Above former CIA Director David Patraeus. Below General John Allen
In America, our media has engaged in triumphalism and extolled our military so often as "heroes", they present it as almost "shocking" when those "heroes" all too human frailties are discovered and their "heroism" becomes tarnished over tawdry sexual escapades.
"King David" Patraeus of unjustified "surge" fame in Iraq is the latest "hero" emperor caught almost literally without his clothes in an admitted extramarital affair and has resigned as CIA director.
Now General John Allen, the current commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan is discovered having sent "inappropriate" emails between himself and a Florida socialite who were friends with him, Patreaus and their wives.
Of course it's not just the tawdry escapades of high ranking generals tarnishing the military's hero status. There's also the unspeakable massacre allegedly committed by Sergeant Bales in Afghanistan killing and burning 16 innocent Afghans as they slept in their beds.
Bales' is to be tried in military court martial proceedings and if found guilty could face the death penalty.
Lest we forget the military extolling former pro football player turned Army Ranger Pat Tillman who was portrayed by the military as a hero when he was killed in Afghanistan in 2004, but his death was later discovered as a result of "friendly fire". Then a year earlier during the Iraq invasion of 2003, PFC Jessica Lynch was also portrayed as a hero by the military after being captured by Iraqi forces, kept as a POW and then later rescued by U.S. Special Forces. Lynch testified in Congress in 2007 honestly saying she never fired her weapon and was never engaged in combat, thus refuting the hero status earlier conferred upon her by the military.
Then there are the photos and videos of G.I.'s torturing Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib in Iraq. These episodes were attributed to a few low ranking non-coms acting on their own when if fact their actions were Bush administration officially authorized torture (enhanced interrogation techniques). Those officials were never held accountable for their transgressions.
Personally, I've always cringed in airports when civilian crowds broke into cheers seeing military men and women in uniform as if they were heroes. I believe these soldiers are embarrassed by such outpourings of adulation knowing they didn't do anything to deserve it. Those in uniform know they're not heroes. In war zones their world consists of just trying to stay alive while protecting and defending their buddies. They have no thoughts of their actions bringing "freedom and democracy" to the country they're fighting in or in any other political justification put forth by politicos who authorized the war.
Again personally, the real crime is against those who authorize war and putting our men and women in harms way unnecessarily. Our military was ordered to invade and occupy Iraq. They were not defending America. They were the lethal sword of our imperialism placed in harms way by political criminals who have never been held accountable for authorizing illegal war.
Now we're titillated by a former general's sexual indiscretions as if his fall from grace is an issue.
The real issue is our unnecessary war mongering and that's not even in the conversation.