'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

23 November 2012

Corruption Kills Nations

David Petraeus. Benghazi Libya. The Media. Lies and coverups and corruption. Petraeus has now earned the sobriquet hung on him by the left so long ago; Betraeus. He has one last chance to restore a modicum of his honor when he testifies to the house tomorrow. Why do I think he'll lie again? Because he's a liar.

Anyone who cheats on their spouse is a lying liar who is without a shred of dignity or honor. Why is anyone surprised at anything vile such do? And here's the kicker. Those involved with cheaters are always shocked when they themselves are cheated on by that self same pile of execrable scum.  Cheaters cheat. If they'll do it with you they'll do against you.

I have always marveled at the naivete, ignorance and hypocrisy of so much of this country. They see cheating from people and institutions they support as acceptable and from those they oppose as scandalous. It's part and parcel of why we're in the mess we're in.

Corruption kills. Corruption is evil.

We see it every day. Politicians, military leaders, police officials, church leaders, etc. ad infinitum. All caught in sex and/or money scandals and then the coverups which invariable follow. It's almost like power corrupts or something. Except that's not true in all cases. We know leadership that's as true blue as that field behind the stars on out flag. But they seem more and more to be the exception and no longer the rule.

Maybe the system is flawed and corruption will always be the end result of a free election society and the appointments and promotions they make. Maybe you must become corrupt yourself in order to rise to positions of authority. Perhaps all those who end up in these scandals started off not intending to become that which we all profess to hate but accepted it as the price of success. Promising themselves in the dark of the night that they'll change if they can just reach the next level. Or the one after that.

Petraeus' betrayal is not only that he slept with a woman other than his wife. It's not just that he gave no thought to the disastrous results of placing himself in a position where he could so easily be blackmailed, manipulated and compromised. It's that this is a betrayal of all it means to be a soldier, a husband, a father, a man. He sold us out. All of us. We who placed him in that position and trusted him to put the country's welfare above his base desires.A good soldier disgraced.

But he's hardly alone is he? How many have there been? How many are out there right now, undiscovered? How many times have we shaken our heads and tsked and asked "How could he/she do that?" Sex, drugs, money, power. Over and over again. And we can ask ourselves how we could possibly be sold out at the highest levels of government? One who would cheat and steal and lie and betray those he knows and allegedly loves has no compunctions about selling the lives and futures of folks they will never know down the river at the drop of a hat. The long term takes a back seat to the immediate. Self gratification takes precedence over the welfare of others. Personal aggrandizement over the good of the nation.

In my profession there were two hard rules we were expected to live by. Not that all did or do but they were the standards. Still are.
First. Liars cannot be tolerated. If you lie you're done. Period.
Second. We are held to a higher standard and expected to behave accordingly.
Both have crash and burn penalties for violations and are career and even freedom enders. Or should be anyway. Spare me the anecdotal stories. We all know there have been and are all too frequent breakdowns of the system but they're almost always tied into even more and worse corruption at higher levels of the police department. At good agencies those are truths and they hold.
If we expect our cops to hold true to those two principals, and we do/should/must, then why do we not demand the same from our national leaders?

As a nation we pay lip service to the idea of accountability but we don't really mean it. We have exceptions, exemptions and extenuating circumstances where we will overlook, forgive or outright ignore corruption. Depends on whose ox is being gored and who stands to win or lose. We have encouraged this behavior by not punishing it whenever and wherever we find it and whoever commits it. Lying, cheating, stealing.

I've often said that we don't necessarily get the government we deserve, we get the government we allow. But in the case of abject corruption we do get that which we deserve if we fail to correct such immediately and forcefully. Our leaders have gotten that message loud and clear. There are limited liabilities for doing as they please for there will always be those who will excuse and cover. Why not? What are we gonna do, fire 'em?

Corruption goes way beyond the individual. It is the slow poison that kills governments and nations.There must be penalties for moral violations else there is simply no further conversation to be had. Basic principals. A man who cannot be trusted is a man who cannot be trusted.



KurtP said...

He's a creature of DeeCee- and the ever evolving nature of politics and promotions.

We-as NCOs don't have the soul-sapping ...need to make ourselves the Nth degree of cutting edge ,,whatever.
Generals do. It's all politics and f*ck (sorry) the grunt that looses because your policies get you rank while letting him stew in your mistakes.

Six said...

I couldn't have said it better Kurt. It's evil.

agirlandhergun said...

His scandals was such a blow to my husband and I. We don't know the general, but we feel like we do through our friends who are very close to him. For years we heard what an upstanding, honorable man he was and publicaly we had no reason to question it. Of course, as you say, he put himself in a position where he could be totally nullified and the highest price isn't even being paid by him. Disgraceful!!

Six said...

I felt the same way AGirl. Disgraceful is a good word for that entire seedy mess.