Skip to main content

So . . . the world is abuzz with the words of our Afghan General.  He has even reportedly offered to resign over his stupidity.  But I think there may be more at play here and it has to do with the war itself.

McChrystal may want out.  For political reasons, for his ego and for his legacy.  Please follow me below the fold as I explain.

Hearken back to early in the Obama administration . . . when what to do about Afghanistan was one of many hot topics (like Iraq, the economic meltdown, healthcare, etc.) that the administration inherited from Bush/Cheney.  Of course, Biden wanted to scale back our troops and work on an exit, but he got push back from some in the Pentagon and, most notably, McChrystal, who wanted a sort of "surge."  And there were critics outside of goverment too who questioned the McChrystal plan.  Ultimately, Obama relied upon the opinions of the generals and we have seen the troop build up that McChrystal sought.  But things have not worked out as McChrystal envisioned (promised?).

The highly touted Marjah offensive has not given the results that were hoped for.  Bad news keeps pouring out of Afghanistan and Holbrooke and Eikenberry were shot at by the Taliban on a recent visit to Marjah.

The troop draw down is supposed to start in a little over a year and, as McChrystal and his people admit in the Rolling Stone article, they are not meeting their objectives.  So, if you are McChrystal, what do you do?

Well, you could resign quietly and admit you were wrong.  But remember McChrystal was a favorite of Bush and Cheney.  In fact, that is just the tip of the iceberg that has been reported about McChrystal:

. . . consider these facts:

* McChrystal was a personal favorite of George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney;

* Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh says that McChrystal ran what Hersh called Cheney’s personal "executive assassination wing";

*Newsweek reported in 2006 that "Rumsfeld is especially enamored of McChrystal's ‘direct action’ forces or so-called SMUs--Special Mission Units--whose job is to kill or capture bad guys...But critics say the Pentagon is short-shrifting the 'hearts and minds' side of Special Operations that is critical to counterinsurgency--like training foreign armies and engaging with locals."

* A former interrogator at an American-run prison outside Baghdad called Nama, (soldiers said that stood for Nasty Ass Military Area), told a reporter for Esquire  that all of the officers there went by first names only, and that prisoners were repeatedly beaten, and exposed to all of the torture techniques that the Bush administration pretended were only administered by "rogue soldiers."

*The Colonel the interrogator worked for at Nama promised him that the Red Cross would never visit the facility. The Colonel was certain of that because "He had this directly from General McChrystal."

* The same interrogator said that the Colonel was fully aware of all of the abuses taking place on the base. Asked by an investigator from Human Rights Watch where the Colonel’s orders were coming from, the interrogator said, "I believe it was a two-star general. I believe his name was General McChrystal. I saw him there a couple of times."

* According to Jon Krakauer’s new book, Where Men Win Glory, McChrystal was at the center of the effort to pretend that former football star Pat Tillman had been killed by the enemy, instead of being a victim of friendly fire. At the same time that the general was approving a Silver Star for Tillman, he was cabling the White House, to warn, in secret, that the soldier had actually been killed by his American comrades.

So . . . if his strategy in Afghanistan fails, McChrystal could be blamed.  But, if he is fired, he (or surrogates) can say that whoever replaces him didn't carry out the strategy the way he would have.  McChrystal can snipe at Obama from the sidelines in support of his political allies.  And he no longer has the burden of reading the casualty reports his strategy have generated.  If the surge strategy is (by some miracle) successful he (and his political allies) can still take credit.  And, of course, the right wing media wind machine will make McChrystal out as a victim who "spoke the truth" in any event.  There is no downside to being "forced" out!  I think McChrystal wants out of the mess that he is in . . . and Rolling Stone (unwittingly) has provided his "cover."

Originally posted to foolrex on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 03:44 PM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site