“I screwed up royally,” Petraeus told his longtime Army pal, retired Brig. Gen. James Shelton in the hand-written missive. “I paid the price (appropriately) and I sought to do the right thing at the end of the day,” he wrote in the Nov. 20 message. – David Petraeus says he ‘screwed up royally’ in letter to old Army buddy

THE STORY recently reported in the New York Post reads like something from the 1950s.

“Team Petraeus will survive though [I] have obviously created enormous difficulty for us,” he wrote. “Holly is, however, once again demonstrating how incredibly fortunate I was to marry her.”

He signed the note “ATW” for “All The Way” ““ the military call for Army parachutists.

[…]Shelton put the blame on fellow West Point graduate Broadwell, 40, for the affair and speculated that Petraeus, whom he described as naive, fell for her charms while the two jetted to military bases and war zones for her Petraeus biography.

“He’s a man, and all men have an Achilles’ heel,” Shelton said.

Shelton’s remarks, paraphrased by the Post, are more revealing about the military culture than David Petraeus’s affair.

The depiction of the brazen hussy taking advantage of the poor mindless warrior, dragged out once again in the 21st century, is a bit too much to take.

As for “all men” having an “Achilles’ heel,” that is way too Victorian for the situation.

It’s been established over centuries that males have unbounded sexual egos. What’s been ignored since the advent of modern feminism is that many women have equally voracious carnal appetites. How the stronger sex, that would be women, handle it is different, though we have our own “Achilles’ heel, which is usually the same as men, if differently experienced.

It gets down to intimacy and the courage to find it safely, instead of parachuting into exciting situations fraught with drama that inevitably bring a crash landing at the end.

We can be our own worst enemy, which in the modern era can lead to very costly consequences. However, so far, women remain more tightly tethered to home and the responsibilities of family, leaving less time to be stupid.

Paula Broadwell is a prime example of what happens when you’re not.