As promised, I have finally read the Rolling Stone Magazine article that led to the dismissal of Gen. Stanley McChrystal from his duty as chief of the Afghanistan war effort.
Did I miss something? It’s possible (although I doubt it), because I read it on the computer screen. I always have a hard time reading and retaining what I read on the screen, as opposed to what I read in hard print — but life has changed and I’ve had to change with it. But try as I might to look for the smoking gun that leaped out at me (a mixed metaphor, I know) and yelled: “this man must go for his terrible insubordination”, I couldn’t find it.
For sure, the article paints a picture of a rebel, a loose cannon if you will (a better metaphor).
But again, maybe I missed something (I still admit it’s possible). But I didn’t see any quotes from McChrystal to indicate any direct defiance of the president. But he did indicate agreement with criticisms of the Obama administration and others made by his own staffers.
What I did get out of the article is that the United States has no clear mission in Afghanistan and should withdraw — the sooner the better.
I don’t agree with McChrytal’s counter-insurgency tactics (impractical — let the Afghans fight it out themselves and re-build or destroy their own nation), but I don’t fault him for them. He is a professional warrior who was faced with a thankless task.
While I don’t have a crystal (or even a McChrystal ball — oh well let’s don’t go there) to predict the future, I do have a memory of most of my past 60 years and it tells me we will eventually be out of Afghanistan and we will not have won a victory, but we will have incurred many more casualties. Worse yet, this war may actually bankrupt us.
As that TV infomercial huckster exercise lady Susan Powter used to yell:
STOP THE MADNESS!
I plan to reread the article and blog more about it — I found it fascinating. A point of view piece, I would call it — but sometimes to tell the truth, you have to give the point of view instead of ruining the story with ridiculous obligatory counter assertions and denials in the name of objectivity.