The media has a new toy. General Stanley McChrystal, the man running the war in Afghanistan, recently gave an interview to Rolling Stone. It’s filled with statements that will infuriate President Obama’s supporters. While it is a break with tradition, McChrystal expressed a level of frustration with Obama’s leadership – or lack thereof – that I have heard repeatedly from my personal friends and contacts in SOF, or those who have operated in-theatre for the last several years.
Perhaps the colorful language is a bridge too far – but Democrats have beaten down on the military for 45 years, almost entirely unabated. While McChrystal’s dissent would have been better expressed privately, the truth is that no one in the Oval was listening. On the other hand, it appears McChrystal and his “Team America” apparently have an excellent rapport with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
Part of the problem is structural: The Defense Department budget exceeds $600 billion a year, while the State Department receives only $50 billion. But part of the problem is personal: In private, Team McChrystal likes to talk shit about many of Obama’s top people on the diplomatic side. One aide calls Jim Jones, a retired four-star general and veteran of the Cold War, a “clown” who remains “stuck in 1985.” Politicians like McCain and Kerry, says another aide, “turn up, have a meeting with Karzai, criticize him at the airport press conference, then get back for the Sunday talk shows. Frankly, it’s not very helpful.” Only Hillary Clinton receives good reviews from McChrystal’s inner circle. “Hillary had Stan’s back during the strategic review,” says an adviser. “She said, ‘If Stan wants it, give him what he needs.’ ”
Well, well, well. Very interesting.
McChrystal has been summoned by a “furious” President Obama and SecDef Gates, via Politico. Will report more when it shakes down.
Update: here’s a fun thought….Fun thought: McChrystal resigns, pulls a full Ginsberg on the Sunday shows, calls Barnett, inks a book deal, then spends 2yrs beating drum about President’s competency & manliness. Now I’m getting a tingly feeling up my leg.
Also, a word of warning to Obama supporters: Obama may be President, but he’ll never outrank McChrystal on sheer balls, masculine power, or war-fighting creds. Best to be careful when piling on. Republicans will chomp at the bit, Obama’s ego needs to be checked or he’ll find a nasty TV ad against him in 2012. Take the long view, or get beaten.
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