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Mr. Patraeus turns out to not be the knight in shining armor he was purported to be, but more of a narcisistic rock star celebrity type, exactly the type who should NOT be the director of CIA. Good choice, Dear Leader...
War is dehumanizing in all aspects, and we are only seeing snippets of impacts. We have these amazing people who protect us - superb warriors trained to do war with incredibly powerful armaments. We send them off to multiple deployments at war. They advance because of war. Then we fail to understand the wreckage that is created by war - the physical and mental damages beyond comprehension to typical people. We need to provide better support for our warriors in all respects. War brings out the best and the worst in us including leaders of the battlefields. It's up to us, America, to help them keep some semblance of sanity during these many deployments away from family and normal standards. I hope we can learn and change and somehow avoid these continuous deployments of our warriors. And more help for those that carry awful burdens and torture of losses.
It's not just the body count. You also have to count all the physical and emotional cripples.
An affair is one thing. Rape and forced sodomy is quite another. An affair is a presonal failure; rape is a crime. That seems to be the destinction between Sinclair and Patraeus.
What about the thousands of married military personnel who do not engage in this deviant behavior? Maybe they're the disciplined and honorable ones (who nobody writes about.)
It's one thing to be caught and charged with a preponderance of sex crimes and assorted dalliances, it's another to minimize them, then attack the victim. This man is not owning his behavior at all. I find this reprehensible and worthy of a court martial if not additional punishment.
It remains to be seen if the rape charge sticks, but if it does then vegasgal's point is a fair one to make.
And, langston's point about the many who do not succumb to these pressures is fair, and a tribute to those who do manage that. But, just as we don't toss aside all who are mentally ill just because there are many of us who are not mentally ill, I don't know that we can automatically condemn those who do succumb.
Remember that the entire system of honor and discipline was built around an entirely different set of circumstances -- War was short-lived (WWII lasted less than half as long as the two we're in the midst of now, most wars were much shorter than that), and was primarily peopled by young people just out of high school (or more accurately just out of the fields they were working on for their fathers). We never conceived of a truly professional army filled with people (of both genders) who had families back home. We never conceived of wars that last a decade. These things are new, yet we've never examined what that truly means for the people who participate. Families like Mrs Sinclair's are paying for that failure to examine (and the potential for changes to accommodate the new world). I'd suggest her suggestion to spend more time thinking about this is more than justified.
So many people are quick to say, "Support our troops" when they go off to war as if just saying it out loud is a patriotic duty. I think there is an element of patriotism that needs to be centered on keeping our troops safe, supporting their families when they are away, and ensuring our soldiers have employment opportunities and adequate health care (including mental health) when they return.
I understand working through an affair but I do not understand the forced rape. Who can stand by a man in that situation. I in no way condone an affair but I must say there is a lot of difference between an affair and rape.
Sinclair's wife sounds like an enabler. All I know is that, if I were ever unfaithful, my wife would make sure that my ensuing death was neither quick nor painless.
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