President Barack Obama has summoned General Stanley McChrystal, commander of the Afghanistan theater, to the White House on Wednesday to explain remarks he and his staff made to Rolling Stone magazine. White House summons general over remarks. In an article soon to be published by Rolling Stone, McChrystal and some of his aids made some pretty insulting and derogatory remarks about Obamaâ€™s administration. Included in those remarks were statements mocking Vice President Joe Biden and Richard Holbrooke, the special U.S. representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Here are just some of the derogatory remarks made by McChrystal and his staffâ€¦
One aide said McChrystal seized control of the war "by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House."
One aide called White House National Security Adviser Jim Jones, a retired four star general, a "clown" who was "stuck in 1985."
On Holbrooke, an aide is quoted saying: "The Boss says he's like a wounded animal. Holbrooke keeps hearing rumors that he's going to be fired, so that makes him dangerous." McChrystal is also described as exasperated on receiving an e-mail from Holbrooke. "Oh, not another e-mail from Holbrooke. I donâ€™t even want to open it."
President Obama was "furious" about the remarks and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mullen, told McChrystal of his "deep disappointment" in a conversation late Monday. The summons to the White House was issued shortly after General McChrystal issued an apology for the incident. Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the remarks in the article were a "mistake" and demonstrated "poor judgment."
Poor judgment? Is Kerry kidding? This cannot be described as anything but gross insubordination. Perhaps if we were talking about a one time verbal gaff, maybe you could call it poor judgment. But these comments came over a period of time in which Rolling Stone magazine performed numerous interviews with McChrystal and his staff. And this isnâ€™t the first time the President has had to call the general on the carpet for speaking too freely. Hell the title of the Rolling Stone article is to be â€œThe Runaway General.â€
The main debate being fielded by the talking heads is whether the President should fire McChrystal or not. One side saying that firing a commander in the middle of an operation such as Afghanistan would be too disruptive. The other side saying itâ€™s a trust issue. I feel Obama has no choice but to dismiss General McChrystal immediately. Forget that he has demonstrated a total lack of confidence in or loyalty to his commander-in-chief. The fact remains that his strategy for Afghanistan has been a complete failure. But to be honest I donâ€™t blame the General because his ideas for winning come from his military training. It reminds me of the old Chinese proverb about the fox and the scorpion. The scorpion convinces the fox to carry him across a river with the promise that he wonâ€™t sting him. But when they get to the middle of the river the scorpion stings the fox and they both drown. The moral of the story being that it was not the scorpionâ€™s fault he did such a dumb thing. It was simply his nature.
In the same way military folks are going to look for military ways of solving problems. The problem is that the effort to fight terrorism is not appropriate for the military. Using the military to fight terrorism is like using an air powered jackhammer to drive in finishing nails. All youâ€™re going to end up with is a bigger mess. And what would a jackhammer think about being used for such a purpose if it was a conscious being? I think it would become confused and bewildered. Hell, it might even lash out in an irrational and insulting mannerâ€¦
Devin Barber, Politics Correspondent
Devinâ€™s column, â€œLeft Of The Rightâ€ published weekly or more to Gather Essentials: Politics is a Blue Collar Democrats take on current political news.
Devin was raised by proud Roosevelt Democrats. Being the son of parents counted among the throng of Americans displaced by the Great Depression has given Devin a deep rooted passion for causes dealing with the poor and the working class.
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