I have always viewed General Petraeus as a self-promoting egomaniac without real achievements to justify the hagiography that has surrounded him. Here is a magnificent opinion piece from the New York Times, by Lucian K. Truscott IV, which sets forth the truth about a man who is, in the end, little more than a mountebank:
"A Phony Hero for a Phony War
...And now comes “Dave” Petraeus, and the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. No matter how good he looked in his biographer-mistress’s book, it doesn’t make up for the fact that we failed to conquer the countries we invaded, and ended up occupying undefeated nations.
The genius of General Petraeus was to recognize early on that the war he had been sent to fight in Iraq wasn’t a real war at all. This is what the public and the news media — lamenting the fall of the brilliant hero undone by a tawdry affair — have failed to see. He wasn’t the military magician portrayed in the press; he was a self-constructed hologram, emitting an aura of preening heroism for the ever eager cameras."
There is oh, so much more. The whole article is a refreshing specimen of truth from a charter member of the mainstream media which has idolized this man. Congratulations to the New York Times for being willing (for once) to print the truth, even if it is only after the guy was disgraced and fired.