By now, most of us have formed opinions about the rift between General Stanley McChrystal and the Obama administration, particularly in regards to the ill-fated tete-a-tete with the Rolling Stone reporter amid the general and his aides. But there is more to the story to think about than what we see and hear on the surface.
In its purist sense, the general was clearly out of line to be critical of his bosses and the president’s staff within a public forum. Therefore, it was no surprise to see the general forced into a rapid and involuntary exit from his command in Afghanistan. More mysterious, however, is that this took place at all. Certainly the general and his aides are media savvy enough to know that loose lips will sink ships, and that lip-flapping to a reporter who works for a left-leaning magazine will result in a Big Story. And, it did.
We should also think back to September of 2009, when General McChrystal made public his 66 page assessment of the Afgan war to the Secretary of Defense, in which he announced that a significant troop increase was necessary in order to achieve success. Clearly, the general used the media to force the president’s hand. Now, that same general and his aides have publically revealed — inadvertently — many of the negative internal feelings about President Obama, Vice-President Biden, Ambassador Karl Eikenberry and Special Representative, Richard Holbrooke.
Inadvertent? Or, Deliberate?
Is it not within the realm of possibilities that Stanley McChrystal knew exactly what he was doing? This man did not serve 34 successful years in the U.S. Army, rising to four-star general by being a buffoon. He was not given some of the most critical commands in history without being fully trusted. Thus, the message I am getting from all this, is that there is a lot going on behind the scenes that the general would like us all to know.
I have spoken to folks who are close to government operatives and military. They tell me that morale has never been lower or that respect for their civilian command staff is non-existent. That does not bode well for the protection of America. And that’s symptomatic of tacit dissension within the ranks.
There may be good reason. For example:
In April of 2009, early in his term, President Obama publically released — totally unnecessary — a series of Justice Department memos pertaining to “harsh interrogations of terror suspects,” setting off a firestorm of anger within the CIA and other government offices, not to mention the ire of the American people. Morale plunged. Operatives charged with the responsibility of protecting America couldn’t believe their eyes. Obama’s pep talk to the CIA fell upon deaf ears and cynical minds.
The president’s early overseas speeches, confessing “arrogance’ of past administrations, and suck-up apologies to the Islamic world — the world which hosts much of the world of terror and radical Islamic intimidation — did not set well with those who are out there defending America in and out of uniform. It certainly didn’t fair well with those closest to the victims of 9/11.
Later, the president’s Attorney General decided to hold the terror trials of Kalid Sheik Mohammed and his 9/11 cohorts in civilian courts — totally unnecessary — where they would have access to tax-funded attorneys and their confessions suppressed because they were not read their Miranda rights. A boon for the terrorists. Strangely, that same Attorney General hired on several Justice Department lawyers who — in private practice — had been representing seventeen of the Guantanamo detainees, i.e. enemy combatants. When Col. Nidal Hassan, American military Jihadist, went berserk at Fort Hood killing 13 and wounding 29, the president would not call it what it was: Islamic terror. Rather, “don’t jump to conclusions” stands out as his defensive posture. When questioned by a senator about radical Islam as the source of terrorism around the world, Attorney General Eric Holder would not answer.
During his term, I was often critical of G.W. Bush, including his manipulation of intelligence information to justify the pre-emptive invasion of Iraq. Neither did I support his cozy relationship with the Saudis, his soft stance on illegal immigrants and the government backed corruption within corporate America. But whether you liked or disliked Bush, no one questioned his image as a patriotic American, especially within the intelligence community and the military. The difference between Bush and Obama is a sharp contrast. Watch this short video:
The bottom line is this: The president holds little respect and admiration from middle and right America, especially within the military and intelligence community. At best, people like General McChrystal see Obama as a fledgling neophyte, out of his league, a raw minor leaguer in a major league ball game. At worst, they see him as speaking from two sides of his mouth, the antithesis of a loyal American.
In the Rolling Stone piece, regarding Obama’s first one-on-one meeting with the general in 2009, one unnamed advisor was quoted as saying, “It was a ten-minute photo op. Obama clearly didn’t know anything about him. Here’s the guy who’s going to run this f—-g war, but he didn’t seem very engaged. The boss (McChrystal) was pretty disappointed.”
Stay tuned. I have a strong feeling the McChrystal story isn’t over yet. There’s a trump card in there somewhere.
A couple more related sites of interest: