"He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
It's time for McCrystal to buy a cabin in the Adirondacks and spend some quality time communing with nature and perfecting his fly-fishing technique.
The appropriate time for tell-all books and interviews is far in the future, if ever.
He has already earned himself a reputation as an individual who can't keep his mouth shut, to the detriment of himself and our troops.
It is quite amazing the vitriol some have for an honorable American who served his country, simply because he was around people who dissed thier guy.
Matthew 10:34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
I'd never heard of this guy until he was put in charge in Afghanistan, so I don't know whether he was a great servant of the American people or a brown-nosing, paper-pushing, politician-in-uniform who scaled the greasy pole any way he could. I'm sure some of you out there could make an argument.
What IS undeniable is that he made a serious error of judgement with the Rolling Stone article and that he had failed to make strong enough alliances in Washington to innoculate himself from the effects of said error of judgement. If he was one of the good guys, then this is a sad end to his career. If he was a military politician who screwed up politically, then too bad.
"The crisis will end when fear changes sides" - Pablo Iglesias Turrión
"Austerity is used as a cover to reconfigure society and increase inequality and injustice." - Jeremy Corbyn
now...thinking folk might consider that even though it WAS WRONG for them to air their opinions in RS, MAYBE JUST MAYBE they denigrated the civilian leaders because they were weak, incometent assholes...and might recognize that there should be some change needed there as well...
1. When evaluating General McChrystal's entire legacy, his good and bad moments have to be considered. Otherwise, the picture would not be complete, much less accurate.
2. By recognizing that the General engaged in bad judgment, etc., one is not compelled to discount his positive achievements. The two are not mutually exclusive.
3. A little professional consideration in handling the General's departure is not a bad thing. Firing him outright might have led to some feelings of vindication among those whom the General offended. In terms of substantive policy, such a move would have accomplished nothing more than his resignation did. Worse, an outright firing might have had an adverse morale impact on the military. The General did the right thing in offering his resignation. The President did the right thing in accepting it.
4. With respect to message #9 concerning General Eric Shinseki (whose judgment on Iraq happened to prove correct), like General Shinseki, General McChrystal will soon be a civilian. As such he will be free to publicly express political opinions, including those related to the U.S. military strategy in Afghanistan, the President's policies, etc. Prior to then, the chain of command principle barred such conduct, otherwise we would not have been discussing the Rolling Stone article, much less the apparent end of his military career.
Given that policy context and environment, a lack of significant and sustained progress in Afghanistan could accelerate prospects for a rapid drawdown of U.S. forces. Under such a scenario, Vice President Biden's narrower strategy of focusing only on Al Qaeda could be adopted. On the other hand, meaningful and sustained progress could lead to a more measured end game. Hopefully, given the large interests at stake, rash decisions will be avoided, the necessary strategic changes made, and a successful outcome (meaning the permanent reduction of risk that the Taliban-Al Qaeda would regain a safe haven in Afghanistan) pursued.
I'm not so concerned about the Rolling Stones problem, although it was pretty bad, as I am about his policies as commander in Afghanistan which probably led to more US troop casualties and a decline in the situation. Maybe he was a good special forces commander, but when it comes to a big and proper command, I don't think McChrystal was cut out for it.
I've still, to this day, yet to have anyone provide an actual damning or obviously over the line comment directly quoted to him.
Every statement made directly by him in the magazine article were extremely light at most and completely benign for the majority of them. The only comments arguably made that he needed to "keep his mouth shut" in regards to stating were nothing but heresay reported by unnamed sources and aides to a reporter who had a definitive and obvious bias and agenda.
His only seeming mistake in any of this was the idiocy of allowing the magazine into his inner circle in the first place and assuming it was going to take a fair and neutral position in the story rather than have an obvious agenda of searching out deterimental comments and situations from those around him.
"I am appalled that somebody who is the nominee...would take that kind of position"
"A court took away a presidency"
"...the brother of a man running for president was the governor of the state..."
It's horrifying because Trump is blunt instead of making overt implications.