The whole world is buzzing about the controversial Rolling Stone profile of International Security Assistance Force commander General Stanley McChrystal. To be honest I’m kind of torn here, the whole Rolling Stone piece is a bit of a hatchet job… Adrian Michaels does a good job of summarizing things in the Telegraph:
There isn’t very much in the Rolling Stone article requiring an apology from General McChrystal, the man in charge in Afghanistan who has been summoned to the White House. If he does resign, it should not be because of perceived slurs against the White House. They’re not there.
There was a copy of the article available online until recently, which I’ve read, and some excerpts and a news report about it here and here. Basically, the general – or “THE RUNAWAY GENERAL” as he is hysterically referred to – has been the victim of journalist hype. It is the magazine’s editors that call the White House “wimps”, and it is the author that uses almost every f-word in the piece, gratuitously, gratingly, and not while quoting anyone. The only f-word used by someone else is a Brit saying how much some people love McChrystal’s habit of showing up on patrol.
Let’s be clear: Barack Obama may still want McChrystal to resign. The general gave long, close and after-hours access to a journalist and also apparently made no complaints when Rolling Stone sent him a pre-publication copy. That this represents poor judgment, and that this is not the first instance of his poor judgment, is indisputable.
As Mr. Michaels notes most of the troubling remarks are asides and ill-advised wise cracks… Bottom line, Gen. McChrystal and his aides may be 100% correct in their assessment of President Obama and his team. However, Gen. McChrystal and his staff should never have voiced his their frustrations with the Commander in Chief and his staff in a Rolling Stone interview, doing so is contrary to good order and discipline. Personally, while I might agree with Gen. McChrystal’s assessment of this administration I think he should resign.
Barack Obama may or may not be a disaster as Commander and Chief, but he is still the Commander and Chief and entitled to certain level of respect from the officers who serve under him. Their remarks were at the very least disrespectful to the Commander and Chief and at very worst insubordinate. Gen. McChrystal isn’t the first general officer to make this mistake and he won’t last, but for good of Army and the nation he should resign.
Edit: I should add that I agree wholeheartedly with Uncle Jimbo… If McChrystal goes, Eikenberry & Holbrooke must follow.
- McChrystal’s Future Is in Doubt Over Remarks – Wall Street Journal
- Afghan president says fully supports U.S. general – Reuters
- McChrystal: An accident waiting to happen – Byron York, Washington Examiner
- Military Dissent Should Be Private – Victor Davis Hanson, National Review
- Intelligence assessments paint bleak portrait in Afghanistan – Washington Examiner
- Obama’s real McChrystal problem: Afghanistan plan in trouble – Glenn Thrush, Politico
- McChrystal’s real offense – Byron York, Washington Examiner
- Is Gen. Stanley McChrystal someone the president can afford to fire? – Washington Post
- McChrystal Goes Rogue…Again – Monica Crowley