Saturday, November 10, 2012
THE GENERAL AND HIS MOLL: PETRAEUS HAS BEEN HONOURABLE
A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and book The title that I have given may appear that I am scandalized at the news of the extra marital affair which made the highly decorated five star general resign his post at t the Congress Party protected him inspite of evidence of his sexualhe CIA. On the contrary, I see his public behavior through the lens of my experience here in India and I can say that by resigning his position and publically acknowledging his liason with Ms Paula Broadwell, General Petraeus has shown that he has that little detail called character. So let me get this out of the way. This is not a blog about the hypocritical behaviour of Americans and their easy virutes. In fact, this incident actually makes people think about the seriousness with which the American establishment took this particular act of indiscretion. In India we have politicians who are caught in every kind of scandla and with their peckers in several different situations. That Congressman, Abhishek Manu Singvi was caught with his pant down with a woman who was giving him his Clinton moment and no action was taken against him and he is doing the rounds as the Congress spokesman. The brazenness with which the entire scandal was pushed aside and the manner in which thr Congress Party protected him speaks of the uncivilised nature of Indian politics and society. It is clear that such acts will not go unpunished in USA and rightly so. Then we have the N D Tewari case in which his natural son had to go the Court to obtain a legal injunction to get DNA sample in order to establish his biological father. There have been credible reports of Jawaharlal Nehru ingulging in several scandalous affairs without any fear of public exposure and humiliation. In the USA it is clear that public officials are expected to uphols certain values and they cannot escape the consequences of their action by saying that the scandals pertained to their private life. I think India can learn a lesson from this episode. Now to the General and his moll. From what I gather from the newspapers Ms Paula Broadwell entered General Petraeus' life in the form of a biographer asnd she has penned a biography that almost verges on hagiography. As a biographer she seems to have had unlimited access to the general (pun not intended). Her husband seems to have discovered the affair with the general and unlike most husbands who would be furious this man wrote a letter to the agony column of the New York Times wherein he states very baldly that an important executive of the American Government is having a physical relationship with his wife and he asked for advice. Surprisingly, the FBI got wind of the affair and confronted the general about it. Can this happen in India, Here the CBI lies, cheats, fabricates and hides evidence in order yoprotect the criminals who are at the helm of affairs in India, particularly under the Congress Party. What a contrast to the situation in the USA. Rather than feeling that the USA has shown itself to be moral calamity, this incident actually reinforces the notion that there are objective vlues in public life even in these difficult post modern times. The General did not deny the charge and gracefully resigned. Now comes the more difficult question. Did anyone bother about the fate of Ms Paula Broadwell. Is she also destined to the notoriety to which that characterless man called Bill Clinton consigned a far younger woman fifteen years back.