MOURN NOT FOR GENERAL McCHRYSTAL

The liberal-progressive dominated media is praising President Obama’s firing of General Stanley A. McChrystal and the subsequent choice of Iraq War hero General David Petraeus as his replacement as a brilliant decision. Considering the debacle that is the Obama administration, a decision that pretty much made itself in a manner that the president couldn’t screw up probably does qualify as brilliant. After all, Obama keeps setting the bar lower with each passing day. Still one has to question how firing someone that he hired qualifies as anything other than further proof of his incompetence and ineptitude.

Just over a year ago General McChrystal replaced General David McKiernan as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan with much fanfare and praise. The media wet itself in excitement over this new president’s excellent choice to replace what was essentially a holdover from the Bush administration. Poor David McKiernan was never really given a chance to be anything other than a steppingstone for the new strategy that was to be implemented by a bold new president.

McChrystal for his part appeared eminently qualified. This was the man who as Commander of Joint Special Operations Command was responsible for the capture of Saddam Hussein and the later killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. There is nothing to indicate that he was anything less than a stellar soldier. However, everyone must inevitably succumb to the one law of nature that ultimately rules our society…The Peter Principle.

And just what is the Peter Principle? I’m glad you asked. The Peter Principle is the principle that in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence. In other words, you will get promoted until you finally reach a job you cannot do and there you will stay. If there is anything “brilliant” in Obama’s decision to accept General McChrystal’s resignation it is that the General will be put out of our misery faster than normal.

General McChrystal achieved his level of incompetence by giving an interview to Rolling Stone magazine in which he and his staff made some disparaging remarks about the president and some of the civilian leaders assigned to work in the Afghanistan theater. This was the moment that brought the general’s incompetence to light, however, he had long been hard at work trying to get there. You see, the problem with McChrystal has been the general’s devotion to unreasonably restrictive rules of engagement that result in the deaths of American and coalition forces. The Rolling Stone interview was particularly damning:

The night before the general is scheduled to visit Sgt. Arroyo’s platoon for the memorial, I arrive at Combat Outpost JFM to speak with the soldiers he had gone on patrol with. JFM is a small encampment, ringed by high blast walls and guard towers. Almost all of the soldiers here have been on repeated combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and have seen some of the worst fighting of both wars. But they are especially angered by Ingram’s death. His commanders had repeatedly requested permission to tear down the house where Ingram was killed, noting that it was often used as a combat position by the Taliban. But due to McChrystal’s new restrictions to avoid upsetting civilians, the request had been denied. “These were abandoned houses,” fumes Staff Sgt. Kennith Hicks. “Nobody was coming back to live in them.” – Rolling Stone

These rules of engagement were entirely the work of General McChrystal himself…but why? On September 4, 2009 there was an international uproar after an American F-15E Strike Eagle bombed a group of Taliban fighters who had apprehended two tanker fuel trucks. The trucks, naturally, exploded, and the Taliban fighters were killed along with several civilians. General McChrystal was angry over the civilian deaths and determined to tighten the American force’s already-too-strict rules of engagement still further to avoid them in the future. When the general met with local leaders in Kunduz, a few days after the bombing he fully expected to get an earful of criticism. He got an earful alright…but not an earful of what he expected. What he got was a totally unanticipated sort of criticism:

McChrystal began expressing sympathy “for anyone who has been hurt or killed.”

The council chairman, Ahmadullah Wardak, cut him off. He wanted to talk about the deteriorating security situation in Kunduz, where Taliban activity has increased significantly in recent months. NATO forces in the area, he told the fact-finding team before McChrystal arrived, need to be acting “more strongly” in the area.

His concern is shared by some officials at the NATO mission headquarters, who contend that German troops in Kunduz have not been confronting the rise in Taliban activity with enough ground patrols and comprehensive counterinsurgency tactics.

“If we do three more operations like was done the other night, stability will come to Kunduz,” Wardak told McChrystal. “If people do not want to live in peace and harmony, that’s not our fault.” McChrystal seemed to be caught off guard. “We’ve been too nice to the thugs,” Wardak continued. – Washington Post

Instead of receiving an angry lecture on America’s disregard for Afghan life, the general received an angry lecture on America’s hesitance to kill the enemy. Wow! How many of you knew that Afghan leaders were actually upset that the Americans are too passive in their pursuit of the war? That is not the way the war has been portrayed in the American press and for good reason: It doesn’t fit their agenda…and that is General McChrystal’s problem…he does fit their agenda.

There have been a lot of foolish comparisons of his dismissal to that of General Douglas MacArthur by Harry Truman or even General George McClellan back in the Civil War by Abraham Lincoln. The better comparison is the later firings of both Ambrose Burnside and Joseph Hooker by President Lincoln. Both of these were Generals who allowed politics to interfere with the prosecution of their battles largely because they received their commissions based upon…political connections. They were both subsequently routed by General Robert E. Lee who possessed a smaller, ill-equipped army. A political agenda is a liability to any commander. That, unfortunately, seems to be a weakness that General McChrystal likewise possessed.

Now it can be told. The story about him voting for Obama is not contrived. He is a political liberal. He is a social liberal. He banned Fox News from the television sets in his headquarters. Yes, really. This puts to rest another false rumor: that McChrystal deliberately precipitated his firing because he wants to run for President. – The Atlantic

And now you know why President Barack Obama chose General Stanley McChrystal as his commander in Afghanistan. He chose one of his own kind. Can you say…political connections? It was only a matter of time before this political alliance led to disaster. That time has arrived. How brilliant does the president’s firing of HIS own man look to you now? Even worse, he has been forced to turn to Bush’s man, General David Petraeus, to salvage his Afghanistan strategy…a man he essentially called a liar back in September of 2007.

This was General McChrystal’s incompetence: He brought his liberal politics to the battlefield. To be sure he was a well loved and respected general…but so were many generals in the past that failed. There was no excuse for announcing to the world who you voted for in an election. Particularly when a majority of the military backed the other guy. However the worst thing he did was to author rules of engagement that reflected his political views over the practical realities of the fight. This is especially inexcusable when you learn that the Afghan leaders themselves were encouraging him to be more aggressive and not to worry so much about civilian casualties. He willingly chose to put the interests of Afghan civilians, many of whom by their proximity to the targets were likely Taliban allies, over the safety of the soldiers under his command…and the soldiers didn’t like it.

One soldier shows me the list of new regulations the platoon was given. “Patrol only in areas that you are reasonably certain that you will not have to defend yourselves with lethal force,” the laminated card reads. For a soldier who has traveled halfway around the world to fight, that’s like telling a cop he should only patrol in areas where he knows he won’t have to make arrests. “Does that make any f-king sense?” Pfc. Jared Pautsch. “We should just drop a f-king bomb on this place. You sit and ask yourself: What are we doing here?” -Rolling Stone

The soldiers know…they ALWAYS know.

He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword but he who lives by liberalism is always betrayed by it. General McChrystal allowed the ultra-liberal music magazine, Rolling Stone, to have full access to him and his staff for this interview. Any soldier in their right mind would know not to let this military-hating magazine anywhere near them, but since he too is a liberal like them he thought everything would be OK. Fool. They don’t even like the KISS Army. How could they pass up the opportunity to embarrass the United States Army? They couldn’t.

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