Elkhorn Creek Lodge

McChrystal and The Engineering of His Own Firing

Posted in afghanistan, obama by Eugene Podrazik on June 27, 2010

If any would really care to read the Rolling Stone article, The Runaway General, you’d really be hard-pressed to really come up with a quote that actually crosses the line on the subject of military subordination to civilian control.

The two “smoking guns” were, first an observation that by General McChrystal that Obama seemed “uncomfortable and intimidated.”  Second, was the attribution, to McChrystal, that he was disappointed by a “ten minute photo-op” when met Obama for the command of operations in Afghanistan.

The rest of the article seems to focus on quotes that would be the snide back office comments that occur in any office. Put a bunch of guys in a room and you’re going to get that sort of thing liberally laced with obscenities.  Like your typical Sunday afternoon football game (with the ladies gone).  Indeed, like the Oval Office, where Rahm Emmanual holds forth with the use of the the all  purpose f-word as noun, verb, adjective and adverb.

So, why the article.  Again read the article.  It notes that McChrystal seems to have long mastered the art of “thumbing his nose at authority every chance he got” right from his days at West Point.  Right to the point, but not quite, of almost getting kicked out from West Point.  This skill implies a certain skill in reading your opponent and anticipating that opponents reaction.  Knowing how far to push without stepping over the line.  Or, stepping over the line if that suits your purpose.

Which takes us back to Obama’s 2008 Presidental campaign.  Obama needed to trash Bush and our military involvement in Iraq.  Yet, he needed to demonstrate tough foreign policy resolve by getting America out of the ‘disastrous’ war in Iraq and get involved in the ‘good’ war in Afghanistan.

This was all done with a knowing wink and nod to the liberal MSM and their fellow travellers who realized that this lie was necessary in order to get elected.  Obama never had any attention in seriously prosecuting any war.  God forbid.  It would run contrary to his real purposes of ‘putting America in its place.’  One couldn’t have an actual victory; a real demonstration of American ‘can-do.’  American Exceptionalism runs completely counter to Obama’s narrative.

And, McChrystal realized, once in Afghanistan, that he was expected to lose and take the fall.  Failure was an option; it was the option.  This led to the solution of engineering his own sacking.

McChrystal knew that Rolling Stone would write a hit piece.  Complete with uncensored blue language.  He knew, by allowing Hastings, the author, access to his inner circle to get a ‘feel’ for his people and operations would, instead, result  in quotes.  And, the quotes would be juicy, uncensored, obscene bon mots.  He knew that all of these quotes would be conflated into a Truman-MacArthur Korean controversy.  Above all, quotes that would get laser-like attention from Obama.

McChrystal knew his thin-skinned opponent to a tee.  He knew that the only directly attributable quote about being uncomfortable and intimidated was, alone, going to get presidential attention.  Attention that the oil spill never warranted in Obama’s mind.  Obama’s intimidated, oh boo ho.

The rest of the quotes, all from his aides were gratuitous pilings-on that would only insure McChrystal’s sacking thereby avoiding this adminstration’s now ritual throwing-under-the-bus.

Dining with “some French minster” as being “f–king gay” flies right in the face of Obama military/gay policies.

McChrystal’s posturing about wanting to getting his ass kicked instead of going to that dinner with the French minister was an unintended gift since it so beautifully contrasted with Obama’s quote of looking for “ass to kick” concerning the Gulf oil spill.  The former statement coming from a real man and the latter coming from a man-child trying to look like a man and coming off as a wimp.  Obama saw the contrast and took it personally.

The ploy worked perfectly.  Our preening President took the bait.  New York City could be reduced to nuclear rubble courtesy Iran and Obama wouldn’t care; not beyond his poll numbers.  But, make even the most mild of criticisms of our Dear Leader Obama and, and you’ll be kissing bus tires.

But, Obama’s lies have a way of piling up.  His campaign lies forced him to engage in Afghanistan.  His hiring of McChrystal forced ownership.  Now, he has to turn to General Petraeus, the very man he trash talked in a Senate hearing in September 2007.  The very man, that the then junior Senator from New York, now Secretary of State, called a liar in the same Senate hearing.  The true irony is that Petraeus wrote his ticket and is running the show, not Obama.  Not only does Obama now own Afghanistan, he now must stake his reputation on nothing less than victory.  Move On.org will now make victory in Afghanistan its official position; the Taliban really is evil.

General McChrystal will leave the Army on his pension, spend a few months in Beltway purgatory, then get himself a nice six-figure Beltway consulting job.  He might make it into the cabinet of the next (Republican) Administration if he changes his registration.  And, Rolling Stone did all of his heavy lifting.