As much as I dearly respect this great warrior, the good Gen. Stanley McChrystal forgot one of the fundamentals of leadership: The pace of the pack is set by the lead dog.
I read the Rolling Stone piece at an airport bookstore. When finished, I put the ultra-leftist hippie magazine back on the rack for some dreadlocked wandering idiot wearing a Che shirt to purchase. Indeed, a fool and his money will soon part.
One has to seriously question the otherwise brilliant Gen. McChrystal’s judgment to allow an anti-war, biased reporter from the Rolling Stone magazine access to him and his staff for 30 days. Th bulk of writing in this goofy magazine is at the best suspicious and more often than not simply hardcore leftwing propaganda.
Gen. McChrystal had to know the hack from Rolling Stone would portray him and his staff in a negative light. For McChrystal to believe otherwise is analogous to me believing that Rolling Stone magazine would give me or the National Rifle Association a fair shake. Not happening.
If Gen. McChrystal felt strongly about how the war is going, one way or another, he should have requested a private meeting with President Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen and laid out to them what specifically needed to be done to win the war.
If they didn’t agree with him, he should have then offered his resignation. But giving Rolling Stone magazine access to him and his staff was tremendously dumb.
After watching Gen. McChrystal in a “60 Minutes” interview a year or so ago, there was no doubt in my mind that he believed then that the Afghan war was a total klusterphunk in progress due to the community organizer in chief, President Obama, and the Mao Tse Tung fan club he had surrounded himself with.
Unfortunately at the end of the day, President Obama is in fact the commander in chief. Even as angry and frustrated as Gen. McChrystal surely is with the naive rules of engagement and the embarrassment of telegraphing to the enemy that we are packing up and leaving next July, throwing verbal spears in public at the Obama Administration for their goofy Afghanistan War policies is just not right. He deserved to be fired.
Ultimately, Gen. McChrystal should publicly apologize to the military men and women who are left behind to carry out their duty in Afghanistan. He should tell them that what he and his staff did negatively affected the good order and discipline of the military and that there is never any excuse to undermine that while wearing the uniform. He should tell our warriors he is tremendously proud of them, that they should hold their heads high and to continue to take the fight to America’s enemies. He should then follow Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s advice and fade away.
Maybe Gen. McChrystal believes he figuratively dived on a grenade in hopes that the Rolling Stone explosion would ignite a much needed deeper debate over the Afghan war. Maybe he just wanted out of President Obama’s klusterphunk. Maybe he had no clue what the writer was going to write. Regardless, Gen. McChrystal and his entire staff were outmaneuvered by a hack from Rolling Stone. Simply amazing.
Gen. McChrystal doesn’t need to appear on the Sunday morning talk shows to further trash the commander in chief and his dopey war policies. He should leave that to others not wearing the uniform. He should instead be at the airport and quietly greet every flight of warriors returning home from Afghanistan.
When I think of the Afghanistan War, I don’t think of President Obama, our generals, the politicians, the wrong-headed war policies, the embarrassment of an exit strategy instead of a victory strategy, or the incessant yammering of clueless talking heads. I think of the guy with the rifle slung across his back, humping over hills, on constant alert, and eating food the ACLU would probably sue our prisons over if we fed it to convicted killers.
We must put the care and concern of the warriors first in all that we do and say. They deserve our very best. I hope you never forget the pace of the pack is set by the lead dog, Gen. David Petraeus.