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June 23, 2010

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Jack is Back!

When will someone write a profile about the strategy and not the strategist? Michael Yon gets close but he doesn't have the infrastructure and support like Rolling Stone or NYT can provide. If I was a struggling newsprint operation that needed a pulitzer I would seriously consider giving Michael a platinum AMEX card and tell him to go do it. Of course, the real wars are not in Iraq or Afghanistan, the real war for the hearts and minds of American's is right here, and right now. Is Glenn Beck the domestic McChrystal? And who is going to call him on the carpet?

Pofarmer

Obama gets rid of McChrystal, and he no longer has a fall guy.

Terry Gain

This also gives Obama an excuse to re-set his obviously faltering war strategy.

There is no war strategy.

Barack Obama is clueless. You can't engender an economic recovery by running huge deficits and you can't win a war when you set a date for withdrawal. By serving under a CIC who has set a date for withdrawal McChrystal is guilty of the same poor judgment as he exercised when he voted for Obama.

The American people voted for defeat in Afghanistan the day they elected Obama. It is going to take years to recover from this moronic hopey-changey POTUS.

Pofarmer

The American people voted for defeat in Afghanistan the day they elected Obama.

Now, hold on a minute.

Obama said that Afghanistan is the "good war."

Ya'll have to forgive me. I finished planting beans last night and I'm feeling frisky.

Still, it's on its way.

Calm down, Pof; it ain't in the bin, yet.
================

Well, Senator was a piece of cake.

Poor fella; he thought being President was as easy as becoming it.
================

fdcol63

We all know that Obama's campaign focus on Afghanistan was simply intended to bash Bush.

Now, having "tried" to "correct" Bush's "mistakes" in Afghanistan, he can continue to blame Bush (and now McChrystal) for the defeat and withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Obama and the Left have always wanted an Vietnam-esque American "quagmire" and defeat in Iraq AND Afghanistan.

This desire is an integral part of their anti-American "Blame America First" ideology, wherein they are still stuck in their hayday of 1968.

In Obama's case, it is extremely exacerbated by his affinity and allegiance to Muslims gained through his formative childhood years in Indonesia.

fdcol63

" ... The American people voted for defeat in Afghanistan the day they elected Obama. ..."

They certainly voted for the "fundamental transformation" that Obama promised.

Change of this magnitude is based on the belief that the very core of America was so flawed that incremental improvements would not succeed in making America better.

It was definitely not based on a belief that America was already a great country that just needed a little "tweaking".

Americans got what they voted for.

Pofarmer

Americans got what they voted for.

Good and hard.

Problem is, I didn't vote for it, and I'm still getting it.

Pofarmer

Calm down, Pof; it ain't in the bin, yet.

Don't harsh the mellow.

Captain Hate

Ok, having had some time to digest this beyond the initial blah-blah: This is a manufactured "crisis" ginned up out of vapor. McChrystal said nothing that is even offensive, much less "insubordinate". The only thing remotely interesting in this is that a garbage publication like Rolling Stone has been used to peddle this; maybe Yawn Weiner has more cash lying around to spend on free-lancers than the NYT, WaPo and other red-ink producers.

Jane

What we can be absolutely sure about is that whatever Obama does, it will be solely a political calculation. SO what benefits the administration the most?

This morning on Morning Joe they were saying they were considering marching McChrystal around for a few days on a humiliation tour and then keeping him on = presumably to show the American people who is boss.

That should work - not

narciso

True, and McCain and Lieberman, keep their togas clean, with daggers with rinseable blades, I thought they believed in this operation

Danube of Thought

He has to go. Given that, as we now know, McChrystal and staff were aware all along that the writer was on an assignment from Rolling Stone, you could almost conclude that this was deliberate--they can't be that stupid.

But why? Toward what end?

Dr. Weevil

Has anyone else noticed that Gen. Stanley McChrystal has the same first name as Obama's late mother? That's got to complicate the psychological issues roiling Obama's fragile psyche.

Jane

Dot,

You are probably in the best position to figure that out. Could it be to call attention to a half ass policy that is getting our kids killed at a record rate?

Pofarmer

McChrystal and staff were aware all along that the writer was on an assignment from Rolling Stone,

Read somewhere last night that the writer is a freelancer who later sold the story to the Rolling Stone.

But why? Toward what end?

Warn Obama he's losing/lost his support in the military? Bypassing chain of command channels to get the story out? Preventing oneself from becoming the fall guy when things in Afghanistan fall apart? Shame the administration into maybe doing the right thing?

Rick Ballard

"Toward what end?"

The defeat of an open enemy of the United States and defense of the Constitution which McChrystal has sworn to protect.

Hopefully President Thumbsitter will believe that this is the entire extent of the psyops campaign and react accordingly - that will give fresh meaning to "unexpectedly".

Captain Hate

That's how I see it Jane; and to fire back at an administration that's been leaking info on him to cover up their ineptitude in shortsheeting their own strategy. This isn't a situation that Bammy can blame on Bush; this is his operation, which infuriated his lefty supporters, that he's expended no effort to try and sell to the nation. McChrystal recognizes the obvious ambivalence to this and is reacting accordingly.

Terry Gain

But why? Toward what end?

To vent. To express the extreme frustration he must feel every day serving under this gross incompetent.

Terry Gain

This morning on Morning Joe they were saying they were considering marching McChrystal around for a few days on a humiliation tour and then keeping him on = presumably to show the American people who is boss.

Scarborough's lost his mind. He drinks the Obama kool aid daily. He wants Obama to order Petraeus to fire McChrystal so that he can show both who's boss.

Terry Gain

This morning on Morning Joe they were saying they were considering marching McChrystal around for a few days on a humiliation tour and then keeping him on = presumably to show the American people who is boss.

Scarborough's lost his mind. He drinks the Obama kool aid daily. He wants Obama to order Petraeus to fire McChrystal so that he can show both who's boss.

narciso

In the special face palm department, the Daily Beast has Scott Beauchamp's significant other recommending the likely replacement, her
choices are not bad, but there is a certain
irony, there,

replacements, rodriquez, odierno, caldwell,

Jane

It wasn't Scarborough (who I agree has lost his mind) it was the WH correspondent, Samantha someone.

Parking Lot

If he could do a do-over, I wonder if he'd vote for Owebama again.

Rob Crawford

Will General McChrystal survive the day? Will Team USA?

Sadly, it's not possible for me to care less about either question.

narciso

Is a prefrontal lobotomy required to be on that show, I guess it all fits his "Empire"
narrative, but it seems too 'Four Feathers"
to me

Rick Ballard

"I wonder if he'd vote for Owebama again."

Not having watched him in the booth, I'm rather curious as to whether he actually did the first time. I wonder what the COIN manual (which he helped write) has to say about means, ends and obfuscation.

Captain Hate

I'm sure the MFM is doing their best to obscure the fact that a Palin and Tea Party supported woman of colour, in their terms, won big in SC yesterday.

But but but, RACIST TEABAGGERZZZZ!!111!

narciso

McChrystal was in the thick of the hunt for Zarquawi, he also handled detainee operations
at Camp Nama, I doubt he would have voted for
someone who was openly condemning both, I could be wrong, though

Danube of Thought

Read somewhere last night that the writer is a freelancer who later sold the story to the Rolling Stone.

That's what I first read, but later saw several sources making it pretty clear that he went there under RS auspices.

Danube of Thought

Could it be to call attention to a half ass policy that is getting our kids killed at a record rate?

Not in this case, no. And that's why it's so inexplicable: there are no policy differences at all. McChrystal has gotten all he asked for, and it's his policy. And there's nothing in the article, either from McC or his staff, about policy--it's all personal stuff directed at the civilian leadership.

fdcol63

I know it's always possible that either McChrystal or his staff used extremely poor judgment, and perhaps I'm giving McChrystal too much credit here, but I just think there was a conscious, deliberate purpose behind all this.

Maybe I just don't want to believe that someone in that position, who has been a career military officer - particularly one in Special Ops - and who has been used to planning and strategizing and developing tactical battle plans, could be so boneheaded as to do something so incredibly stupid as this without some positive potential benefit or advantage to it.

Jane

He didn't get all the troops he asked for.

narciso

Actually he didn't ask for 1/4 fewer troops or the deadline, if half a loaf can be considered a victory, then yes

Thomas Collins

Perhaps McChrystal decided (i) the COIN approach would not work with Obama announcing an intent to withdraw, and (ii) he would force the issue (by in effect insulting Obama's manhood with direct comments on how Obama seemed intimidated when in his presence), so that Obama would either "man up" or fire him.

In any event, even T. Coddington is jumping off the Obama ship. See LUN (via Instapundit).

peter

Rolling Stone is a Dem organ. I wonder if this whole story wasn't a set up by Hillary.

Parking Lot

((That's what I first read, but later saw several sources making it pretty clear that he went there under RS auspices.))

sorta like "Almost Famous" eh?

narciso

He works for True/Slant that employs Taibbi, whose like a broken clock, occasionally right,
and Conor F, who well you know the tale

matt

at this point, logic says McChrystal's out. Then again, Obama isn't logical. On the eve of the Battle of Kandahar, if in fact that is what it is, it is not good to change generals in mid stream.

Any way you look at this it is snafu'd. Joe Biden will win and we will be screwed over there.

Parking Lot

((Actually he didn't ask for 1/4 fewer troops or the deadline,))

or to have the decision postponed for so many months while Owebama dithered, seeing as he was in a position where he could not vote present.

Danube of Thought

It's true that he asked for 40,000 troops and only got 30,000. It's also true that the deadline is Obama's alone, and McC had nothing to do with it.

But neither of these issues is mentioned at all by either McC or his staff. It appears to be purely personal stuff directed against Biden, Holbrooke and Aikenberry. All may be richly deserving of it, but it can't come from people in uniform.

Cecil Turner

McChrystal is one of the prime movers in the COIN circle and the architect of the current strategy. What hope there is for a favorable outcome rests on his ability to implement that strategy through personal relationships, agreements and understandings. A strong-willed leader can often make things work that otherwise wouldn't, and he's clearly one of the best men for the job . . . and very likely the best man, period. (Especially if the NCA insist on keeping on with COIN, as I suspect they will.)

It's also hard to overstate how bad the timing is on all this. We're at a crossroads, with the political situation in turmoil, in the beginning stages of implementation of a major strategy initiative, and we've already fired the point general (BG Menard) for the upcoming operation. Firing him now makes it a much harder row to hoe and in fact puts the whole strategy in jeopardy. (It's also not needful, as this is simply not a challenge to the President's authority a la MacArthur.)

That said, I predict he goes (and for extra credit, that he'll be replaced by Gen Jim Mattis (USMC), who's currently Commander of JFCOM).

DebinNC

Mark">http://www.newsweek.com/2010/05/15/secrets-from-inside-the-obama-war-room.html">Mark Levin has an excerpt from Jonathan Alter's paean to Obama with lots of fictional quotes from Dear Leader and his nefarious but cowed underlings Gates, Mullen, and Petraeus. On what McChrystal wanted, the WH/Alter say:

"The motive for all the [Pentagon] leaks seemed clear to the WH: to box the president into policy that McChrystal had recommended, at least another 80,000 troops and an open-ended commitment lasting 10 years or more."


The excerpt from Alter's book reads like the script from one of those now-banned Hitler in the Bunker parodies, where none of the dialog is real but the delusional, paranoid meglomaniac in charge, unfortunately, is.

glasater

Thanks DebinNC--I was just looking for that articled bookmarked yesterday and this AM re-reading.

Given Levin's and your context makes it all the better.

DebinNC

AP: Significantly, McChrystal departed the White House before Obama convened a regularly scheduled war planning meeting there. Officials had indicated earlier that McChrystal was summoned back to Washington from Afghanistan to explain at that session disparaging remarks he made about civilian leaders in an interview with Rolling Stone.

Sounds like Stan is a goner.

Sue

Debbie,

No way Obama keeps him. His ego is bruised. And you have to know the only way Obama is going to act decisively is when is ego is involved.

That said, he needed to resign or be fired, IMO.

squaredance

This also gives Obama an excuse to re-set his obviously faltering war strategy.


That's rich. His "strategy" is to fail. His "strategy" is to weaken America and humiliate her.

I swear, the people around here are denser than lead.

Wake up. Pay attention. Abandon all that "reasonable and moderate" hog-swallow. Your very civilization is at stake.

McChrystal should go? What obtuse, self righteous claptrap. Obama should be impeached and locked up for the rest of his day. So should the whole traitorous leadership of the Democrat party and their RINO enablers.

Jane

Significantly, McChrystal departed the White House before Obama convened a regularly scheduled war planning meeting there.

Game set and match.

So what happens now? Is he still in the military?

DebinNC

CNN: McChrystal likely will resign Wednesday, a Pentagon source with ongoing contacts with the general said.

Sue

Jane,

My understanding is he goes to a desk job.

Ignatz

--I swear, the people around here are denser than lead.--

Then obviously we're far too stupid to understand your cogent comments, so why not find your intellectual equals somewhere else and scream at them instead?

Cecil Turner

No. Any 3 or 4 star appointment requires Congressional approval. If he's out, it's long odds he retires immediately. (And possibly he retires at 2 or 3-star pay.)

narciso

One is reminded when they went with Maxwell Taylor's approach over Lansdale in Vietnam, and how well that worked out

So, we'll see what Obama does about that.

I think the key is the withdrawal plan. As is, it is a sure loser. I believe McChrystal has sacrificed himself in an effort to get that changed.
============

LouP

I'm no defender of McChrystal; he's apparently a hell of warrior, an Ops guy, and a tactician. But I question his suitability and temperament as the top general. Qualifications for Colonel and General are different.

But in his defence, not only did Obama sit for 6 months on his request for additional troops, not get what he asked for, etc., etc. but as I understand the COIN strategy, it depends heavily upon unified political support and coordination. This he didn't get, and - reading between the lines - seems to have been the source of most of the frustration.

But having said all that, and the damage having been done, the only honorable thing McChrystal can do - in my opinion - is to tender his resignation with no comments. If Obama asks him why, then he should give it to Obama straight. If Obama wants to keep him on despite all, then McChrystal should make sure that he has the full backing from Obama for whatever they decide. Nothing else, and if the man is an honorable warrior, he should accept no humiliation.

Strategy? Everyone seems to forget that Obama campaigned on the simple notion that our #1 objective was to get Osama bin Laden. What happened to that objective? Why hasn't Obama got OBL yet?

Obama should feel intimidated; those warriors are legitimate.

Let's see how this war planning meeting goes. I'll Obama is having turkey talked to him.
==============

I don't think he can intimidate them.  This is not a putsch, nope, no way.

Oops, forgot to lay my money down. I'll bet Obama is getting an earful right about now.
===========

glasater

McChrystal has/had built up all kinds of relationships with the leaders on the ground in Afghanistan and that's worth a bunch is this conflict.
All of that down the drain.

Dave (in MA)

Lou, Jughead's been looking for OBL in the same places that OJ was looking for the real killer. Fore!

When he can't make a sensible decision, which is ever, then he reacts with his instincts, which are, as Rick so subly puts it, those of a Kendonesian Commie.

Ah, you know better, LouP. Osama was only useful for the 'taking your eye off the ball' criticism of Bush's Iraq strategy. We now know the extreme left isn't afraid of Osama, in fact, they support him. All of Obama's carp was just lying, which seems constitutional for the poor man.

The only thing which might give Obama pause is that if Afghanistan turns back into a haven for terrorists, the world will understand that that was Obama's fault.
============

Dave (in MA)
Oops, forgot to lay my money down. I'll bet Obama is getting an earful right about now.
How'd you like to be a fly on the wall--or on the face?
JM Hanes

Random thoughts:

Surely, McChrystal had to have gotten a green light from above for such an extended interview, which clearly included access to his staff, his mobile HQ as well as troops on the ground in the field etc., no? Am I wrong in thinking that the Rolling Stone has not exactly been fawning over the Prez lately?

Disparaging his C-i-C (in a very personal way), and revealing how he voted in the election seem like the most serious breaches to me.

As for the rest, I personally think he was absolutely right in almost every respect, alas. Holbrooke has been so officious and offensive that he is virtually personna non grata in the region. I note that Eikenberry, whose "leaked" letter contained a lot more more grievances and animus toward other members of the "team," got nary a rap on the knuckles.

Rock and a hard place for Obama. Keep McChrystal on, and confirm that the he, personally, is central to the mission (simultaneously giving his judgment about the rest of the Obama team more weight)? Or "accept" McChrystal's resignation, disrupt operations and set him loose to opine at will? The fact that he's the only one who has a decent working relationship with Karzai ups the stakes tremendously.

Does anyone else get the impression that McChrystal is not the one who decided to scale back the military side of the Kandahar operation, and hand a lot of it off to State? He sure doesn't sound like the kind of commander who would issue the current, debilitating, ROE, either, unless he were required to do so. Considering the deadline imposed by Obama, does it only look like McChrystal was given everything he wanted, when in reality, he's having to mount COIN ops with one hand tied behind his own back too?

Can anyone point me to Michael Yon's scathing assessment of the General?

Parking Lot

((Am I wrong in thinking that the Rolling Stone has not exactly been fawning over the Prez lately?))

if not, it's because he's not radical enough for 'em

Danube of Thought

It'll be interesting to see if he's allowed to retire with four stars, or if he has to revert to a lower rank (as with John Poindexter and Joe Sestak).

PDinDetroit

USA just scored!!!!

Take back the Blue Hells.

How do you like the invasion and the tornado in Detroit, PD?
=============

Thomas Collins


USA, ENGLAND GO THROUGH


Anyone have any idea what the Drudge Headline (see above) means?

LouP

"Osama was only useful for the 'taking your eye off the ball' criticism of Bush's Iraq strategy."

I know that. You know that. But the army of robots still supporting this clown need to be reminded of Obama's campaign rhetoric, and why the idiots voted for him. Apparently they need a real simple message they can understand.

I say make it the new rallying cry: "We can't leave Afhganistan until we have killed or captured OBL!"

Sue

TC,

I'm not sure if you're joking but both won their soccer matches and will advance to the final 16.

Cecil Turner

Can anyone point me to Michael Yon's scathing assessment of the General?

It was on his facebook page, which is hard for me to sift through, but here is a snapshot of it:

The disembed from McChrytal's top staff (meaning from McChrystal himself) is a very bad sign. Sends chills that McChrystal himself thinks we are losing the war. McChrystal has a history of covering up. This causes concern that McChrystal might be misleading SecDef and President. Are they getting the facts?...

I am American. Today, I do not trust McChrystal anymore than some people trust the New York Times, Obama or Bush. If McChrystal could be trusted, I would go back to my better life. McChrystal is a great killer but this war is above his head. He must be watched.

Personally I'm with those who think Yon both violated security protocols and is a little round-the-bend on personal slight issues.

And on a slightly different subject, I think it's worth pointing out that for all the wailing about deference to civilian leadership, neither Eikenberry, Holbrooke, nor Jones are McChrystal's "superior" in that sense. (And actually there's some dispute about the VP, though I think recent precedent is all pro.) In any event, it's hard to characterize any of this as actual insubordination.

Stanley's Deep Dish Pizza.

And you are right, LouP. Even if Osama is dead, the resurrection of Afghanistan as a terrorist haven is going to be on Obama's plate.
=======================

Thomas Collins

Thanks, Sue. I thought it might be World Cup talk, but I wasn't sure.

Porchlight

Well, if nothing else, the nation's attention has been refocused on Afghanistan. Whatever decisions Obama makes now will be scrutinized in full daylight. I *think* that's a good thing.

And he might.  I doubt he's alone in his thinking, and they do have the guns.

Actually, CT, that Yon quote ties in a little with my thinking. I'll bet McChrystal does know we are losing the war, and he's trying to change that.
=================

DebinNC

JMH, here's a Yon supporter who has links re his problem/s with McChrystal which might be helpful.

Pofarmer

Seems to me, civilian leadership needs to earn it.

Jane

I'm afraid Obama will use this as an excuse to lose the war and blame it on McChrystal.

Apparently Petreus, Hillary, Biden and Ear Leader are all meeting. No sighting of McChrystal coming back.

I'd like to know what he said to him when he fired him. I picture him stamping his feet.

PDinDetroit

The USSF Invasion? Hardly have noticed them, they won't make much change occur here. Detroiters don't want it unless you give it to them and they would have to work for change to occur. Its sad, really sad. The racism against whites by blacks in Detroit, especially if you are from the suburbs, is amazing and helps to exacerbate the problems as they will not accept help from "whitey". Hell, they just gave Monica Conyers a stay of prison time for "personal reasons" until Sept 2010.

The tornado that hit Dundee was quite a good storm. Funny thing is, all the weather hits the Detroit area either stays South of 8 Mile or goes North of 16 Mile leaving me and mine in the clear. That looks to change as I believe this will be a big tornado year and the Detroit Area is due for one.

Porchlight

Apparently Petreus, Hillary, Biden and Ear Leader are all meeting.

Why is Biden even in that meeting? he is worse than useless.

Cecil Turner

Interesting. If Petraeus has the final word on the replacement, I'd lean toward the deputy, LTG David Rodriguez for continuity's sake. That'd probably make SecDef Gates happy as well (though I think Mattis is a better choice).

Rob Crawford

The racism against whites by blacks in Detroit, especially if you are from the suburbs, is amazing and helps to exacerbate the problems as they will not accept help from "whitey".

That was the saddest thing I noticed in my years in Detroit.

That and the plywood overpasses.

Good luck with the weather.

Pofarmer

Why is Biden even in that meeting? he is worse than useless.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Biden is Barack Hussein's foreign policy GURU! What could go wrong?

Rob Crawford

Why is Biden even in that meeting? he is worse than useless.

Remember the "Ruprecht" character from the movie "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels"? Sometimes it's safer to keep them where you can see them.

DebinNC

lol, Rob

I love seeing Hillary benefit from Obama's effort to neuter her with envoys like Holbrooke.

Sue

Drudge is reporting that BP removed the cap and the flow is skyrocketing. Fox is reporting that the Coast Guard is reporting 2 deaths at oil spill clean up. Not sure what is going on.

Pofarmer

Fox is reporting that the Coast Guard is reporting 2 deaths at oil spill clean up. Not sure what is going on.

Been worried about that. They have to be operating in a pretty dangerous environment on that collection ship.

PDinDetroit

Sometimes it's safer to keep them where you can see them.

Yes, tied-up in the corner with a muzzle would be appropriate for Biden.

Pofarmer

Don't know where to post this.

New home sales.

PDinDetroit

Fox is reporting that the Coast Guard is reporting 2 deaths at oil spill clean up. Not sure what is going on.

People's Heads need to roll here soon, the response to date is completely unacceptable.

Pofarmer

Another.

Right click, and hit "view" if it's too big.

Sue

I can't find out who died.

Sue

Well, just as I said that, Major Garrett tweets:

MajoratWH Bad news on #gulfoilspill. 2 workers die (one on vessel, one in pool accident); containment cap removed, spill flow way up.
Pofarmer

typepad sucks.

Clarice

Hmm, Po, any sales in the last three decades? LOL

Jane

The whole world is crashing down on Obama, and deservedly so.

Pofarmer

Well, he probably just lost Afghanistan, and Iraq. African command might as well roll up shop, too. Economy still dropping, no matter the "recovery underway" mantra. The world crashing down on Obama wouldn't be so bad, if some of us weren't going to go down on the same ship, or get caught in the turbulence.

Dave (in MA)

2 deaths - was it because they didn't have life jackets?

centralcal

"The whole world is crashing down on Obama, and deservedly so."

Exactly my thinking too, Jane. The more rapidly things disintegrate for him, the better off we will all be (in the long run, not in the short run).

centralcal

Po - sadly, we are already caught in his turbulence and have been since his innauguration.

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