Monday, November 19, 2012

Potentates

The Petraeus revelations have brought up a subject I've been griping about this for literally years: the lifestyles of the high-ranking military potentates who rule the world in their geographic fiefdoms. You did know that the Pentagon has divided the entire world into sections, each of which is commanded by a 4-star general or full admiral. So we have Pacific command, Africa command, Southern command, etc., etc. They are known as the "war lords" in military jargon. Indeed. These guys live like kings. There is no material want you can imagine they don't have satisfied: sumptuous housing, sumptuous eating, sumptuous transport. They have personal servants (called aides) who take care of everything from valet servive to calendar management. I'm not sure whether they also drive or whether that entails another functionary to the generals' royal personages.

Here's a pretty good idea of what we're talking about from the Washington Post:
The commanders who lead the nation’s military services and those who oversee troops around the world enjoy an array of perquisites befitting a billionaire, including executive jets, palatial homes, drivers, security guards and aides to carry their bags, press their uniforms and track their schedules in 10-minute increments. Their food is prepared by gourmet chefs. If they want music with their dinner parties, their staff can summon a string quartet or a choir.
The elite regional commanders who preside over large swaths of the planet don’t have to settle for Gulfstream V jets. They each have a C-40, the military equivalent of a Boeing 737, some of which are configured with beds.
Since Petraeus’s resignation, many have strained to understand how such a celebrated general could have behaved so badly. Some have speculated that an exhausting decade of war impaired his judgment. Others wondered if Petraeus was never the Boy Scout he appeared to be. But Gates, who still possesses a modest Kansan’s bemusement at Washington excess, has floated another theory.
“There is something about a sense of entitlement and of having great power that skews people’s judgment,” Gates said last week. (Source)
It's really an outrage that the taxpayers should be subsidizing this regal treatment for what is euphemistically called their "service." Hell, this ain't service, brothers and sisters, this is servitude for us poor slobs that put up with this, not to mention footing the bill for it.

And they tell me the Pentagon budget can't be cut. What a load of crap.
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