General Petraeus' Adultery Hurts Israel

Steven LeBlanc

General David H. Petraeus was forced to resign from his job as director of the CIA earlier this month. The adultery scandal that hurt his wife and children also hurt the United States and Israel.

The General’s departure from the international theater damages Israel’s fight against Iran—here’s why:

From Israel’s perspective, the General understood the Iranian threat. Israeli intelligence has asserted that Petraeus was clear in his thinking and fully appreciated that it was not possible to cut a deal with Iran over its nuclear weapons program because the larger headache is the Iran’s rabid anti-American stance. He understood that Iran’s final ambition is to drive the United States from the Middle East—a disengaged American Middle East foreign policy hurts Israel.

Another observation concerns the Iranian Qods Force, whose mastermind, Qassem Suleimani, is considered by Petraeus to be a personal enemy; he also is one of the greatest threats to Israel.

Petraeus has written that Suleimani is a “truly evil figure.”

Michael Gordon and Bernard E. Trainor’s new book The Endgame: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Iraq, From George W. Bush to Barack Obama, reveals that Suleimani answers directly to Supreme Leader Ali Khameini. Recently Suleimani helped to buttress Bashar al-Assad’s beleaguered dictatorship in Syria and he played a part in the plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington. Petraeus understood what the word “enemy” means.

During the course of almost a decade, Petraeus became an expert of all of Iran’s activities directed against the United States and its allies. The General confronted Iranians who warred against the United States using proxies such as militia groups.

His experience in the region is invaluable: He was commander of American forces in Iraq from February 2007 to September 2008 and in Afghanistan from July 2010 to July 2011. As head of Central Command from October 2008 to June 2010, the general came to see how Iran infected nations in the region which included the countries of Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, the Persian Gulf states as well as Iraq and Afghanistan.

Israel did not always agree with Petraeus, but Israel came to appreciate that he understood the Iranian threat to America and did not ignore it—under his leadership Iranians operating in Iraq were killed. Many American military and civilian leaders chose to ignore the Iranian threat in Iraq until general Patraeus was installed as leader. By the end of 2008, all Iranian-backed militia leaders were dead or forced to flee back to Iran.

From the Israeli perspective, Petraeus understood Iran’s thinking and tactics, and experienced fighting them in the Middle East theater of war. His departure from the world of terrorism is a great loss to Israel.

It is a personal, family and national tragedy that general Petraeus did not heed the words of the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 6:18: “Flee Sexual Immorality”.

We often do not appreciate that following God’s law protects us from painful consequences. When His Commandments are ignored we hurt family, friends and country.

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