Get Ready for The McChrystal Soap Opera

In calling the top officials of the Obama administration whom he criticized to a Rolling Stone reporter, Gen. Stanley McChrystal is reported to have said, ‘I’ve compromised the mission.’” But the real issue here is only related to McChrystal inasmuch as we are currently following in Afghanistan a strategy he has advocated since the Bush years called COIN, generally known as counterinsurgency. But because the counterinsurgency strategy requires a strong local government to exist so that we can eventually withdraw and turn things over to that government, we've been supporting the totally corrupt and awash-in-heroin administration of former Unocal - now Chevron - oil executive Hamid Karzai, whose brother is also one of the biggest heroin dealers in the world. Whether McCrystal is fired or not is frankly irrelevant - unless it means that our military and diplomatic strategies change. McChrystal basically blackmailed President Obama into continuing Bush's war with Bush's strategy - a strategy of counterinsurgency that this nation last tried a generation ago in a nation then called South Vietnam. While all the corporate media will be discussing the People Magazine type of story that focuses on the personalities and conflicts among a few senior military folks and insiders in the Obama administration, making it into a huge soap opera, keep your eye on the real story: will this singular moment in time be seized by Obama as an opportunity to repudiate Bush's and McChrystal's Afghanistan strategy and instead go with Vice President Joe Biden's very well thought out and straightforward strategy to join virtually all of our European allies in getting our troops out of that country.


LeMoyne's picture
LeMoyne 12 years 49 weeks ago

The first person fired was the (civilian?) press aide who invited in Michael Hastings, the Rolling Stone reporter. When paired with the press suppression/embedding in the Gulf of Mexico there is a very clear message: Obama's transparency has a rose-colored filter and touchy off switch.

I agree with Keith Olbermann's contention that Obama should tell McChrystal nice try but you are not off the hook. Instead of firing the general who speaks out (like Bush did many times) he should rip off a little of that braid, put the resignation letter in a drawer and tell McChrystal I am not going to accept it yet. And send then him back to work. The present counter-insurgency policy was McChrystal's favorite and he made inappropriate public statements in the run-up to the establishment of that policy. If the policy stays then so should the general.

To be clear about my personal views: the general, our policy and our Armed Forces should never have gone into Afghanistan. As a manager, Obama's key question for the general is 'Do you still want the job?' If the comments were an attempt to quit by insubordination the general should not be in charge of a multi-billion dollar war effort. The fact that the staff was going along with the back-talk is not surprising but it is telling. I think Obama will likely fire McChrystal for poor management: the general created &/or allowed a culture of insubordination at the top level of the army in a war zone.

pdx wahine 12 years 49 weeks ago

Thom has been advocating a Greg Mortenson approach to Afghanistan, the past few days. While I wholeheartedly agree, I have found myself wondering whether the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding 'providing material support' would endanger CAI and their works.

Rick in Canadia's picture
Rick in Canadia 12 years 49 weeks ago

Breaking news;

Not sure if it is just coincidence or planned; Former General McChrystal has just been named as the replacement coach of the French National Soccer Team. He is 'glad to get away from the whining, immature behavior and poor command structure'..


Rick in Canadia's picture
Rick in Canadia 12 years 49 weeks ago

General Petreus is a good choice; it will keep him quiet for a while too..

Pres. Obama had no real choice; he couldn't stand beside Joe Biden or his other higher-ups and say 'well, we still need the general'.. You don't undercut your own people like that.

Best of a bad situation and now we just wait for Stanley to show up on Fox News with Sarah...



LeMoyne's picture
LeMoyne 12 years 49 weeks ago

Should have read the article first - Obama already directly warned McChrystal about the policy criticisms - buh bye! And Petraeus is an excellent election year choice - let's see if the right-wing complains about President Obama firing a foul-mouthed insubordinate general and replacing him with one of their darlings.

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