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Brig. Gen. James Shelton on Petraeus: Naive and Fell for Broadwell’s Charms

“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.

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4 Responses to Brig. Gen. James Shelton on Petraeus: Naive and Fell for Broadwell’s Charms

  1. spincitysd November 30, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    The slut made you do it Petraeus?Oh please, it’s really simple, keep that dang thing in your boxers and everything will go fine. If the military stresses anything, it stresses discipline. You know, that whole thing about self-control and doing right by your people, and your position?
    This is yet another example of a man in high places who thought the rules did not apply to him.

    What he did to his wife was inexcusable. The life of a military spouse is brutal; constant movement, constant separation, the fear of the knock on the door. Holly put up with all that, the long separations, the gypsy life style, the obscene working hours of her spouse, the grinding bureaucracy of the military, raising a family by herself, plus much more. And how does she get repaid for all that? Her husband has a fling with another woman. And he did it while deployed. It’s bad enough being separated due to operational commitments, but to find out dear old hubby is shagging someone on the side while you keep the home fires burning is more than any woman should have to put up with.

    There were plenty of times the General could have called a halt to what became an inappropriate relationship. There were plenty of times he could have told Paula Broadwell that she was acting inappropriately. But he he did not, he let his ego short-circuit his common sense.

    As for Ms. Broadwell going from journalist to groupie to mistress was the worst kind of malfeasance. Power is the greatest aphrodisiac as Kissinger pointed out, but as a journalist she should have been on guard and on point about that pitfall.

  2. Taylor Marsh November 30, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    Well said.

    • ladywalker68 December 1, 2012 at 1:52 am #

      Agree. Very well said, spincitysd.

      Great post, Taylor, especially this part: “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.”

      I mean, REALLY. If I suspend all reality, I can’t even begin to believe that the head of the CIA and a former General is a “naive babe in the woods, victim of a vixen.”

      Good freakin’ grief! These people sure forget about all of that personal responsibility stuff when it comes to keeping their pants up and their dicks out of places that they shouldn’t be.

      The only statement that is true and real is, ““I screwed up royally,” On that we agree. But what is this price that he paid? Not much as far as I am concerned.

      He screwed another woman, he screwed over his wife and he just plain screwed up. And nobody made him do it. It was his choice.

  3. Cujo359 November 30, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    “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.”

    The “hussy” faced a lot of the same dangers and stresses Patraeus did. Whatever happened, both bear the same responsibility, as far as I’m concerned. I suspect Broadwell’s spouse is as angry as Mrs. Patraeus is right now.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong