June 22, 2010

General McChrystal and his advisers spoke to Rolling Stone — "derisively ... often in sharply flippant and dismissive terms" — and now... what?

WaPo reports:
Preparing for a speech he is about to give at a French military academy, McChrystal "wonders aloud" whether he will questioned about the well-publicized differences in opinion between himself and Biden.
"Are you asking me about Vice President Biden? Who's that?" McChrystal says with a laugh, trying out the line as a hypothetical response to the anticipated query.

"Biden?" chimes in an aide who is seated nearby, and who is not named in the article. "Did you say Bite me?"
More quotes from the Rolling Stone article here:
"Who's he going to dinner with?" I ask one of his aides. "Some French minister," the aide tells me. "It's fucking gay."...

According to sources familiar with the meeting, McChrystal thought Obama looked "uncomfortable and intimidated" by the roomful of military brass. Their first one-on-one meeting took place in the Oval Office four months later, after McChrystal got the Afghanistan job, and it didn't go much better. "It was a 10-minute photo op," says an adviser to McChrystal. "Obama clearly didn't know anything about him, who he was. Here's the guy who's going to run his fucking war, but he didn't seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed."...

229 comments:

1 – 200 of 229   Newer›   Newest»
Chase said...

1) McChrystal has done this country a tremenedous favor by exposing the inner foolishness of the Obama Administration.

2) Now he should be fired for speaking ill of the Commander in Chief, regardless if said CIC is Democrat, Republican, liberal or conservative.

Be a soldier, McChrystal and take it.

AllenS said...

If McChrystal had any common sense, he'd get as far away from this clusterfuck of a President as he could get. Big money on the lecture circuit future.

mesquito said...

I think the General has quite deliberately fragged his own career. Nice words for Hillary, though.

AJ Lynch said...

I think most liberals will agree McChrystal was just "speaking truth to power"!

wv = finte

roesch-voltaire said...

This is not the first of McChrystal's poor judgements because he suffers from a military mind-set that believes given enough time and men, we can "win" in a foreign territory. He and his staff should be required to live in Afghanistan for the rest of their lives to witness why this is the grave yard of empires.

AJ Lynch said...

Seriously it looks like some of the allegedly brilliant Team of Rivals is starting to bail out.

Brian Hancock said...

Fire him!

Scott M said...

I saw someone over at Insta trying to play this off as exhausted general officers as a way to take a swipe at President Obama's war policy, and thus the President himself. Bupkis. It was horrible judgement on the part of general and staff officers that should know far better.

I no longer support what we're doing over there. I don't come to this position from careful consideration of all available MSM/internet info. I come to it through my brother, a 17 year veteran Army special forces troop. He's fairly well known through the American spec ops community and, as a result, knows a lot of spec ops people of all ranks personally. He and "most" (he stressed that) of the operators in-theater are convinced they are playing out the last act of a political drama, nothing more. The rules of engagement are, in many ways, as bad or worse than Vietnam. Their calls for air-suppport and indirect fire go unheeded. Indeed, merely getting an illumination mission (artillery-fired flares) get declined because the CANISTER the flare came in might hit someone...about the odds of that person getting struck by lightning. Smoke missions, used to conceal infantry movements, are purposefully fired off target for the same reason. If you know anything about infantry tactics, smoke you need to conceal your movements that lands a click away isn't doing you any good and may as well have not been fired in the first place.

Old Dad said...

Gen. McChrystal should tender his resignation and give the President the option to accept it or not. The President could save face and keep Gen. McChrystal on board. Or take the opportunity to really clean house and fire all his top NS people. But then he would have to replace them, and unfortunately, the President is a terrible judge of talent and people. He should keep McChrystal and work like hell to right the ship. But then he would have to work like hell. We're screwed.

AllenS said...

Ever spend any time in the military, roesch-voltaire?

McChrystal has been given orders from our civilian President. That would be Obama. If Obama gives an order to find a way to win, then McC has no other choice but to find that way.

McC wasn't supposed to talk about the POTUS the way he did, and if he's let go, then so be it.

Maybe McC thought that this was the best way to leave. I don't know.

Paul said...

It's his boss that needs firing.

PatCA said...

I have to agree with Chase. It was wrong...but it was good.

It appears that Karzai is backing the general. This could get interesting. Maybe Obams should resign? He does seem annoyed and bored.

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/SGE65L0J9.htm

Hagar said...

r-v,

But Afghanistan is also the birthplace of empires, most notable in modern times of the Mughal empire, a big !@#$ deal not so long ago.

AllenS said...

Ditto what Scott M said about the disillusionment that the military presently has concerning the rules of military engagement.

I'm beginning to sense McChrystal's frustration.

Joe said...

I'm pretty much with the "I agree with what he said, now fire him crew."

Lawler Walken said...

Apparently McChrystal is known for this, the kind of guy who's an equal opportunity basher so it's not really political with him. He's arrogant and contemptuous of civilian authority and I guess he's gotten away with it enough that he didn't figure it would (as he might say) bite him this time. The problem he's got is that Afghanistan isn't going well. It's a mess and there's no good way out and he's the guy in charge of it. You can get away with a lot if you're a success but when things aren't going well, forget it.

Anyone stupid enough to blab to a Rolling Stone reporter really can't be trusted to win a war. Not that this war is winnable anyway. But still.

Joe said...


Ditto what Scott M said about the disillusionment that the military presently has concerning the rules of military engagement.

I'm beginning to sense McChrystal's frustration.


Allen they're MCCHRYSTAL'S Rules of Engagement, now Obama's....Gen. McChrystal can't be too unhappy with them, he imposed them.

McChrystal is an old SOF person, this is all about the "Hearts and Minds" and the "Thinking Man's War." You can disagree but McChrystal has chosen the rules on the ground.

Sure the July 2011 Deadline is Obama's...we can talk about that if you'd like.

Quayle said...

Better to leave in disgrace than keep Obama's toughness charade going.

The only reason we're wasting lives in Afghanistan is because the lefties wanted to oppose Bush (Iraq) but didn't want to look like weak pacifists.

So they latched on to Afghanistan as the key military project, but Afghanistan has one tenth the chance of turning out well as did Iraq.

James said...

An anonymous McChrystal aide is quoted as calling national security adviser James L. Jones a "clown," who remains "stuck in 1985."

I wonder if he also told a Jewish merchant joke.

edutcher said...

McChrystal was close to quitting about a year ago, but now I think he's just had enough. Can't say as how I blame him, although Chase is correct in saying he's crossed the line on this one.

Roger Simon has a piece about how The Zero doesn't seem to like his job any more. Apparently, he never did; anyone remember how, a few weeks after Inauguration, when he took off to visit a DC school with the words, "They let us out for a while"?

Along with term limits for Congress, how about an Amendment letting the people recall a President?

roesch-voltaire said...

This is not the first of McChrystal's poor judgements because he suffers from a military mind-set that believes given enough time and men, we can "win" in a foreign territory.

No, we've never won overseas - except for Mexico, Cuba, the Philippines (twice), China, Europe (also twice), Burma, Korea, Panama, and Iraq.

Scott M said...

Allen they're MCCHRYSTAL'S Rules of Engagement, now Obama's....Gen. McChrystal can't be too unhappy with them, he imposed them.

Is it your contention, Joe, that the military leadership writes ROE's in a vacuum? That executive civilian leadership has nothing to do with it?

Almost Ali said...

I predict that McChrystal may be the prelude to a military takeover, a coup. The soldier's ultimate allegiance is to the Constitution, not the president - especially when the president represents a clear and present danger to the Republic.

AllenS said...

If McC is told by the POTUS to cut down on civilian casualties, then he has no other option than to institute rules to accomplish that.

If you think McC thought about this all by himself, you're not up on the military chain of command.

AJ Lynch said...

Obama approved the 30,000 add'l troops for Af-Pak a year ago but the total number has not yet arrived yet? Am I right? If so, I don't blame any soldier there if they are openly frustrated.

SMGalbraith said...

I predict that McChrystal may be the prelude to a military takeover, a coup

Any general who tries to take over the United States will be immediately shot.

By his own men. And women.

Fred4Pres said...

I don't disagree with what McChrystal said substantively, but when you are in the military you are not allowed to publically embarass your superiors. If it is serious enough to warrant you speaking out, resign and then do it.

Fred4Pres said...

Almost Ali said...
I predict that McChrystal may be the prelude to a military takeover, a coup. The soldier's ultimate allegiance is to the Constitution, not the president - especially when the president represents a clear and present danger to the Republic.

6/22/10 10:45 AM



No.

danielle said...

He's out. And he should have been out after the comments in London last year.

TMink said...

People that get things done don't like posers.

And vice versa I think.

Trey

Maguro said...

McChrystal should be fired for being stupid enough to let a reporter from Rolling Stone, of all publications, follow him around and record all this for posterity. I don't necesarily disagree with many of his opinions, but putting it all out there for public consumption is incredibly stupid and unprofessional.

Synova said...

I'll go with the "frag his career" vote.

It's hard to tell if he hasn't done well and someone else should do better or if he could have done well but lacking a clear mandate from *his* boss is constrained from doing what he thinks is best.

Generals aren't automatically right.

And they do have the responsibility to persuade the boss on policy... which is a bit hard to do when the boss didn't speak to you for four months and then only for a moment or two.

It doesn't prove McChrystal *could have* done a great job in Afghanistan only that if he would have or not Obama more or less made the issue "no win" regardless.

As for them being McChrystal's ROE... there is no reason to think so. If the boss says the priority is to avoid civilian casualties at all costs then he's constrained to do that even if it costs the lives of our soldiers.

BTW... who is the Secretary of Defense? I don't even know.

danielle said...

I'm surprised so many conservatives are into 'counter insurgency.' if it hadent been promoted under a republican administration and the generals they chose, I would have sworn it was some liberal weirdness.

I hope we can leave on a high note though -- like by catching Osama. I then insist that we take care of the veterans that come back ... health wise, educational opportunities, supporting them as they decompress from war and reintegrate into society.

Alex said...

I think our military should not follow any orders from the CIC(Clown in Chief).

Michael said...

Roesch-Voltaire: "Graveyard of Empires" my ass. We note with interest what happened after 9-11 when the "Graveyard of Empires" was mercilessly attacked by the U.S. unconstrained by our current lawyerly approach to warfare. Then we stopped.

If McChrystal is still in charge out there tomorrow at sundown, East coast time, we have a bigger problem with leadership than we already have.

danielle said...

synova, its still Gates.

rick said...

McC has been round long enough to know these comments would get him canned.

My take is that he wanted to go down in flames and make the Commander-in-Chief appear in the worst favorable light. Not hard to do at this point.

Either that or McC didn't want to be around when this artificial withdrawal deadline comes along.

BTW...when is Gitmo closing?

Alex said...

He should resign and do the rubber-chicken circuit, trying his utmost to bring down the Clown in Chief. In fact I urge all Republicans to initiate "struggle" against Obama immediately. You know what I mean.

rhhardin said...

Armstrong and Getty 062210 H2
We talk to Gordon Lubald, reporter for Politico.om, about the McChrystal interview
think it's all a media echo chamber. There's nothing in the article.

The cut is good as an example of making space by leaning against the media, if nothing else.

garage mahal said...

People that get things done don't like posers.

What has McChrystal got done? What has he won exactly in Afghanistan?? He was given 100k troops to gight how many al Qaeda and Taliban? It's like MAtt Leinart talking smack.

Michael said...

danielle: I would expect that Osama is long ago dead and gone. have you ever in your life known someone who has deliberately gone from television to radio? Prior to the post 9-11 attack on Afghanistan he was always with us on his homemade videos. Now not so much. Not once in fact. I believe that the current and the last administrations have known this for quite a while but find it convenient to act dumb. Just my theory.

Synova said...

"He's out. And he should have been out after the comments in London last year."

I started wondering when he'd quit when Obama didn't meet with him for four months and then demanded immediate result once he'd finally made up his mind.

Who would put up with that?

But McChrystal soldiered on.

If Obama fires him, and probably he ought to, he'll have to actually figure out who to replace him with, read personnel files and interview replacements and talk to them about the theory of war... and he might get military cooties.

How willing is Obama to do that?

Alex said...

Oh and nobody better DARE question my patriotism! Republicans hoping for Obama to fail are the highest form of patriots!

Scott M said...

@danielle

I'm surprised so many conservatives are into 'counter insurgency.' if it hadent been promoted under a republican administration and the generals they chose, I would have sworn it was some liberal weirdness.

I'm not sure if it was your intention, but these statements show a fundamental misunderstanding of military operations. Counter-insurgency, in and of itself, is apolitical.

Alex said...

In fact, I think the Democrats should just do away with the evil military and have Kucinich's "Department of Peace" instead.

Clyde said...

Gen. McChrystal has to go. Period. A military leader cannot publicly show up his civilian boss in that manner and get away with it.

Not that I disagree with what he and his staff had to say about the Obama regime, but saying it for publication is beyond the pale.

Alex said...

Garage - you know that Republicans are the highest form of patriot. They always support the CIC....

Alex said...

I remember in the McChimpyBushHitler years, you conservatives demanding unflinching loyalty to the douche-in-chief. What goes around comes around TRAITORS!!!!

danielle said...

"He and "most" (he stressed that) of the operators in-theater are convinced they are playing out the last act of a political drama, nothing more."

Scott M -- i really dont see how COIN could produce something different from this in a place like Afganistan (with no real govt, just local low-grade control/weak-governance, and just many different parties vying for power); but I also do not see how we could have left without trying something like COIN. I've heard generals say 'You break it, you own it." But what if it was already broken before you got there; and you and others had a hand in breaking it before, but left before ?

Alex said...

Every single one of these generals should be court martial-ed for treason against our Holy CIC. No one is allowed to speak ill of him, his Grand Holiness.

Excuse me, while I pinch a loaf.

Almost Ali said...

"He's out. And he should have been out after the comments in London last year."

And Obama should've been out after his anti-American comments in Cairo.

Rolling Stone was orchestrated, but I hope McChrystal loses his cool tomorrow and slaps that punk around the Oval Office.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Some French minister. It's fucking gay."

OhMyGod: He took the words right out of my mouth!

James said...

The delicious irony of all this is that McCrystal is Obama's "hand picked" general to lead the war in Afghanistan. Remember that Obama fired McCrystal's predecessor Gen. David McKiernan just over a year ago.

danielle said...

"Counter-insurgency, in and of itself, is apolitical."

Sure. Every military ideology is produced in a vacuum, right ? There are no liberal-leaning views of society and governance and their conservative counter parts in play, military people have no ideological leanings, and you know, military people don't vote either, huh ?

Joe said...


Is it your contention, Joe, that the military leadership writes ROE's in a vacuum? That executive civilian leadership has nothing to do with it?


As I understand MCCHRYSTAL issued the ROE....if true these are his ROE.

The Deadline is Obama's....

Dannielle you are as coherent as ever....COIN is, as has been stated, APOLITICAL. They were not "invented" by a Republican, they were RE-Invented, by a dude Kilcullen, IIRC. An AUSTRALIAN, on Petreus' staff in Iraq. But you keep pluggin' away there.

danielle said...

"The delicious irony of all this is that McCrystal is Obama's "hand picked" general to lead the war in Afghanistan."

Hand picked ? Sure, and served up by Petraus and his other advisors.

edutcher said...

Almost Ali said...

I predict that McChrystal may be the prelude to a military takeover, a coup.

Don't hold your breath. The Zero will have the props cut out from under him the first Tuesday in November, and the military knows that.

Although I'd love to know what's going through the heads of all the Lefties who support a 3 division Marine Corps as a check against an Army coup? Wonder how many are worrying about the dogfaces and the jarheads joining forces?

mccullough said...

Interesting quotes from McChrystal and his underlings.

Maybe he can become Secretary of Veteran's Affairs in the next administration.

Alex said...

Just eliminate the military, they're a bunch of fucking Republicans anyways.

Scott M said...

Sure. Every military ideology is produced in a vacuum, right ? There are no liberal-leaning views of society and governance and their conservative counter parts in play, military people have no ideological leanings, and you know, military people don't vote either, huh ?

Please define "military" ideology in the context you're trying to shoehorn it into. Among different groups of people, those in the military, in my experience at least, have been the most willing to hang their personal baggage in the ready room as they head to accomplish a mission. Frankly, there simply isn't any room for it when you're trying to do an extraordinarily difficult job and people around you are relying on you for their lives as much as you are them.

AllenS said...

Joe,

Do you understand the concept of chain of command?

James said...

Hand picked ? Sure, and served up by Petraus and his other advisors.

So you're saying that Obama didn't fire McKiernan and replace him with someone more to his liking?

Clyde said...

And yes, the whole problem we have over there is the ROE. It's a mistake trying to nation build among tribal societies like Afghanistan.

What we should do, instead, is put everyone in the world on notice, in no uncertain terms, not to fuck with us. Any nation or non-state actor who attacks the United States should be mercilessly destroyed. Bombed back to the Stone Age. Given the Berlin-Hamburg-Dresden treatment. Bombed with conventional munitions until the rubble dances. Obliterated. And left to rebuild on their own. If they fuck with us again, repeat as necessary until the lesson is learned. And anyone who doesn't like it and squeals about war crimes can go fuck themselves.

The best part: Minimal American casualties. Because, you see, that's all I care about. I don't give a rat's ass about a bunch of foreigners, and I really hate ROE that keep foreigners alive at the cost of American lives. Not that I particularly WANT to kill foreigners. All they have to do is mind their own business and not fuck with us, and everything's Mr. Tinker.

Unfortunately, I realize that there is no way that such a scenario could actually happen. We've become too pussified in the past sixty years or so. We need Pattons and we end up with McChrystals who don't even know when to keep their mouths shut.

danielle said...

"those in the military, in my experience at least, have been the most willing to hang their personal baggage in the ready room as they head to accomplish a mission."

I'm not talking about the people who carry out missions. Of course they have to be apolitical. I'm talking about the worldview of the strategists who coined COIN.

Scott M said...

As I understand MCCHRYSTAL issued the ROE....if true these are his ROE.

My platoon sergeant used to issue orders at formation every morning too. That doesn't mean he wrote them. ROE, in particular, are almost always committee-driven diplomatic (ie civilian leadership) affairs. The implementation of those hamstrings is the military's responsibility.

Synova said...

"I'm surprised so many conservatives are into 'counter insurgency.' if it hadent been promoted under a republican administration and the generals they chose, I would have sworn it was some liberal weirdness."

What, COIN?

I'm always surprised at how many liberals suddenly become scorched earth when it comes to military... Osama is utterly neutered but we're supposed to want him so bad because vengeance (though the sweet thing of fantasy) is more important than taking him out of the game... and we're not supposed to make peace with those we'd been fighting because they did bad stuff, killed Americans... and this is coming from liberals so often.

But it's not a liberal/conservative thing is it?

The point of war is to make the other guy change his mind. It's necessary to allow a pathway to peace, no matter what, or else people keep fighting. The point is to get them to change their mind *and* give them a way to stop fighting.

This isn't some liberal weirdness.

It's the basis for ancient customs of offering parole and pardon to enemy kings and generals and allowing officers to ransom themselves. It's unfair in a lot of ways but necessary. Because no one is going to lay down arms without that carrot.

It's as old as Sun Tzu... you never want your opponent on desperate ground.

Joe said...


Sure. Every military ideology…


It’s NOT an “ideology” it’s a vision and set of principles….sometimes even guidelines and detailed instructions. Blitzkrieg and Combined Arms Warfare aren’t an “ideology” they are a way to make conventional war, using tanks, mobile infantry, artillery and aircraft….Nazi’s, Soviets, Americans, and Zionists can all use the principles of Mobile/Combined Arms Combat, not just those who like National Socialism.

So too, Counter-Insurgency. It’s not an ideology, it’s a way of approaching the battlefield…a Soviet, a Nazi, a Zionist, OR an American or an Australian can all use the principles, equally well.

danielle said...

in the context of Afganistan, it has long seemed overly hopeful that American troops can gain the trust of the people, convince them to support the gov't we put in place, train a police force (from the mostly illiterate population), and then expect all of that to stay in place when we leave. there may be some places that could work, but Afganistan ?

Scott M said...

a Soviet, a Nazi, a Zionist, OR an American or an Australian can all use the principles, equally well.

Not equally well at all. The first two on your list aren't around any more, last I checked :)

Joe said...

Yes Allen I understand Chain of Command…McChrystal was JSOC in Iraq, hunting down Hi Value Targets. These are HIS ROE….emerging from HIS vision of how to fight in Afghanistan. A low firepower, high politics, “drink a lot of tea” vision of how to fight and win in a tribal society. He may be frustrated, but he really can’t be frustrated by his ROE, because he wrote them. Will it work, I don’t know….I like what a US Corps Commander said of the Soviets, “We’re going to have to KILL a lot of the Sons of B*tches, just to get their attention.” COIN may be the graduate School of War, but as someone said it IS war…and war is an act of VIOLENCE designed the compel the enemy to our will. But again, the ROE are in-theatre, created not handed down from DC, as I understand it.

Republican said...

General McChrystal and his advisers are not retarded, (unlike the Obama administration).

There was nothing mistakenly said to any reporter.

He's taking one for the team. If not him, who?

Joe said...


Not equally well at all. The first two on your list aren't around any more, last I checked :)


But they both practiced Mobile War, on each other, to a large extent...

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'm surprised so many conservatives are into 'counter insurgency.' if it hadent been promoted under a republican administration and the generals they chose, I would have sworn it was some liberal weirdness.

Um and why? I wasn't aware of many liberal theories on military strategy.

I hope we can leave on a high note though -- like by catching Osama.

You plan on calling Ghostbusters? Dude has been worm food for some time now.

I then insist that we take care of the veterans that come back ... health wise, educational opportunities, supporting them as they decompress from war and reintegrate into society.

I agree and it would certainly be a nice change of pace to how you liberals treated our previous war veterans.

danielle said...

"Osama is utterly neutered but we're supposed to want him so bad because vengeance (though the sweet thing of fantasy) is more important than taking him out of the game"

Vengeance, Synova ?

Ever heard of Justice ?

Synova said...

And there's no reason not to do "nation building" in Afghanistan except that no one can think outside of the box enough and articulate a goal clearly enough to come up with a template for "nation" that will work there.

We have one idea and attempt to impose it and then wonder why it didn't work. One stupid geopolitical vision.

James said...

McChrystal is Michael Yon's second scalp in a month. First Canadian General David Menard was called home and now McChrystal.

On May 30th Yon wrote:


Now fire McChrystal!


For the record, before some writers inevitably start blaming me for Brigadier General Daniel Menard's firing, I accept full responsibilty. I accept as much blame as can be heaped upon me. And a huge thanks to those who stood beside me while untold numbers headed for the safety of the hills, or worse.

Did any publication see this coming? Did any resist Menard? Anyone? I would submit that writers such as Matthew Fisher have been allowing people like Brigadier General Menard to carry on even while troops die every day. If writers like Matthew Fisher did not see Menard's incompetence underneath their very noses, they should surrender their pens. If they will not stand up, they should not cover war.

Where were the milblogs such as Blackfive and Mudville Gazette? Why were they silent while U.S. troops were getting blown to pieces under command of Menard while Menard was heading up a decisive battle in the war? Mudville Gazette, Blackfive and the others who pride themselves on being in the know, either did not know or remained silent.

My weekend is over. We have troops in combat right now and General Stanley McChrystal should be following Menard out the door.

Fire McChrystal!

Republican said...

Liberals always support court/martialing when it comes to military leadership.

They loathe the military because it represents everything pussies don't like.

Too bad they don't have the same attitude towards terrorists.

Matt said...

McChrystal was behind the Tillman death cover-up. Obama should have dropped him on day one.

danielle said...

If the rest of the world wasnt to do nation building in Afghanistan with us, then lets go. But otherwise, lets get our own house in better shape instead spending a billion dollars a day over there in a situation which is dire at best.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And there's no reason not to do "nation building" in Afghanistan except that no one can think outside of the box enough and articulate a goal clearly enough to come up with a template for "nation" that will work there.

I don't think a template exists for uniting a disparate group of tribes under a common banner.

Think of it in terms of the 1860s-80s and attempting to unite the Sioux, the Crow, Commanche and Cheyenne.

Never gonna happen.

danielle said...

I completely agree with you, Matt. And after the nonsense in London, that was more proof that he should have been out.

AllenS said...

Joe,

I'm not here to defend McC. As long as you understand the chain of command, I have to ask, who does McC take his orders from? Or are you trying to tell me that McC takes orders from nobody?

danielle said...

agreed, HD

ricpic said...

Ditto Fred4Pres at 10:51.

Synova said...

"Vengeance, Synova ?

Ever heard of Justice ?
"

In relationship to war?

No.

And that's the problem; not understanding what war is. It's not about justice at all, not about punishing the losing side, not about bringing a criminal in to answer for what he did.

War is about making it *stop*.

It's not about justice and it's absolutely not about whatever is fair.

Unless one is talking about the acquisition of territory (which in ancient times, I'm convinced, was about getting the other guy before he got enough power and strength to get you first, so it's not even an exception) war is about taking away the power and influence of your opponent to hurt you. Think of an example of a war that doesn't fit that.


Thus, Osama in a cave dying slowly of kidney disease, or even well in luxury but hiding and powerless, is as much a win as Osama blown to tiny bits or captured and hung.

The level of emotional satisfaction is different for each of those options, but emotional satisfaction is not the purpose of war.

master cylinder said...

Look, nobody loathes the military. During a recent flight, I sat next to a vet who was honorably discharged after several tours all over hot areas, and his tale was painful. I told him Americans support the military even if we dont support the wars. And that is true. He said-"we shouldnt be there"....I say bring em home safe as soon as we can. Some of yall sound downright un-American round these parts-what with your denigration of the CiC and sudden hate for space travel.

Synova said...

"I don't think a template exists for uniting a disparate group of tribes under a common banner."

You don't insist on a common banner. You don't insist on geographical representation.

"Think of it in terms of the 1860s-80s and attempting to unite the Sioux, the Crow, Commanche and Cheyenne.

Never gonna happen.
"

I don't know who is excluded from the all-nations pow-wows. Down here the Apache sort of have their own stretch of entirely desolate wasteland. I have no idea how much they mix with the pueblo tribes or if they mix at all, but they aren't at war any more either.

Paul said...

Latest Obama Rolling Stone Cover (parody): http://www.optoons.blogspot.com/

Scott M said...

Look, nobody loathes the military.

Patently, demonstrably false.

AllenS said...

"we shouldnt be there"....

We shouldn't be where?

danielle said...

"And that's the problem; not understanding what war is. It's not about justice at all, not about punishing the losing side, not about bringing a criminal in to answer for what he did.

War is about making it *stop*."

Oh Lord. We have a Cheney acolyte on our hands here. Do you want the political leeway and leverage of war like Cheney did, or do you really believe in this cosmic war that Osama and other crazies use to persuade other (less) crazies (but still crazies) to end their own lives ? I guess you'd also like us to be perpetually at war, too, huh ? At war forever ? Sound good to you ? There will always be these nut jobs who want to 'be at war' with America, and use religion or Israel or distaste for american culture to justify it.

Osama is a murderer who planned an operation that killed 3000 innocent people. He should face justice.

Joe said...

Allen,
All I can say is, that, as I understand it, McChrystal wrote these rules.

They Crystallize, if you will, his vision of War at this level..."drink a lot of tea."

No, I don't think the Obama White House wrote them. Not the WH's job...

The WH OWNS McChrystal, they appointed him after relieving his predecessor. They also own the July deadline and the time line….there’s lot of sh!te to toss about.

Some sticks to McChrystal, some to Obama….

I do think Obama needs to fire McChrystal. This is “insubordination.” If a PFC or Lance Corporal said these things in Rolling Stone, we’d discipline him/her, so too four-star generals. As I say, I agree with the substance of McChrystal’s remarks, but serving personnel can’t publish it, only think it.

AllenS said...

Some of yall sound downright un-American round these parts-what with your denigration of the CiC

I'm not in the military anymore. I'll critizice any mother fucker that I want.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You don't insist on a common banner. You don't insist on geographical representation.

Well I'm not sure how you get a nation then.

Personally I really don't care if the Taliban or whoever controls Afghanistan. Our beef with them would have been settled in 5 minutes if they put Osama in a sack and handed him over. Then they could get back to outlawing kite flying, crushing homosexuals and executing women who have the audacity to read a book or show an ankle.

Yes that's harsh but I just don't care because prior to us going over there, no one else cared either. The way I see it, if they want to run thier wasteland like a 7th century version of Mad Max then fine, just don't bother us and don't shelter people who bother us and we're cool.

Synova said...

"McChrystal was behind the Tillman death cover-up. Obama should have dropped him on day one."

Was he? I sure do understand the impulse, even just on the level of sparing the family, but friendly fire happens and facing the unpleasant and making the right decisions even when it's going to be beyond unpleasant is a minimum indicator of leadership.

If McChrystal did approve that extreme lapse in judgment he should never have been put in charge at all. Did he approve it? Or is it guilt by association?

AllenS said...

Joe said...
All I can say is, that, as I understand it, McChrystal wrote these rules.

If you want to understand it that way, then fine, there's nothing else I can say.

Roger J. said...

I do not know the general because I am basically a col blimp from a past era.

Now it may be the fact that Obama is a fool, as may be his advisors--but I was always taught that irrespective of the commander in chief--the president--that you follow orders OR if you disagree, you resign and only then take your grievances public.

I go back to my favorite president, Harry Stearns Truman, who didnt hesitate to fire Douglas Arthur for insubordination. The day this republic lets ANY general or serving officer, denigrate civilian leadership, we are going down an even more treacherous slope.

Were I Obama, I would have fired him immediately. What McChrystal did was treasonous. He should be cashierd, and his retirement pay and perks eliminated.

There is NO excuse for his remarks.

Hoosier Daddy said...

There will always be these nut jobs who want to 'be at war' with America, and use religion or Israel or distaste for american culture to justify it.

So in other words you're a Kerry acolyte who just wants to get back to a point where Islamic terrorism was just a nuisance. You know, occassional plane blowing up here, random Jew tossed overboard a cruise ship there...none of the really nasty stuff.

Actually danielle, there is really only one 'religion' that is using excuses for being perpetually at war. The fact you refuse to acknowledge it is a big part of the problem.

Pastafarian said...

Hoosier Daddy said: "Then they could get back to outlawing kite flying, crushing homosexuals and executing women who have the audacity to read a book or show an ankle."

I've found it remarkable that liberals like little-d-danielle also embrace this paleoconservative isolationism.

danielle takes it to a whole other level of cognitive dissonance, however, when she says simultaneously that we shouldn't be over there and to heck with those kite-flyers and ankle-bearing women, but war is about justice.

How can someone believe both of those two things, danielle?

Almost Ali said...

Edutcher said...
Don't hold your breath.

I'm not, but these things don't occur in a vacuum. And I'm at least encouraged that the true warrior mindset has finally intruded on the White House.

Now Obama is playing with fire. From where I'm sitting, he's put himself into an untenable position, and tomorrow he'll be put on official notice.

roesch-voltaire said...

Ed: Your examples of our victories over-seas do not fit the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In Korea we had half the country fighting the war with us and still the country is divided. Please explain our war with China who now owns us, and again in Europe that was allied effort far more inclusive than what is taking place in Afghanistan. The real up-shot of this article is that McChrystals’ counterinsurgency is a scam, and he wants to blame everyone but himself.

Synova said...

"Oh Lord. We have a Cheney acolyte on our hands here."

And?

It's not like anything I've said constitutes unusual ideas.

I'm sort of curious though how I can be simultaneously a Cheney acolyte and full of "weird liberal ideas" about *not* engaging in total war. Because that's what I've been saying, isn't it? No scorched earth, make sure the other guy isn't forced to desperate ground, make sure the enemy has a way to stop fighting and then *let* them stop fighting.

But because I don't see war as a matter of justice, of *punishing* the bad guy...

Which is it? Weird liberal ideas or Cheney acolyte?

HDHouse said...

@rightwing loonies on here who are just after Obama and nothing else....

try not to look past the code of military conduct which I understand is quite clear on the matter of how you talk about the commander in chief.

Once we resolve that issue regarding his and apparently other's insubordination - right or wrong isn't the issue - then we can fry other fish but for now McChrystal shot himself in the foot.

Roger J. said...

this is indeed scary--I find myself in agreement with Harry House both in his comments on student evaluations, and on this issue. Ice skating on the river styx tonite.

Pastafarian said...

HDHouse, I've read every comment here, and 90% of the conservatives have said something akin to "fire McChrystal" regardless of whether his criticisms are valid, because it's not his place to criticize the CiC.

Maybe you're reading with your special decoder glasses on, that enable you to see things that I can't.

Scott M said...

@rightwing loonies on here who are just after Obama and nothing else....

Please note the number of people here calling for him to be fired/cashiered/etc. How does that square with your statement?

AJ Lynch said...

Matt:

I have in front of me Jon Krakauer's book about Pat Tillman's death.

The bibliography states McChrystal is mentioned on three pages on the book. Pages 290,298 and 299. I re-read those pages and see no indictment or evidence that McChrystal participated in a coverup of the facts. IMO.

I read the entire book a while ago and it did present a scathing picture of military and political misdirection re Tillman's death IMO but your accusation re McChrystal is not substantiated in this book.

Jim Howard said...

If these reports are true General McChrystal committed a very grave error in judgment. Active military officer, especially senior commanders, may not publicly deride the President, any more than a private my publicly deride his platoon leader!

Once this kind of thing gets started it demotivates military members and hugely degrades combat effectiveness, all up and down the ranks.

The only honorable path for General McChrystal now is resignation.

Our current Commander/Organizer In Chief is clearly totally incompetent. That does not give the military license to further undermine him.

When assigned an incompetent boss the honorable military officer does everything he or she can to assist the commander, and to protect his subordinates as best he or she can.

If the concerned subordinate is working directly for the President resignation is usually the only answer.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Republicans hoping for Obama to fail are the highest form of patriots!


Absolutely!!! Patriotism is love of country above political party and above personal gain.

The failure of Obama's policies are necessary if we are to save our country from a deep deep recession and a terminal slide into a socialistic dictatorship. True patriots will put country first.

Two really cool things I'm taking away from this thread.

Obama is afraid of military cooties

and

the military thinks of Biden as Bite-me. LOL.

Hoosier Daddy said...

@rightwing loonies on here who are just after Obama and nothing else....

Perhaps if you actually read the majority of the comments rather than spout off your usual hate, you'd see that the vast majority of rightwing loonies commenting here are in agreement that McChrystal is out of line and should be sacked.

Ironclad said...

I am going to take a contrary position that this is the BEST thing that has happened in a long while. McChrystal needed to go - his rules of engagement are killing people and making the army into more of a PC machine than anything else. Michael Yon has some excellent columns on why this man is the wrong one for this job. So - good riddance.

Frankly - this is the best of both worlds - the WON gets dissed and McChrystal gets trashed. Win - Win for everyone (and mainly for our troops)

Final Peeve - until someone stands up and points the finger at the ISI in Pakistan for funding and running the Taliban - this problem is not going to be fixed too. (fixed is relative too - there is NO good solution to Afghanistan, just a least worst outcome.)

Roger J. said...

And by the way--fire all McChrystal's staff who participated in this gross display of insubordination.

Roger J. said...

Damn Hoosier--I wasnt aware that I was a right wing looney! (Joke)

raf said...

Harry Stearns Truman? I had always heard that the S didn't stand for anything. In fact:

In his autobiography, Truman stated, "I was named for ... Harrison Young. I was given the diminutive Harry and, so that I could have two initials in my given name, the letter S was added. My Grandfather Truman's name was Anderson Shippe [sometimes also spelled 'Shipp'][9] Truman and my Grandfather Young's name was Solomon Young, so I received the S for both of them." He once joked that the S was a name, not an initial, and it should not have a period, but official documents and his presidential library all use a period.

Roger J. said...

raf: thanks for the correction! always worthwhile to have one's preconceptions changed by facts.

Joe said...

1

sunsong said...

If McChrystal has that bad of judgment - how can Obama keep him?

ANd if this leads us to getting out of Afghanistan - then God bless McChrystal.

Trooper York said...

Tony Soprano: I want to think about it. Vito was my best earner. Everybody wants to whack this guy and whack that guy. What a bunch of drama Queens.
Silvio Dante: Well we can talk about it Tone.
Carlo Gervasi: What the fuck is there to talk about …HE”S GOTTA GO!!!
(The Sopranos, 2007)

AllenS said...

What happens if Obama doesn't fire McC?

Scott M said...

What happens if Obama doesn't fire McC?

Dogs and cats living together?

Joe said...


What happens if Obama doesn't fire McC?



I think it would look D@mn bad...sure we all KNOW Biden is an idiot, but are you going to let your troops call him one?

And Jones may be stuck in 1985, but again can you allow the help to say it?

IF you let McChrystal bad mouth you and yours, and he works for you, what is Oh MY Dinner Jacket going to say or Mr. "I'm so Ronery?"

Contrary to Jeremy polling, Obama is at at 42% approval, and 59% think he's CLUELESS about the Gulf Oil Spill...if you allow this aren;t you heading towwards public mockery, derision and contempt as a poltroon?

danielle said...

Pasta, said .. "danielle takes it to a whole other level of cognitive dissonance, however, when she says simultaneously that we shouldn't be over there and to heck with those kite-flyers and ankle-bearing women, but war is about justice."

Seriously, Pasta ? I didnt realize you were of the bleeding heart variety of republicans ...or is it just that you're an 'evangelical' in the school of rick warren ? I think I said above we need to make sure our own house is in reasonable order before taking on the problems of the world, and that for major investments (um, 1 billion a day !) there better be some pervasive American interests. If we're in Afganistan to save the women, then we've got a lot more work to do in *many* other parts of the world as well.

Almost Ali said...

What happens if Obama doesn't fire McC?

I'm thinking more along this line: What if McChrystal doesn't fire Obama?

But whatever the scenario, the damage to the CIC is done. He's been completely undermined. Mission accomplished.

Joe said...

What happens if Obama doesn't fire McC?

Then he will look weak to everyone who matters.

Michael Yon:

"If a Colonel under General McChrystal's chain of command publicly dismissed General McChrystal in a major magazine, McChrystal would be forced to fire him or appear weak and not in control. What with the President of the United States when a General signals public insubordination to an international audience? McChrystal deliberately undermined the authority of the President of the United States.

Who is charge? McChrystal or Obama? McChrystal threw a punch at the White House and did so in front of the world, including the entire U.S. military.

...

If President Obama doesn't fire General McChrystal, the President will lose face with the military and can expect a thousand acts of subtle insubordination."

James said...

Its probably a distinction without a difference but from what I've read I don't see where McChrystal dissed Obama. His aides did...but I don't see where McC himself did. I guess we'll all have to wait for the entire article.

Almost Ali said...

To add more fuel to the fire, a judge just overturned Obama's petulant ban on deep-water drilling.

AllenS said...

Unfortunately for Obama if he fires McC, then McC will be able to hit the lecture circuit and tell everyone what he thinks of Obama and his ineptness. I doubt that there would be anything good to say about Obama. That might look even worse. As a civilian, McC can say anything that he wants.

Scott M said...

To add more fuel to the fire, a judge just overturned Obama's petulant ban on deep-water drilling.

...the hell you say...

LarsPorsena said...

"Its probably a distinction without a difference but from what I've read I don't see where McChrystal dissed Obama. His aides did...but I don't see where McC himself did. I guess we'll all have to wait for the entire article."

That's what I've been reading. The actual article is a lot less damning to Mac in regards to insubordination.

Lots of smoke but no fire.

This will make it even harder for BO. There is more to the appearance and perception of Mac's insubordination than there is substance. Does he get canned because of a tendentious Rolling Stone article? Does he react to the perception or the reality?

He's a weak man. His base is already screaming for Mac's head.
This is like that Arizona immigration imbroglio. Most of it's critics didn't bother to read the law. Most of Mac's critics haven't actually read the article.

He will can Mac no matter what the facts are.

Synova said...

"Once this kind of thing gets started it demotivates military members and hugely degrades combat effectiveness, all up and down the ranks."

Of course when generals of various sorts were explaining how what Bush was trying to do was going to fail that was *awesome*. (Okay, granted, most of them were retired.) Obviously, there is going to be disagreement and hard feelings and frustrations but an officer's job (and particularly the commander's job) is to project confidence and a singleness of purpose. No wishy-washy nuanced baloney. The disputes are supposed to go on behind doors. Those arguments and discussions are *supposed* to happen, must happen, need to happen... just not in public.

Bush got criticized for retiring a guy who disagreed with him, so is Obama just supposed to agree with his generals? This assumes that the generals agree with each other, of course, and they certainly don't. Are these slips in protocol happening because this is McChrystal's personality coming out or is it because the discussions don't happen behind doors because Obama never has a good sit-down with the men running his war.

And as much as House wants to see nothing but Obama bashing in all the people saying that McChrystal is out of line, I think that the take away from this whole thing is going to be "Obama clearly didn't know anything about him, who he was. Here's the guy who's going to run his fucking war,.."

And that's going to be devastating.

No one has to *be* anti-Obama here, because unless one tries to dispute Obama's lack of engagement, those months and months before even meeting the general he's tasked with running his effing war... being anti-Obama is sort of a waste of effort in the face of the obvious.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think I said above we need to make sure our own house is in reasonable order before taking on the problems of the world

Sounds like a winner to me. I say out of Iraq, Afghan and Hati. Next time there is an earthquake or tsunami let them call Brussells or Paris.

Synova said...

Yon: "If President Obama doesn't fire General McChrystal, the President will lose face with the military and can expect a thousand acts of subtle insubordination."

This isn't quite right.

The subtle insubordination is a different sort of thing. What is at risk is the thousand small acts of not-so-subtle insubordination.

(Subtle insubordination can take such forms as exacting correctness in address or behavior, carefully saying "Senator Boxer" instead of "Ma'am", that sort of thing; doing precisely what you're told rather than volunteering opinions or offering creativity; etc.)

garage mahal said...

Bush got criticized for retiring a guy who disagreed with him, so is Obama just supposed to agree with his generals?

As far as I know, at least in this dustup, McChrystal didn't disagree with any specific policies from Obama. Just chit-chatty backstabbing from him and his aides. Makes you wonder the amount of backstabbing was going to other countries on if they will shoot their mouths to Rolling Stone

Salamandyr said...

McChrystal was behind the Tillman death cover-up. Obama should have dropped him on day one.

As a quick aside, was there ever even really a coverup? Did I just miss it? Because it came out within days of his death that it was friendly fire.

Suddenly months later, I start hearing about the desperate family trying to drag the truth out of the Army, just to know how he was killed (Sir and Ma'am, he was killed in battle serving his country; how much more are your really entitled to know?) when I, who only paid partial attention, knew it was friendly fire.

And I'm also a bit bemused by the wilful naivete who profess to be Shocked! Shocked! that the military would try to control the narrative to make heroes out of its more photogenic members. Wasn't exactly the first time, and it won't be the last.

Moose said...

Listening to BBC about this today. the NATO spokesman thought that while this was disrespectful, NATO was fine with McChrystal's strategy and thought it was premature and ill-advised to sack him. The Brits are apparently used to this sort of thing and weren't too upset.

The military types on the warblogs were all not surprised knowing McChrystal.

Thing is - who hired this guy for fighting the AfPak war? Oh yah - Obama.

garage mahal said...

(Sir and Ma'am, he was killed in battle serving his country; how much more are your really entitled to know?)

Oh Jesus Christ.

James said...

McCrystal signed off on awarding Tillman a Silver Star even though he had doubts/misgivings about the veracity of the Army's report.

sunsong said...

Afghan Pres strongly endorse General

danielle said...

MCCrystal will be out by Friday at the latest. his meetings w/ Obama and Gates are scheduled for Wednesday. He's an idiot. If he has any integrity, he will do no further damage to the President and the war efforts.

It will be interesting to see how the Republicans deal with this.

mm said...

What the general actually said (per a post at JOM):

Here's every direct quote in the article (I think):

‘How’d I get screwed into going to this dinner?”

“Hey, Charlie,” he asks, “does this come with the position?”

“What’s the update on the Kandahar bombing?”

“I’d rather have my ass kicked by a roomful of people than go out to this dinner,”

“I never know what’s going to pop out until I’m up there, that’s the problem,”

“I found that time painful,” McChrystal tells me in one of several lengthy interviews. “I was selling an unsellable position. ”

“All these men,” he tells me. “I’d die for them. And they’d die for me. ”

“Oh, not another email from Holbrooke,” he groans. “I don’t even want to open it."

“I like Karl, I’ve known him for years, but they’d never said anything like that to us before,” says McChrystal, who adds that he felt “betrayed” by the leak. “Here’s one that covers his flank for the history books. Now if we fail, they can say, ‘I told you so.’ ”

“We really felt we were a peacetime generation,” he recalls. “There was the Gulf War, but even that didn’t feel like that big of a deal.”

“You better be out there hitting four or five targets tonight,” McChrystal will tell a Navy Seal he sees in the hallway at headquarters. Then he’ll add, “I’m going to have to scold you in the morning for it, though. ”

[long back-and-forth around] “You’re leading by example. That’s what we do. Particularly when it’s really, really hard, and it hurts inside. ” [lots more, but not offensive by any reasonable standard]

He's right about Eikenberry's "leak," and the rest is hard to describe as even borderline insubordination. Folks talking about UCMJ violations are going to have to explain it to me, because I don't see any "there" there at all.

FWIW, Rolling Stone is saying McChrystal saw the material before it was published and didn't object.

TosaGuy said...

So why has Obama allowing his war general, Ambassador to Afghanistan and other diplomatic officials -- all of whom he selected -- fight like this for so long to the detriment of his Afghanistan policy? Was he even paying attention before Rolling Stones threw this brick through his window.?

Synova said...

(Sir and Ma'am, he was killed in battle serving his country; how much more are your really entitled to know?)

"Oh Jesus Christ."

How about... "We're pretty sure he's dead someplace in Vietnam so we're processing him as dead because we've got his dog-tags and his body. Have a pretty flag in a box."

No?

It's pretty stupid to try to set Tillman up as a war hero on account of he's Tillman, but at what point does his family deserve more than basic details on account of he's Tillman?

Does anyone else get something other than generalities? I'm not going to go up to some grieving family and demand to know just how *exactly* the military told them details of how their son or daughter died, but I'm guessing it's pretty general in the cases where it's not exceedingly general followed by the word "classified."

AllenS said...

danielle said

It will be interesting to see how the Republicans deal with this.

What do you mean, deal with this? They can't fire him. They don't have to do a fucking thing. What exactly did McC say that Republicans should get excited over?

Synova said...

"McCrystal signed off on awarding Tillman a Silver Star even though he had doubts/misgivings about the veracity of the Army's report."

Medals are always safe.

What I don't get is the bizarre insistence that medals are evidence of a holy, inerrant and divine Truth.

It's just weird.

Synova said...

"FWIW, Rolling Stone is saying McChrystal saw the material before it was published and didn't object."

There is a lot of undesirable baggage and consequence to the military "objecting" to a private publication. Doing so could have worse fall-out than what was actually written.

edutcher said...

Insta has an interesting take on this - '(T)he punchy tone of the McChrystal quotes, coupled with Gen. Petraeus’ collapse in front of Congress last week, suggests that these guys are close to worn out. That’s not a good thing, and it’s an unfortunate contrast to our golf-and-politics-as-usual political class in DC.'

roesch-voltaire said...

Ed: Your examples of our victories over-seas do not fit the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In Korea we had half the country fighting the war with us and still the country is divided. Please explain our war with China who now owns us

We fought the Boxer Rebellion and several revolts in the Philippines under the same circumstances as we have now. As I also mentioned, there's the Mexican War, Iraq, and, for all the Marines, Haiti. We've done this before.

As have the Limeys, all over the world. Which negates the old self-fulfilling defeatism of the 60s

Roger J. said...

Danielle--per Allen S--just what in the hell do the republicans have to do about this? This is Mr Obama, his SecDef Gates, and McChrystal's CINC, Gen Patraeus--That the chain of command here. Do you any thing other than your partisan horseshit? Will the republicans make hay about this? of course they will. Which ever way it goes down--Thats the partisan game your dems play all the time--deal with it. But at this point it is a democrat problem, pure and simple.

Old Dad said...

danielle,

You refer to Gen. McChrystal as "an idiot." There are many things that the General may be, but an "idiot" is not one of them.

I think it's probably a case of projection. Let's compare your IQ, GPA, and resume to the General's and then decide who trends toward "idiot."

Are you game?

danielle said...

Roger J and AllenS, what in the world has got you both so exercised ?

Relax.

I wonder if the Repubs will stand behind the president and the war strategy, or if somehow they'll say McCrystal's insubordinate behavior was justified, when they know full well that insubordination is a punishable offense in the military. The war strategy was in large part what McCrystal wanted. I dont see how they can honestly and responsibly make this into a political issue ... and we do really need a united front if we are to have any hope in this war.

I'll be interested to see where McCain weighs in ... its too bad that he's in an election fight right now, there is no telling where his head is.

AllenS said...

danielle, you're pretty thin in the resume department.

garage mahal said...

How about... "We're pretty sure he's dead someplace in Vietnam so we're processing him as dead because we've got his dog-tags and his body. Have a pretty flag in a box."

That would certainly preferable to the Army lying and covering up the details of Tillman's death.

I just wonder how you would feel if that were your kid. How could someone who was apparently killed from 10 yards away [as Army medical examiners concluded] – and was hit by three bullets in close proximity to the forehead, be a victim of "friendly fire" from 90 yards away, as claimed? Bet you'd be singing a different tune.

Synova said...

"I dont see how they can honestly and responsibly make this into a political issue ... and we do really need a united front if we are to have any hope in this war."

I just wanted to admire that statement for a while.

AllenS said...

danielle said...
I wonder if the Repubs will stand behind the president and the war strategy

Have the Republicans opposed the war policy? How about Democrats? Have all of them supported the war strategy? I'll bet they haven't. So, what does that mean then?

Roger J. said...

Danielle--you were the who introduced a partisan component to the argument--I was quite clear and forceful that McChrystal should be fired forthwith for insubordination--along with, it looks like, quite a few of his staff. Now I say that as a west point graduate and conservative who abhors the idea of the military overriding civilian leadership.

You were the one who (apparently) wanted to make it a partisan issue (wonder what the republicans etc.....). It will be a partisan issue of course--just as the surge in Iraq was. But at this point the dems own it.

danielle said...

so Old Dad, you think McCrystal's comments were intentional or accidental ? If they were intentional, then you must think that after he advocated the current war strategy, he then decided that he wants no part of it and decided to go out guns blazing ... If it was accidental, then you think that after his previous run ins with the administration regarding his statements, that he didnt learn a lesson and think through the very serious ramifications for himself and for the war efforts that he is currently leading ? the latter seems pretty idiotic to me.

danielle said...

"You were the one who (apparently) wanted to make it a partisan issue (wonder what the republicans etc.....). It will be a partisan issue of course--just as the surge in Iraq was. But at this point the dems own it."

No, Rojer J, I just asked a question in anticipation of it sadly and unfortunately becoming a political issue when Republicans decide how to weigh in on it... You say 'At this point the dems own it' ? Not sure what you mean by that. Yes, the President will take the next steps, but so far I haven't heard any dems, except for those directly involved (mentioned in the article), saying anything about it... but eventually, people will weigh in ..

Old Dad said...

danielle,

You can't walk it back dear. "He's an idiot" is not characterizing something the General did as "pretty idiotic."

Your comment was intemperate. So were the General's. If he is an idiot so are you.

Danielle meet petard.

Joe said...

I just ahve to say the Surge has failed and the war is lost....

Roger J. said...

Danielle--regretably all wars have political components--recall the democratic attack on Mr Bush's surge--which, in retrospect, looks like it worked--how did all the hand wringing and worst case scenarios work out in Iraq? We dont even hear about Iraq anymore. That said, at this point Mr Obama is faced with a recalcitrant general, and Mr Obama, if he is the commander in chief should have simply fired him. In all honesty I do hope that our strategy in Afghanistan works--General McChrystal is not the man to do it as far as I can tell.

Here history is suggestive--Look at Mr Lincoln who had generals like McClellan, who opposed Mr Lincoln's policies. It wasnt until Mr Lincoln settled on generals like Grant and Sherman that the conflict was resolved.

Mr Obama has to comprehend what his objectives are in Afghanistan and choose the right generals for the job--Thats what Mr Lincoln did. It is not apparent that Mr Obama is doing that.

Joe said...

Not like I'm being partisan or anything, and I certainly stand behind the war effort 100%, just like Dick Durbin, Harry Reid and Barak Obama did...

I just say this, under the point that Dissent IS the Highest Form of Patriotism.

I believe we need to institute War Crime Trials for Obama and Biden, and Petreus and McChrystal...
and bring our baby-killing, mercenary troops home, now!

And no one had better DARE question my patriotism.

I support the Baby-Killers, but not their mission, so there.

danielle said...

Old Dad, you should really get over yourself.

If you want to liken the temperance displayed in my statements about McCrystal to McCrystal's statements about the President and his administration -- a President who is his superior -- then really you've lost it.

prairie wind said...

I intended to read through all the comments but when I came to, All they have to do is mind their own business and not fuck with us, and everything's Mr. Tinker, I decided that having learned something new, I didn't need to read any further. I've never heard "everything's Mr. Tinker" before but I do like it and will use it at my earliest opportunity.

Hoosier Daddy said...

(Sir and Ma'am, he was killed in battle serving his country; how much more are your really entitled to know?)

Oh Jesus Christ.


My great uncle was killed in Belgium in 1944 and I saw the letter that was sent and it really didn't say much more than that actually.

Turns out 25 years later his brother who was in the PTO ran into a guy who was in his company and found out he slipped and fell off a bridge into a river and that was the last anyone saw him.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Roger J and AllenS, what in the world has got you both so exercised ?

Probably your idiotic statements. Try making an intelligent point for a change.

danielle said...

"Mr Obama has to comprehend what his objectives are in Afghanistan and choose the right generals for the job--Thats what Mr Lincoln did. It is not apparent that Mr Obama is doing that."

I think its really a shame that this has happened. McCrystal did a fantastic job in the particular mission he headed in Iraq, and was lauded by many people as the best general for this job. But he wasnt able to navigate the politics of it, it seems...What he did in London, with the leaks to Woodard and now this are just idiocy.

And on the political aspects of war -- of course they exist; I'm just concerned about how this plays out when there is conflict between the top man in Afghanistan and his commander in chief. At least in the case of the surge, it was squabble at home. This looks to be more serious as it involves the top man in Afghanistan. I see this as potentially more damaging and corrosive to the mission.

danielle said...

HD, HD .... still the guy making the personal attacks to other commenters, huh ? How about your grow up.

Synova said...

Garage, the issue isn't how I'd feel, the issue is that unless I was the mother of someone famous I'd never know. The team from CSI isn't called out to every battle field death *unless* it's over someone special.

Do you think that Palin's son got transferred to something "safe" as a favor to her? Do you think that when you PCS to a new post you've got to declare Congressperson relatives for some reason other than so your new mates and commanders can prepare their ass covering ahead of time?

The point, as I see it, is this.

If he wasn't Tillman no one would have bothered to try to make him into a war hero.

And if he wasn't Tillman his parents would have got a report with the initial messed up information (because lord knows that a situation confused enough to result in friendly fire is so very easy to straighten out after the fact) and never got an update.

And that would be that.

AllenS said...

I hope McC gets canned so we can really find out how out of touch Obama is.

I'm calling this my Exercised Relaxation.

danielle, get busy and put something in your profile.

Joe said...


it was squabble at home. This looks to be more serious as it involves the top man in Afghanistan. I see this as potentially more damaging and corrosive to the mission.


More or less so than Reid declaring the war in Iraq lost?

I laugh, now, that Democrats are worried about squabbles "being corrosive to the mission." It's about 5-6 years too late to worry about that....wouldn't you say?

I say Fire McChrystal, but let's don't start acting like there isn't political hay to be made here, and that making political hay is some how wrong....because that's just about silly, at this point.

Roger J. said...

Danielle--thanks for backing off a bit--I would remind you that when General Petraeus went before congress the political left took out a full page ad in the NYT say general Betrayus--surely you remember that--
General McChrystal may be a great warrior, but he was insubordinate. Mr Obama as Commander in chief should have those generals that will carry out his policy. At some time in the future the American electorate can judge Mr Obama on that. This kind of insubordination detracts from the war effort.

Ike had to put up with Viscount Montgomery, George Patton, and a host of other egos--he seemed to be able to handle it. Wars go to national interest and national will--It is not clear to me that Mr Obama is up to the task--

Were I Mr Obama, I would sack McChyrstal, clearly annunciate my goals for Afghanistan, and choose a general that can comply. but I am not the president.

traditionalguy said...

The Afghan mission had been to keep the Taliban out of power and Pakistan under our influence rather than under the Taliban's influence. After their defeat in Iraq, the Islamic Nations Guerrila force has countered that by chosing to fight the US and NATO on ground that is perfect terrain for guerrila operations. Our only wise counter move is to withdraw as soon as Iran has been defanged. Therefore The Lawless One has chosen to order done the worst things possible: he will not defang Iran, and at the same time he will destroy our morale for supporting any fight against Islamic Nations. He has timed a withdrawal for the summer after the 2010 elections. McChrystal has figured Obama out and doesn't want to be the fall guy. He can see that the actions of the Lawless One are escalating the American and Nato forces souly to provide temporary training targets for the Islamic Guerrila forces in the Afghan mountain valleys. The guerrila tactics of planting roads with IEDs and ambushing enemy forces are best learned by practicing those skills over and over.

Alex said...

BTW, that NY Times ad "General Betrayus" was A-OK!!!

Alex said...

MoveOn.org are fantastic, patriotic Americans. True salt of the earth folks. I will break bread with any of them, as long Titus will join me.

Old Dad said...

danielle,

Dear girl, one of us most definitely needs to get over ourselves. Is General McChrystal, a West Point grad, a four star General, a Director of the Joint Staff, the Nato Commander in Afghanistan an idiot--yes or no?

If yes, one of us indeed needs to get over our own bad selves.

Daniel said...

McChrystal is clearly a courageous dude. He's also a cowardly weasel. I just read the full profile. It's a MONSTER CYA endeavor. He says of Karl Eikenberry, "Here's one that covers his flank for the history books. Now if we fail, they can say, 'I told you so.'" NO. It’s McChrystal who’s throwing the Obama administration and his own soldiers under the bus for his own failings.

Obama followed McChrystal’s sorry excuse for a strategy FULLY, sent 20,000 extra troops, and committed to the full COIN national-building stuff, with only one deviation, which was to set a date for withdrawal (not that he’s going to meet it, or was ever going to, but as with his argument about the surge during the campaign, the principle behind it was to use some kind of deadline to get the political process moving). As many have pointed out, McChrystal WON the strategic debate inside the administration, and got everything he asked for. Now that he’s finding out that his crappy strategy is FAILING, and he’s covering his ass by blaming those who lost the debate in the Obama administration and his chain of command on the ground that is failing to implement his vision of COIN.

FIRE THAT FUCKER. Again, please excuse my language, but this is dishonorable behavior.

Hoosier Daddy said...

HD, HD .... still the guy making the personal attacks to other commenters, huh ? How about your grow up.

How about you make an intelligent point? What does the GoP have to do with this? Let me help you: Nothing, zippo. McChrystal was Obama's pick, his guy yet you want to play the partisan ideological game to somehow see how the GOP can become the bad guy.

Gee its funny how the conserative commenters here agree McChrystal should be sacked yet you simply can't help yourself and have to turn it into a partisan issue.

So yes sweetie you kinda asked for a boot in the ass.

Synova said...

"Were I Mr Obama, I would sack McChyrstal, clearly annunciate my goals for Afghanistan, and choose a general that can comply."

Sure, but that means actually choosing a replacement general.

And actually having clear goals.

danielle said...

"danielle, get busy and put something in your profile."

AllenS, people like you worry me. maybe you should get out of the house more, make some friends, interact with people -- stop fantasizing about me, and instead realize this is just a blog.

Alex said...

danielle - shut up little goil.

Roger J. said...

Synova--of course it does, which is why I said it--Do I think Mr Obama has it in him? no--not at all, I am just telling you what I would do as president. and for the record, I don't play golf.

danielle said...

Just as I thought, HD. continue to behave badly... i'm sure you'll stop before telling me to leave again. But yes, I'm sure your embarrassment at showing your true colors that day is why you continue to behave this way ....

Hoosier Daddy said...

Look at Mr Lincoln who had generals like McClellan, who opposed Mr Lincoln's policies. It wasnt until Mr Lincoln settled on generals like Grant and Sherman that the conflict was resolved.

Consider that Lincoln approached John Reynolds for the job and when Reynolds conditioned it by not being shackled with consulting Stanton every day he'd do it and Lincoln refused and gave the job to Meade and well.. we saw what happened there.

Synova said...

Daniel... So it's your contention that the *only* thing that Obama contributed to the Afghanistan war strategy was a politically motivated pull-out date that was a lie on all levels? Sorta like the politically motivated lie that the surge had failed in Iraq?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Just as I thought, HD. continue to behave badly... i'm sure you'll stop before telling me to leave again. But yes, I'm sure your embarrassment at showing your true colors that day is why you continue to behave this way ....

I don't get embarrased.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

stop fantasizing about me, and instead realize this is just a blog.


Fantasize? Wow. Someone sure has an inflated opinion of herself.

LOL.

Oh, and I also agree McCrystal should be removed from his position. Even if he didn't say those things himself, he has allowed his subordinates to be insubordinate.

Even though they are all probably true, as a military member you must abide by the rules.

Once he is no longer formally in the military, I would be very interested to hear what he has to say...unfettered.

garage mahal said...

If he wasn't Tillman no one would have bothered to try to make him into a war hero.

It was the Pentagon that misled for an entire month making Tillman out to be a hero, and the Army already knew it was "friendly fire" incident. Allegedly.

Daniel said...

Well, Synova, I don't think the surge has been successful in Iraq -- that place is still a shit storm and destined to be for a long time. That our many troops and treasure lost tamped things down for a while is true but in the long term of questionable relevance. But this isn't a discussion of the Iraq war -- let's not get sidetracked.

As for Afghanistan, Obama campaigned to step up the war rather than to get out, and really the only choice was COIN -- bomb into oblivion doesn't work in oblivion. Yes, his contribution was to add a withdrawal date. I personally don't and didn't think that he would stick to it at all costs, though I think if you're going to do the COIN thing you need some kind of deadline or you'll be there for ever and ever.

Freeman Hunt said...

Heh. He should be fired.

And if he ever fills out one of those job applications that asks why you were terminated, under this position he should be honest and write, "For being too awesome."

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm not going to join in with the other know-nothing-about-the-military civilians playing armchair general.

Is he a good general? Is he a poor general? I don't know the answers to those questions.

But I know that you usually can't keep your job after disrespecting your boss that way. Also, I know that some bosses are less than wonderful, and you can't help but feel a little nip of joy at one of those getting told off. (Even if you think that the telling off was bad form.)

Daniel said...

Freeman, what does it say about you if you tell of your boss who agreed with you and gave you what you needed to pursue your strategy? Clear need for a firing aside, there's nothing to laud here in McChrystal's behavior.

former law student said...

What we should do, instead, is put everyone in the world on notice, in no uncertain terms, not to fuck with us. Any nation or non-state actor who attacks the United States should be mercilessly destroyed.

Sure, why not? That strategy worked so well for Israel all these years -- and now it's a perfect garden spot vacation land.

Freeman Hunt said...

Daniel, please note that I wrote this:

Is he a good general? Is he a poor general? I don't know the answers to those questions.

I don't know if McChrystal is any good or not. I don't know if he got what he thought he needed or not.

But I do know that Obama is a bad President who seems to be utterly clueless on issues of foreign policy.

Joe said...

Israel may not be the "perfect vacation spot" but it's a nice place to visit. I went on business a few years back and it was one of the nicest trips I've gone on.

Daniel said...

Freeman, I also note that you wrote, as to why McChrystal would report that he got fired, this:

"For being too awesome."

So how is he too awesome?

Freeman Hunt said...

Already answered in my previous comments. Stop being so purposely obtuse.

Irene said...

"Did you say bite me?"

Humor is a good attribute. Perhaps there is a back story here, and McChrystal knew that he was about to be ousted. He decided to let it blow, thinking, "bite me."

Daniel said...

Good advice. You make no sense. Clearer?

Why do people descend to assholishness so quickly?

Cedarford said...

Chase said...
1) McChrystal has done this country a tremenedous favor by exposing the inner foolishness of the Obama Administration.

2) Now he should be fired for speaking ill of the Commander in Chief, regardless if said CIC is Democrat, Republican, liberal or conservative.

Be a soldier, McChrystal and take it.
=================
Agree. McCrystal can retire with a "Mission Accomplished". He illuminated the military discontent with "The Annointed Perfessor" and his White House cabal.

The General takes the hit - but Obama is shown as an ineffective CiC who lacks the respect of the troops.

Liberals and progressive Jews in the media will deperately try to spin this as Truman-McArthur II and how Obama showed the primacy of civilian leadership (in this case Harvard lawyers clueless about military and other matters outside their Ivy League Bubble).

But it won't fly.

Truman was a WWI artillery officer who saw serious combat and rose to be a senior commander in the Guard.
He had creds. He took on McArthur from a position of knowing the military and strategic considerations. From a position of strength.
Obama is the Perfessor. Urkel made great by the media and by running against the hapless McCain-Palin ticket. But a weak man. Like Carter.

Freeman Hunt said...

Why do people descend to assholishness so quickly?

I don't know. Go ahead and tell me. I too wonder why someone would try to get all pompous over a throw away line like that.

wv: mockin No kidding. Ha.

Freeman Hunt said...

Or are you honestly confused? I find that hard to believe. Do you really need to me explain that Obama is terrible with foreign policy and having a high official say something in that vein about him is gratifying?

garage mahal said...

Looks like McChrystal has resigned. Shakedown!

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 229   Newer› Newest»