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When the flesh is Weak


When the flesh is Weak

It may turn out that David Petraeus was one of the more honorable participants in what I now think of as Petraeus-Broadwell-Kelley-Allen-Shirtless FBI Guy-gate.

Compared with Marine Gen. John Allen, who currently commands U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Petraeus may be a paragon of virtue.

Not sexual virtue. Petraeus is an admitted adulterer. But while he was playing hide-the-bazooka with Paula Broadwell, he appears to have been trying to do his job as director of the Central Intelligence Agency and allegedly was not fooling around when he was Allen's predecessor.

While in Kabul, there is no evidence that Petraeus ever took his mind off his primary job of propping up a corrupt and detested regime.

Gen. Allen, on the other hand, seems to have found time to exchange 20,000 to 30,000 allegedly inappropriate emails with Tampa "socialite" and "society hostess" Jill Kelley. (An FBI agent allegedly emailed a shirtless picture of himself to Kelley, a risky act. Risky not so much because it endangers his career, but because few guys I see on the beach should immortalize their chests in a database.)

In fairness, both the number and nature of the Allen emails is in dispute. Allen's defenders are now saying the 30,000 figure may not refer to the number of emails, but merely their page length.

Fox News has reported that one "official described some of the emails as sexually explicit and the 'equivalent of phone sex over email.' "

But The New York Times quotes a senior administration official as saying: "If you know Allen, he's just the kind of guy to respond dutifully to every email he gets — 'you're the best,' 'you're a sweetheart,' that kind of thing."

Other officials, however, told the paper that the emails were "overly flirtatious."

But it is not the nature of the emails that bother me as much as their sheer volume. Gen. Allen has one giant bandwidth.

We are talking about 30,000 emails (or 30,000 pages) over a two-year period.

If I wrote emails about every sexual encounter I had in my life — with others or alone — I am not sure it would add up to 30,000. Even if I threw in every pre-teen fantasy starting with Hayley Mills in "The Parent Trap," I am not sure it would hit that number.

If Gen. Allen and Jill Kelley had engaged in just one inappropriate act or fantasy a day, it would have taken them more than 82 years to reach 30,000.

Where did Allen find the time to do it in two years? I hope our troops were not waiting in line trying to send emails to their spouses and kids while Gen. Allen was hogging the broadband.

Even if you accept the best-case scenario that Allen merely exchanged 30,000 pages of emails, who in his right mind exchanges 30,000 pages of emails with a Tampa society hostess while holding the fate of 87,000 U.S. troops in his hands?

Didn't he have more important stuff to do? Stuff that dealt with troop deployments and helicopters and artillery and all those other piddling details he had to fit into his life in between sending emails saying "you're the best" and "you're a sweetheart"?

And, by the way, what on earth is a Tampa society hostess? What on earth is Tampa society? Are these the people who get to go to the head of the line at Busch Gardens?

But you can see the enticements that Jill Kelley offered. She held parties for military brass that appear to be the I-4 corridor version a Caligula romp. At one, as The Tampa Bay Times reported, "Petraeus and his wife arrived escorted by 28 police officers on motorcycles to a pirate-themed party ... Guests dined on lamb chops and crab cakes, beside hot dog and funnel cake carts."

Personally, I wouldn't sell my soul for anything less than pigs-in-blankets, but that's just me.

Who are these silly people? I know that "society" folk are snobs trying to look more important than they really are. But in Washington, we just call that reporters going on TV.

Jill Kelley took herself seriously, however. Why shouldn't she? She has one general coming to her pirate parties and another exchanging thousands of pages of emails with her, while somehow getting herself the honorary (and meaningless) title of "honorary consul to South Korea."

To find out more about Roger Simon, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at



3 Comments | Post Comment
Sir;... These men were not much as Generals if they could not delgate their e-mailing and sexual relations to people more inclined to do them better than themselves... Power is an aphrodesiac, but sex is better left to people who don't need one... Youth may be wasted on the young, but sex is wasted on the old... When you reach that point, as everyone does, that the thing you once would have died for threatens to kill you, and you back away slowly, you are all done, and should know it...
If sex were a horse, a good horse, but blind to all but your service -and you will not ride him raw when you need to, then what good are you apart or together???... That is why cowboys never rode their own horses... No one will ride their own horse as hard as another's, and where horses are cheap, and cows are dear, you don't want your cowboy all sensitive about driving in the spurs...
It is a cruel business, and so is war and politics cruel and unforgiving... Is it any wonder even generals some times want to retreat into a fetish of their own fantasy??? How remarkable it must be to have that sort of wealth to think you might afford such pleasure at such risk...
Back before the dawn of time, one of my cave man buddies tried to make a deal with a girl at a time square peep show... The customer and the cutie were separated by three quarters of an inch of grimey plexiglass with air and voice holes conveniently drilled through it...She was offering the vision of her nude body to him at an extreme price, and concluded the offer with: "And you can even touch me!!!" And he asked her as he wiggled his finger through a larger hole: "What; Like this???"
No deal... People work hard for their cash in the land of sugar beets...But I told him he had missed the whole point...Unless you touch her, she never becomes real... Who do you touch... Who do we touch... If you get in a crowd, some one may brush up against you, or if you have business or meet some one you may shake their hand, but who touches anyone but people already dear... And when you are young, the last thing you want is people dear...Dearness is an impediment to pleasure... But imagine what is it to be some high and mighty general, being old enough and so unbeautiful that no one really wants to love you up, and yet suffering from rank- the pathos of distance, as I guess Nietzsche defined it...
It is lonely at the top, and as Icarus discovered, dangerous... And this is not the loneliness of a moment, because those people spent years in self denial to reach the point where they could wine and dine as generals always have, and then go on and decide who was going to die today as calmly as a kid could kill a fly...Rank has privilages, and after all they have done, the years of denial and lonliness, the years of fruitless desire, and palpable frustration does anyone believe for a moment that some sumptuous feasts will ever suffice to get those people on the plus side???
No matter how we stop up the leaks, or how diligently, the life drains out of us in the process of achieving a life worth living... We always of necessity wish for tomorrow while today slips away from us... It is unfair... And now that I can see the end of my life coming at me like the advent of some great adventure, no longer a monster but as Hosea, salvation, I wonder if I could have had a life more perfect by design than the one I lived by accident...
My life was always too dangerous when I was young to put off pleasure for another day... There was no tomorrow... Tomorrow was a lie... For what lie would I deny myself a pretty girl's company??? I never heard it...I was the Satyre, and my life burned with a flame of immediacy... I could not have burned my candle faster if it was a stick of dynamite... It was great, fantastic, and depressing... I made a lot of girls real by touching them, but I could not make myself real by loving them; really caring for them... But I had everything right, by accident...
Those generals living their lives by the book lost the best part of life in love, and now with power and years advancing upon them in waves they want to recapture their youths and the fantasies of youth; but it will never ever be the same....Lust is possible for the young, and it is the best they can manage... If youth is fortunate they can find and appreciate love in their lust, which without love is only shame...Once people have learned to love, if they ever do, lust loses its glamor...
The way we construct our lives by reason is so unreasonable most of the time... Why should the young work and the old retire??? Old people like to work and should work till they drop... Youth should party till it pukes because they will never do more than a half assed job at anything... Why should the old teach and the young learn... Only the old appreciate knowledge, and youth preferes the hard lessons which are more entertaining....When the old sit around chewing on their gums complaining about the raw deal they got from life, they are right to do so... What of life must people trade in order to have a life worth living only to find they have been robbed forever of the pleasure of youth without ever having felt them...It makes the old mean, and cruel and selfish...
Does anyone get what it takes to be an officer and a gentleman??? It takes an almost obcessive devotion to a cause and a calling where many reach rank without a great deal of ability, as history tells it...It is no less than is required for most people to be successful in their communities and professions... We are all the same, and must trade our lives for our lives, but we must be certain to a degree that the life we buy with our lives has not been robbed in the interum of all that made it worth preserving to begin with...
What do you want from life??? Because I would rather look back at the foolishness of youth with regrets than look ahead to the foolishness of old age with terror... These old fools lost their minds; but if they had lost all their marbles when they were young, they might have had less of them, but ones to treasure instead... You could not induce me at my age to chase a skirt if you pinned a million dollars to it... I already have the best wife on the planet, and so what if she only loves me about half the time since I probably only half deserve it then...
If all other women have a certain glow of unreality and magic about them like fairies, then they will have to find some one other to make them real...The women in my life have taught me something I could not live without knowing, and fortunately for me I did not wait until I was too old to enjoy the lesson to take it...
There is a moral to the story of these great men, and it is only circumstantially about the women... They are bad, but not because they were worse than anyone else in that milieu; but because they were caught, and they were caught because they were foolish, and they were foolish because they could no longer deny themselves the fun and frolic of youth, though the days were long gone when they could really lust without conscience, or please without caring... Unless; never having lived through their adolesence, they were trapped in it...
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:13 AM
Roger Simon is a self-righteous, bleating, pissing, and moaning, self-impressed p*ssy. I just heard him preaching and wailing on Inside Washington and boy is he nauseating. Adds nothing in the way of information, I notice. Get rid of him.

Boy would I love to see what the FBI can find out about HIS personal life.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Masako
Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:10 PM
The idiot also needs to learn how to pronounce "consulate" correctly.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Masako
Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:16 PM
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