Open thread: Obama announcement on McChrystal’s status; Update: AP says he’s gone, Petraeus back to the front; Update: Fox confirms; Update: “Considerable regret” over McChrystal resignation, Obama says

posted at 1:19 pm on June 23, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama will speak at 1:30 ET in the White House Rose Garden to make a statement on the status of General Stanley McChrystal:

His job in grave jeopardy, Afghanistan war commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal made his case to President Barack Obama on Wednesday, contrite over his blistering remarks about administration officials.

Obama huddled with his war advisers before telling the nation of the embattled general’s fate. He planned a 1:30 p.m. EDT statement in the Rose Garden about the controversy.

With Washington abuzz, there was an almost complete White House lockdown on information about the day’s developments and the president’s thinking. It wasn’t even known where McChrystal went after leaving the West Wing from his nearly half-hour showdown with Obama.

Normally, I’d say a scheduled appearance would mean McChrystal’s out, but this has become so volatile that either decision would probably require an explanation from Obama.  We’ll open up the thread and wait to see what happens.

Update: Megyn Kelly on Fox repeats an AP update that Obama will relieve McChrystal of his command.  No link yet, still looking.  They also report that David Petraeus will take his place.

Update II: From the previous link:

A source tells The Associated Press that President Barack Obama will name Gen. David Petraeus to succeed Gen. Stanley McChrystal as top war commander in Afghanistan.

Given the controversy that surrounded McChrystal before this week started, this may not be bad news.

Update III: Major Garrett confirms from a “very senior administration official” that McChrystal’s out, and Petraeus is in.

Update IV: Smart move, say former Bush administration officials:

“After this I don’t see how he could have stayed on, frankly,” Eric Edelman, the number three official at the Pentagon from 2005 to 2009, told The Daily Caller.

“This is a real tragedy because Stan McChrystal is an incredibly capable officer who is a real hero in my book for what he did in Iraq and Afghanistan as the [Joint Special Operations Command] commander,” Edelman said. “He’s one of the more capable officers I knew during my time at the Pentagon.”

But Edelman, whose title was undersecretary of defense for policy, said that the Rolling Stone article that exploded into the news cycle Tuesday morning “suggests that a command climate had been created that allowed people around the general, without him correcting them, to say in front of — I’m sorry to say — a journalist things that were disrespectful of a civilian chain of command.”

“And whatever they might think, that’s not something they’re supposed to do,” he said.

“Suggesting that the president of the United States is intimidated by his military officers, that he wasn’t ready to be the commander, the suggestions that come directly from Stan in the article are that he was measuring the president and found him wanting,” Edelman said. “That may not be wrong. But it’s intolerable for a military commander who serves ultimately at the pleasure of the president and commander of chief … to let that become part of the public record.”

I suspect that Edelman and his colleagues would approve of Petraeus as the replacement, too.

Update V: Great point from the Boss Emeritus: “How far we’ve come from the MoveOn/General Betray Us heydays, eh?”  And didn’t Hillary Clinton call him a liar?

Update VI: Obama insists that he didn’t make the change over a sense of personal insult, and says that McChrystal earned a reputation of being “one of America’s finest soldiers.”  The war is bigger than any one man, including “a President,” but the commentary in the Rolling Stone article doesn’t meet the expectations of professional conduct and it “erodes the trust” necessary to prosecute and win the war.

Update VII: The standard of strict respect for civilian control of the military is critical for democracy and for success in the war theater, Obama insists.

Update VIII: ” I welcome debate among my team, but will not tolerate division.”  Well, perhaps Obama should have acted earlier with other members of his team in order to avoid this.

Update IX: Petraeus is setting an extraordinary example of patriotism and sacrifice by accepting this command, Obama insists.  Very true.

Update X: A short statement, but effective and as gracious as it could be under the circumstances.  Obama appears to have split the baby rather adeptly here, softening the blow of losing McChrystal by arguably trading up for the legendary Petraeus.  That should dampen criticism over cashiering McChrystal, especially among Republicans on Capitol Hill.


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To those who think Petraeus has been set up to fail….do you really think he would have taken this command if that were so?

Three changes in command in that theatre. There cannot be another, or the world will rightly think we are politicized fools.

Petraeus will get whatever he asks for now to pull out the win.

pseudonominus on June 23, 2010 at 3:26 PM

jimver on June 23, 2010 at 3:17 PM

Thank you and I would appreciate it if you did post it once you find it since it is something I haven’t seen.

journeyintothewhirlwind on June 23, 2010 at 3:28 PM

Patraeus on the other hand is a far bigger person than I’d be. After all the crap, accusations, and such he took from Dems, only to come back when asked….says a lot about the man. He’s a great human being, who deserves better than he got from Dems a few years ago.

capejasmine on June 23, 2010 at 3:14 PM

yep, Petraeus strikes me as a type with a different personality than McChrystal, I think he’s capable of ignoring the BS, while focusing on the mission at hand…some people are like that, nothing distracts them or get to them, maybe he’s a person with more self-discipline and higher levels of tolerance, kinda like in zen buddhism :-)…he strikes me as a thinker (after all he’s a PhD :-), McChrystal comes across more like a doer, an action guy and a non-BS, no-nonsense at that…I think Petraeus is both a thinker and an implementer…only he sounds more like a no-drama guy …I am talking personality-wise, from what transpired in the press about the two men…

jimver on June 23, 2010 at 3:29 PM

I’m strarting to get the vibe this is a Petraeus/McChrystal tag team effort….

pseudonominus on June 23, 2010 at 3:31 PM

Dear Mr. President,

I congratulate you on accepting the Focus Group’s decision.

Their leadership and your ability to follow are both astounding.

Thanks again!

jeff_from_mpls on June 23, 2010 at 3:33 PM

It’s unfortunate, but Petraeus has to take this position. In spite of Obama’s despicable talking down to him and accusing him of being a liar and ineffective Army general officer when the General was testifying before Congress during the Bush Administration, he will take the job, no questions asked. Why? Because, in spite of the ignorant man-child’s stupid, uneducated polemic against him in the Senate (during the “General Betray Us” flap), General Petraeus is something Obama isn’t, his father wasn’t, and probably will never come out of his family line: General Dave Petraeus is a REAL man. An OFFICERand a GENTLEMAN. Obama should be intimidated by this man, when he sees him coming, because the General knows this mission is more important than any one person; including an unqualified, clueless, spineless, nutless failure of a poor-excuse for a military CINC. Obama is merely taking advantage of the fact that GENERAL Petraeus is a GENERAL’S GENERAL, as was GENERAL Stan McChrystal, UNITED STATES ARMY RANGER, UNITED STATES ARMY SPECIAL FORCES.

Take comfort in knowing you are inferior to Servicemen and Veterans, Obama. Now you’ve got another, possibly scientifically verifiable excuse for your seemingly genetic propensity failure. Wimpy, wanker bi-ch. Leave it to a thin-skinned bi-ch like Obama to get mad about ARMY guys getting drunk and rowdy in a bar, indulging in harsh language and not having the decency to say grace and talk about him.

Maybe McChrystal’s wife will send you a spare box of tampons, punk.

Virus-X on June 23, 2010 at 3:33 PM

There is also the keen possibility that Obama wants that outcome and thus, embraces those sources among his own kind (Rolling Stone who thinks he’s Messiah, etc.).

Americans don’t like losing wars, you are right, but the Left isn’t generally among those Americans who care, but oftentimes, appears to actually want us to lose. In the case of Vietnam, they did (the Left did). In the case of Iran/Iraq/Middle East, they do and have for a while now. IN the case of Afghanistan, I’ve never found Obama’s “attitude” of “war” to be reliable because he seems more concerned with protecting Islam and Pokeystahhn than anything else — and that’d mean the U.S. would need to be wonky in military matters in Afghanistan.

Lourdes on June 23, 2010 at 3:18 PM

Barry’s main concern is Barry. Losing a war in Afghanistan makes the Jimmah Carter meme stick and means Barry is a one-timer. Losing reelection means that Barry has to give up all the perks that come with the President and goes down in history as a pretty crappy President.

Barry is a left-wing idealogue, but is first and foremost a major narcissist. He wouldn’t actively lose in Afghnistan as it would make his most favoritest person in the world (himself) look bad.

Illinidiva on June 23, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Petraeus will get whatever he asks for now to pull out the win.

pseudonominus on June 23, 2010 at 3:26 PM

Dream on, I hope you’re right but with BO at the controls I very much doubt it.

duff65 on June 23, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Petraeus will get whatever he asks for now to pull out the win.

pseudonominus on June 23, 2010 at 3:26 PM

He dam well had better else he should never have taken the job!
That said Pinnochio just put Patreaus in the catbird seat!
Petraeus is in the perfect postion to get what he needs else parade before the people and say:
” look I tried to bail out this clown after the treatment he and his party gave me over Iraq and he still refuses to listen or play ball and win this thing, McChrystal was right!

And I say AGAIN both these guys swore an oath to defend the CONSTITUTION against enemies foreign and DOMESTIC!
I believe Obam is an enemy DOMESTIC!
He had better hope Patreaus doesn’t reach the same conclusion, if he already hasn’t.

dhunter on June 23, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Petraeus was almost killed in a firing range accident when a soldier shot him. He authorized, at some later date, the promotion of the soldier and the officer in charge. My kind of man.

Michael Yon reported that McChrystal is an excellent special ops guy but didn’t have what it takes to run a war. Considering that one of his officers allowed our men to go out on patrol in Amber status, no round in the chamber, tells me enough about the ROE there and his control of his forces.

amr on June 23, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Dang , sorry, hit strike by mistake and I’m not retypin that its readable.

dhunter on June 23, 2010 at 3:40 PM

So, what happens if he has a physical now and the doctors find something that makes him undeployable?

journeyintothewhirlwind on June 23, 2010 at 3:07 PM

†GOD forbid, please.

We don’t need another self-inflicted shot at morale. That would be the result of horribly bad planning and zero foresight. I can’t say that I can’t imagine it happening. But goodness, not now.

The Race Card on June 23, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Virus-X on June 23, 2010 at 3:33 PM

As a Vietnam vet if we ever get into the soup because of what Obama is doing, I would be honored to stand beside you. I knew guys like you in Vietnam and always knew that my back was covered.

Vince on June 23, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Something that everyone keeps forgetting is that the Brits couldn’t handle this country in the colonial days and that Russia couldn’t handle it recently. Neither had an additional impediment named Obama. I doubt if this ends well.

duff65 on June 23, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Dang , sorry, hit strike by mistake and I’m not retypin that its readable.

dhunter on June 23, 2010 at 3:40 PM

It’s called PREVIEW… try it :)

leftnomore on June 23, 2010 at 3:55 PM

“This is a real tragedy because Stan McChrystal is an incredibly capable officer who is a real hero in my book for what he did in Iraq and Afghanistan as the [Joint Special Operations Command] commander,” Edelman said. “He’s one of the more capable officers I knew during my time at the Pentagon.”

…..The consistent theme from Generals that have famously vocalized their discontent with civilian leadership (MacArthur,Patton,McCrystal) is that there was a lot of truth to what they were saying.

…….The bottom line is that we still have major problems with the Afghan mission and the civilian leadership that Obama has in place like Holbrooke and Eikenberry are still there.

…….This is not going to help repair the relationship that Obama has destroyed with Karzi…who is repeatedly made public comments that he does not believe the coalition will win in Afghanistan and is making his own moves behind the scenes with the Taliban.

…..The distention and lack of a clear,unified effort among the civilian and military leadership will be magnified now that Obama has had to sack his own General and put a General in place that democrats called a liar in front of the Nation.

…..since all Obama seems to care about is meeting his 2011 withdrawal date….putting Petraeus in charge allows him to deflect any excuses for this date not to be met since Petraeus was in the room and guaranteed Obama that they could meet this deadline.

…..maybe if Obama had spent less time on the Golf course and more time talking face to face with McCrystal he could have avoided this problem.

…….I don’t believe for a second that this whole episode with the Rolling Stone was McCrystal being “immature” and “irresponsible”.
…….This is an intelligent and seasoned Soldier who knew exactly what he was doing…….
……..the far left attitude of the Rolling Stone and it’s reporter were not a secret to him or his staff.
….The American people overwhelmingly trust the military more than they do politicians……and McCrystal has exposed the Obama administration yet again as inept and in over their heads.

These quotes will follow them until the time they leave office:

McChrystal himself is described by an aide as “disappointed” in his first Oval Office meeting with an unprepared President Barack Obama.

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.


“Are you asking about Vice President Biden?” McChrystal says with a laugh. “Who’s that?”

“Biden?” suggests a top adviser. “Did you say: Bite Me?”

McChrystal said he felt “betrayed” and accused the ambassador of giving himself cover.

“Here’s one that covers his flank for the history books,” McChrystal told the magazine. “Now, if we fail, they can say ‘I told you so.”

…This is a searing indictment of the Obama administration
by a commander that is on the front lines of this war.

……McCrystal is to smart for this seris of events to have been an accident.

…….Now with McCrystal gone….will the ROE change.

Baxter Greene on June 23, 2010 at 3:56 PM

“This is a real tragedy because Stan McChrystal is an incredibly capable officer who is a real hero in my book for what he did in Iraq and Afghanistan as the [Joint Special Operations Command] commander,” Edelman said. “He’s one of the more capable officers I knew during my time at the Pentagon.”

…..The consistent theme from Generals that have famously vocalized their discontent with civilian leadership (MacArthur,Patton,McCrystal) is that there was a lot of truth to what they were saying.

…….The bottom line is that we still have major problems with the Afghan mission and the civilian leadership that Obama has in place like Holbrooke and Eikenberry are still there.

…….This is not going to help repair the relationship that Obama has destroyed with Karzi…who is repeatedly made public comments that he does not believe the coalition will win in Afghanistan and is making his own moves behind the scenes with the Taliban.

…..The distention and lack of a clear,unified effort among the civilian and military leadership will be magnified now that Obama has had to sack his own General and put a General in place that democrats called a liar in front of the Nation.

…..since all Obama seems to care about is meeting his 2011 withdrawal date….putting Petraeus in charge allows him to deflect any excuses for this date not to be met since Petraeus was in the room and guaranteed Obama that they could meet this deadline.

…..maybe if Obama had spent less time on the Golf course and more time talking face to face with McCrystal he could have avoided this problem.

…….I don’t believe for a second that this whole episode with the Rolling Stone was McCrystal being “immature” and “irresponsible”.
…….This is an intelligent and seasoned Soldier who knew exactly what he was doing…….
……..the far left attitude of the Rolling Stone and it’s reporter were not a secret to him or his staff.
….The American people overwhelmingly trust the military more than they do politicians……and McCrystal has exposed the Obama administration yet again as inept and in over their heads.

These quotes will follow them until the time they leave office:

McChrystal himself is described by an aide as “disappointed” in his first Oval Office meeting with an unprepared President Barack Obama.

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 f#$king war, but he didn’t seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed.


“Are you asking about Vice President Biden?” McChrystal says with a laugh. “Who’s that?”

“Biden?” suggests a top adviser. “Did you say: Bite Me?”

McChrystal said he felt “betrayed” and accused the ambassador of giving himself cover.

“Here’s one that covers his flank for the history books,” McChrystal told the magazine. “Now, if we fail, they can say ‘I told you so.”

…This is a searing indictment of the Obama administration
by a commander that is on the front lines of this war.

……McCrystal is to smart for this series of events to have been an accident.

…….Now with McCrystal gone….will the ROE change.

Baxter Greene on June 23, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Virus-X on June 23, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Those are some sentiments I get behind wholeheartedly.

Gang-of-One on June 23, 2010 at 4:03 PM

McChrystal did the Honorable thing by offering his resignation,
The lyin Domestic Terrorist in the White House did the dishonorable thing by accepting it in spite of the Afghan leaders request not to.

Dissin our country and pissin on our allies AGAIN!

dhunter on June 23, 2010 at 4:07 PM

…….Now with McCrystal gone….will the ROE change.

Baxter Greene on June 23, 2010 at 3:59 PM

I doubt it. God forbid that we should offend anyone while trying to protect our troops. We take casualties while avoiding winning by decree from washington.

duff65 on June 23, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Who is his backup when he faints again?

Jaynie59 on June 23, 2010 at 4:09 PM

I personally think the COIN strategy has not, can not and will not work. When it implodes Gen. Petraeus will be synonomous with its failure. Neoconservatives will try to blame Obama–good luck making that stick.

aengus on June 23, 2010 at 2:45 PM

You can rent an Afghan but you can’t buy him. Infidels can be his boy toy but he will never divorce Allah.

Tav on June 23, 2010 at 4:10 PM

Unless Obama gives Petraeus some latitude to use his own judgment on COIN strategy, Petraeus will soon sound like Bobby Jindal screaming at the Feds for permission to pound sand. At least Petraeus knows whose @$$ to kick.

Steve Z on June 23, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Unless Obama gives Petraeus some latitude? I expect the chances of that happening are near zero, zilch, nada. So I expect Jindal to be coaching Petraeus soon on anger management. :)

petefrt on June 23, 2010 at 4:14 PM

I doubt it. God forbid that we should offend anyone while trying to protect our troops. We take casualties while avoiding winning by decree from washington.

duff65 on June 23, 2010 at 4:07 PM

…Bombing empty fields and just watching the enemy plant IED’s is what “smart power” is all about.

Baxter Greene on June 23, 2010 at 4:17 PM

I’m strarting to get the vibe this is a Petraeus/McChrystal tag team effort….

pseudonominus on June 23, 2010 at 3:31 PM

Yup, I’d keep an eye on that possibility too.

petefrt on June 23, 2010 at 4:18 PM

I personally think the COIN strategy has not, can not and will not work. When it implodes Gen. Petraeus will be synonomous with its failure.

aengus on June 23, 2010 at 2:45 PM

The entire COIN strategy is a fraud perpetuated on the American people. The idea that we are going to spend a trillion dollars to reshape the culture of the Islamic world is utter nonsense. (Douglas Macgregor, retired colonel, ent to West Point with McChrystal)

Tav on June 23, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Virus-X on June 23, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Well, no further commentary is required – you said it all, and quite well, imo.

Midas on June 23, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Patraeus’s and McChrystal’s are to COIN what Al Gore is to AGW.

Tav on June 23, 2010 at 4:22 PM

Who is his backup when he faints again?

Jaynie59 on June 23, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Gen David Petraeus is tougher than woodpecker lips.

As a battalion commander of the Iron Rakkasans, he suffered one of the more dramatic incidents in his career when, in 1991, he was accidentally shot in the chest during a live-fire exercise when a soldier tripped and his rifle discharged. He was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, where he was operated on by future U.S. Senator Bill Frist. The hospital released him early after he did fifty push ups without resting, just a few days after the accident.

He was taken by medics from the range and the last thing he told the commander in charge of the unit was something along the lines of, “don’t stop the training exercise”.

Thought you might like to know.

hawkdriver on June 23, 2010 at 4:23 PM

As a Vietnam vet if we ever get into the soup because of what Obama is doing, I would be honored to stand beside you. I knew guys like you in Vietnam and always knew that my back was covered.

Vince on June 23, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Thanks. The Army was, and remains, a harsh, deadly business with few perks, but one was the fact that if it came down to it and I had to start mowing people down to save my own life, standing beside True Believers like yourself made it both bearable and survivable.

What bothers me, additionally, about Obama is his view of military deaths, which was exemplified by his ignoring the 11 that died on the oil rig for almost 2 months. He’s one of those idiots that probably actually believes that Marines are made to die. If he happened upon a scene of a bunch of Soldiers of Marines dead after an enemy contact that resulted in a 100% fatality firefight, and then he was told that several that are dead could’ve escaped, he’d probably think they were too stupid to realize they had an escape route. Or that they were too stupid-bloodthirsty to break contact and save their own lives. He couldn’t possibly comprehend the possibility that the people that declined the chance to survive did so because they patently refused to live, while their comrades were left behind to die. To him, that’s stupidity and crazy-talk and abject foolishness.

Hooah.

Virus-X on June 23, 2010 at 4:25 PM

Why do you three times in this post refer to Obama “insisting” something or other? Can’t he just “say” things?

orange on June 23, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Those are some sentiments I get behind wholeheartedly.

Gang-of-One on June 23, 2010 at 4:03 PM

Thanks. Sorry I delved into non O-approved harsh language, but this whole thing is such a sorry debacle. I’ve been accused of insubordination by a senior NCO, and he got laughed out of the CO’s office in his meeting with my CO, XO, 1SG, Ops Sgt and PSGT. I look at the story with McChrystal, an obvious bomb-throwing hit-piece by a leftist cast from the same defective genetic mold as Jane Fonda, and it just rankles the living Hell out of me. I would say Obama should be ashamed of himself, but he doesn’t have such feelings. Things like dishonor and dereliction of duty are common and acceptable fare, where he comes from, and where I hope he’ll return, shortly (after being a guest of the USA in Ft. Leavenworth, KS).

Virus-X on June 23, 2010 at 4:32 PM

Well, no further commentary is required – you said it all, and quite well, imo.

Midas on June 23, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Thanks. I’m waiting for the FCC to start regulating my blog, soon, and FBI agents to show up and start asking questions. Or maybe this would be a great time for Obama’s Gestapo (http://www.visiontoamerica.org/articles/obamas-private-army-now-law-hidden-in-health-care-bill.html) to start getting some ops.

Virus-X on June 23, 2010 at 4:37 PM

I personally think the COIN strategy has not, can not and will not work. When it implodes Gen. Petraeus will be synonomous with its failure. Neoconservatives will try to blame Obama–good luck making that stick.

aengus on June 23, 2010 at 2:45 PM

….for eight years all we heard from liberals is that “the buck stops at the Presidents desk”…..now that a democrat is President….the buck stops everywhere but the Presidents desk.

…….Nobody is forcing Obama to appoint Petraeus or institute the COIN strategy……Obama has total control over this decision…..and he is 100% responsible for it.

….so tell us aengus….if Petraeus is successful….will Obama step up in front of his teleprompters and take no credit for wining the Afghan war????
….will he say “I had nothing to do with this victory….it was 100% Petraeus and the American Soldier?????……

……good luck getting anybody to take you seriously in your world of double standards.

Baxter Greene on June 23, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Funky Chicken- thanks for the article- page 1 of comments.

McChrystal’s relationship with Mullen has resulted in a flow of personnel that eluded McKiernan. The chairman told McChrystal he could poach whomever he needed from the Joint Staff — a list that now extends to about two dozen senior officers, including some of the military’s best-regarded colonels.
Before McChrystal left Washington, Gates asked him to deliver an assessment of the war in 60 days. Instead of summoning a team of military strategists to Kabul, McChrystal invited Washington think-tank experts from across the ideological spectrum.
The experts gave McChrystal a 20-page draft report that calls for expanding the Afghan army, changes in the way troops operate and an intensified military effort to root out corruption. There were few revolutionary ideas in the document, but McChrystal may have received something far more important through the process: allies in the U.S. capital, on the political left and right, to talk about the need for more troops in Afghanistan – in advance of his assessment to Gates, which will probably be submitted this month

(page 5 of article)

So, were any of the these aides who made these comments to RS formerly on the Joint Chief’s staff? Will they also be let go and we not only lose McC but highly regarded officers he poached from Mullen?

It sounds like COIN was put together more to pat everyone on the back and make it look like he listened to everyone and therefore garner support in Congress and hopefully get more troops than as a winning strategy. Was that the strategy all along- to get more troops and once they are there to return to the prior ROE?

journeyintothewhirlwind on June 23, 2010 at 4:43 PM

From the article that Funky Chicken posted (commentspage1,article page 5)

McChrystal’s relationship with Mullen has resulted in a flow of personnel that eluded McKiernan. The chairman told McChrystal he could poach whomever he needed from the Joint Staff — a list that now extends to about two dozen senior officers, including some of the military’s best-regarded colonels.

Are these some of the aides whose comments in the RS article were more insubordinate than McC’s? Will they be lost too?

journeyintothewhirlwind on June 23, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Obama will NEVER permit Petraeus to succeed. He will be sure we fail miserably and that Petraeus is properly paid back for having the nerve to succeed in Iraq.

Do you folks honstly think Obama wants the US to win in any part of the middle east? He could care less what people here think of him. That much should be obvious by now. His concern is only one thing…. completing his “fundamental change” of the United States of America.

CC

CapedConservative on June 23, 2010 at 4:54 PM

McChrystal helped shaped what may end up being Obama’s most important foreign policy decision: He wrote a report, later leaked, requesting 40,000 new troops for Afghanistan, and the president largely followed his lead, escalating the war and tying his presidency to its success.

Ben Smith, POLITICO

Tardy Obama only provided half the troops and half of the time of the MINIMUM 40,000 immediate troop surge required in order to facilitate within the immediate 12 month limit Obama’s war against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

“And the president largely followed his lead.”
Ben Smith, YOU LIE!

Followed with HALF the troops and HALF the time expired.

CinC Obama the Tardy Half Cocked A-S-S

maverick muse on June 23, 2010 at 4:57 PM

My Gosh, just think.

“All the important” news you either find it in National Enquirer / (now) Rolling Stone / or TMZ?

Second thoughts on the “Aliens ate my grandma” story.

Sir Napsalot on June 23, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Neoconservatives will try to blame Obama–good luck making that stick.

aengus on June 23, 2010 at 2:45 PM

So don’t even try?

If COIN works, lovely.
Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan only works so long as the US bribes are higher than any other income.

Sadly, it probably won’t work any better given more time given the vast natural mineral and oil wealth of Afghanistan, as if they need American bribes.

“Winning Islam’s hearts and minds” is not even a Romantic quest for the unattainable in this Marxist dogma world of scientism. With Afghanistan’s natural resources, they don’t need the West’s “help” via war. And no matter how much America GIVES them, it wasn’t asked for and certainly is not welcome. How on earth fighting a military war to convince the enemy that we are not the Great Satan is too convoluted to rationalize if people approach the situation logically. Meanwhile, the Mexican drug cartel terrorists have fortified hills surrounding Tucson and Nogales AZ, and where’s DHS but on the tails of Tea Party conservatives fabricating evidence for prosecution.

So long as Obama remains potus, things will continue to worsen along the current trends.

maverick muse on June 23, 2010 at 5:12 PM

Virus-X on June 23, 2010 at 4:32 PM

As a Navy Vet I understand completely your strong views on this sorry debacle. Although I’m only a peace time vet, serving under Carter and President Reagan, the fact that the America Hater Obama was elected Commander-in-chief infuriated me. It still infuriates me! You wouldn’t believe the flame wars I had with my kool aid drinking friends (none of whom have served a day in the military) over this life-or-death issue.

Anyway, V-X, other than your hope of seeing Obama in prison, which I ain’t holding against you, you’re preaching to the choir here.

Gang-of-One on June 23, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Hopey/Changey is getting creative on his mission failures
on War on Terror,and so now,its sobatagey at the top of
the US Military!!

Poor widdle ole’ Bamas got his feelings hurt,so he takes
out the US Military leadership!!!!

canopfor on June 23, 2010 at 5:14 PM

What we need to keep sight of is the fact that McChrystal’s ROE did not get put into place without the approval of the civilian government that everybody’s so flustered that he ‘disrespected’. LTC Ralph Peters (Ret.), years ago, knew that the ROE were incredibly stupid, and that there is only one way to deal with these slobbering, gibbering, bulging-eyed, suicidal, Satan-worshipping, falafel-eating killers:

http://www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/item/2006/1012/pete/peters_pcwar.html

McChrystal, was too much a general that tried to his utmost to wage war the way his CINC wanted it waged. Under Bush, he was dead-set on turning JSOC into an unstoppable killing machine and the terror of the planet Earth. From what I know, he succeeded, and many a terrorist scumbag was the recipient of biological air conditioning, or wound up bumping-ugly with Mohammed al-Bubba in prison. Under Obama, however, he got with the program, and that program was not ‘flawed’, but a machine of the worst design. He was participating in this touchy-feely warfighting, while simultaneously trying to make the best out of this bad situation, all the while, though, he was being set up as the Regime’s fall-guy.

I only wish this incident would trigger, somehow, the discrediting of the current ROE, but I know better. Chances are, things will only get worse, serving only to encourage and boost the morale of the terrorists and their sympathizers, both domestically and abroad. If the Afghans are wary and suspicious of the American forces, so be it. That’s nothing new. If they don’t like it, they can stay in their damned mud huts and keep their mouths shut. If they want to lift a hand against an American Soldier or Marine, they can die with the rest of their brethren.

I keep thinking about the ‘bad guy’ in the movie “A Few Good Men”, and what he said. Tell me if you remember this, and just imagine Stan McChrystal calmly detaching his rank insignia, throwing them down on the Dalai Obama’s desk, leaning forward in that Steve Urkel look-alike’s face, and saying something like:

“Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth, because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a DAMN what you think you are entitled to.”
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104257/quotes

Just imagine the look on Urkel’s face.

Virus-X on June 23, 2010 at 5:17 PM

I was wrong. I should’ve known that NO ONE tells the truth about that boy.

SouthernGent on June 23, 2010 at 5:37 PM

Had it been any other President, I’d have agreed that McChrystal needed to be fired. I’m imagining that he’s actually relieved to be out of it. You could feel his total frustration (and understandably so) in the Rolling Stone article. How can you led when the CINC won’t allow you to? How can you led when the CINC is clueless but insists on running the operation.

The one thing I got from Obama’s speech (after he said it wasn’t personal) was that indeed it WAS personal. Everything he said thereafter showed it was personal.

A true president who had done the things Obama has done, would stand up and admit that HE has failed the mission and failed to act and led like a CINC.

I almost wrote my own blog headline last night: McChrystal Fired – claiming I was more in the know than the news and pundits – because I KNEW he would be fired. I KNEW the boy king couldn’t possibly allow anyone to speak ill of him. He’d have fired his own child under these circumstances.

And yes, while Obama was telepromptering (new verb) I immediately thought of “General Betray US” and wondered how the left consolidates the two incidents.

katablog.com on June 23, 2010 at 5:39 PM

Had it been any other President, I’d have agreed that McChrystal needed to be fired. I’m imagining that he’s actually relieved to be out of it. You could feel his total frustration (and understandably so) in the Rolling Stone article. How can you led when the CINC won’t allow you to? How can you led when the CINC is clueless but insists on running the operation.

The one thing I got from Obama’s speech (after he said it wasn’t personal) was that indeed it WAS personal. Everything he said thereafter showed it was personal.

A true president who had done the things Obama has done, would stand up and admit that HE has failed the mission and failed to act and led like a CINC.

I almost wrote my own blog headline last night: McChrystal Fired – claiming I was more in the know than the news and pundits – because I KNEW he would be fired. I KNEW the boy king couldn’t possibly allow anyone to speak ill of him. He’d have fired his own child under these circumstances.

And yes, while Obama was telepromptering (new verb) I immediately thought of “General Betray US” and wondered how the left consolidates the two incidents.

katablog.com on June 23, 2010 at 5:39 PM

Of course it is personal. The President decided to go with McChrystal’s COIN strategy and put him in charge. He picked McChrystal’s strategy over his own VP’s objections and those of many other close political allies. The President gave him what he wanted… and the General does this disgraceful interview in return despite being ordered to STFU and complete the mission.

lexhamfox on June 23, 2010 at 5:45 PM

lexhamfox on June 23, 2010 at 5:45 PM

As has been pointed out numerous times in this thread there was NO disgraceful interview. READ the rolling stone hatchet job so you know WTF you are talking about.

gh on June 23, 2010 at 5:54 PM

I almost wrote my own blog headline last night: McChrystal Fired – claiming I was more in the know than the news and pundits – because I KNEW he would be fired. I KNEW the boy king couldn’t possibly allow anyone to speak ill of him. He’d have fired his own child under these circumstances.

You almost made a difference. You almost had an original thought. Your epitaph might be made of stone, but it will rock.

The Race Card on June 23, 2010 at 5:57 PM

I should’ve known that NO ONE tells the truth about that boy.

SouthernGent on June 23, 2010 at 5:37 PM

How does it feel when you do that?

The Race Card on June 23, 2010 at 5:58 PM

I think you guys are missing the point here. By enlisting Petraeus, Obama neutralized him as a presidential opponent in 2012. There’s no way he can both direct the war and campaign for the GOP nomination. Obama even did this with enthusiastic GOP support. The man is, politically speaking, very good.

alwaysfiredup on June 23, 2010 at 6:15 PM

Of course, it would be nice if he was as good at governing as he is at political strategy…

alwaysfiredup on June 23, 2010 at 6:16 PM

Personally I can’t wait for McChrystal’s tell-all book to come out. Then we can REALLY find out what’s been going on.

Guardian on June 23, 2010 at 6:26 PM

lexhamfox on June 23, 2010 at 5:45 PM

As has been pointed out numerous times in this thread there was NO disgraceful interview. READ the rolling stone hatchet job so you know WTF you are talking about.

gh on June 23, 2010 at 5:54 PM

I did read it. They (The General & his staff) knew they were on the record and made no attempt to correct or mitigate the content when they were given the chance.

lexhamfox on June 23, 2010 at 6:33 PM

Obama, such a sensitive little brat…Good thing he isn’t a CINC during a war…Generals say all kinds of weird things, take Patton, or McArthur, or even Eisenhower…

right2bright on June 23, 2010 at 6:38 PM

I thought Patreus-betrayus, was persona non grata among liberals.
They should be blasting our little president for “rolling back the clock” and electing this neanderthal…

right2bright on June 23, 2010 at 6:40 PM

With Obama-rama ding dong as president, we cannot win in Afghanistan.

The miserable One will declare victory and we will leave, our tails between our legs.

Dhuka on June 23, 2010 at 6:40 PM

With Obama-rama ding dong as president, we cannot win in Afghanistan.

The miserable One will declare victory and we will leave, our tails between our legs.

Dhuka on June 23, 2010 at 6:40 PM

The “Deem and Pass” approach to waging a war.

Scrappy on June 23, 2010 at 7:02 PM

I think you guys are missing the point here. By enlisting Petraeus, Obama neutralized him as a presidential opponent in 2012. There’s no way he can both direct the war and campaign for the GOP nomination. Obama even did this with enthusiastic GOP support. The man is, politically speaking, very good.

alwaysfiredup on June 23, 2010 at 6:15 PM

the man has no interest in running, he said that repeatedly. and he does sound like a guy who says what he means. besides he cannot participate in the 2012 elections, he’s in uniform, even if he decides to retire tomorrow (which he wouldn’t, anyways, Afgh appointment or not) it’s a long process, it takes up to 6 months from the moment you file your request for separation with the mil till they approve it, and then some more…it might take even longer with that high a rank..that wouldn’t leave him with enough time to prepare a political campaign for 2012…the bottom line is though it’s pretty clear that the man has no interest in running now or in the future…

jimver on June 23, 2010 at 7:10 PM

He picked McChrystal’s strategy over his own VP’s objections

lexhamfox on June 23, 2010 at 5:45 PM

LOL, since when has Uncle Joe Biden been a “military expert”? He had as many draft deferments as Darth Cheney, but at least Cheney served as Secretary of Defense in a real Administration.

Del Dolemonte on June 23, 2010 at 7:13 PM

LOL, since when has Uncle Joe Biden been a “military expert”? He had as many draft deferments as Darth Cheney, but at least Cheney served as Secretary of Defense in a real Administration.

Del Dolemonte on June 23, 2010 at 7:13 PM

Yea, but during Pinnoichios’ speechifying old Snidley Whiplash Bite-Me was lookin down his drunken stupor lookin schnazz and given General Petraeus the evil eye.
Old Snidely was all puffed up and doin his best impression of bein a tough guy in charge.
I was hopin Petraeus would ripp off one of Pinnochios’ huge dumbo ears and smack Snidely Obiden upside the head til he balled like a baby.
What a couple of clowns we have in charge!
I hope the American people never forget what the Demorats have given us and never elect another one. Unless mexico starts pickin our leaders!

dhunter on June 23, 2010 at 7:23 PM

….for eight years all we heard from liberals is that “the buck stops at the Presidents desk”…..now that a democrat is President….the buck stops everywhere but the Presidents desk.

So don’t even try?

I remember years ago reading a not-very-good anti-war poem around the time of the Iraq war. It had one good line in it, which was “the President rides in the armoured car of history”.

After Bush left office the media even adopted his assessment of himself – that he was a kind of latter-day Truman. You can read all about it in the years to come.

A Democratic President has got it even easier than that. I don’t think the blame for an Afghan FUBAR will stick to Obama. If anything is his undoing it will be his domestic agenda.

But it doesn’t bother me for two reasons:

1) The COIN strategy is a calamity. As someone above has said it depends on bribing local Pushtuns faster than their natural tribal loyalities gravitate back to the Taliban. It’s a race to keep the welfare crack-pipe filled.

2) Neoconservatives have been selling the magic beans of democratic imperialism and nation-building for a long time. The Afghan mission has already been going on for nine years. I call fail on this.

Too much emphasis is placed on the system of government. First we must ask: who are the Afghan people?

aengus on June 23, 2010 at 7:27 PM

LOL, since when has Uncle Joe Biden been a “military expert”?

Del Dolemonte on June 23, 2010 at 7:13 PM

since he flew over Bosnia and came under enemy fire lol :-), or how was the story going, snipers shooting at him :-)…or that was Hillary oups Clinton :-)…or they were together :-) either way that experience marked him for the rest of his life, it was the equivalent of an epiphany that gave him clarity and insight into military matters…hence the ‘expert’ O’Biden :-)

jimver on June 23, 2010 at 7:27 PM

jimver on June 23, 2010 at 7:27 PM
Or else he watched D-Day once while staying in a Holiday nInn express in Scranton.

Hows’ come whenever I thing of O’Biden and Scranton I think of scrotum?

dhunter on June 23, 2010 at 7:38 PM

How does it feel when you do that?

The Race Card on June 23, 2010 at 5:58 PM

Come on, you’re being unfair. You don’t know which “boy” he meant.

It’s actually people like you that create the “racial-resentment” you so decry with your incessant…Decrying!!!

The Race Card on June 23, 2010 at 8:02 PM

This is close to the best possible outcome of this mess. The best would have General Mattis taking command, with General Petraeus remaining in CENTCOM. I worry about Petraeus health, and Mattis would be coming in fresh. And we still are in the dark about how much leeway General Petraeus will have.

flackcatcher on June 23, 2010 at 8:04 PM

Obama is going to ruin Petraeus now. Petraeus thinks the exact same thing that McChrystal and every other General in the military thinks about Obama, and now will be forced to put his soldiers and reputation in harms way with a dithering President.

scotash on June 23, 2010 at 8:25 PM

I worry about Petraeus health, and Mattis would be coming in fresh’
flackcatcher on June 23, 2010 at 8:04 PM

I know, this is a concern, but on the either hand I am sure he is cleared medically for all this…I mean after all he’s a big boy, he realizes that it would make things 20 times worse if he goes in there in poor health and then has to be replaced (ALAS, AGAIN) during his time there…I mean that would be what, the third general replacement in Afgh in a relatively short period of time…I mean I hope he knows what he is doing…On the other hand that passing out during those hearings was most bizarre and yeah, kinda worrisome…I still believe that a responsible person (which no doubt he is) wouldn’t throw himself in the middle of all this if he didn’t have medical clereance.

jimver on June 23, 2010 at 8:26 PM

So Obamaman fires the good General because he may have said some things that weren’t too discrete. This is during a war that Obamaman didn’t like and the “surge” that Gen. McChrystal implemented and showed to be successful. Oh, I get it…

TBenton on June 23, 2010 at 8:45 PM

jimver on June 23, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Gen Petraeus is/will be fine. Like I said, he’s tougher than woodpecker lips.

hawkdriver on June 23, 2010 at 8:46 PM

1. And people wonder why the United States has such problems fighting this kind of war? But hey, who am I to question civilians with regards to military matters? I’ll just keep that to myself, as directed by the Constitution, which I swore to support and defend.
Was GEN McChrystal wrong? Sure. I suppose he shouldn’t have allowed his folks to call National Security Adviser James Jones a “clown”. It’s amazing what effect the title of an article in a rag can have on one’s career, especially when most readers never read past that title.
I’m sure if you followed anyone with a Polaroid camera, you could make that person look like the devil. But I ask, if one were to follow this General with a video camera, what would they find? I’d venture a guess that folks would see a lifetime of honorable military service to this country, most of which is virtually unknown to 99.9% of Americans, not that they care about the military anyway. If they did, they’d take the time to understand the military, learn about the art of war, much less man-up and join the military.
2. Do people realize that this is a demotion for GEN Petraeus?

Send_Me on June 23, 2010 at 8:53 PM

Folks, I’m going to watch a movie with the pretty thing downstairs, but for the record, I’m glad this is over.

Some other random thoughts.

I’m sorry a fellow member of the armed forces lost control of that situation and the comments from his people. I’m sorry for the media sympathy President Obama is getting at the expense of an honorable career warrior. I’m sorry that great warrior is somewhere tonight thinking about the awful end to his career. I’m sorry for all the guys that have died since the ROE changed. I’m sorry I’m going to have to retire under this CinC and have this centuries worst presidents name as a signature on my retirement paperwork.

All in all, this day just sucked for the military.

Very bad times.

hawkdriver on June 23, 2010 at 8:56 PM

The ROE was changed to win over the population. I just have one question, based upon the faintness of heart of my fellow countrymen: which population? Sure, we don’t wish to upset the Afghans, and rightfully so, but I’d argue that we’re also having to appease a weak-kneed population back home as well, which, in my opinion, is the driving force of attempting to make this a politically correct war.

Send_Me on June 23, 2010 at 9:06 PM

I’m sorry I’m going to have to retire under this CinC and have this centuries worst presidents name as a signature on my retirement paperwork.

All in all, this day just sucked for the military.

Very bad times.

hawkdriver on June 23, 2010 at 8:56 PM

I thought it was very bad times serving under Carter, so my sympathies are with you, just as they are with The General, and all our military men and women.

34 years? Well, I’m presently popping a top and raising a digital toast to you! Thank you.

Gang-of-One on June 23, 2010 at 9:10 PM

Belisarius Petraeus. God bless him.

Pavel on June 23, 2010 at 9:35 PM

Didn’t they find like 3 trillion dollars worth of minerals in Afghanistan? We aren’t going anywhere, no matter how many interviews Rolling Stone publishes.

Pretense trumps Reality BUT Commerce trumps both.

Dr Evil on June 23, 2010 at 9:57 PM

Hmmmmm….Obama/Petraeus 2012. I wouldn’t be surprised.

ddrintn on June 23, 2010 at 10:03 PM

A Combat Command is never a demotion!!!!!!!

flackcatcher on June 23, 2010 at 10:30 PM

A Democratic President has got it even easier than that. I don’t think the blame for an Afghan FUBAR will stick to Obama. If anything is his undoing it will be his domestic agenda.
aengus on June 23, 2010 at 7:27 PM

…There will always be a segment of the population that will deny all reality in defense of their ideology and their leaders that support it.

……Any person with at least a double digit IQ can listen to this 8 minute speech from Obama and see that he considers the Afghan policy and the people he has appointed to carry it out his full responsibility…..

…….the clear giveaway’s are all the times he says “our policy”,”our strategy”,”my decision”,” I have decided”…….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMKvsWueSUs&feature=player_embedded

The COIN strategy is a calamity. As someone above has said it depends on bribing local Pushtuns faster than their natural tribal loyalities gravitate back to the Taliban. It’s a race to keep the welfare crack-pipe filled.

…..This strategy has not failed yet…..but it certainly is not looking good right now.
Dealing with the tribal system,no real central government,Pakistans double dealing and major support of the Taliban/Al-Qaeda,and a very weak Administration on the Hill, leaves us da#n near needing a miracle to pull off a victory in Afghanistan.

…..I see Obama declaring victory in 2011 no matter what Afghanistan looks like.

…….Axlerod,Biden,Obama and many other democrats have made it clear that they want to decimate “al-qaeda”,force the “Taliban” out of the populace area’s, and negotiate with
the “moderate Taliban” to help form the Army,Police Force,and government positions.


AP source: Obama focusing on al-Qaida, not Taliban

By JENNIFER LOVEN, AP White House Correspondent Jennifer Loven, Ap White House Correspondent Thu Oct 8, 3:11 pm ET
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091008/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_us_afghanistan_112/print

Obama’s developing strategy on the Taliban will “not tolerate their return to power,” the senior official said in an interview with The Associated Press. But the U.S. would fight only to keep the Taliban from retaking control of Afghanistan’s central government — something it is now far from being capable of — and from giving renewed sanctuary in Afghanistan to al-Qaida, the official said.

There now are no more than 100 al-Qaida in Afghanistan. Instead, the U.S. fight in Afghanistan is against the Taliban, now increasingly being defined by the Obama team as distinct from al-Qaida. While still dangerous, the Taliban is seen as an indigenous movement with almost entirely local and territorial aims, less of a threat to the U.S. than the terrorist network.

….Al-qaeda had already been degraded badly in Afghanistan before Obama took office.There was an increase after their defeat in Iraq drove them back to the Afghan hills and Pakistan,but they don’t hold any where near the power and presence they had when Osama roamed their freely. There really is no real separation
of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban since they both share the same goals and work together:


Bin Laden then made a pledge of personal fealty,much like the one that members of al-qaeda swore to him.He acknowledged Omar as the leader of the faithful.
“We consider you to be our noble Emir”.
Bin Laden wrote.
“We invite all muslims to render assistance and co-operation to you,in every possible way that they can.


The Long War Journal: Analysis: Al Qaeda is the tip of the jihadist spear

Written by Thomas Joscelyn & Bill Roggio on October 8, 2009 2:12 PM to The Long War Journal
Available online at: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/10/analysis_al_qaeda_is.php

And it is true in the post-9/11 world, where al Qaeda continues to leverage its decades-long relationships with jihadist allies around the globe and especially in the heart of Central and South Asia. Thus, we find that each of the three primary Afghan insurgent groups discussed in General McChrystal’s analysis – the Quetta Shura Taliban (QST), the Haqqani Network (HQN), and the Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) – is a core ally of al Qaeda with long-established personal ties between these groups’ senior leaders and al Qaeda’s senior leaders. Moreover, al Qaeda cooperates with each of these organizations in substantive ways in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. If anything, General McChrystal’s analysis actually downplayed the interconnectivity between these organizations and al Qaeda.

But Obama taking this angle allows him to declare a faux victory,help create a police/Army presence, then get the he!! out.

Anyone paying attention knows that if we leave and the Taliban are in control of the Afghan countryside,terrorist camps and funding are still going on there and in Pakistan, then we did not win.

Baxter Greene on June 23, 2010 at 11:03 PM

The COIN strategy is a calamity. As someone above has said it depends on bribing local Pushtuns faster than their natural tribal loyalities gravitate back to the Taliban. It’s a race to keep the welfare crack-pipe filled.

Baxter Greene on June 23, 2010 at 11:03 PM

COIN is a fraud as far as Afghanistan goes. You can rent an Afghan but you can’t buy him. Petraeus and McChrystal’s COIN is the biggest fraud since Al Gore and his AGW.

Tav on June 23, 2010 at 11:19 PM

Well, Obama now has George Bush’s architect of the surge, the man Hillary called a liar, the man the New York Times called General Betray-us. One has to think that Obama, to save face, will ask Petraeus to open a George Bush style can of American whoop-ass on the Taliban. While McChrystal hits the talk show circuit.

Bert Convy on June 23, 2010 at 11:41 PM

Tav on June 23, 2010 at 11:19 PM

…that was not my post…I was responding to who wrote it…aengus.

…..I think Petraeus has certainly earned the benefit of the doubt to institute his plan……He might even convince Obama to actually defeat the enemy in Afghanistan.

Baxter Greene on June 23, 2010 at 11:49 PM

this is truly a sad day for our country. The only solace I take from this is that GEN McChrystal now gets to spend some well-deserved time with his wife and sleep a full night in his own bed. Please do so sir, and I’d gladly buy you a beer no matter where you are.

ted c on June 23, 2010 at 11:56 PM

…that was not my post…I was responding to who wrote it…aengus.

I know.

…..I think Petraeus has certainly earned the benefit of the doubt to institute his plan……He might even convince Obama to actually defeat the enemy in Afghanistan.

Baxter Greene on June 23, 2010 at 11:49 PM

I believe that Petraeus in some ways may be close to brilliant, but his COIN (See no Islam, hear no Islam, speak no Islam, know no Islam) is a fatal flaw.

Tav on June 23, 2010 at 11:56 PM

The continual screw up in the Afghan theater arises from three different tactical goals: 1) Biden who wants us to pull back to an area that is a base from which to attack the terrorist’s camps, and 2)Obama who wants to get past the next elections so he can screw up the USA more, and then he will suddenly notice the large losses in IED bombings and ambushes and pull out when no one will blame him, and 3) Mcchrystal and Petraeus who want to actually win by Counterinsurgency methods. Obama has the final say, and he is acting to cause #2 to happen. That is why McChrystal saw thru Obama’s lies and the planned end coming and he re-set his usefulness as Obama’s designated fall guy. That move has seriously disappointed Obama who wants so bad to beat the USA and its military commanders.

jimw on June 24, 2010 at 12:10 AM

Tav on June 23, 2010 at 11:56 PM

..I know where you are coming from and this quote from one of your links in an earlier thread I think sums up a lot of what is wrong in the Afghan theater:

http://letthemfight.blogspot.com/2010/06/wrong-men-wrong-time-wrong-war.html

The real question that needs answering here is whether or not anyone involved in this Afghan debacle has a clue. Does the President have a clearly marked path to a clearly defined endgame? Does he have any clearly identifiable vision for the Arab world, the Middle East in general or the security of the nation he has sworn to protect? Does the SecDef have any clue about his role and does he understand that his oath stands alone and maybe in defiance of the desires of this sitting President? Do Petraeus or McChrystal have any idea of their parts in this or are they just doing the bidding of their messiah as well?

……The mission is not going well….I don’t think there is a question about that.

……but unlike Iraq….the “first hand reporting” on Afghanistan seems dismal.

…Most of the military blogs I go to for info are more and more starting out their analysis with: this from WaPo….this from the NY Times….now we even are getting this from the Rolling Stone…..

…Yon getting kicked out……

I really don’t trust a lot of these news outlets so in turn, I don’t think I am getting enough information to come to the conclusion that all is lost in Afghanistan.

….There has been more than enough of a consensus among Soldiers that the ROE in the Afghan theater is a disaster.

…but as far as what policies are and are not working and why (dealing with government,tribes,ISI,Afghan Army/Police capabilities)..the information is either contradictory or from unreliable sources.

..I am not comfortable condemning the mission with our Soldiers still engaged on the battlefield,before Petraeus has had a chance, based on the limited, second hand information that has been available.

Baxter Greene on June 24, 2010 at 12:32 AM

Even more about McChrystal: now it can be told. The story about him voting for Obama is not contrived. He is a political liberal. He is a social liberal. He banned Fox News from the television sets in his headquarters. Yes, really. This puts to rest another false rumor: that McChrystal deliberately precipitated his firing because he wants to run for President.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/06/the-night-beat-obama-borrows-the-military-back/58635/

LurkerDood on June 24, 2010 at 12:45 AM

Read Maureen Dowdy”s rank article Seven Days in June in the NYT on real clear politics.

The perfect liberal she is.

Dhuka on June 24, 2010 at 1:14 AM

George Will: The American undertaking in Afghanistan is a fool’s errand and McChrystal is breathtakingly foolish. Even so, he and it were badly matched. This, even though the errand is of the president’s careful devising and McChrystal was the president’s choice to replace the four-star general who had been commanding there.

It may be said that McChrystal’s defect is only a deficit of political acumen. Only? Again, the mission in Afghanistan is much more political than military. Counterinsurgency, as defined by McChrystal’s successor, Gen. David Petraeus, and tepidly embraced by Barack Obama for a year or so, does not just involve nation-building, it is nation-building.

This does not just require political acumen, it requires the wisdom of Aristotle, the leadership skills of George Washington and the analytic sophistication of Tocqueville. But, then, the grinding paradox of nation-building is this: No one with the aptitudes necessary for it would be rash or delusional enough to try it [particularly in an Islamic nation and most particularly in Afghanistan].

It is difficult, and perhaps unwise, to suppress this thought: McChrystal’s disrespectful flippancies, and the chorus of equally disdainful comments from the unpleasant subordinates he has chosen to have around him, emanate from the toxic conditions that result when the military’s can-do culture collides with a cannot-be-done assignment. In this toxicity, Afghanistan is Vietnam redux.

Tav on June 24, 2010 at 1:47 AM

LurkerDood on June 24, 2010 at 12:45 AM

….This article does not match up to the facts on the ground:
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/06/the-night-beat-obama-borrows-the-military-back/58635/

It’s also worth remembering what McChrystal is and was, according to the President, an American hero, someone who contributed immeasurably to our national security……
…and…….McChrystal, if anything, had the “fasts” — was an effective battlefield commander, a soldier of first rank,

…….McCrystal is an intelligent,fast,top notch Soldier…

…yet he not only does a total take down of his superiors to an anti-war magazine….but actually reviews it and gives it the go ahead.

….this is beyond just a simple mistake.
He is either not as smart as some people are saying he is or he did this on purpose.

and was never insubordinate.

….not according to the people that knew him……


Update: Byron York says that McChrystal’s disdain for civilian leadership was a powderkeg waiting to blow:

I just got off the phone with a retired military man, with more than 25 years experience, who has worked with Gen. Stanley McChrystal in the Pentagon. His reaction to McChrystal’s performance in the new Rolling Stone profile? No surprise at all.

“Those of us who knew him would unanimously tell you that this was just a matter of time,” the man says. “He talks this way all the time. I’m surprised it took this long for it to rear its ugly head.”

…….and are these the actions of someone who is “never insubordinate”.

At one point on his trip to Paris, McChrystal checks his BlackBerry. “Oh, not another e-mail from Holbrooke,” he groans. “I don’t even want to open it.”

Now, flipping through printout cards of his speech in Paris, McChrystal wonders aloud what Biden question he might get today, and how he should respond. “I never know what’s going to pop out until I’m up there, that’s the problem,” he says. Then, unable to help themselves, he and
his staff imagine the general dismissing the vice president with a good one-liner.

“Are you asking about Vice President Biden?” McChrystal says with a laugh. “Who’s that?”

McChrystal thought Obama looked “uncomfortable and intimidated” by the roomful of military brass.

Will his NATO colleagues feel the same, especially the French, whose social and diplomatic efforts were derided by McChrystal’s team in the article as “f***ing gay”?

…..I would say that it is a stretch to say McCrystal was “never insubordinate”.

The sad irony of the day is that McChrystal himself, initially skeptical about Obama, had grown to trust his commander in chief.

…McCrystal states that Obama looks “intimidated” around the military,”The Boss was pretty disappointed.” is how McCrystal felt after their second meeting,that the President was “unprepared” during their first meeting,and the General’s staff stated this:

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.’ ”

…..does not come across as someone who had “grown to trust their Commander and Chief”.

This article reeks of someone trying to whitewash the fact that Obama’s own hand picked General bit#h slapped him and his administration in a Rock’n’Roll magazine.

Baxter Greene on June 24, 2010 at 1:57 AM

What does all this mean?

It means that the American military, is willingly sending warriors to die under absurd ROE and willing to fight, kill and die in a war the CINC demonstrably does not want to win, no longer is the defender of our republic of, by and for the people, but has devolved into a palace guard for whomever sits in the oval office.

Too bad. We once had men leading our soldiers. America didn’t sacrifice its youth to politics and to wars we neither believe in nor should be fighting.

And our generals once understood that.

KentAllard on June 24, 2010 at 2:42 AM

… he was measuring the president and found him wanting,” Edelman said. “That may not be wrong.

McChrystal should watch the Caine Mutiny. Specifically José Ferrer.

It is perfectly possible that Obama isn’t up to speed (a lot of us would agree with him), however McC’s job as an officer is to get him up to speed.

It certainly isn’t to broadcast the fact to the enemy (does he think the Taliban can’t read Rolling Stone?)

Hope on June 24, 2010 at 4:25 AM

I think our biggest obstacle in formulating a winning strategy in the War on Terror as it stands today, is the weak and inept leadership in the White House……

………example:

Give Me a Break

This has to be one of the biggest wastes of time I’ve ever heard of.

(via Michael Totten)
http://www.michaeltotten.com/2010/06/give-me-a-break.php

The State Department’s two leading Twitterati, Special Advisor on Innovation Alec J. Ross (@alecjross) and Policy Planning staffer Jared Cohen (@jaredcohen), are in Syria this week leading a delegation of tech companies hoping to, as the Wall Street Journal’s Jay Solomon puts it, “woo President Bashar al-Assad away from his strategic alliance with Iran” with offers of networking equipment, computer software, and the like.

……you just can’t fix stupid……..

Baxter Greene on June 24, 2010 at 4:34 AM

It certainly isn’t to broadcast the fact to the enemy (does he think the Taliban can’t read Rolling Stone?)

Hope on June 24, 2010 at 4:25 AM

Actually, we found more copies of Spin in their caves than Rolling Stone. I think it’s the Rap coverage.

hawkdriver on June 24, 2010 at 4:39 AM

A Combat Command is never a demotion!!!!!!!
flackcatcher on June 23, 2010 at 10:30 PM

Going from CENTCOM Commander to ISAF Commander is the equivalent of having had GEN Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, relieve GEN Patton of the U.S. 3rd Army.

Send_Me on June 24, 2010 at 10:19 AM

Just got an e-mail showing that MoveOn.org has scrubbed their “General Betrayus” web page. Will try to post linky.

Bow before the One!

Moveon.org has now scrubbed their “General Betrayus” page. It was there the last time Google cache took a screen shot of it (June 18th), so it was scrubbed sometime in the last few days. If you try the link now (http://pol.moveon.org/petraeus.htm) it goes to MoveOn’s default page.

Moveon.org’s blind obedience to Hope-N-Change has trumped their dignity.


I read this e-mail from Tom last night. Because of intermittent power outages (that still continue) I Googled up this article, found it still cached, and saved it before I went black again. This morning, in preparation for this post, I went back, and guess what? The Moveon.org cache that I viewed last night is now also gone. Don’t tell me that Soros leftists don’t have GOOGLE in their pocket. Oh, I forgot. Not to worry, I didn’t save a screen shot, but the whole thing, text, links and all. Here it is. You’re welcome. http://bonedjello.com/Articles/move0n-betrayus.html

riverrat10k on June 24, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Three changes in command in that theatre. There cannot be another, or the world will rightly think we are politicized fools.

My wife points out that Drudge missed a chance with his recent headline, “Send in the clowns.”

“Don’t bother, they’re here.”

Owen Glendower on June 24, 2010 at 2:30 PM

I missed this part of Baxter Greene’s comment earlier:

….so tell us aengus….if Petraeus is successful….will Obama step up in front of his teleprompters and take no credit for wining the Afghan war????

No. He will try and take most/all of the credit.

……good luck getting anybody to take you seriously in your world of double standards.</blockquotes

"My" world of double standards is the world we are living in. If sticking Obama with the blame for the failure of the Afghan mission were not a problem you wouldn't be getting personally angry with me–as if it were my fault.

Why do you use so many ellipses? It's distracting.

aengus on June 24, 2010 at 2:59 PM

I missed this part of Baxter Greene’s comment earlier:

….so tell us aengus….if Petraeus is successful….will Obama step up in front of his teleprompters and take no credit for wining the Afghan war????

No. He will try and take most/all of the credit.

……good luck getting anybody to take you seriously in your world of double standards.

“My” world of double standards is the world we are living in.

If sticking Obama with the blame for the failure of the Afghan mission were not a problem you wouldn’t be getting personally angry with me–-as if it were my fault.

Why do you use so many ellipses? It’s distracting.

aengus on June 24, 2010 at 3:00 PM

Send_Me on June 24, 2010 at 10:19 AM

flackcatcher on June 24, 2010 at 11:20 PM

OOPS.

flackcatcher on June 24, 2010 at 11:21 PM

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