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McChrystal Falls On His Sword

By Wyatt Earp | June 22, 2010

By now you have all heard about the article in Rolling Stone, where General Stanley McChrystal ripped the Obama administration and its commitment to winning in Afghanistan. While his comments about Obama, Biden, and others are probably true, McChrystal was definitely wrong in saying them; especially to a military-hating rag like Rolling Stone.

Byron York has a great article detailing some background on the situation:

There is a lot of uproar about Gen. Stanley’s McChrystal’s disrespectful comments about his civilian bosses in the Obama administration, and President Obama would be entirely justified in firing McChrystal for statements McChrystal and his subordinates made to Rolling Stone. Obama is a deeply flawed commander-in-chief who doesn’t want to be fighting a war on terror, but he is the commander-in-chief. He should have a general who will carry out his policies without public complaint until the voters can decide to change those policies.

But the bigger problem with McChrystal’s leadership has always been the general’s devotion to unreasonably restrictive rules of engagement that are resulting in the unnecessary deaths of American and coalition forces. We have had many, many accounts of the rules endangering Americans, and the Rolling Stone article provides more evidence. In the story, a soldier at Combat Outpost JFM who had earlier met with McChrystal was killed in a house that American officers had asked permission to destroy.

Apparently, McChrystal fired the aide who set up the Rolling Stone interview. Eh, what? Now, I have never served in the military, but I would love to hear the opinions of those who have.

Topics: The Troops, War On Terror | 14 Comments »

14 Responses to “McChrystal Falls On His Sword”

  1. Ferrell Gummitt Says:
    June 22nd, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Well, the old TV series “F Troop” reruns are alive and well in the Whitehouse.

    That was a funny show.

    Too bad the reruns are more far more serious.

    In the end, I stand behind the general, his comments, his candor and the necessity to expose the total and dangerous incompetence of Barack Obama.

    This will not go well for Gen. McChrystal but he should be applauded for shining the light of reality on a president who regards a majority of the citizens of this nation as his enemy.

  2. Randal Graves Says:
    June 22nd, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Since when do generals conduct interviews with Rolling Stone magazine? What a pussy in firing his aide when he’s at fault.

    It doesn’t really matter if what he said in the interview is right or wrong, he should have known better than to take the interview and open himself up to potential “issues”.

    Oh and you don’t criticize your boss in public without the risk of repercussions whether or not you’re a general or the Pittsburgh pierogie:

  3. CaptainAmerica Says:
    June 22nd, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    It’s just like the Police Commissioner. You work for and at the pleasure of the Mayor. You either support his agenda or you move on. The difference is in the military lots of people can get killed if your boss (The President) is an idiot as in this case.

    The General either has to convince Obama that he can exterminate the Taliban if given a free hand or suck it up, shut up and go along with Obama’s agenda if he loves his job so much. That agenda is to do as little as possible.

    Otherwise he can resign in protest. It just comes down to his intestinal fortitude. Obama doesn’t care about or support this war. So McChrystal should resign in protest.

    In any event he shouldn’t publicly undermine his boss (the President or others in the chain of command).

  4. Jon Brooks Says:
    June 22nd, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    I agree with both you Wyatt and you Ferrell.

    For Wyatts case:
    In the military, discipline and loyalty are demanded and required and the military chain of command insures this
    thru rewards and penalties. The barracks is the place for the troops to gather and trash talk the officers in charge if they must, and the officers even know this and as long as they don’t hear you its usually cool. To walk around base for instance telling everyone that the CG is an idiot, just might be correct, but it will get you in trouble.

    For Ferrells case:
    Maybe the general by pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes, also alerts the rest of the crowd that they too have been blindly following an erroneous assumption, contrary to even what their own eyes/mind have been telling them, and its time to call….a shovel a shovel.
    The impact of saying it now has much more weight than if he had retired and then said it.

    My own case:
    If an experienced combat general with over 30 years of service calls somebody a wimp, he’s probably right on the money. Could he have done it differently..sure..but this way focuses it like a lazer beam using the MSM to plaster it on for wall to wall coverage:) LOL

  5. CaptainAmerica Says:
    June 22nd, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    If I was in the military I would NEVER talk to the media. Just like the police or fire department. They don’t give a sh*t about anything but the body count of “suspected” civilian casualties killed by coalition forces. Who cares how many civilians are killed by terrorists and homicide bombers.

    An aide’s job is to protect his boss. He failed.

  6. Maggie Mama Says:
    June 22nd, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Remember that the civilian press is reporting the story….the General “fired” his aide from that position…which in military speak would be “reassigned” the aide …. probably to some backwater hellhole, knowing the propensity of senior officers to draw blood and let the ranks around them know what is in store lest they cross the wrong line.

  7. JT Says:
    June 22nd, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    I am reminded of MacArthur and Truman.

    No matter how talented McChrystal may be, he’s no MacArthur.

    And, yeah, I know, I know, Obama is no Truman.

    He’s not even a Carter.

    For us, the bottom line is civilian control of the military.

    Sometimes it sucks, but in the long run it has kept us who we are, as a nation.

    Ask anybody who has been in the military about the emphasis placed on the chain of command.

    And it’s the same for cops and firemen.

    Truman took a lotta heat for firing MacArthur, but after it was all said and done, it was the right thing to do.

    I haven’t read the article, and I was under the impression that the General’s aide’s were quoted, as opposed to the General, but, it’s kinda the same idea, inasmuch as the General is responsible for his subordinates.

  8. Ingineer66 Says:
    June 22nd, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    I heard a quote today. It is Rolling Stone, unless you are Al Gore or Robert Kennedy Jr. they are not going to write a favorable article. Why would a General expect anything different.

  9. Wyatt Earp Says:
    June 22nd, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Ferrell – He’s as good as fired. He should be. Even if he is right, he is wrong.

    Randal – Isn’t a good idea now, wasn’t a good idea when Bush was CiC. Guess the difference: The media reaction.

    Captain – The only thing I can think of is that he did this on purpose because he couldn’t take the nonsense anymore. But why do it this way instead of resigning and then speaking out? Either way, the troops on the ground are the victims of this infighting.

    Jon – There are supervisors in my department that I despise. They’re petty, incompetent idiots that are bringing down the department from the inside. That being said, they are supervisors and I’m just a grunt, so I keep my mouth shut.

    Captain – The local newsies call the division every day looking for stories and tips. Every time I say “Sorry, there’s nothing going on,” even if there’s a shooting in progress. They get nothing from me.

    Maggie – I haven’t read the interview, but someone opined that it was done in an informal setting, and aides were spouting off opinions at random. If that’s the case, McChrystal should have stopped that immediately.

    Of course, he shouldn’t have talked to Rolling Stone in the first place, so . . .

    JT – I get the feeling that General Petraeus has some strong feelings about a few politicians, but we don’t know them. Why? Because he’s smart enough to keep his lips buttoned.

    Ingineer66 – That’s the $64,000 question.

  10. Crazy Politico Says:
    June 22nd, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    Sorry General, as much as I agree with what you said, where you said it how you said it don’t work in the military. In fact, the General has probably held Art. 15 (non-judicial punishment) hearings for folks under his command for similar acts.

  11. Jon Brooks Says:
    June 23rd, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Just saw a photo of obambi and Patreaus, upon seeing it I couldn’t help but exclaim..”Hey look its Patreaus and the wimp!”

  12. Bob G. Says:
    June 23rd, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Wyatt (et al):
    I also did a similar post today from a historical perspective…and we’re just repeating it all again.

    I would have preferred for McChrystal to remain in place, considering the morale of the troops there.

    McChrystal is a SOLDIER..not a politician (just like Patton and others)

    The limitations placed on the rules of engagement have frustrated way too many wanting to wage a war that needs to be…well…waged.
    And, militarily-speaking…we haven’t lost ANY war.
    It was the politicians that lost any war FOR us (and them).

    As for anti-military “press” like the Rolling Stone tagging along…not a good thing.
    Patton didn’t like the media, either…he just “tolerated” them (and as little as possible).

    I wish the General well in his future endeavors.
    And I can’t wait to hear ALL that he has to say.
    (should be worth the wait).

  13. Sally Anne Says:
    June 24th, 2010 at 10:00 am

    This is the professional version of “suicide by cop” here.

    McChrystal didn’t get to his position not knowing the rules. Article 88 comes to mind– sure, maybe this isn’t outright contempt, but close enough for government work. He didn’t want to resign.

    Honestly, McChrystal as commander in Shitcanistan (pardon my sentence enhancer) has never set well with me. He seemed worried about all the wrong things. Fussing about how much fast food the troops have access to, and pushing the ROE that will get them killed- kind of pissed me off.

    Gen. Petraeus though… he’s got superhero standing in my house.

  14. Wyatt Earp Says:
    June 24th, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    CP – Exactly, like that isn’t the height of hypocrisy.

    Jon – And he and his party savaged Petraeus not too long ago. Ironic, ain’t it?

    Bob G. – Lesson learned: No more writers follow generals during a hot war. Should have been learned earlier, though.

    S.A. – General Petraeus is a demigod in my opinion. The man who won the “lost” Iraq War. And you are the only one who gets carte blanche with sentence enhancers around here.