teams of troops were re-directed to Benghazi, and a first attempt to retake the consulate was unsuccessful. The second attempt around 11pm was successful, but fighting continued to midnight at a second facility next to the consulate, the CIA annex. This is the important part of the issue. What was this CIA annex doing? What was their actual role? We’ll hash that out in a minute. Yet in this process ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed. Though reports have been denied, Admiral Ham, in charge of naval forces in the area, was calling for air support of the Annex and was ordered to stand down. Then he was relieved of his command, an order which came from Defense Secretary Panetta. Apparently, Navy seals teams and paramilitary forces were also ordered to stand down, though this is being denied presently as well.

Interestingly, of all people, Paul Broadwell, in the wake of the attack, alleged that the CIA annex had taken some Libyan militants as prisoner. As the director of the CIA, Petraeus would have known and overseen all of this. This goes to what we said above. Petraeus communicating state secrets to his mistress during various encounters, constitutes a huge breach of security. True, she could be making it up, but why? Why put that out there? This was before the affair was exposed, she doesn’t have any reason to make it up. If true, it is possible this admission gave motivation for making this into a public scandal. If true it would also be illegal, since Obama signed an executive order in 2009 that stripped the CIA of its ability to run prisons. Now Blackwater can do that I suppose. That the CIA has denied it carries zero credibility with me, the CIA has routinely denied documented facts. Broadwell allegedly also had classified info on her computer, which begs the question what else did she know? It seems to me that the murder of Ambassador Stevens was a professional assassination, not a random action of mob violence. I think this opinion also helps explain the changing of talking points and shifting of blame, then sex scandal and cover-up. Without facts of course that is what it is, an opinion.

It has also been alleged that the CIA Annex in Benghazi was sending heavy weapons to terrorists fighting as “rebels” in Syria. Many of the so-called rebels have come from Benghazi. That is not so impossible when we consider this report in the Telegraph:

Abdulhakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, “met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey,” said a military official working with Mr Belhadj. “Mustafa Abdul Jalil (the interim Libyan president) sent him there.”

The “covert operation” was immediately laid bare when a rival Libyan rebel brigade detained Belhaj at Tripoli airport, accused him of traveling on a fake passport, and declared they would jail the senior military leader.

Only a letter from the country’s interim president was enough to persuade them to let him leave the country.

The meetings came as a sign of a growing ties between Libya’s fledgling government and the Syrian opposition. The Daily Telegraph on Saturday revealed that the new Libyan authorities had offered money and weapons to the growing insurgency against Bashar al-Assad.

Mr Belhaj also discussed sending Libyan fighters to train troops, the source said. Having ousted one dictator, triumphant young men, still filled with revolutionary fervour, are keen to topple the next. The commanders of armed gangs still roaming Tripoli’s streets said yesterday that “hundreds” of fighters wanted to wage war against the Assad regime. (Source)

Personnel shifts, night of the long knives?

There is another interesting facet. In the wake of this, Petraeus is out. Who was Petraeus? A four star general trying to turn the CIA into an efficient force. While I don’t support a lot of what Petraeus wanted or did in the war on abstract nouns, he was a competent general and administrator, even if most of what he is doing is wrong. Moreover, he was supposed to testify at the Benghazi hearings which the Republicans are running. Even though I think both parties are basically the same, that does not mean there is not infighting over who will lead the two headed hydra that is the two-party system. Eventually after some speculation Petraeus did testify, but made only very mild assertions that someone changed the CIA estimation. Yet on September 14, Petraeus was very much apart of those talking points, specifically saying that the attack was spontaneous outrage over an anti-Islam video. As we know now, at the time of the attack scarcely anyone was aware of the video in the Middle East, least of all Libya were NATO’s “successful” intervention has completely destroyed the infrastructure, so that most people don’t even have access to the news. Irrespective of that, what might Petraeus have said if this scandal had not come to the fore? Was he forced into a cover-up to hide the arms going to Syria? Or was something else going on at the CIA-Annex? We probably will never find out.

There is, moreover, the dismissal of Admiral Ham who was in command on the very night of the attack.  Ham was brought in in 2011 to replace the more reluctant general Ward. He was replaced by Pannetta just after the Petraeus scandal broke. Again, Rear Adm. Charles M. Gaouette, the commander of a carrier group being dispatched to the Middle East. It is highly, and I stress highly unusual for the military to remove a commander from a strike force, especially for something as broad and ambiguous as “inappropriate leadership” decisions.” Why do this and at the same time as Petreus and Ham? There are even more changes, however. Christopher E. Kubasik the CEO of Lockheed Martin, a defense contractor that is very much apart of the military industrial complex has resigned from that post over an extra-marital affair. By itself that might not mean much, but in the wake of the Petraeus scandal it is very interesting. It could be, that he worked with the White House to not send the federally required WARN notices to employees who are in danger of layoffs, a violation of Virginia law. This means, layoff notices would have gone out to Lockheed employees just days before the election (way to win votes, right?), but the White House agreed to pay all legal fees if Lockeed (or any other defense contractor) did not send the notices, as ABC reports. Kubasikz is another person who likely has some information which is harmful to Obama. We also have General George Allen, who was writing love letters (30,000 pages of them!) to Jill Kelly, who was the root at breaking the Petraeus scandal. He had hoped to become the head of NATOs European command, now that is doubtful, he may even be court-marshaled if they can prove an affair. Who is Allen? The commander of American forces in Afghanistan. Furthermore, since the September 11 Benghazi attack the Navy has fired 8 commanders, including Gaouette who was mentioned above, for very small things, misconduct, rowdy behavior, loss of confidence of subordinates, etc. Changes in personnel happen, its true, this many, especially high profile people however, in such a short period raises a lot of questions.

What do all of these shifts, changes, back-stabbings, etc. mean? In fact we do not know, and unless more info might come to light, we probably will not know. Yet, it suggests the Obama regime is trying to replace military commanders who are less pliant to a civilian regime with those more likely to be loyal to the administration. What does the Panetta defense department, strikingly like the Rumsfeld defense department, want to do to shape the military? Reduce personnel and replace them with drones, cyber attacks, etc. It could be that there were a number of generals and others who could somehow defy the White House. This course of resignations in light of affairs, or other misconduct, is somewhat reminiscent of Eliot Spitzer, who was going to investigate banking fraud in New York, suddenly his affair with a high-priced call girl came to light. Given Clinton’s history this shouldn’t have sunk him, but it did. A conspiracy? Not necessarily but highly suspicious.

There may be many more things going on behind the scenes that we don’t know. What we can know, is that the women and the media’s obsession with sex is not the story, it is a distraction from the real story, which appears to be a power struggle. Why else is the administration and the FBI spying on 4-star generals to dig up dirt? This thesis that the Obama regime is culling generals who are less pliant to the aims of the civilian government, is further established by the dismissal of 4-star General William Ward, who was appointed by President Bush as the head of AFRICOM in 2007. Ward, who was black, had formed relationships with African generals and opposed the NATO intervention in Libya. Then he was promptly removed in 2011. Now, retiring just a few weeks ago, he was demoted, one star was removed, and forced to repay money he supposedly “misappropriated”. When did this happen? Under the cover of the Petraeus scandal. Again it is reasonable to suppose he has info that could hurt Obama. This suggests a power struggle occurring behind the scenes, the nature of which we can not know, but the fact of which we can discern. All of this in November, under the cover of a sex scandal which is so commonplace in government it is meaningless, even though it is offensive to a well informed moral sense.

War without end

What is paramount in the background of the story are the wars. In 2000, the last time I cast a vote for mainline party candidate, I voted for George Bush because he was, it appeared, pro-life and anti-war. I’m ashamed of that vote, and have not voted Republican since. Neither turned out to be true, and wars expanded all around the globe. Liberals in 2008, rightly disgusted with the war on abstract nouns, voted for Obama because his was the anti-war ticket. Not so, the war on transitive nouns, spurred on by a Nobel peace prize, simply got beefed up to new countries: Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Indonesia, and Syria. Yet many people are not aware of these wars. This is because, as I noted above, they have been fought mostly with unmanned drones, illegally and not approved by congress, and have wreaked terrible destruction and devastation. The lies in Libya do not end with the CIA annex in Benghazi; much like Bush’s “mission accomplished speech” for Iraq, the “successful NATO intervention” has not been successful.

A generally peaceful and stable country with a terrorist presence emanating out of Benghazi which Qaddafi was able to control, has been transformed into a war-zone where the normal operation of production, education, health care and family life have been destroyed, rival militias still fight each other and Qaddafi loyalists are also still in play, not to mention a CIA building that at the least was/is running guns and mercenaries to fight for Obama in Syria. No wonder Obama lied again and again about the September 11 Benghazi attack!  The NATO “intervention” (read terrorism) fails to meet the Catholic just war doctrine on every level, not just in the failure of demonstrating a real threat, but also in causing more harm than preventing. More of this type of war is just around the corner, continuing in Yemen, Afghansitan where 100,000+ civilians have died, and Syria and Iran. Not only are these things completely un-Catholic, un-Christian, they are even bad and destabilizing in a secular sense of peace, and all those things democracy represents. Frankly, I will go as far as to say what our government, along with the French, British and other participating members of NATO, did in Libya was a terrorist action, like the Allied war crime of bombing Dresden in the second world war. If the allegations of prisoners or arms dealing are true, Obama could be impeached, or at least have a black mark on his legacy.

Distributism is the answer

What does all this have to do with Distributism? It might appear off the map, but in fact is intertwined with the economic woes Distributism seeks to address. Consider all the money which continues to flow into the industrial military complex. Consider the war for resources, in Central Asia, Africa and the middle east? These are the reasons for the war on abstract nouns. Imagine if, the military were brought home and reduced to a small but effective professional force capable of defending our borders and advancing military technology toward that end, and the rest of the troops who have a good deal of technical and engineering skill, had opportunities to develop the wealth of natural resources within our borders (rather than of someone else), producing high paying jobs and in turn producing opportunities for other high-paying jobs and ownership of productive property? This thought experiment, far from requiring far fetched things like the conversion of politicians to Catholic social order, is eminently possible and attainable if the people of this country would but demand it. Instead, alas, they will watch the 24-7 coverage of “all the way in”. It would seem the behavior of high-level bureaucrats, CEOs and soldiers, is endemic of the culture at large in a country where the largest single export is pornography. We get the leaders we deserve.

 

About the author: Ryan Grant

 

Ryan Grant is a native of eastern Connecticut. He received his Bachelor's degree in Philosophy and Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, and also studied at Holy Apostles Seminary. He currently teaches Latin in Post Falls, ID where he resides with his wife and three children.

 

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29 Comments

  1. You have a lot fact in your article that I haven’t heard about before. Could you give some references for them so I can read more about them?

    Thanks.

  2. Which specific things? There are a lot of hyperlinks in the article, so I’m not sure which claims you want more sources on, or do you want just other references to this event?

  3. “Consider the war for resources, in Central Asia, Africa and the middle east? These are the reasons for the war on abstract nouns.” Very glad to hear you bring this up. Dorothy Day, whatever I might say about the faults of her pacifism and egalitarianism, I think made a very clear and very Catholic argument that our modern wars are capitalist wars, and this has only become more true with time. But for whatever reason I hardly ever hear this discussed in distributist circles beyond a generalized “yes, I’m against the wars.”

  4. I am a protestant Appalachian anarcho-syndicalist (are all these labels ridiculous? Yes, they are. Most every label these days is ridiculous, absurd) who voted for Nader in 2000 and has had to spend way too much time protesting and mourning wars ev very since. I wanted to say I appreciate this article very much. Thank you. God bless you.

  5. Well said, Mr. Grant! Thank you for your drawing us above the melodrama that passes for news and politics today, and also for giving an editorial upon the international effects on distributism.

    It is that last part which I wish to pursue further, for I feel I should add to and temper certain remarks in your conclusion; to wit:

    “Imagine if, the military were brought home and reduced to a small but effective professional force capable of defending our borders and advancing military technology toward that end, and the rest of the troops who have a good deal of technical and engineering skill, had opportunities to develop the wealth of natural resources within our borders (rather than of someone else), producing high paying jobs and in turn producing opportunities for other high-paying jobs and ownership of productive property?”

    The immediate result of such a policy, at least in the short term, would be the severe impoverishment of the United States – at least relative to what we are used to. We represent some 5% of the world population and yet consume approximately a quarter of the global energy production. It is the military dominance of the American military that keeps these structures of trade in place. A simple exercise in division tells us that reducing to the consumption of 5% of global energy would represent a five-fold reduction for us. Imagine, by way of thought experiment, each of us trying to care for his family on 30% of his current salary and you would not go far wrong.

    This is in fact how the rest of the world lives, and it is how America did live before it became a bloated empire fueled by centralization and the fortuitous bloom of fossil fuels.

    To abandon this empire and seek to develop the natural fertility of our farms, our workshops and our families is just and expedient; indeed, it is the only sane course of action open to us. We will be ultimately happier and more virtuous from the experience – and certainly more so than allowing the shifting fortunes of war to show us our error the hard way! Nonetheless, we cannot forget this: The path ahead will involve hardship, sometimes severe hardship.

    With the collapse of our command of foreign energy and resources, not only would out wasteful consumerism and transport system disappear, but also our food security and our healthcare with it. We will have to adapt, not only in terms of ingenuity but also in terms of mindset and spiritual development.

    Perhaps I am playing the part of Jeremiah too well, and falling short by failing to portray the good as attractive. Yet I fear that wishful thinking is part of what landed us in this predicament, and I am concerned for the truth as well.

    I welcome your thoughts on this matter.

  6. Typo: “…OUR wasteful consumerism…”

  7. Writes Mr. Grant: “What we can know, is that the women and the media’s obsession with sex is not the story, it is a distraction from the real story, which appears to be a power struggle.”

    Wrong. This is precisely about the obsession with sex in the sense of the triumph of feminism and the availability of women, in and around the military, to powerful men.

    The power struggle to which Mr. Grant refers is nothing compared to the cultural power struggle between what remains of traditionalism and the feminist left, which emerged triumphant on Nov. 6.

    Anyone who doubts this can look at the condition U.S. military since the women and homosexuals took over.

    The real relationship to distributism is capitalism’s removal of women from the home to exploit them, and the subsequent delay of and destruction of marriage and child-bearing and large families, as well as the assistance capitalists gave to the feminist left, most significantly the destruction of sex roles and complementarity of the sexes.

  8. Christianus,
    While I concur with you regarding the negative effects that capitalism and feminism have wrecked upon our culture, I must also agree with Mr. Grant’s pointing out of a power struggle within out top ranks. Many such men engage in illicit affairs, (sadly, for them and for all of us) far fewer are publically disgraced for it. Why was Gen. Petraeus targeted for this treatment in this case?

    Also, I’m unconvinced of the role of feminism per se in this affair. Powerful and foolish men have been seducing and being seduced by beautiful and foolish women for thousands of years.

  9. Typo: “…OUR top ranks…”

  10. Mr. Hartung is correct. Powerful and foolish men have a long history of succumbing to vice. Shakespeare wrote plays about them.

    As well, powerful and foolish men have always struggled for power. Shakespeare wrote plays about them, too.

    The power struggle, however, is the least important and least interesting aspect of this.

    Point is, never have so many women been so close to so many men to whom they are not married in areas that once were off limits to women.

    Now, because women have been forced into close proximity to men in such an endeavors as military arms, both sexes are temptingly close, and likely in the near occasion of sin.

    It wasn’t for no reason that housewives were writing their congressmen during the first Gulf war to decry placing their husbands, who had not had intimacy with their wives in months, in living quarters with unmarried women.

    All this resulted from the triumph of feminism and its long march through our institutions, as well as with the feminization and homosexualization of our men.

    One of the uglier aspects of feminism is a women’s using her power to grant or to deny sexual congress to get what they want.

  11. Gentleman, when you say women have never been this close to power in history, I would submit, respectfully, that you have not studied enough. In the late Roman Republic, there were a number of wealthy and influential women, Servitia being one example, who followed around main political figures, shared in state secrets, and made and broke careers. Cleopatra VII should come to mind, Aggripina Iunior, Zenobia, and in the Christian Roman empire Pulcheria and Gallia Placidia, in Tudor England Anne Boleyn and Jane Grey. Think of Catherine di Medici in France, or even of Mary Stuart, who brought down her father, James II, an anointed monarch and facilitated her homosexual husband, William of Orange, a usurper, becoming king. Need we mention the number of female camp followers accompanying most armies from the Persian wars to the Crimean war?,
    What you are talking about viz. women bringing down top generals, is not particularly new but in scale from historical example. The triumph of feminism has little to do with this. They are valid points in themselves, especially when we consider the emasculation of men, and the attack on the family, but they are not applicable to this story. Paula Broadwell did not seduce (or be seduced by) Petraeus as a reservist under his command, but as a journalist. Jill Kelley, like a high priced roman courtesan, uses her husbands wealth to hobnob with the leadership. Like Pompey being so affectionate for his mistress that he left bite marks, you have the commander in Afghanistan writing 30,000 pages of love letters, albeit there is as yet no evidence of an affair.

    In sum, feminism has little to do with replacing dozens of commanders who were either Bush appointees or opposed the Panetta pentagon for this reason or that. In fact, how does the p.c. agenda work by replacing a black 4star general and demoting him just before retirement, while replacing him with two white generals? What your are doing is reading the culture war into the larger geo-political war, which has nothing to do with these two women. An affair did not sink Clinton, it didn’t sink Eisenhower or Kennedy, Newt Gingrich and many others, but it has sunk Eliot Spitzer, Petraeus, and others who were up to something the admin didn’t like. Look at Bradley Manning, who in my opinion is a hero, a homosexual who leaked footage of American war crimes, Obama threw the book at him. The current goings on are wider than cultural issues, which does not mean those are not important, but the Petraeus affair is a much older game.

  12. anyone who doubts this can look at the condition U.S. military since the women and homosexuals took over.

    While I agree that feminism and homosexuality are destabilizing influence, they are not widespread enough to cause the breakdown of the military, not yet at any rate. If you know servicemen you might ask them, they could probably count on one hand the number of women commanders or gay comrades. The real thing doing the military in has been the ineptitude of both the Rumsfeld and Panneta defense department, and the incompetence of generals and politicians, here I think of men like Gen. Dempsey. There is a level of ineptitude among the top brass unseen since the war of 1812.

  13. Mr. Grant,

    I don’t wish to be rude, but your article needs severe revision. It appears to be hastily composed and nearly unedited. The incredible number of typos, the lack of clarity in the structuring of your argument, and the many poorly composed sentences distract the reader (at least this one) and, consequently, diminish the force of your argument. If you wish the Distributist Review to be taken seriously, I recommend raising the standards of your writing.

    Chesterton was a brilliant writer with a beautiful style and a compelling economic vision. You would do well to attempt, at the very least, to emulate him in both aspects, not simply the latter. While neither you nor I could hope to match him, setting the bar high will nevertheless be in your best interests, as well as those of this website.

    I intend this charitably, and hope that you will take it as such.

    In Christ,

    Daniel

  14. . The incredible number of typos, the lack of clarity in the structuring of your argument, and the many poorly composed sentences distract the reader (at least this one) and, consequently, diminish the force of your argument.

    Now, I do not deny that my running style is difficult, frequent relative clauses and use of the passive voice which are all characteristic of Latin which I spend more time reading and writing than English, though alas not speaking, but I seriously dispute “huge number of typos”. I went over this again, and I found one typo, vary in place of very which I have fixed. There are more typos on a general article in the New York times, not that this excuses that. Moreover, I found one place where I failed to put a comma next to moreover, and another improper use of an infinitive. It is unfortunate that the person who edited it did not discover that, but mistakes happen. If you know of more please, make your case.
    Second, this was the fruit of a few weeks of work of watching, observing and re-writing. All other feedback I have received is that it is orderly and constructs the argument well. If you don’t like my style, no offense taken and to each his own. In spite of my public school education which sadly has left my English forever scarred, I write in a complicated fashion. Yet, I continue to receive positive feedback about this and my work in the past. So, thank you, I do know you are not trying to be obtuse (there is a clear difference between someone concerned and someone deriding, in the latter case it would have been deleted forthwith, and you comment often so I know you are not an enemy). It is a frequent thing that nearly every article has someone come on and claim it is poorly written, usually (though not in your case) from people who want to segue the discussion away from what is relevant.

  15. The immediate result of such a policy, at least in the short term, would be the severe impoverishment of the United States – at least relative to what we are used to. We represent some 5% of the world population and yet consume approximately a quarter of the global energy production. It is the military dominance of the American military that keeps these structures of trade in place. A simple exercise in division tells us that reducing to the consumption of 5% of global energy would represent a five-fold reduction for us. Imagine, by way of thought experiment, each of us trying to care for his family on 30% of his current salary and you would not go far wrong.

    This would be true, if we went for a top-down no more importing we will only do “x” scenario. It is simpler than that. The problem with capitalism, which can be temporarily ameliorated by humanitarian legislation, extrinsic to its operating philosophy, is that money flows from the bottom to the top 1%. The trick in running an effective economy is to keep money flowing amongst the workers and producers, who can in turn purchase goods and keep other producers in turn. The trick for government in such a situation is to retire currency and create more currency at a balanced rate to take in the growth.
    So, if government spends on infrastructure and engineering, mining resources and producing, those are workers doing that who go out and spend. That spending creates demand for more production and opportunities for investment into producing companies who can do so far better than China. Thus it is possible to transition.

    For all that, you are right that no matter how smoothly one could transition, supposing we had a competent government, there will still be problems and hardships, though far less than if we keep going as we are now and crash, which is inevitable. That would result in a total dark age, if not domination by a foreign power.
    I think you have indicated an important element, not having a rosy vision of what reform entails. That is what capitalists and communists paint for us. Distributism can only profit by pointing out it will be hard.

  16. Mrs. Broadwell, a married mother of two young children, claims the status of “Lieutenant Colonel” in the modern US Army.

    She is not a mere journalist but actually collected and still collects pay and benefits to parade around as a “soldier” in a military that now celebrates “Gay Pride Month” but cannot celebrate anything resembling an actual military victory after many continuous years of spilled Blood and Treasure by real American troops and taxpayers.

    She has done this while conducting an illicit affair with a four-star general who no doubt will also continue to receive lavish pay and retirement benefits.

    A service member of lower rank, who had risked his life and limb in actual combat, would receive a far more severe reprimand and actual punishment for, say, stealing a rifle.

    Christianus is painfully correct. And this country, Mr. Grant, is not now, nor has it ever been, ancient Rome.

    Ancient Romans actually appreciated and demanded palpable military accomplishment from their leaders, and managed to sustain their political and martial dominance over several other established powers for several centuries.

    Our brief tenure as a world power, already irrevocably in decline, will eventually be remembered more like that of the 17th-century Dutch “empire:” A brief tenure of dominant international mercantilism slowly decayed to irrelevancy by arrogant self-delusion coupled with a painful naivete of human nature and how the world actually works, manifested in their–and now our–rejection of true religion and faith in the One True God.

  17. She is not a mere journalist but actually collected and still collects pay and benefits to parade around as a “soldier” in a military that now celebrates “Gay Pride Month” but cannot celebrate anything resembling an actual military victory after many continuous years of spilled Blood and Treasure by real American troops and taxpayers.

    Totally irrelevant to my argument. Broadwell and Petraeus did not meet in a fox hole, but while she was functioning as a journalist. Second she could not be active or else she would be subject to court-Martial. None of this of course means it is a good and wonderful thing that she collects money from the military while men who lay their lives on the line (even for the wrong cause) get their benefits scrapped by the government. Yet, as I said, this has nothing to do with this story.

    She has done this while conducting an illicit affair with a four-star general who no doubt will also continue to receive lavish pay and retirement benefits.

    In his capacity as a civilian appointee. Did you notice “retired” which precedes 4-star general? Either way its irrelevant, because this issue has nothing to do with feminism. As I said above, it is a problem and in general a destructive force, but you have failed to show how it has anything to do Obama removing numerous generals and captains, the Benghazi cover-up or a retired general breaking his wedding vows.

    Christianus is painfully correct. And this country, Mr. Grant, is not now, nor has it ever been, ancient Rome.

    You’re right, Ancient Rome is a far more interesting place with a far superior language. Besides that, maybe you don’t understand the argument, I can’t figure it, but it was Christianus who said women have never been this close to power, and I refuted that with clear and obvious historical examples stretching back thousands of years. Now you’re trying to refute the argument by shifting the burden of proof, we’re not ancient Rome. That’s neither here nor there. The Petraeus-Broadwell affair is little different than similar events in history.

    Ancient Romans actually appreciated and demanded palpable military accomplishment from their leaders, and managed to sustain their political and martial dominance over several other established powers for several centuries.

    How does that mitigate against anything I said above? In fact now you are making my point, it is the ineptitude of the top brass that has reduced the effectiveness of the army, not feminism and homosexuality. Now, given time, those two factors will certainly wreak their own havoc, but at the present it is ineptitude at the top. People like Dempsey or worthless civilian appointees like Brennan and Panetta, who are little better than Rumsfeld.

  18. With respect, Mr. Grant, you seem to be basing your statements on semantics or legalism, and determined somehow not to connect ideas which cannot ultimately be separated. Indeed, I’m not even sure why we’re arguing or if we actually disagree on much of anything, and if not then I will take my share of the blame for beginning with a tone that was perhaps more confrontational than I meant it.

    You seem to agree that both “feminism,” as we have both been raised to know it (I am in my mid-30’s), and homosexual political activism are “destructive forces,” but you deny that they have anything to do with the issue at hand. This perturbs me mainly because I feel, perhaps incorrectly, that you’re ceding ground on behalf of our common cause, ground which I refuse to cede.

    I have frequently evoked the same points you do regarding the political power of women in antiquity. The three main foundational cultures of Western civilization–Hebraic, Greek and Latin–put forth relatively “progressive” ideas regarding women and their rights at various points. Certainly in Rome individual women frequently wielded enormous influence, politically and economically, and in addition to the historical, and not at all trivial or “inferior,” influence of women as a class in domestic life throughout all known human history.

    But the modern notion of “feminism,” as a political force and idea all its own, is different. Romans would have laughed, in scorn and derision, at the idea of women military officers, reserve or otherwise.

    Likewise, homosexuality to the Greeks and Romans was long considered a common youthful folly, and a common vice among adults; common and largely acceptable. But even to the Greeks and Romans, the idea of basing one’s political identity as citizen purely on being a homosexual–or the idea of two men getting “married”–would have been absurd and condemnable.

    You say such issues are unrelated to modern scandals such as Benghazi and “the Petraeus affair” but I disagree. It is precisely the modern American desire to do the impossible, namely accept these civil and political disgraces, absurdities, and offenses to basic human nature, that leads to the mental disconnect and compartmentalization which can result in truly scandalous corruption and immorality in people who are otherwise good and mean well, such as General Petraeus.

    And those rioters in Benghazi, Scripturally-misguided and religiously incorrect though they might be and as I feel they are, perhaps still perceive these relationships better than Americans who have been born and raised among such poisonous ideas. They are rioting in the name of a false god and a false religion, but also on behalf of a spiritual truth: they don’t want militant amoralism and destructive foolishness in the form of nonsense like “feminism” and “homosexual marriage” forced into their cultures.

  19. Ryan Grant, something you said regarding a tangential matter piqued my interest. Why do you think that Latin is far superior to English?

  20. Writes Mr. Grant in his comment:

    “While I agree that feminism and homosexuality are destabilizing influence, they are not widespread enough to cause the breakdown of the military, not yet at any rate. If you know servicemen you might ask them, they could probably count on one hand the number of women commanders or gay comrades. The real thing doing the military in has been the ineptitude of both the Rumsfeld and Panneta defense department, and the incompetence of generals and politicians, here I think of men like Gen. Dempsey. There is a level of ineptitude among the top brass unseen since the war of 1812.”

    Respectfully, sir, you simply don’t know what you are talking about.

    As well, I never wrote or implied that “women have never been this close to power.”

    And if Mr. Grant thinks the homosexual Manning is a hero, then he needs to do some more thinking.

  21. “In 2000, the last time I cast a vote for mainline party candidate, I voted for George Bush because he was, it appeared, pro-life and anti-war. I’m ashamed of that vote, and have not voted Republican since. Neither turned out to be true, and wars expanded all around the globe.”

    Mr. Grant:

    In the above statement, do you mean that Bush was not pro-life because he invaded Iraq, or is there another reason why you believe that Bush was not pro-life during his presidency?

  22. . Indeed, I’m not even sure why we’re arguing or if we actually disagree on much of anything, and if not then I will take my share of the blame for beginning with a tone that was perhaps more confrontational than I meant it.

    Neither am I frankly. The purpose of this whole line of argument confuses me.

    This perturbs me mainly because I feel, perhaps incorrectly, that you’re ceding ground on behalf of our common cause, ground which I refuse to cede.

    This would have been better to lead off with, since it makes the issue you are objecting over more clear.

    But the modern notion of “feminism,” as a political force and idea all its own, is different. Romans would have laughed, in scorn and derision, at the idea of women military officers, reserve or otherwise.

    No argument there. Although, Cleopatra and Zenobia both led troops on different occasions, they were rulers not officers. Yet, this story is not about a female officer, but a female journalist. The fact that she was in the military is immaterial to this story. It is to another story, why is she not home raising her kids? My point is that I do not see how that is relevant to the background of the Petraeus affair.

    You say such issues are unrelated to modern scandals such as Benghazi and “the Petraeus affair” but I disagree. It is precisely the modern American desire to do the impossible, namely accept these civil and political disgraces, absurdities, and offenses to basic human nature, that leads to the mental disconnect and compartmentalization which can result in truly scandalous corruption and immorality in people who are otherwise good and mean well, such as General Petraeus.

    Now I get what you are talking about. In a broad sense, I would agree. In a strict sense, namely the particulars of this case I would disagree, in as much as these events germinate with specific things, and hint at wider things, none of them to do with the role of feminism and homosexual militancy in society or in the military.

    And those rioters in Benghazi, Scripturally-misguided and religiously incorrect though they might be and as I feel they are, perhaps still perceive these relationships better than Americans who have been born and raised among such poisonous ideas.

    This is part of the problem that I tried to dispel. The rioters were not rioters. That was Obama’s talking points. It was a carefully designed military operation on the part of some Arab force, albeit we don’t know all the objectives. This relates to the clear fact of arms dealing via the CIA annex. I hope that things are a little more clear now in general.

    Christianus:

    Respectfully, sir, you simply don’t know what you are talking about.

    Oh? And you can disprove anything I have said? You haven’t tried yet you have simply sneered. Please try. You can’t because I do know what I’m talking about, I have 10 years of study of military history, can name dates, equipment, generals formations and troops without notes for classical, medieval, modern and contemporary armies, and have numerous friends who (for most of them unhappily), are in the military. You maybe have some stirring evidence that will magically refute all I have said that you have reserved ’til now? Or are you running back and forth to Wikipedia?

    And if Mr. Grant thinks the homosexual Manning is a hero, then he needs to do some more thinking.

    Do you know anything about the Manning case? The fact that he is gay has nothing to do with anything. He revealed war crimes. Anyone who does that is a hero in my book irrespective of who they are. And what happened to him? He is facing court martial and even the death penalty, in spite of the fact he is gay. Obviously the PC agenda has suffered a bit, which was part of my point. Not everything is reducible to those issues. I did not deny they are a problem, but they are seminal. I’m sorry, but in the military, all branches combined, the ratio is 10 men for every woman, in officer posts above that of corporal it is 20 to 1. That does not even include that women are not allowed in combat positions. Women do not have the muscle to bring about the disasters in the military of the last two decades. The leadership has. Maybe you think that I’m an apologist for these things, I’m not. I don’t think any women should be in the military, but I work by facts not talking points.

  23. In the above statement, do you mean that Bush was not pro-life because he invaded Iraq, or is there another reason why you believe that Bush was not pro-life during his presidency?

    Both. Not just because of Iraq, however, but moreover because of Afghanistan and other lesser known interventions. Further I am not convinced he was pro-life at all, but rather an opportunist like the Republican party in general using the abortion issue to get more people into office. I don’t think Bush or any other republican (save for one or two) would ever end abortion even if the chance were granted to them, because they would not get votes in the next election.

    It also comes down to this, I believe anyone who supports the war on terror is not pro-life. That’s why I refused to vote for Bush in ’04, McCain or Romney, and even if I didn’t think Obama’s anti-life stance made him an unworthy vote I would still refuse to vote for him because of his unabashed support for the war on terror.

  24. Ryan Grant, something you said regarding a tangential matter piqued my interest. Why do you think that Latin is far superior to English?

    The order and the manifold ways of expressing things that allow one to vary speech, conceal puns, divide categories, be clear about parts of speech and antecedents, as well as succinctly say many things. Although I should add likewise, I find ancient Greek superior to Latin and enjoy it much more, I just don’t have much of an outlet for it at the moment other than Aristotle’s Πολιτικά

  25. Ryan,
    A few items that I believe require some comment.
    You said: Again, Rear Adm. Charles M. Gaouette, the commander of a carrier group being dispatched to the Middle East. It is highly, and I stress highly unusual for the military to remove a commander from a strike force, especially for something as broad and ambiguous as “inappropriate leadership” decisions.” Why do this and at the same time as Petreus and Ham?
    Unusual? Yes, it doesn’t happen all the time but it’s not unprecedented. Further, most of the time when a commander is relieved, it is justified with the equally “broad and ambiguous” justification of “loss of confidence.” The Navy typically doesn’t put all of the details out in public. There is no need for this. Leave that to the tabloids. Rumor within the Navy lifelines is that RADM Gaouette made some poor personal decisions while on liberty in 7th Fleet. It’s one thing when a Sailor does such things and another thing entirely different when the Strike Group Commander is guilty and everyone knows about it. At that point, credibility is completely lost. He can no longer effectively instill discipline.
    You then go on to say: Furthermore, since the September 11 Benghazi attack the Navy has fired 8 commanders, including Gaouette who was mentioned above, for very small things, misconduct, rowdy behavior, loss of confidence of subordinates, etc. Changes in personnel happen, its true, this many, especially high profile people however, in such a short period raises a lot of questions.
    Yes, it does raise questions. And while there have been a rapid number of reliefs, the overall pace has been consistent for the last few years. This has been part of an ongoing discussion with the Navy as to why so many individuals chosen for command end up being fired. Personally, I have always felt it was a combination of issues. First, the increasing presence of connectivity has created an environment where junior officers never have to make tough decisions as they can always call their superiors and ask for guidance. This has created a situation where many new commanders have never had to make a difficult decision. Couple that with a zero-defect mentality in the military and there is little room for error. One strike and you are out. Secondly, many of the firings occurred because of “zipper problems.” Having females in the ranks has brought this on. Crews deploy for months away from home and work long hours together. Relationships develop, judgment is clouded and the superiors get fired for doing things they shouldn’t be doing. Sometimes this is outright sex and other times it’s just poor behavior in a mixed setting while on liberty. So the questions raised by this have nothing to do with Petraeus (other than he seems to have succumb to the same idiocy) but rather how we can better form leaders. I’m pessimistic on turning it around.
    One other point that I think bears some comment is the overall impact of the PC movement on the military. Now I suppose we can argue on who is to blame, leadership or the women, but fact remains the introduction of women to the fighting ranks has brought more PC with it. Take a look at recruiting advertisements. They disproportionately portray women and minorities. There is a reason for that as the stated goal of Navy leadership is to have the Officer ranks mirror the demographics of society. In fact, we had one Chief of Naval Operations publicly state that the #1 mission of the Navy was “diversity.” Bizarre, isn’t it? From my time working in Millington at the Navy Personnel Command I can assure you that promotions and assignments are taking into account gender and melanin as part of the overall plan to put a diverse face on the Navy with merit taking a back seat. Take a walk on any Navy base and the number of Sexual Assault prevention posters would make you think that Sailors are all a bunch of rapists. In fact, one of the top collateral duties that any First Class Petty Officer can have in terms of getting promoted is that of the Sexual Assault Victim Intervention representative for the command. Primary duties are secondary.
    Her is one anecdotal story that I think best illustrates how bad it has become. When I was last stationed up in Brunswick, Maine, the building which housed the training for Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape was renamed in honor of the former POW, Admiral and Senator, Jeremiah Denton. Admiral Denton, now up in years, showed up in uniform and was visibly moved. One of the highlights was a question and answer session with all of the officers on base. At some point, Admiral Denton, who was in the Hanoi Hilton during his captivity, remarked that while he applauds the desire of women to serve, in his mind they have no place in the cockpit and would have been a detriment in a POW situation. He further remarked that with men you can give an order in wartime and expect it to be carried out but with women you have to take time to explain why you are doing this or that. All of men in the audience were happy to hear a leader finally speaking the truth. Some of the women were clearly miffed. The Commodore, who was the commander of all of the squadrons, was on stage with the Admiral and was clearly uncomfortable and looked a squirmy. The greatest irony was the Commodore’s response to it all. He ordered every squadron Commanding Officer to personally have a sit down with all of their female pilots and explain to them that the Admiral’s statements were his alone and did not reflect the views of the Commodore or the Navy. So in the end, Admiral Denton appeared to be correct; with women you do indeed have to take time and explain everything.
    So I would caution you in underestimating the changes to the military by just a seemingly small amount of women into the fighting ranks. It has been profound and I could go on with more stories.

  26. Nota Bene for those above, Stu has offered well informed and constructive counter-points.

    many of the firings occurred because of “zipper problems.” Having females in the ranks has brought this on. Crews deploy for months away from home and work long hours together. Relationships develop, judgment is clouded and the superiors get fired for doing things they shouldn’t be doing. Sometimes this is outright sex and other times it’s just poor behavior in a mixed setting while on liberty. So the questions raised by this have nothing to do with Petraeus (other than he seems to have succumb to the same idiocy) but rather how we can better form leaders. I’m pessimistic on turning it around.

    I agree with that 100%. Moreover, especially what I’ve seen in European military, namely the French, Croatian and German. I do not see anything can be turned around until the problems of women on active duty gets addressed.

    So I would caution you in underestimating the changes to the military by just a seemingly small amount of women into the fighting ranks. It has been profound and I could go on with more stories.

    Let’s head in this direction then. When the first question about this came up I talked to a friend of mine who served in Afghanistan. He said he never had a female CO, he’s had a sexual harassment awareness class once a year, and outside of that he saw almost nothing of women. As far as gays, he heard one of the men in his division complain of one guy he knew who was gay, but otherwise didn’t know of any. In terms of actual combat and duties, his issues come from the top. Rules of engagement that nobody could possibly master and execute in a firefight, useless directives and many other types of bureaucratic nonsense. I don’t deny anything you’ve said above, but when we’re talking about combat effectiveness, at least at the present, don’t you think that more of that rests with people like Rumsfeld and Panetta than awareness posters? And again, there is no doubt the PC agenda is alive and well, but how well? Ward, who is black is demoted one star, Manning who is gay is facing the death penalty. Surely if it was just a blind PC agenda that alone was running the military into the ground, these guys would be let off.

  27. Let’s deal with Ward and Manning first. Manning is accused of the largest unauthorized release of classified material ever with some suggestions that he put the lives of some people at risk in doing so. Regardless of what actually happened or the severity, being part of some manner of “protected class” isn’t going to help. Likewise, Ward’s actions were of a clown-shoe caliber and so brazen that he isn’t going to be able to walk away from it. He is such a fool that it makes one wonder how even got promoted to Flag Officer. A cynic might even think it had something to do with the amount of melanin in his skin.

    While your friend may not have interacted much with women, the effects of their presence is far reaching. In fact, the military is geared up to put them in the forefront of assignments not to build up their presence. The belief is that in order to attract more women and minorities that they need to have them in positions that enable them to get promoted at a higher rate. So in the Navy for instance, policy is to have at least three candidates for all high profile positions such as Flag Aides, Chief Of Staff, Executive Assistants, etc of which one must always be a female, one must always be a “diversity candidate” (meaning they have more melanin in their skin) and the last one CAN be the “white guy.” (A diverse female would be known as a “twofer.”) Given the fact that the majority of the Naval Officer ranks are filled by white men, there is increasingly a disproportionate number of “diverse” and female officers going to these billets for no other reason but their melanin content or chromosome makeup. I even know of one DC group asking for another diverse candidate for the position they were filling because the one provided “didn’t look diverse enough.” His hispanic last name apparently wasn’t good enough. Further, the navy brought back full length officer photos to promotion boards. These had been abandoned some years ago because they simply were no longer needed to tell if an officer was in physical shape or not as such information was captured on officer evaluations denoting if an officer had passed or failed the twice yearly physical fitness/weight tests. This would cause no concern other than the initial plan, which was abandoned because it was seemingly too transparent, was to require passport photos. I can think of no other purpose for such measure but to take into account melanin when promoting people. I can go on. Point is that while your friend might now see only a few women or open homosexuals in the ranks, there is an entire apparatus at work to really change things. Remember, our number one mission is diversity. Readiness for combat is secondary. This comes from the same leadership that comes up with daft Rules of Engagement or other such nonsense. Fruit of the same tree and just as poisonous.

  28. Therefore, it would appear we more or less agree in many respects. Let’s see if we can make this more succinct.
    From what I see, and what I have even said here, feminism and the pc agenda (homosexual advocacy and affirmative action) are bad, but they don’t make any serious impact on the combat effectiveness of soldiers. You are saying it does contribute to the lowering of morale, and that may be, I may have to modify my opinion of the nil affect, although that centers on how it affects ground pounders rather than naval support (no offense meant, in fact once I worked with someone who was retired Navy, and he was fond of saying that the Marines motto should be “ab navalibus armentis vehimur”, more or less we ride in navy equipment). Nevertheless, it would seem we agree that it is a symptom of the incompetence of the top brass and the politicians, which are the real cause of the Petraeus affair.

    What do you think then of the Petraeus-Benghazi business, or in particular, to the theory that it was part of an operation by the neo-conservatives in the government to embarrass Obama before the elections?

  29. Ryan said…”From what I see, and what I have even said here, feminism and the pc agenda (homosexual advocacy and affirmative action) are bad, but they don’t make any serious impact on the combat effectiveness of soldiers. ”

    I’m not willing to go that far. The attitudes and policies that I have outlined aren’t happening in a vacuum and affect the overall force. (And I haven’t even mentioned the lowering of physical standards because of the presence of women.) You mentioned morale. That is one aspect that does go all the way to the tip of the spear. Even when soldiers are fighting forward, they still have concerns about career, promotions, etc. Yes, they go out and do their job as tasked on the tactical level but at some point things like this do affect whether someone stays in or gets out. Many of us with the more warrior-ethic have simply opted to leave at the first possible opportunity (I retired at 20 years on the dot.)

    Secondly, having been a “dirt Sailor” in that I flew combat missions based in Afghanistan and Pakistan, I can say having women present has created a situation in the field that just shouldn’t be. I can remember at Kandahar having an Army enlisted point out the location of what was referred to as “bunker 69″ because that is where men and women went for casual sex. I even had a buddy one night preflighting his FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-Red) camera on deck catch a young man and woman “having a roll” in the bushes. This is not the kind of stuff the commanders should have to be dealing with in a combat zone. It’s a distraction.

    Lastly, the presence of women has changed the discipline and fraternal aspects. No longer is discipline as stern and exacting, can’t be with the women there, but the Band of Brothers ceases because inevitably more than one guy becomes interested in one girl. And it only takes one woman to make this happen.

    Now are we still effective at combat ops? Of course. Our technological advantage still covers a multitude of weaknesses. But there are potential adversaries who aren’t such pushovers as we have been toying with now.

    So bottom line, I think PC does affect combat effectiveness. And yes, there is is incompetence at the top and it’s only gong to get worse with the PC motivated “affirmative action” policies in promoting people.

    As to your question, i would suppose that Obama could only be embarrassed if there was something there to be embarrassed about. Do people attempt to use such things for political gain? Of course. I’m confident that General Petraeus could have been pressured to resign before the election as well but for political reasons that string wasn’t pulled by the Administration. Personally, I still feel there is more to the Benghazi story and more to the Petraeus story but have no idea where it may go.