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Don't blame McChrystal, blame Obama

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal should not lose his job because of the article about him in Rolling Stone magazine. If anyone deserves blame for the latest airing of the administration’s internal feuds over Afghanistan, it is President Obama.

For months Obama has tolerated deep divisions between his military and civilian aides over how to implement the counterinsurgency strategy he announced last December. The divide has made it practically impossible to fashion a coherent politico-military plan, led to frequent disputes over tactics and contributed to a sharp deterioration in the administration’s relations with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

The virtue of the Rolling Stone article is that Obama may finally have to confront the trouble. But the dismissal of McChrystal would be the wrong outcome. It could spell disaster for the military campaign he is now overseeing in southern Afghanistan, and it would reward those in the administration who have been trying to undermine him, including through media leaks of their own.

Rolling Stone portrays McChrystal as being sharply at odds with Vice President Biden, State Department Afghanistan envoy Richard Holbrooke and U.S. ambassador Karl Eikenberry. Most of its incendiary quotes come not from the general, but his aides -- one of whom resigned Tuesday. McChrystal himself apologized for the article; he was reported to be returning to Washington for a White House meeting on Afghanistan Wednesday.

McChrystal’s enemies were quick to portray him as out of line and likely to be scolded, if not fired, by Obama. My colleague Jonathan Capehart said McChrystal should be ready to resign. But the tensions McChrystal disclosed were not news to anyone who has been following the Afghanistan mission in recent months; I first wrote about them more than a month ago.

Nor is McChrystal the only participant in the feuding who has gone public with his argument. A scathing memo by Eikenberry describing Karzai as an unreliable partner was leaked to the press last fall. At a White House press briefing during Karzai’s visit to Washington last month, the ambassador pointedly refused to endorse the Afghan leader he must work with.

Biden, for his part, gave an interview to Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter in which he said that in July of next year “you are going to see a whole lot of [U.S. troops] moving out.” Yet as Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates tartly pointed out over the weekend, “that absolutely has not been decided.” Instead, Biden was pushing his personal version of the strategy Obama approved, which calls for the beginning of withdrawals next year, with the size and pace to be determined by conditions at that time.

The real trouble is that Obama never resolved the dispute within his administration over Afghanistan strategy. With the backing of Gates and the Pentagon’s top generals, McChrystal sought to apply to Afghanistan the counterinsurgency approach that succeeded over the last three years in Iraq, an option requiring the deployment of tens of thousands more troops. Biden opposed sending most of the reinforcements and argued for a “counterterrorism plus” strategy centered on preventing al-Qaeda from establishing another refuge.

In the end, Obama adopted what is beginning to look like a bad compromise. He approved most of the additional troops that McChrystal sought, but attached the July, 2011 deadline for beginning withdrawals. Since then both sides have been arguing their cases, in private and in public, to the press and to members of Congress.

McChrystal may be at fault for expressing his frustrations to Rolling Stone. He is not at fault for the lack of coherence in the Afghan campaign or the continued feuding over strategy. That is Obama’s responsibility.

By Jackson Diehl  | June 22, 2010; 11:59 AM ET
Categories:  Diehl  | Tags:  Jackson Diehl  
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Comments

What crock. He shouldn't resign because he's been critical of Obama's strategy; he should resign because he's in clear violation of Article 88 of the UCMJ. I guess pesky little things like "laws" and "civilian control of the military" don't matter to Diehl.

Posted by: dkp01 | June 22, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

McChrystal IS at fault for expressing his frustrations to Rolling Stone. That is the whole problem here. He is out of line doing that. He is entitled to his opinions but going public with them in this fashion is insubordination pure and simple.

Posted by: catherine3 | June 22, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Obama's administration lacks a clear, decisive direction. The Prez has failed to provide the aggressive Leadership that winning requires and he lacks experience and managerial skills that would enable a true leader to get things going in the right direction. Yes, I’m talking about Afghanistan… did you think I was talking about the Gulf?

Posted by: meaton11 | June 22, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Biden was right, McChrystal now knows Biden was right and he can't handel it. Resign McChrystal!

Posted by: obrier2 | June 22, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

End this stupid war now. Now! And bring me back some good heroin.

Posted by: johng1 | June 22, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Diehl has no idea what he is talking about. McChrystal should not get fired because there is a a lack of coordination between his staff and the President's. He should get fired for insubordination and tolerating--even encouraging--an atmosphere of disrespect for civilian leadership. MacArthur was canned for less.

Posted by: turningfool | June 22, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Or wait, does Diehl think that Obama is to blame for the UCMJ? Is that it?

There are so many things you can legitimately criticize Obama for. It shows a complete lack of intellect that instead of delving into more complex issues, you simply decide to make crap up.

Posted by: dkp01 | June 22, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

If anyone deserves blame for the latest airing of the administration’s internal feuds over Afghanistan, it is President Obama.

========================================

Amen. From the excerpts it's clear GEN McCryatal is very frustrated at being undermined by White House staff and others that the entire mission is in jeopardy. With all the competing interests and cat fighting it's also clear that there is no leadership at the top.

First the Gulf disaster response and now this. Is it any surprise since we have a President who has no experience and wouldn't know how to run a hot dog cart?

Posted by: bbface21 | June 22, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Jackson Diehl is a total "ho" for authority figures whose names employ the silent "h," like McChrystal and Rhee. The Post's editorial page never was great, but it's never been worse.

Posted by: johnclifford1 | June 22, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Gen. Stanley McChrystal suffers from three tragedies: incompetence, indiscretion and envy-fueled intemperance.

When viewed against modern U.S. Military giants like Gen. Collin Powell, Gen. Norman Swartzkoff and Gen. David Patraeus, the hopelessly inadequate McChrystal must feel his inner child whinning, complaining and hopelessly trying to explain away why a ragtag bunch of barefoot al-Quaeda bandits are beating McChrystals in every department of guerilla warfare.

And McChrystals response: whine a little more to Rollingstone (and next Playboy) magazine!!!!

Posted by: Whispers | June 22, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

In any job, someone who undermines authority should be fired or, if there is personal integrity, should quit. McChrystal has undermined authority and has not quit, therefore, he has no integrity. This is without even considering the fact that he has not done a good job!

Posted by: schaeffz | June 22, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Diehl hasn't got a clue. Uniformed officers do not criticize their military or civilian bosses in public -- period. He should be fired, because to refrain from imposing military discipline and order on the general would promote further lack of discipline and lower morale in the ranks.

Posted by: rosepetals64 | June 22, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

McChrystal made a mistake. Unfortunately, Obama's half-baked strategy is putting troops in harm's way with no realistic chance of winning. That is a tragedy. I thought we learned something about that approach from Vietnam.

Posted by: doug7772 | June 22, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Diehl, you are such a Partisan Hack. You, as well as many others know that President Obama has always stated that the troop draw down in Iraq would be 2011, whether the U.S., was winning the war against the Taliban or not.

Why are you now trying to revise history, Diehl?

You, McChrystal and the whole country knew what what the presidents plans and strategy were, and just because those plans do not satisfy the appetite of Right-Wingers such as your self does not change the facts.

With that I blame McChrystal, and war mongers like your self.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | June 22, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Blame Bush,Cheney,for diverting us to Iraq.

Blame Karzai and his heroin traffiking brother Before that it was Bush's fault with

Blame McChrystal for being known for questionable statements, but not for military accomplishments.

McChrystal is no Douglass MacArthur.
Can anyone tell us about McChrystal's successful military campaigns. The only time his name comes up is when he criticizing the administration.

Posted by: uniteusnow | June 22, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Are you high sir? The man just trashed everything good about our military and you're advocating he stays on. You've obviously never served before so your ignorance should be forgiven. McChrystal is a disgrace.

Posted by: lumi21us | June 22, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

This column is a joke, right? No one could say such incredibly stupid things with a straight face.

Posted by: Jayne | June 22, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

dpk1 wrote

"What crock. He shouldn't resign because he's been critical of Obama's strategy; he should resign because he's in clear violation of Article 88 of the UCMJ. I guess pesky little things like "laws" and "civilian control of the military" don't matter to Diehl."

Obama and company don't seem to believe the rule of law matters, the people working for them are just following the example set by Obama.

Posted by: Pilot1 | June 22, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Dkp01- exactly which quote of McChrystal clearly meets the Article 88 standard of "contemptuous words"? Surely some of his subordinates used words which I would consider contemptuous but I have read nothing attributed directly to McChrystal.

McChrystal has demonstrated a complete lack of discretion and good judgment in his dealings with Rolling Stone. However, removing the general one year before we begin our draw-down of troops is not in the best interest of our county.

The President has tolerated an atmosphere of back-stabbing and leaks to the press over our Afgan strategy. His indecision has encouraged his subordinates (including VP Biden) to fight the policy fight out in public. The President needs to own up to his own lack of clear and decisive leadership. Hubris is no substitution for leadership

Posted by: pagejack48 | June 22, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the general should be waterboarded. The neocons like Diehl, don't believe that waterboarding is "torture"; so it should be an acceptable outcome for a military commander who does not respect the chain-of-command (and probably broken the law.) Waterboarding can be excused by Diehl as "washing out the General's mouth with soap". This is approrpriate since Diehl thinks that the general's status is not dependent on his loyalty and honor!

Posted by: TruthHurts2 | June 22, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

doug7772,

Obama listened to McChrystal and went with HIS plan.

Posted by: pathfinder12 | June 22, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Is Diehl suggesting that it's a bad thing to have dissenting views within the administration? That strikes me as a pretty common theme among very successful administrations of the past (Lincoln, or more recently Clinton). And how soon we forget the consequences of an administration where everyone agreed and was in lock-step on everything (Bush II).

And you can hardly claim dissent within the administration as the sole reason for the deteriorating relations with Karzai. It seems like there are other relevant issues: his government is rife with corruption and incompetence, for example.

Finally, the President is the Commander in Chief. Mchrystal is well within his rights to disagree energetically, but privately. Insubordination in the military is generally regarded as a bad thing right?

Posted by: genericOnlineID | June 22, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for being so partisan. Of course it is Obama's fault. EVERYTHING is Obama's fault. Look, the General has been big mouthing publicly for two years. He has been given a pass more than one time, but this is just too much. Clearly the general also created a work environment that permitted (encouraged??) dising the administration and congress. That is not acceptable.

Posted by: tarryh | June 22, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Correction to previous post:

Troop drawn down in Afghanistan and not Iraq.


It all seems to be one big blurry mess.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | June 22, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Dismiss McChrystal. He has dishonored himself, the President and endangered our soldiers on the ground--the very men and women he is obliged to protect. No need to fire him for "incoherence" in Afghan policy. That's not the issue. The issue is a loose cannon undermining the Commander in Chief. That McChrystal himself gets this--he's apologized by the way--and you don't, Diehl--is telling.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | June 22, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Totally agree with points made by dkp01 and catherine3. To add to them, McChrystal and staffs airing of the dirty laundry undermines our military effort in Afghanistan. Yet another reason to fire him as his conduct can have detrimental impact on the mission. Instead of meeting with the White House on Wednesday to discuss strategy and operation (which really needs to be the focus), they'll be discussing who said what to the Rolling Stone and why and what needs to be done to address it. So McChrystal and staff have caused a huge distraction and waste of everyone's time.

Posted by: shelley514 | June 22, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Totally agree with points made by dkp01 and catherine3. To add to them, McChrystal and staffs airing of the dirty laundry undermines our military effort in Afghanistan. Yet another reason to fire him as his conduct can have detrimental impact on the mission. Instead of meeting with the White House on Wednesday to discuss strategy and operation (which really needs to be the focus), they'll be discussing who said what to the Rolling Stone and why and what needs to be done to address it. So McChrystal and staff have caused a huge distraction and waste of everyone's time.

Posted by: shelley514 | June 22, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Diehl's insights are so trivial compared to what is wrong here, it is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

As many have pointed out, all officers know why and how to behave, and the President cannot be blamed for expecting the minimum -- but not getting it -- from McChrystal. Yes, there is always tension created in the Constitution in the military-civilian nexus, and junior officers or non-coms who are overpumped and out of and beneath the policy chain are given to such naming calling. But breaking the Uniform Code, Gen. McChrystal even more betrays consistently poor judgement. He played public chickent with the President before, not realizing that then if either he OR the President were perceived as "winning" both McChrystal and the Afghanistan War would be the real loser. For the President to look like he agrees against his judgement does not benefit McChrystal, although macho fools might not understand this. Despite this, a patriotic President accepted the military assessment of the needs, and 'accepted' the explanation that the media excess of McChrystal at that time was a media creation.
Diehl is wrong historically as well, because there are always tensions in US History, even with the greatest presidents and generals, over strategies. Some level is good. Take the "Europe First" policy in WWII, the invasion of N. Africa or Italy in the same war, the role of the Navy vs the Army etc; the similar issues in the Civil War have spawned many books. But Grant or even Sherman never behaved like pumped up children to the Press.

I think McChrystal clearly cannot handle the pressure of being given all the resources he demanded, and still being unable to deliver. It is more than his self-image can handle, so he and his circle blame the civilians as such undeveloped types do.

Posted by: jamespepper | June 22, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Diehl, it's pretty obvious that you never served in the military. Because if you did, you'd have a better appreciation for the importance of chain-of-command in a functioning military. Just curious, why is it that the biggest conservative blow-hards have never served in the military, yet for some reason, they mostly pretend to be purely patriotic and TRUE Americans? I think they are a bit cowardly.

Posted by: GD1975 | June 22, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"McChrystal may be at fault for expressing his frustrations to Rolling Stone."

This sums it all up- and he and any staff that talked to Rolling Stone should be reprimanded to the fullest extent.

Everything else in this article is political pandering. Shame on you Diehl bringing partisan crap into this.

Posted by: dcperspective | June 22, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Just what I'd expect from Mr. Diehl.

This isn't about hurt feelings, this is about the generals poor judgement and violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice:

“Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

Posted by: JilliB | June 22, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Well, now we have (and can ignore) the crypto-Israeli POV.

Posted by: misterjrthed | June 22, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if anyone screaming "insubordination" has actually read the entire article.

There is very little that the General himself said that could be construed as insubordination. Comments by his staff? Yes. And if you want them fired, or if you think the general should be fired because he allows his staff to be insubordinate, that is a different case entirely. (McChrystal criticizing members of the State department does not constitute insubordination -- they are not his superiors).

Either way, you really should read the article first, not the out of context quotes that make it appear as though the General said many of these things himself.


I could be wrong, but I bet he stays on.

And, of course, Diehl is also correct with every point he made.

Posted by: etpietro | June 22, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Uh, I think his name is Eikenberry (not Ikenberry). Nice work, genius.


Posted by: wkristol | June 22, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

McChrystal 2012!!

Posted by: scecil1 | June 22, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

McChrystal should be court martialled. As an officer, he is responsible for his command, including his staff. He has only provided them an example of whining and pouting.

As for you, Diehl, you forget far too quickly that George Bush ignored years of history and started a war in Afghanistan with the promise that the troops there would track down Osama bin Laden in some of the worst terrain on earth and bring him back dead or alive.

Posted by: jlhare1 | June 22, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

McChrystal 2012!!

Posted by: scecil1 | June 22, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Did you bother to read the article? McChrystal has no problems with Obama's strategy or leadership at all, mainly because Obama has done everything McChyrstal asked for. This is simply him shooting off at the mouth about his superiors in a bar, similar to water-cooler talk. He makes no substantive complaints about anyone, just school-house insults.

He should go. Plainly exhibiting poor judgment and undermining the military chain of command.

Posted by: maurban | June 22, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

McChrystal is clearly in violation of military regs and decorum. I know, Fire Diehl for siding with military over civilian leadership! Last I heard this was a representative Democracy, not a military state.

Posted by: Vaughan1 | June 22, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

You can't handle the truth!

Posted by: scecil1 | June 22, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

The insubordination shows up on the first page, with dismissive comments from the general towards the vice president ("Biden?" McChrystal says with a laugh. "Who's that?") and continues through a display of support of insubordinate actions and statements by his own staff. Y'all can try and sidestep this one all you want, but it's crystal clear that the general has contempt for civilian leadership, including the president, the VP, and various other administration officials.

Posted by: dkp01 | June 22, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Diehl, for Obama to have resolved the conflict over Afghanistan within his own administration would have required some effort on his part. After eighteen months of watching Barry in the White House I have come to the inescapable conclusion that he's just plain lazy.

Posted by: creeper92 | June 22, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey Diehl I'm just curious if you don't have the common sense to know criticizing your boss to a magazine like the rolling stones no less, would mean losing your job then you are an idiot.

I guess it's Obama's fault the general allowed his aides to act like total idiots and make stupid comments about their superiors right?

I wonder how long you will have your job if you criticize your boss. You couldn't be more wrong but then why am I even reading your article...Common sense is telling me to stop reading anything you write from now on. I think i need to see the doctor about getting a couple of brain cells I lost.

Posted by: thisiscrap | June 22, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I suggest that Mr. Diehl give an interview trashing the editors and publishers of the Washington Post and see how long he keeps his column.

Posted by: JakeD3 | June 22, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

All you geniuses blaming Obama for the oil spill: What are you smoking? What should he have done? This is what happens when you deregulate corporations. The spill can only be fixed one way: drilling a relief well. Everyone knew that from the beginning. We can only wait.

Posted by: maurban | June 22, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Who is this idiot (Diehl)?

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | June 22, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

For better (not worse) we have civilian control over the military and clearly laid out rules. We don't need another session like MacArthur.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | June 22, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

It's worth noting again that almost all the quotes in the Rolling Stone article came NOT from McChrystal but from his aides. We're getting off track here by ascribing the comments to him.

Posted by: creeper92 | June 22, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Gee, I bet you're a republican.

Posted by: LifeBeforePrinciple | June 22, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a crummy manager, a no-account leader and an even worse president but McChrystal must go.

Posted by: JAH3 | June 22, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

McChrystal, who lied about the circumstances of Pat Tillman's death in Afghanistan for political reasons, is at it again. I presume he will be a Fox commentator by this time next week.

McChrystal has admitted that he has no significant difference with President Obama's approach to the war (how could he; it's the one he proposed), so his contempt for the president seems personal. It seems very, very Republican. Good riddance to a bad general.

Posted by: gsross | June 22, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

McChrystal admitted to poor judgement. For that alone he should be fired. The top-heavy leadership of our military is out of control and in cahoots with the defense contractors. The military-industrial complex is in control of the government, and the Republicans are their best friends. Say goodbye to democracy, freedom, and the Constitution in 2012.

Posted by: Chagasman | June 22, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

As a supporter of the President, and a supporter of removing our troops altogether from Afghanistan, I was all ready to pounce on Diehl when I read the title of the article. After reading the article, however, along with other articles I've read on the topic, I kind of see the point Diehl is making. First off, yes, that was intolerable what Gen. McChrystal said about the administration (including the President), and he deserves rebuke and maybe more. But foreign policy is NOT set by the military, it's set by the President. And he needs to be clear and forthright what that policy is. It sounds like the President was coaxed into a compromise as a substitute for setting a clear direction for the War in Afghanistan. That reminds me of the mistakes made by Pres. Clinton during his time in office (always listening to another side and another side and never making a final decision on matters). I wish we could have a President as firm as W., but who makes the RIGHT decisions. Why can't Democratic Presidents set a strong foreign policy and work to achieve it (if that means more diplomacy, I'm totally fine with that, but they need to force the military to accept that, since they are the Commander-in-Chief). Looks like Pres. Obama is getting swallowed by the military-industrial complex and isn't forcefully combatting their accesses. So Diehl is right, this is the President's job, and he needs to set a policy and make people implement it whether they are on board with it or not.

Posted by: sachancp | June 22, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I am so sick of the Redneck underclass Reight hating on Obama.

McChrystal is nothing more than white trash who has been Peter Principaled to General.

What a classless ass he is.

If you want to hate on Obama, please tell me it is OK that Bush drowned New Orleans, crashed the economy, killed over one million Iraquis as collateral damage during his lie of a war.

Reddie teabaggers, are red meat, undereducated blue collar whites.

Posted by: lenegal77 | June 22, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

If President Obama is weak then these comments are even greater threat to US Freedom. High commanders CAN NOT BE ALLOWED to even appear to challenge the President, except if the President has issued major unconstitutional orders, and if that happens Congress had to decide to Impeach the President or allow the general to be fired.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | June 22, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Most military personnel, leaders and subordinates, don't see eye-to-eye often with civilian leadership, especially civilian leaders who never served. I think the Presidents compromise is a good one. How long must the U.S. support foreign governments who are nothing but trouble? How long must our young men and women sacrifice for another nation who has demonstrated over the years their lack of governing ability? How much more billions of dollars does the U.S. have to pour into Afghanistan and Iraq? Give me a break. Kill Al Queda, find Bin Laden, and move on.

The nation is recovering from economically, lets spend billions of dollars here, not over there. STOP BUYING OIL AND INVEST IN ALTERNATIVE ENERGY!!! If you want to stop terrorism, that is how you stop it. Stop giving them the funds to wage terrorist acts!!!!!!!!! We clear??????

Posted by: ajackson3 | June 22, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

The fact is, nothing is going well in Afghanistan at the moment. That's why the Pentagon and administration are doing everything they can to keep the public opinion about it afloat so they can stick it out just long enough to keep the Taliban from taking over the government but not long enough to leave behind a strong, sustainable government. The fact or idea that we shouldn't have gone in the first place or shouldn't have diverted resources to Iraq is irrelevant at this point. No one seems to realize that we have to go from the point we are at right now. Maybe in the end we will be pulling out only to leave a mess behind just as we did in Vietnam, but that means a lot of wasted American life in the past years and years of war there. Blame the president who took us there if you want, but Obama has a hard decision to make about what's truly best for Afghanistan and for America.

In any case, no one needs the kind of crap McChrystal just let fly in public. His subordinates were worse, but he deserves to be fired for what he said. What Diehl understands that people above don't, is that the article is also SYMPTOMATIC of a larger problem. That is, everyone flying in different directions about what to do in Afghanistan. Should you have an administration that's too scared to question their leader? Of course not. But grievances should not be aired in public. And that's the fault of more than just McChrsytal right now.

Posted by: jebersole | June 22, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse


Haha Reagan's Taliban is kicking our neocon azzes

Thanks for arming and training them Republicans!!

Posted by: lichtme | June 22, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

McChrystal is the incompentent one.

From day one, he came in and decentralized his troops into low areas where they were attacked by Afghans or Terrorists from higher ground.

When so many troops were dying and it was being reported he was improperly using the troops, he requested more troops through the Press not up the chain of command.

That is not how its done in our military. If you do not have enough troops to defend or spread out, you don't spread out until you have enough troops.

McChrystal thought our troops were expendable, and that once he spread them out, the President would have to give him more troops. That is not how higher leadership works.

One does not spread out until one has the sufficient number of troops, even if they never spread out into dangerous low areas where they can be attacked.

Now, the general believes he is the elected leader of the country, and that the President, elected by the majority of the country is intimidated by him.

The President took him behind the woodshed over putting our troops in harms way before he received additional troops and gave him another chance.

Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice shame on you. McChrystal has had his second chance and hopefully his last chance.

Posted by: SCVoter | June 22, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Don't blame Mc...is the same neocon and AIPAC lobby against Iran in beltway. Don't try to confuse the real story here; ie. civilian authority over military echelon and its discretionary power(s).

BTW Bob Gates has now officialy called it a *serious mistake*...meaning the General will have no choice but to reign.

Basta!

Posted by: hariknaidu | June 22, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I shudder to imagine the vitriol that would be directed at President Obama or Vice President Biden if either of them so much as hinted that maybe the military doesn't always know best. But then again, the Rolling Stone interview and the ugly comments posted about it here give a pretty accurate picture of what would happen in that case.

Seems to me that McChrystal, and those defending him, are showing their contempt for the chain of command and the basic constitutional principle that civilians are in charge of this country, not soldiers. God help us if we lose sight of that as a society.

Posted by: DCSteve1 | June 22, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

McChrystal was right about one thing - Biden. Biden is not in the chain of command, he undermines the Afghanistan strategy at every opportunity, he is a lightweight thinker, he was wrong on Iraq, he opposed the surge in Iraq and Afhganistan. He has been wrong on every major middle east initiative. Biden, who is he?

Posted by: delusional1 | June 22, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Everyone already knows that Obozo is the Clown-in-Chief.


Posted by: Jerzy | June 22, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

What part of chain of command do you not understand, Mr. Neo-Con?

Posted by: Boogie_Knight | June 22, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

i am happy to add jackson diehl to the lengthy list of wapo opiners whose opinion i need never consider again.

what a marooooooon.

Posted by: howard16 | June 22, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Why not just get serious about these wars?

Everyone gets one pair of shoes per year, a set of tires every three years. Ration electricity, butter, milk, eggs and meat.

Ban consumer spending, and put every penny of GDP into war spending, just like WW2.

Nope, I don't see our nation of flabby mall shoppers will to give up a thing, not even the biggest war boosters.

Posted by: BurfordHolly | June 22, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

This is what happens when no one, friend or foe, respects the commander-in-chief. Obama is not a leader. It's not in him.

Posted by: eoniii | June 22, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

After reading the article, however, along with other articles I've read on the topic, I kind of see the point Diehl is making. First off, yes, that was intolerable what Gen. McChrystal said about the administration (including the President), and he deserves rebuke and maybe more. But foreign policy is NOT set by the military, it's set by the President. And he needs to be clear and forthright what that policy is.

======================================

Exactly. Mouthing off to a reporter is GEN McCrystal's fault. Having an environment where the entire team acts like the Real Housewives of Afghanistan, that's Obama's fault.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 22, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

What an ignorant posting. Does Jackson Diehl know the basics of the Constitutional authority?

Posted by: pdxer | June 22, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I heard that rain, athletes foot and bad breath are also the work of President Obama.

This is his Truman-MacArthur moment. This dude must go. No one but no one can do that sort of thing in a heirarchial organization like the military.

Posted by: John1263 | June 22, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

If you want to hate on Obama, please tell me it is OK that Bush drowned New Orleans, crashed the economy, killed over one million Iraquis as collateral damage during his lie of a war.

Reddie teabaggers, are red meat, undereducated blue collar whites.

Posted by: lenegal77 | June 22, 2010 1:18 PM

=======================================

Perhaps you can tell us what possible relevance does President Bush and New Orleans have to do with President Obama's policy in Afghanistan?

Posted by: bbface21 | June 22, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

People for all those blaming Obama for not providing a clear direction for this war or plan, lets not forget who left the war unfinished.If the Bush admin had their heads on right maybe this war would of not lasted this long and concluded by now. Either way, When LT.General Sanchez who was put in charge of the Iraq war and made some remarks against how the Bush admin was conducting the war, how putting the CIA in charge of Abdu prison in Iraq in which led to all the abuse, The general was made to retire.And when Lt.General Sanchez said that the Iraq war is catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan, and criticized the administration's latest surge strategy. And stated this administration(Bush) has failed to employ and synchronize its political, economic and military power." And was quoted saying" The Iraq war is a nightmare with no end in sight" and accused the Bush Admin of failure in Iraq, and said "They have unquestionably been derelict in the performance of their duty. He put the blame on the National Security Council, the President's top foreign policy advisors. In my profession, these types of leaders would immediately be relieved or court-martialed" and when he, the General, was made to retire, where was the outrage than? Having a double standard makes any argument against Pres.Obama seem partisan and less honest.

Posted by: Realistic5 | June 22, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

The fact is after nine years in Afghanistan not one civilian or military person has any idea how to tame the country.
Afghanistan was really lost after the Taliban was routed 9 yrs. ago and U.S. priority shifted to Iraq, leaving a gaping hole in Afghanistan that allowed the Taliban to regroup and become stronger.

Posted by: JillCalifornia | June 22, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

The author closes the post saying, "McChrystal may be at fault for expressing his frustrations to Rolling Stone. He is not at fault for the lack of coherence in the Afghan campaign or the continued feuding over strategy. That is Obama’s responsibility."

I agree with that, but that's not the question before the president, is it? The question is whether to do anything about the thing for which we all seem to agree the general is at fault.

Disclaimer: I'm a big critic of the president and a big supporter of the military and the war on terror. And I can't abide our vice president.

But, this whole incident is a colossal exercise in poor judgment. Officers should not be saying things like this to Rolling Stone reporters (Rolling Stone?!?!?! Who decided to give this anti-war scribbler that kind of access? Who didn't warn people to watch their mouths around him? Who didn't listen to those warnings?), no matter how true. They are and should be held to a different standard than the politicians and appointees around them. And the buck stops with the top officers in the field.

I don't know whether the president ought to fire the general over this, though. Frankly, besides being hugely disruptive to the mission it would sort of trivialize it and the president's relationship to the military -- firing such a key figure over a Rolling Stone article. Hardly MacArthur vs. Truman stuff.

But Obama is well within his rights to fire him (and of course has the power to fire him at will). Personally, I think our commander in chief should take advantage of this opportunity to force some coherence into his Afghan policies.

As for the general, I'd try to get him to offer to resign, so that the president can sternly refuse him. Keep the general where he can do the most good, but assert himself at the same time. Sort of the thing Lincoln might do.

Posted by: dcpost1 | June 22, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

People for all those blaming Obama for not providing a clear direction for this war or plan, lets not forget who left the war unfinished.If the Bush admin had their heads on right maybe this war would of not lasted this long and concluded by now. Either way, When LT.General Sanchez who was put in charge of the Iraq war and made some remarks against how the Bush admin was conducting the war, how putting the CIA in charge of Abdu prison in Iraq in which led to all the abuse, The general was made to retire.And when Lt.General Sanchez said that the Iraq war is catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan, and criticized the administration's latest surge strategy. And stated this administration(Bush) has failed to employ and synchronize its political, economic and military power." And was quoted saying" The Iraq war is a nightmare with no end in sight" and accused the Bush Admin of failure in Iraq, and said "They have unquestionably been derelict in the performance of their duty. He put the blame on the National Security Council, the President's top foreign policy advisors. In my profession, these types of leaders would immediately be relieved or court-martialed" and when he, the General, was made to retire, where was the outrage than? Having a double standard makes any argument against Pres.Obama seem partisan and less honest.

Posted by: Realistic5 | June 22, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Diehl, you are absolutely wrong, again. McMouth should be fired. There is no one in the US military or government that cannot be replaced. Even though our military is at low ebb due to two wars and multiple deployments, we still have the finest military in the world and anyone that does not know that needs to get informed. McMouth is obviously not the best person for the job in Afghanistan or this conversation would not be occurring. The man has discipline problems, and for a top officer this can be very dangerous to a military organization. I have served in the military so I think I know a little bit about the issue. Anyone that believes that they are too valuable to an organization to be let go is either the owner of the business or a fool. We have thousands of fine, disciplined officers that can step up to the plate and finish the job that McMouth started and I am sure some of them would love the chance to properly serve their President and their country as opposed to this megalomaniac going around and acting like he is the one in charge. Someone else commented earlier and they are exactly right, if any soldier was caught badmouthing this egomaniacal General they would be busted down so low they would have to look up to tie their shoelaces. Is this the example our military leaders should be exhibiting to our troops in the middle of a war? Suppose several of his troops did an article with rolling stone magazine and told the world that they thought he was an incompetent nincompoop? Do you think the General would take it well?

Posted by: ruthella10 | June 22, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

It matters not if they fire McChrystal. He has already indicted the Obama administration for gross incompetency.

Posted by: Digitalman08 | June 22, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

It has been said time and time again that no matter what Pres. Obama does people will find fault. Diehl has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that those who say people will blame Pres. Obama for anything and everything are correct. Excuse me no one forced the General or his aides to make the comments they made.

If I don't agree with management and I speak up then I cannot and should not bad mouth my leadership - I should resign or keep my mouth shut.

Posted by: rlj1 | June 22, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

GD1975 - There are many ways to serve one's country and be patriotic. It's sad that you assume military service is the only way, not to mention that you make the blanket statement that conservatives don't serve in the military.

Maybe next time you should take into acocunt those who CANNOT serve in the military for any number of reasons (health, physical limitations, etc.) but would gladly do so if given the chance.

Posted by: JG08 | June 22, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Left out word in 2nd par.

If I don't agree with management and I "don't" speak up then I cannot and should not bad mouth my leadership - I should resign or keep my mouth shut.

Posted by: rlj1 | June 22, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

McChrystal wants to do full-on COIN. According senior COINistas, that kind of campaign takes 10 to 15 years. We've already been in Afghanistan 9 years. The American public is not going to put up with having our troops fighting in Afghanistan for 20-25 years.

COIN as played by McChrystal and Petraeus also presumes that there is a legitimate and competent civilian government ready to move in once a population is secure. That's not happening any time soon.

In short, Obama needs a general who understands the difference between what he might want, and what the realities dictate. McChrystal is apparently not that man. When told that he can't have everything, he doesn't say, "I'm sorry sir, but I'm not your man." He grabs the glory of cammand, and snipes about his superiors behind their back. This is not smart and it's not honorable. It sets a terrible example for the troops and undermines their morale and confidence in their mission.

In view of everything, McChrystal just bought the farm by shooting himself through the mouth. It's a tragedy.

Are there civilians who also demonstrate a lack of understand and commitment regarding Obama's Afghanistan approach? Clearly. However, they do not serve in the military chain of command, so the context and implications are very different.

Posted by: j3hess | June 22, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Gen McChrystal should offer his resignation to the president. If the president accepts, then fine. If he does not accept, then Gen McChrystal should outline his needs, and immediately obtain from the president, precise timelines when troops and equipment will be in country. Further, based on McChrystal' experience, he should ask for rules of engagement that will ENSURE WINNING. If the President refuses, then McChrystal -- with respect -- should advise the President that he is resigning his post, and will retire effective 1 July 2010.

Posted by: wheeljc | June 22, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

McChrystol needs to be reminded that he was not elected president, he does not decide policy and he serves at the pleasure of the President. I suspect that Mr. Obama will see to it that the reminder is firmly made.

Posted by: sassafrasnewport | June 22, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget that Obama IS the Commander in Chief. McChrystal's job is to follow orders.
Lincoln worked his way through McClelland and Burnside before realizing Grant was his guy.
I don't believe he should be fired, but the President needs to know whether McChrystal can work with the administration. If he cannot, he should resign.

Posted by: ripper368 | June 22, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Blame Obama for what McChrystal said?

Are you serious?

Any General who is a true general if he isn't happy with the plan then he should just resign.

Posted by: maritza1 | June 22, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

There is absolutely no, repeat no excuse for General McCrystal's remarks, period. The fact that many of the comments are attributed to his staff tells me, as a retired Marine officer, those types of comments were condoned by the general. If they would say those things in front of a reporter you can bet the farm that they had said similar things in front of the "Boss."

Posted by: blpeyton | June 22, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

These administration-military kerfuffles are where the GOP shows its contempt for the Constitution. When did the GOP develop this schoolgirl yearning for a military junta to run the United States?

It's scary to think that if some drunk senile syphillitic clown in a generals uniform stormed up Pennsylvania Avenue on tank waving a half gallon of Johnny Walker, about a quarter of the country would rush to crown him Emperor.

Posted by: BurfordHolly | June 22, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Jackson, you are a deluded fool. Do you know anything about the chain of command here?

Posted by: billybobtweed | June 22, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Who is this idiot Diehl?

Insubordination as outlined in the Uniform Code of Military Justice:

Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
.........

McChrystal is clearly in violation of the UCMJ.

But yeah, Diehl, let's blame President Obama?

Fred Hiatt should be horsewhipped for printing this trash.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | June 22, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Not following orders is one thing and making unflattering comments is another. It will be a testament to his thin-skinned nature and disdain of criticism for Obama to raise the later to the level of the former in order to justify firing the general in the middle of a war

Posted by: dummypants | June 22, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?
Economy/Jobs: 40
Oil Spill in Gulf: 13
Health Care: 5
Budget Deficit/Nat’l Debt: 5
>>>>>> War/Iraq/Afghanistan: 3 <<<<<<<
Immigration: 3
Moral Values/Family Values: 2

McCrystal needs to quit being such a diva

Posted by: BurfordHolly | June 22, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

My experience in the military taught me one thing: most people in the military are dopes.

Posted by: aliancia | June 22, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Diehl obviously lives in an alternate universe. Not even an apology from McChrystal will suffice. Article 88 of the Unified Military Code means that McChrystal is a gonner, out the door, fired....

Posted by: bonncaruso | June 22, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I agree with blpeyton. When you are in charge your aides follow the model you set and condone. I am more disappointed in the thought process of the general and his staff than anything they said or have done. How arrogant and foolish are you to make comments like "clown" and "wounded animal" about important members of the team to a reporter. Shows very poor judgement in my opinion. I think the arrogance is summed up in the quote of the discussion between the president and McCrystal where the aide uses the term "the boss" and is refering to McCrystal. That sounds a lot like General Almond in Korea...

Posted by: SFcapsfan | June 22, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Easy fix, fire Eikenberry and McChrystal. (Holbrooke hasn't REALLY done anything wrong.) Then make McChrystal the Ambassador to Afghanistan. See how he adapts to the diplomatic side of the COIN doctrine he's supposedly professes to love.

Posted by: jebeasley | June 22, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

McChrystal has precious little to gripe about. Obama chose McChrystal's strategy, and gave him the troops he wanted. You can't make the mess Obama's just because Obama gave the general a reasonable target date for being in a position to start drawing down troops. That doesn't make the strategy incoherent, guarantee failure, explain McChrystal's strategic blunders, or much of anything else. McChrystal is launching preemtive attacks at the folks who are increasingly unimpressed with HIS execution of HIS plan, with all the troops HE asked for. Not that the snipers shouldn't also be smacked on a few wrists, but they're just politicians outside the chain of command. McChrystal reports to Obama, Obama gave the keys to McChrystal, and McChrystal has no business blaming Obama for driving the car into a ditch.

Posted by: JoeT1 | June 22, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of the conflicting opinions on Afghanistan strategy, this is not the first instance of questionable actions by McCrystal and it's about time someone jerked this guy's chain.

This is the same man whose underlings in his command were found guilty of numerous abuses of prisoners in Iraq and he paid no price for that. He also was the man probably most responsible for the dog and pony show the Pentagon trotted out to cover the real causes of Pat Tillman's death and concoct a story for public consumption that made him into a "hero" instead. Again, not held accountable. Is it any surprise this guy is a loose cannon???

From Wikipedia:

McChrystal was put in charge of paperwork to award Tillman a posthumous Silver Star for valor. On April 28, 2004, six days after Tillman's death, McChrystal approved a final draft of the Silver Star recommendation and submitted it to the acting Secretary of the Army, even though the medal recommendation deliberately omitted any mention of friendly fire, included the phrase "in the line of devastating enemy fire," and was accompanied by fabricated witness statements.

Put this guy at a desk in the basement counting bullets and pull his command.”

Posted by: Johnbo | June 22, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of the conflicting opinions on Afghanistan strategy, this is not the first instance of questionable actions by McCrystal and it's about time someone jerked this guy's chain.

This is the same man whose underlings in his command were found guilty of numerous abuses of prisoners in Iraq and he paid no price for that. He also was the man probably most responsible for the dog and pony show the Pentagon trotted out to cover the real causes of Pat Tillman's death and concoct a story for public consumption that made him into a "hero" instead. Again, not held accountable. Is it any surprise this guy is a loose cannon???

From Wikipedia:

McChrystal was put in charge of paperwork to award Tillman a posthumous Silver Star for valor. On April 28, 2004, six days after Tillman's death, McChrystal approved a final draft of the Silver Star recommendation and submitted it to the acting Secretary of the Army, even though the medal recommendation deliberately omitted any mention of friendly fire, included the phrase "in the line of devastating enemy fire," and was accompanied by fabricated witness statements.

Put this guy at a desk in the basement counting bullets and pull his command.”

Posted by: Johnbo | June 22, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of the conflicting opinions on Afghanistan strategy, this is not the first instance of questionable actions by McCrystal and it's about time someone jerked this guy's chain.

This is the same man whose underlings in his command were found guilty of numerous abuses of prisoners in Iraq and he paid no price for that. He also was the man probably most responsible for the dog and pony show the Pentagon trotted out to cover the real causes of Pat Tillman's death and concoct a story for public consumption that made him into a "hero" instead. Again, not held accountable. Is it any surprise this guy is a loose cannon???

From Wikipedia:

McChrystal was put in charge of paperwork to award Tillman a posthumous Silver Star for valor. On April 28, 2004, six days after Tillman's death, McChrystal approved a final draft of the Silver Star recommendation and submitted it to the acting Secretary of the Army, even though the medal recommendation deliberately omitted any mention of friendly fire, included the phrase "in the line of devastating enemy fire," and was accompanied by fabricated witness statements.

Put this guy at a desk in the basement counting bullets and pull his command.”

Posted by: Johnbo | June 22, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of the conflicting opinions on Afghanistan strategy, this is not the first instance of questionable actions by McCrystal and it's about time someone jerked this guy's chain.

This is the same man whose underlings in his command were found guilty of numerous abuses of prisoners in Iraq and he paid no price for that. He also was the man probably most responsible for the dog and pony show the Pentagon trotted out to cover the real causes of Pat Tillman's death and concoct a story for public consumption that made him into a "hero" instead. Again, not held accountable. Is it any surprise this guy is a loose cannon???

From Wikipedia:

McChrystal was put in charge of paperwork to award Tillman a posthumous Silver Star for valor. On April 28, 2004, six days after Tillman's death, McChrystal approved a final draft of the Silver Star recommendation and submitted it to the acting Secretary of the Army, even though the medal recommendation deliberately omitted any mention of friendly fire, included the phrase "in the line of devastating enemy fire," and was accompanied by fabricated witness statements.

Put this guy at a desk in the basement counting bullets and pull his command.”

Posted by: Johnbo | June 22, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Let us never forget that in 2001 the entire world was ready to back the US in routing the taliban from Afghanistan, and help us biuld a stable nation there. but bush and the neocons had their eye on Iraq for more than a decade while the country was being responsibly governed and saw 9/11 as the BIG CHANCE to finally justify the unjustifiable -- invading a soveriegn nation that posed no threat t the US, but one that was loaded with oil.
So...instead of doing the job in Afgahnistan bush and the neo cons lied us into the debacle known as the Iraq War, and let Afgahnistan fester, allowed the Taliban and Qeda plenty of time to regroup, retrain, rearm, and build up a vast network. And now we are stuck with two messes hen this war should have been finished in 2002, and Iraqnam should never have been started. And think also before your bleat out the fux news "but saddam is gone" nonsense. saddam would be gone by now regardless. He would today be in his mid 70s, and would either have been assassinated or deposed. WITHOUT US taxpayers shelling out trillions. WITHOUT more than 5,000 dead US soldiers. WITHOUT more than 35,000 US wounded. And WITH the the Taliban and Qaeda distant memories.

You righties like to say you can't blame bush and the republicons -- but there is no way not to. They made such a balls up of the entire world there is no way President Obama could fix it all in 1 1/2 years, especially wth 40 ashwholes shouting "nonnonononononono" in unison in the seante every time anything comes for a vote.

Posted by: John1263 | June 22, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

It's way off base to suggest that this is somehow Obama's fault. What part of commander in chief does McChrystal not understand? This is a clear case of military insubordination, as defined by the UCMJ.

Posted by: chi-town | June 22, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

More from Diehl, the neo-con.

Hey Diehl, was it BUSH/CHENEY'S FAULT NO WMDs WERE FOUND IN IRAQ? SHOULD THEY HAVE RESIGNED?

Posted by: B-rod | June 22, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Obama should resign if anyone does. And if he does not, then Obama should be impeached. He is destroying our country.

Posted by: grannysunni | June 22, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Don't blame X, blame Obama

boy that's a new one from you...

Posted by: stikyfingas | June 22, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Diehl is confused.

"If anyone deserves blame for the latest airing of the administration’s internal feuds over Afghanistan, it is President Obama." - he says.

Agreed.

However, it is not the prerogative of a general to air such internal feuds over the pages of a Rolling Stones. For that, the general needs to be given his marching orders.

Posted by: ashrink | June 22, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Ahem. Article 88 of the UCMJ dictates that McChrystal should face a court-martial. Period.

The above is not an opinion. It's a fact. The author is clearly ignorant of military matters and so he has no business writing this column. Your paper needs to work on it's fact checking, which is why I use it to line my bird cage.

Mr. Deihl, if you knew what was good for you, you'd thank heaven that opinion column writing hacks such as yourself are not held to the same standards of conduct as a uniformed officer.

Regards.
David John

Posted by: flamingRedDingo | June 22, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Why is that neo-cons like Mr. Diehl have such a hard time understanding and accepting the U.S. Constitution and the UCMJ? This character trait is very dangerous for democracy.

Posted by: BBear1 | June 22, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

It's way off base to suggest that this is somehow Obama's fault. What part of commander in chief does McChrystal not understand? This is a clear case of military insubordination, as defined by the UCMJ.

Posted by: chi-town | June 22, 2010 3:00 PM |

=======================================

I think GEN McCrystal needs to be relieved. That being said, it is perfectly fair to ask just what the hell is going on with the ISAF/White House/NSC/State Dept with all these feuds and news leaks.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 22, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the neocons and right-wingers have become really transparent, haven't they? I guess Democratic Commanders in Chief aren't deserving of the same respect as Republican CiCs? Can one even imagine the exploding heads on Fox News, etc. if this had been a Republican president and administration being disrespected in this way? I'm pretty sure there would even be cries of "treason" heard.

Posted by: mpl2 | June 22, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

McChrystal was wrong to talk candidly to Rolling Stone, but I hope he doesn't get fired. That could be fatal to our already failing war effort. We have a dysfunctional diplomatic effort, contractors paying protection money to the Taliban, Pakistani intelligence openly collaborating with the Taliban, corrupt Afghan officials playing both sides, an announcement that we'll begin withdrawing our troops next summer, overly restrictive rules of engagement that are costing American lives, and a disengaged, indecisive Commander in Chief. The Kandahar offensive is supposed to begin shortly. Things are so screwed up through little fault of McChrystal that we can't afford to change commanders right now.

Posted by: eoniii | June 22, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

In the article, McCrystal was not really being critical of Obama directly or indirectly

So let's just stop

It is silly to make an issue out of this article

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | June 22, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

We're seeing here a dangerous trait in Professor Obama. He has amazing oratory skills, he has the vision we need, he can bring people together. This is yet another situation that has built to a crisis while he has just does nothing significant until it's almost too late. Then it's a mad scramble, he gets less than he could have if he'd been engaged from the start, and all sides are annoyed he left it to almost failure. The stimulus, health care, the oil spill, are just three examples. The situation in Afghanistan yet another.

Obama allowed the management situation to get so bad that he now has to choose which is the lesser wound -- keep McChrystal with the weakening of Obama's authority as CinC, or fire McChrystal and damage the operations planned and our relations with the Afghan and Pakistani leadership. It's like choosing death by firing squad or by hanging. Neither one is good. With really no one to blame but himself.

I supported Obama, voted for him. But he keeps coming off as a detached Professor watching a computer simulation, and only at the last moment does it seem to dawn on him that this is freaking REALITY.

This repeated behaviour of his is why I think that, instead of being seen in time as a great President who accomplished great things, he'll be seen as a possibly one-term mediocre President who never even tried to live up to his potential and rhetoric.

Sad, really.

Posted by: lmb02 | June 22, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

What's the "thin-skinned" community organizer to do, coz he got dissed!

Posted by: cschotta1 | June 22, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Jackson Diehl is one more Neocon who never served in the military, and doesn't understand at all why the chain of command is critical to military effectiveness.

Posted by: sr31 | June 22, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Jackson Diehl is one more Neocon who never served in the military and doesn't understand at all why obedience to the chain of command is critical to military effectiveness.

Posted by: sr31 | June 22, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Jackson Diehl either has no understanding of the military's role in our society, or he would prefer the President to be subordinate to a general who isn't even the top ranking officer in the Army, and doesn't have the guts to admit it.

McChrystal should be relieved of his command, no ifs, ands, or buts. The current policy isn't working, but his own ideas for Afghanistan will be at least as unsuccessful anyway.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | June 22, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Not one more American should lose his life in Afganistan or Iraq. The Taliban have clearly won this war by bringing the U.S close to economic ruin. Karzai runs and the U.S supports a country whose sole product is drugs. Now that seems against everything the U.S stands for....doesn't it?

Iraq and Afghans do not want the U.S there....Americans don't want to be there, Obama doesn't want them there.....it's time to be brave a leave these countries to whoever wants them. We don't need their oil or their drugs.

What a political and financial mess.

Posted by: taylordon | June 22, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

who are you kidding? . . . Democrats know whose fault this really is -- it's George Bush's fault!

Posted by: RBCrook | June 22, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I read the RS article and from what I can gather, McChrystal has been given full rein to run COIN. Apparently it ain't workin' the way he wants it to. The boots on the ground are complaining they have to hold back, but the orders are apparently getting skewed from McChrystal on down.
This war smells so much like Vietnam it's nauseating. End it now, and bring 'em all home before we have another tragic, and unnecessary loss of life.

Posted by: oskar1921 | June 22, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Diehl your an idiot!

You take an oath to preserve, protect, defend and obey. There is no mock or discredit clause in that simple statement. You can disagree silently however you cross the line when you verbalize your disagreement or contempt, essentially you have violated the trust your superiors have given you. It's as simple as that. Although the Armed Forces of the United States defends liberty and democracy, the institution is NOT a democracy, its what separates us from the rest of you!

Although I did not always agree w/the POTUS during my active duty days, I never would verbalize my disagreement to the extent that it would jeopardize my creditability and or judgment an as officer in the United States Navy.


Posted by: TippyCanoe | June 22, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

McChrystal is not being "undermined". For crying out loud, this is a democracy. Everyone gets to make the case for their position. He made his case, Biden made his and then the President decided in McChrystal's favor. And in return, all Obama gets from McChrystal is whining and complaining. Who knew generals were such a bunch of thin skinned snivelers? McChrystal has been given 30,000 troops and carte blance to run the war according to his COIN world view. Now that things are going sideways, he is looking to create excuses so he has his aides run to the press to shed crocodile tears on his behalf.

Posted by: cminmd1 | June 22, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Obama will never make a decision. Sol Alinsky's Rules fail the final test: leadership and decisiveness.
If Obama cannot tame his Administration's divisions, why do you think he will act one way or the other with the General? He is tongue-tied and hamstrung when decisions are called for.
Being Commander in Chief, without qualifications, means the title is up for grabs.
Every civilian in the White House, including the gaffe laden Joe Biden, is grabbing for the title, or how to influence Obama to his or her way of thinking.
Don't belive me. How many czars are required to make government work. None. But Obama has them trippinig over each other and he stands on a lofty hill admiring his work.

Posted by: Longdrycreek | June 22, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Can any of the posters, please tell me how the comments in this article "puts our soldiers at risk"? Obama pretending to fight the war while tying our military's hands is putting our soldiers at risk. Having politicians call the shots and not listening to our military experts puts our military at risk.

Just watched the editor of Rolling Stone on msnbc. This was based on comments during a several month period while the reports followed McChrystal. Most of the comments (quips) were made by the staff and "unnamed sources". Reprimand, yes. Firing, no.

Posted by: bethg1841 | June 22, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Diehl is SO wrong! Obama is his CIC and to go to a magazine whining and complaining is cause to be FIRED!!! I realize that there was drinking on a long ride which is all the more reason to control his tongue!!!! ANY OTHER PRESIDENT WOULD FIRE HIM IMMEDIATELY regardless of his apologies. What a moral blunder of this guy. Unbelievable but then with the nasty partisian politics in D>C anything goes aparently. What a joke we must be to the world who respects Obama and admires his fresh LEADERSHIP. Obama sure has to have THIck Skin.

Posted by: phylb123 | June 22, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Obama cured cancer. He can FLY. Each of his three heads speaks a different language.

Posted by: BeauTochs | June 22, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

To the conservative ignoramus Longdrycreek at 3:43 - if you're going to post mindless cookie-cutter talking points on news sites at the command of your right-wing puppet masters, at least learn to spell the man's name correctly. It's "Saul" Alinsky, not "Sol"

Posted by: dwt301 | June 22, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Wow Diehl you are such a disingenuous snarky jerk. This is not about 'tensions' between the military and the White House. If you READ the entire article you would see it's about disrespect to his commanding officer. You and your ilk criticize absolutely EVERYTHING about Obama...even if you contradict yourself. You call yourself a 'patriotic American' and everyone else 'partisan'. Honest to God. And just HOW do you propose that we come together as a country? Oh I KNOW...elect Republicans.

Posted by: Mego1 | June 22, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

That stupid Obama, thinking that he is Commander in Chief. MacArthur and Truman could tell him how to run things.

Posted by: Matt36 | June 22, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

the removal of a competent general in the middle of a mission puts soldier's lives in danger. This is a CONCRETE result of removing the General now.

Obama and Biden's public images are NOT more important than the lives of American soldiers.

I wonder how many people who like to say they support the troops are just paying them lip service? You can't say you support the troops, then in the next breath say you support removing the most competent combat General in our Army over some hurt feelings.

Posted by: rls1188 | June 22, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Diehl hates America.

And this article proves it.

Posted by: WillSeattle | June 22, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

The counter insurgency (COIN) approach is not working in Afghanistan. All of the building projects, repair projects, infrastructure improvments, and rules of engagements designed to win the hearts and minds has not swayed the Afghans.

The proper strategy for Afghanistan is whack-a-mole. Go away, let it fester. When it is bad, return and bomb them back into the stone age, then leave again.

Change will not come to Afghanistan until the people themselves desire it. No amount of carrots on sticks will steer them towards democracy. The people themselves need to tire of opium opression and rigid women-hating culture.

McChrystal is the standard bearer for COIN. All of those resources poured into Afghanistan mean nothing now that the enemy is in Pakistan. It is time to try a different approach. McChrystal's political suicide is an appropriate time for a policy shift away from nation building, and into punitive military missions.

I would argue that Obama's hands off approach to Afghanistan is probably his biggest success so far in his presidency. This is because success is inversely proportional to presidential involvement. We can only hope that he remain as distant and uninformed with the next commander as he is with the present one.

Posted by: Wiggan | June 22, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse


The author, Diehl, is attempting to use an egregious incident of military insubordination to make a political point.

Posted by: brickerd | June 22, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

So according to you McCrystal should fire Obama. That's not how it works Diehl.

Posted by: repudar711 | June 22, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

He should resign or be fired for his stupidity not his insubordination. How stupid can one be, allowing a mole, like a journalist, to spend time with him and his associates and record all their intimate discussions.. He did not learn from Michael Jackson and the Pakistani Journalist he invited to his ranch or from the movie "Almost Famous".... I guess people only learn from their own mistakes..

Posted by: naim00 | June 22, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

meaton11 and bbface21, like so many other crackpots, keep referring to the supposed inadequacy of the Gulf Coast response that they have been told to be angry about by Fox "News". I'm just sort of curious about what an appropriate response would have looked like to people like meaton11 and bbface21. Obama in a flight suit on the deck of the Deepwater Horizon? Perhaps a nuclear bomb dropped on the gushing well (as other right-wingers have suggested). Enlighten me. What would an appropriate response have looked like to the right wing?

Posted by: chert | June 22, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Jackson Diehl is the forefront of neo-con thinking from the Post's editorial page. Never in uniform, seemingly oblivious to the import of a Rolling Stone piece that McChrystal never should never have given without authorization, in the midst of a war that has claimed 1100 Americans dead and 300 Brits, and many others.

What is it that he does not get when Hamid Karzai is the only pol who backs McChrystal? Hey, in Afghanistan you can't do better than that! COIN worked once, in Malaysia, many, many years ago, and never since. We've been in Afghanistan for nine years. How many longer? I know it's not in a general's playbook to lose wars, but this one is lost and McChrystal should speak truth to power and not to the Rolling Stone.

What an intellectual coward and how stupid are his "aides?"!

Posted by: harper-d | June 22, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Jackson Diehl is the forefront of neo-con thinking from the Post's editorial page. Never in uniform, seemingly oblivious to the import of a Rolling Stone piece that McChrystal never should never have given without authorization, in the midst of a war that has claimed 1100 Americans dead and 300 Brits, and many others.

What is it that he does not get when Hamid Karzai is the only pol who backs McChrystal? Hey, in Afghanistan you can't do better than that! COIN worked once, in Malaysia, many, many years ago, and never since. We've been in Afghanistan for nine years. How many longer? I know it's not in a general's playbook to lose wars, but this one is lost and McChrystal should speak truth to power and not to the Rolling Stone.

What an intellectual coward and how stupid are his "aides?"!

Posted by: harper-d | June 22, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

If for one moment people think that their military officers including generals are always right and it must be someones fault other than the military's strategy, then they have never been in the armed service. These people like all others do remarkable things and also make arrogant mistakes. For Diehl to blame Obama would be like me blaming Obama for Diehl's stupidity.

Posted by: jrussell1 | June 22, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The very first comment pretty much says it. Diehl is either being willfully ignorant of the rules of the game when it comes to a president and a general, or he's just ignorant, period.

Posted by: oldionus | June 22, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

McCrystal should be demoted,if not fired.

Let's hope Obama grows a set,demotes him ASAP

Posted by: newagent99 | June 22, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I have heard about enough comments from generals who say the next review in December won't amount to much either. The US citizens and the US Congress will tell you if it amounts to much.

Posted by: repudar711 | June 22, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

All this hand handed rhetoric is frankly silly. The war in Afghanistan ended when a pull-out date was set. The Taliban and their allies just sit and wait. When we're gone, they'll have the whole country in nothing flat. Just ask the North Vietnamese how well this works. The public is unengaged and uninterested in this conflict. The Afghan people made their biggest mistake if they thought we were there to stay.

Posted by: lewpubco | June 22, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Afghanistan: Whose country is it anyway?

Posted by: repudar711 | June 22, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"This column is a joke, right? No one could say such incredibly stupid things with a straight face." I could not agree more. This column is stupid. It's times like this that I wonder why I subscribe to the Post. Who is this clown Diehl?

Posted by: hmrc1 | June 22, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

The United States should pull out of Afghanistan... NOW.

obama has already told the Taliban when they can come in and take over; To keep US troops there just for political show is criminal. Next Summer, the Taliban gets Afghanistan, and the US Troops come home.

Then we hide... huddle... cower... until the next 9/11.

Posted by: wilsan | June 22, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

This is another example of the neo-con version of reality in which up is down, black is white and right is wrong. In the neo-con world, our civilian president must beg forgiveness of the military general who is obviously guilty of insubordination. Did Truman apologize to McArthur? Of course not. He fired his ass.

Posted by: spike3905 | June 22, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I thought noone was going to top McCrystal for stupidity today. Diehl managed to do it. The difference is that noon expected anything different from Diehl. We did from McCrystal.

Posted by: withersb | June 22, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

@37thand0street at 3:22

Are you nuts? Did you even read the article? Do you have any idea what the discussion is about?

Are you one of those Republicans who puts pinups of military generals on his wall?

Posted by: Dissecting_Table | June 22, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Much like the war in Vietnam Afghanistan has no front line from which an Army can organize behind. Similarly the Afghan people are inconsistently loyal one day to the Taliban, one day to their own government and if luck is in one day they may be loyal also to the Allied and U.S. Troops. It is no easy task to fight such a war esp with the mountainous terrain that Afghanistan has for the most part.
That said, there never will be an excuse for any military person, enlisted, NCO, junior or senior officers and esp. a general to make such statements or insinuations of his commanding officer - the President nor anyone in his cabinet. This is not politics but the law as others above have written. What this behavior shows me is that the General does not have control over his aides much less senior troops of his command. MacArthur learned the hard way and this may be be best for the President to make such a decision. I believe the General should stay with a good rear chewing but those under him who made the statements brought forth in the article, should see their Army retirement papers now positioned in front of them. Too many Americans are standing by the sidelines aligned esp. with their Republican colleagues to know anything of the military much less leadership in the military. In a nutshell too many of them have diarrhea of the mouth with their mocking of this President!

Posted by: davidmswyahoocom | June 22, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope Obama grows a set,demotes him ASAP

Posted by: newagent99 | June 22, 2010 4:29 PM

=====================================

Right now he's "leaving his options open." So I guess not quite yet.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 22, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Beyond issues of strategy, the issues here are 1. A stunning lack of judgment and discipline on the part of McChrystal and his juniors; 2. something damn close to rank insubordination.

Obama didn't force McChrystal or his staff to get boozed up on Bud Lite "Limes" while shooting their mouths off.

Posted by: JPRS | June 22, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

It's not about Obama, it's about the military rule of conduct and Diehl doesn't get it. Diehl has been wrong many many times before. See http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/04/sb-20070429swyl

Posted by: voiceofreason24 | June 22, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Shorter Jackson Diehl: It's all the n*gger's fault.

Posted by: PeterPrinciple | June 22, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Our Man Flint do you think? Every time one of these ___ goes off the reservation, he is the only man in the military that can get the job done! Same story line? Let them answer why the last superpower can get out of Afghanistan or Iraq before they criticize someone else.

We went through this before with McChrystal, when he did not like the Afghan troop response. He should go and he should go now! Diehl could actually sit and write that McChrystal speaking completely out of turn is somehow Obama's fault. Rachel Maddow spoke of the Obama Derangement Syndrome as evidene by Rep. Barton and apparently it is spreading fast

Posted by: concerned13 | June 22, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm just sort of curious about what an appropriate response would have looked like to people like meaton11 and bbface21. Obama in a flight suit on the deck of the Deepwater Horizon? Perhaps a nuclear bomb dropped on the gushing well (as other right-wingers have suggested). Enlighten me. What would an appropriate response have looked like to the right wing?

Posted by: chert | June 22, 2010 4:22 PM

=======================================

This is a little dated but David Gergen of CNN offered what I thought was good advice:

Gergen: Mr. President, take command
http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2010/06/01/gergen-mr-president-take-command/

Posted by: bbface21 | June 22, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Obama No comparison to Lincoln because LINCOLN wanted VICTORY!

Obama is fighting a "War" with our General
Secondly Obama is fighting a "war" with oil spill.

Obama is fighting a "war" with Arizona.

Obama is fighting a "war" with oil drilling moratorium.

All of Obama's enemies are AMERICANS!!!!!!!

Posted by: kalamere | June 22, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

tHE VOICE OF LIBERALISM:

End this stupid war now. Now! And bring me back some good heroin.

Posted by: johng1 | June 22, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: kalamere | June 22, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Had a discussion at work with some very conservative retired officers (all of us fomrmer field grade officers from every service) and here's a few points. The President must simultaneously "take charge" and lead the effort on the economy, the gulf disaster, the war in Afghanistan, draw down Iraq, deal with wacko states in Iran and North Korea, homeland security, immigration just to name a few --- ok folks which one of those is the President's number one priority? Whichever one flares the hottest at the given time? So the President entrusts a presumed trusted General to take charge of the operation in Afghanistan. He provides just about everything that McChrystal has asked for and was given a smart salute and a can do from the guy and then more then ample room in which to operate. This isn't some brigade, battalion or company commander who needs close supervision; this is a guy who is the equivalent of a geographic combatant commander, given unprecedented freedom to act in the best interests of the United States under broad guidance. Part of that arrangement requires this senior officer to work in harmony with the political leadership of the United States government and our coalition and host nation leaders. Apparently Diehl thinks that the military shouldn't have to do that? The military is not in the lead of a unified action response and McChrystal's inability to work well with others is a knock on him and not the President. So to sum up, the President gives you unprecedented freedom to operate (something cherished by every commander at every level) and you reward that faith with petty backbiting comments? Give me a break. McChrystal doesn't deserve the post and has brought dishonor on the soldiers, Marines, sailors, and airmen he leads. Intolerable.

Posted by: army164 | June 22, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

By the way Diehl, if you were half as smart as you think you are you would realize that the problem in Afghanistan isn't McChrystal or Eikenberry or Obama or Biden or Jones or anyone else in the United States Government. The problem in Afghanistan is a corrupt national government and an incompetent if not non-existent local government structure.

Posted by: army164 | June 22, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama's fault?

The Presidents fault.

Dude ... how long you been in the Army?

Posted by: pressF1 | June 22, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

"Don't blame McChrystal, blame Obama"

You must be kidding!!
December 2001, cheney and rumsfeld surrender to the Taliban and let OBL escape in Tora Bora.
Then they completely abandon Afghanistan to invade Iraq for imaginary WMD.

They left Afghanistan and showered $BILLION$ on Musharraf to keep OBL in Pakistan only to have Musharraf use the money to antagonize India.

We know GWB was clueless but cheney and rumsfeld should have known better but the smell of Iraq's oil was to strong.
But they got one of their wishes; skyrocketing oil prices.

Posted by: knjincvc | June 22, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Fire him.

Posted by: henryvu | June 22, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Fire him.

Posted by: henryvu | June 22, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

OK, whether McChrystal ought to go or not, Diehl ought to be fired for utter incompetence.

For your historic edification, think back to the time in the Civil War after Antietam and before Grant. The McClellan clique was getting VERY outspoken. So one of the authentic heroes of the early part of the war, Fitz John Porter, a highly competent, commander given to VERY hard fighting failed, (for quite valid reasons) to properly support troops under John Pope, and thanks to that competent decision Pope took a serious stomping.

Porter, unfortunately, was a voluble McClellan man, and given to letting the press know his opinion of Abraham Lincoln. As a result, he was cashiered for dereliction of duty in being very laggard in going to Popes aid. He never got back in the Army. After a few other, lesser, Generals and Colonels got reassigned for such insubordination and one other senior officer got fired by Burnside, open rebellion on the part of federal Commanders ceased.

I can conceive of some interesting reason why McChrystal might have been given leave by gates or Obama to air dirty laundry in public, so I will make this a qualified statement, but, in the context of Diehl's McArthurian defense of McChrystal, given all the puffery in this article, McChrystal ought to take a permanent vacation before every one of his bosses odmans it to see just who gets to fire him.

No Commander, no matter how "IMPORTANT", including Dougout Doug himself has the authority, right, or privilege to give an interview like this one on his own hook.

Unless this interview was authorized at White House level and was planned beforehand, McChrystal needs to retire quietly to some somewhat remote place well buried in a military base and never again take phone calls from anyone not his immediate family.

Posted by: ceflynline | June 22, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Even if you buy Diehl's assertion that President Obama has allowed unhealthy dissent within Team Afghanistan, that doesn't excuse the lack of judgment and professional decorum this general demonstrated (plus allowing a toxic, obstructionist culture to grow in his team). This is the guy's 4th (at least) major gaffe/lack of judgment, in a position where one is too many.

Posted by: tjconnor | June 22, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

What nonsense. No wonder they keep moving Diehl around the building.

Posted by: bikobiko | June 22, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Whose ass to kick?

*McChrystal's*

Posted by: Evenfoolsarerightsometimes | June 22, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I read the Rolling stone article. As a retired career Judge Advocate, the general and his whole coterie in Paris and on the trip shouldn't be fired but be court-martialed for contempt toward officials ( art 88--Biden) and conduct unbecomming an officer for starters. They were a disgrace to the military and the message needs to be sent that conduct such as that will never be tolerated--it's not only the words but the actions-- e.g. drunk in public.

If they were elisted they'd already be under charges.

Posted by: LRH2 | June 22, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

McChrystal sees failure on the horizon and, with an eye on history, is looking for scapegoats.

Posted by: politbureau | June 22, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

We are supposedly fighting a war over there and yet no one representing us seems to be on the same page: McChrystal, Eikenberry, Holbrooke, and of course the Gaffemaster (Biden). All this talking out of school is particularly destructive when we have a combat mission. Senator McCain is right: start with a clean slate and get rid of ALL of them. (Of course I realize you're stuck with Biden --- but there is an elegant and inexpensive off-the-shelf solution: muzzles are readily available in most quality pet stores.)

Some unity at the command level and some clear and coherent objectives are the absolute minimum that the troops over there deserve.

Posted by: prosecutor1 | June 22, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

.
"... the counterinsurgency approach that succeeded over the last three years in Iraq ..."

yer delusional, Jack.
.

Posted by: BrianX9 | June 22, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

No, you're wrong. There is no way we can have this crap from a general in war-time. You're an idiot. I'm sorry, it's true

Posted by: michael5 | June 22, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Obama clearly doesn't mind a World with a few US Soldiers bodies laying around on Foreign soil, for no reason.
It does seem to bother the General a great deal when an American soldiers life is wasted by an NPD Sociopathic dual profile nit wit runbning a quagmire while letting the real defense of the USA slide.

Posted by: dottydo | June 22, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that President Obama never wanted to be in Afghanistan in the first place and now, he does not have a strategic plan to win the war. You notice we don't have victory in the administration's vocabulary only containment, this administration never talks about winning. We don't really have any allies in this war, that is a farce. Just like this administration never uses the words terrorists or islamic fundamentalists because I guess by never using the words, they never exhist. He doess not want to worsten the situation, but we only come across as weak. Well, you people voted for inexperience and now you have it.

Posted by: Listening2 | June 22, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I am tired of all these conflicts and mishappenings within our government. Someone has to unite this country again.

Posted by: voice02 | June 22, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Nixon had to stop the war when the soldiers simply walked out.

There is a line behind the General and impeachment sits again at the Whitehouse door knocking.
Nixon opened it, and now so is Obama.

Posted by: dottydo | June 22, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

McChrystal should have resigned some time ago. The poorly thought out revision of the ROE shoved down his throat, basically stripped seasoned NCO's of any latitude in combat, was too bitter a pill for him to swallow. Want to recruit smart enlisted guys in the future? Good luck with that one. Mac does need to resign now. Communicating his displeasure to "Rolling Stone"? Brilliant. Almost as brilliant as policies that have hobbled front line personnel and facilitated US casualties.

Posted by: rlmayville | June 22, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

"Just curious, why is it that the biggest conservative blow-hards have never served in the military, yet for some reason, they mostly pretend to be purely patriotic and TRUE Americans? I think they are a bit cowardly"

Like W and Cheney?

Posted by: DaveNKy | June 22, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

McChrystal should have resigned some time ago. The poorly thought out revision of the ROE shoved down his throat, basically stripped seasoned NCO's of any latitude in combat, was too bitter a pill for him to swallow. Want to recruit smart enlisted guys in the future? Good luck with that one. Mac does need to resign now. Communicating his displeasure to "Rolling Stone"? Brilliant. Almost as brilliant as policies that have hobbled front line personnel and facilitated US casualties.

Posted by: rlmayville | June 22, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Diehl you are trying to thread the eye of a needle with that camel of an argument. It may have being more reasonable to blame The President For not firing McChrystal before now,seeing that he was the odd man out.Without knowing him personally two things give me pause: his role in the Tillman affair and the fact that the corrupt Afghanistan president trust him. Add his lack of success to date, with the plan he crafted.Pres Obama fire this man now he is not a college colleague with Tenure.

Posted by: tone2 | June 22, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

It's amusing to observe all the anti-war, blame-America-first bigots suddenly so concerned about military protocol and chain of command after they've been sliming the military and the mission for the past 9 years.

Posted by: theduke89 | June 22, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Poor General McChrystal! With his bosses General David Petraeus and Admiral Mike Mullen as well as Defense secretary Gates justifying Pakistan’s ‘terrorist connections’, Mullah Mohammed Omar’s QST trail from Quetta to Kandahar is operating unimpeded.

McChrystal himself had warned about Pakistan’s sheltering of Taliban terrorists in his August 2009 report to Obama: Quetta Shura Taliban (QST) based in Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan, is the No. 1 threat to US/NATO mission in Afghanistan. At the operational level, the Quetta Shura conducts a formal campaign review each winter, after which Mullah Mohammed Omar (Afghan Taliban Chief) announces his guidance and intent for the coming year‘.

But US can not even use its drones to destroy QST that is causing daily deaths of US/NATO soldiers in Afghanistan since 2002! That shows Obama’s continuance of Bush’s mollycoddling of Pakistan.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates sought to justify Pakistan’s terrorist connections, alluding to a “deficit of trust” between Washington, DC and Islamabad. Mr Gates also said there was “some justification” for Pakistan's concerns about past American policies. Gen David Patraeus, rushed in with an apologia for his Pakistani friends, by claiming that while Faisal was inspired by militants in Pakistan, he did not necessarily have contacts with the militants. Both Adm Mike Mullen and Gen Patraeus fancy themselves to be “soldier statesmen” a la Gen Dwight Eisenhower. Adm Mullen has visited Pakistan 15 times and Gen Patraeus no less frequently. Both evidently have high opinions of their abilities to persuade Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to crack down on the Haqqani network in North Waziristan and the Taliban’s Mullah Omar-led Quetta Shura.

All American officers in southern Afghanistan know that they cannot prevail in the ongoing military operations, unless Taliban strongholds across the Durand Line in North Waziristan and Baluchistan are neutralized. Adm Mullen and Gen Patraeus evidently do not want to acknowledge that hard options have to be considered if their soldiers are not to die at the hands of radicals, armed and trained across the Durand Line.

With McChrystal’s hands tied by his bosses and Pakistani ISI financing Afghan Taliban insurgency from US financial aid as narrated by Matt Waldman on 6/13/2010 in a report titled 'The sun in the sky' published by London School Of Economics, US military’s Kandahar operation and Afghan mission is headed for failure.

Posted by: martymartel3 | June 22, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

"MacArthur was canned for less."

Yep.

Posted by: therev1 | June 22, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Obama should be mature enough to handle zones of gray as in this matter. No need for McChrystal to go

Posted by: Kingofkings1 | June 22, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Like General Stanley McChrystal says: All of this is Obama's fault. What next? Is Gen. McChrystal going to demand that President Obama apologize to the Taliban?
.
Obama is the boss. The general is his employee. Can you trust an employee like that in Your company?
.

Posted by: pyee | June 22, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Diehl and his fellow neo-cons are similar to the reactionaries who thought MacArthur was justified in being insubordinate to Truman. They seem to think generals, not presidents should be commander-in-chief. Sorry, but very thankfully this is not Napoleonic France.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | June 22, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Listening2

Dear Listening2 would you be so kind as to define victory in Afghanistan. Your terms, Bush's, anyone's I will take any definition you can come up with. What you and Diehl and at least half this country dont realize is there will be NO victory in Afghanistan, just as there is no Victory in Iraq. There will only be some ill-defined less screwed up or more screwed up then it was before. As soon as folks who believe that there is a victory at the end of all of this can define it then perhaps we can head towards it?

Posted by: army164 | June 22, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I agree with what Charles Krauthammer said on the Bill O'Reilly Factor...that is that Obama knows how to talk the talk but he doesn't know diddly about walking the walk! A community organizer does not a President make.

It's got to be so frustrating for General McChrystal to try to operate as a professional soldier under the ignorance of Obama's command.

Posted by: iejanette | June 22, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse


Diehl, You gave a very good assessment of the situation which Obama created by his half-hearted approach to winning in Afghanistan.

The Taliban can bide their time until 2011 when our troops start withdrawing. The Afghan citizens will not cooperate with our military as long as they know that when our troops have left, they will have to face the Taliban retribution.

McCrystal's frustration is that Obama has put our military in a no-win situation.

And that is a situation which Obama himself has created.

The buck stops on Obama's desk.

Posted by: janet8 | June 22, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

"McCrystal is reported returning to Washington for a WH meeting..." It's reported, he might or might be coming?

No, the general was told to get his butt
to a meeting Wednesday To answer to a furious president and vice president. And be fired if they so choose.

Diehl cares not at all, EXCEPT that McCRystal wanted more American troops in
Afghanistan...and ISrael, and therefore
Diehl wants troops nearby.
NOT that Netanyahoo's calculation that American troops and money would back up anything the warmongers of Israel come up with.

Posted by: whistling | June 22, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

chuck dunn (chuck2251) wrote:
WE THE PEOPLE DID NEED THIS,TIRED OF BEING LIED TO BY THE POLITICALLY CORRECT.
DOES OBAMA KNOW LESS ABOUT FIGHTING THE WAR OR BP OIL SPILL???WHY DOES HE THINK HE KNOWS SO MUCH?? MAYBE HIS EXPERIENCE IN OIL DRILLING AND WAR???

. WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO HIDE THE TRUTH FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. WE SUPPORT THE GENERAL.BIDEN DOES NOT KNOW BEANS ABOUT THE WAR.


THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW THE TRUTH,INSTEAD OF THE USUAL POLITICAL CORRECTNESS THE GENERAL KNOWS HOW TO FIGHT A WAR,OBAMA KNOWS HOW TO BE A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER.BIDEN KNOWS EVEN LESS. WHEN MCCHRRYSTAL ASKED FOR 40,000 MORE TROOPS,OBAMA FIDDLED FARTED AROUND AND FINALLY GAVE HIM ONLY 30,000. IT TAKES A LONG WHILE TO ASSEMBLE THAT AMOUNT OF TROOPS. THE GENERAL KNOWS ABOUT WAR AND HAS BEEN IN THE THICK OF IT,WITH COMPETENT ADVISORS. THE CILIVIANS ADVISORS TO TO OBAMA DONT KNOW CRAP. THEY ARE POWER HUNGRY

YOU PEOPLE THAT DONT REALIZE THAT THE GENERAL DID AMERICCA A BIG FAVOR.WHY WOULD LIKE TI LIVE LIKE AN OSTRICH??

Posted by: chuck2251 | June 22, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey Brainiacs (this includes the author of this article). Mc Chrystal is failing at HIS OWN plan. Obama used HIS plan. McChrystal said he could deliver and he hasn't. He wants to be fired. He would rather have the history books say that he was fired for speaking his mind, than he was fired for losing! This is staged and McChrystal is a ego-maniac whose hype doesn't match the performance. Obama is a very smart man - smarter than McChrystal. He won't fire him, he will make him STAY and finish the job he said he could do. Firing him would let him off the hook and we would have to put somebody in there to take up the slack. mcCrystal created this plan not he gets to live with it!@

Posted by: Julescator | June 22, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Jackson Diehl is exhibit A for what a joke the Washington Post editorial page has become. He obviously has absolutely no clue about the military and military service and what that entails. Unfortunately for him, he shot his mouth off before people who actually know something about this weighed in, including his heroes John McCain and Joe Lieberman. Oops!

Jackson, you are a clown and have embarassed yourself royally. It's great to see everyone getting a clear picture of what those in the know have seen for a long time. But don't worry, no matter how ridiculous you are, you apparently will always have a job in a news operation that is completely beyond shame. But if not, you can count on a nice job at AEI and be the brains behind intellectual heavyweights like Eric Cantor. This whole thing is too funny; I just wish the Post had published it in their news pagest so that the asinity would be on full display!

Posted by: cplcespod | June 22, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey Brainiacs (this includes the author of this article). Mc Chrystal is failing at HIS OWN plan. Obama used HIS plan. McChrystal said he could deliver and he hasn't. He wants to be fired. He would rather have the history books say that he was fired for speaking his mind, than he was fired for losing! This is staged and McChrystal is a ego-maniac whose hype doesn't match the performance. Obama is a very smart man - smarter than McChrystal. He won't fire him, he will make him STAY and finish the job he said he could do. Firing him would let him off the hook and we would have to put somebody in there to take up the slack. mcCrystal created this plan not he gets to live with it!@

Posted by: Julescator | June 22, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

The "blame Obama" hooligans have reached new heights of idiocy with this column. McChrystal spoke in knowledge of full attribution. He surely knew there would be consequences. The way Obama has conducted the Afghan war cannot be used as a pretext for conniving at insubordination. McChrystal may be a brilliant commander but his career now lies in ruins, for the simple reason that he cannot be trusted to respect the chain of command. He should resign immediately.

Posted by: irkulyen | June 22, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Diehl, You gave a very good assessment of the situation which Obama created by his half-hearted approach to winning in Afghanistan.

The Taliban can bide their time until 2011 when our troops start withdrawing. The Afghan citizens will not cooperate with our military as long as they know that when our troops have left, they will have to face the Taliban retribution.

McCrystal's frustration is that Obama has put our military in a no-win situation.

And that is a situation which Obama himself has created.

The buck stops on Obama's desk.

Posted by: janet8 | June 22, 2010 9:41 PM
________________________________
Dear janet would you be so kind as to define a "whole-hearted" approach to winning and while you are at it would either you or Diehl define winning (victory)?

Posted by: army164 | June 22, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

So far as I can tell, McChrystal is not a competent general. He got what he wanted from Obama - his strategy and more troops. He said that he could accomplish the goals he outlined, but has yet to do so.

Frankly, nine years and counting of this war is way too much. I question whether or not any of our generals are up to winning this, including Saints Stanley and David. McChrystal should be fired, hell I'd even strip him of a star or two. He and his men were quite free with their contempt for civilian authority to a magazine reporter which shows me that it is common place for them; that he condones and agrees with this sort of talk; and that he lacks sound judgment. He allows insubordination and is himself insubordinate. He knows the rules and has chosen to not abide by them. I think that because he is a general and used to back channeling to game politicians, he thinks he can get away with anything. He can't and shouldn't.

Obama is not the problem. He asked for military advice; received it; made his judgment based on that advice; and expects results. If McChrystal isn't up to the task, and it looks as though he isn't, Obama should find another general to replace him.

Generals are a******* and very political. McChrystal is no different. Things are not going well on his watch and he wants, as all generals do, to blame politicians. Unfortunately, he got everything he wanted and still can't do the job.

Posted by: sydney59602 | June 22, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey Diehl, can you provide us with a copy of your comments when Bush fired Fallon? I also seem to recall the conservatives going oou of their mind when Former generals came out against the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq War. Would you mind providing us with your reactions to that? I don't recall you getting all exercised at Bush firing Fallon or the administration firing back at retired generals who dared to question policy? By the way, tap your buddy Kraut on the shoulder and please pass on those two questions to him as well. So anyway, just curious to see if your pro military and executive office feelings are consistent.

Posted by: army164 | June 22, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

chuck dunn (chuck2251) wrote:
WE THE PEOPLE DID NEED THIS,TIRED OF BEING LIED TO BY THE POLITICALLY CORRECT.
DOES OBAMA KNOW LESS ABOUT FIGHTING THE WAR OR BP OIL SPILL???WHY DOES HE THINK HE KNOWS SO MUCH?? MAYBE HIS EXPERIENCE IN OIL DRILLING AND WAR???

. WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO HIDE THE TRUTH FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. WE SUPPORT THE GENERAL.BIDEN DOES NOT KNOW BEANS ABOUT THE WAR.


THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW THE TRUTH,INSTEAD OF THE USUAL POLITICAL CORRECTNESS THE GENERAL KNOWS HOW TO FIGHT A WAR,OBAMA KNOWS HOW TO BE A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER.BIDEN KNOWS EVEN LESS. WHEN MCCHRRYSTAL ASKED FOR 40,000 MORE TROOPS,OBAMA FIDDLED FARTED AROUND AND FINALLY GAVE HIM ONLY 30,000. IT TAKES A LONG WHILE TO ASSEMBLE THAT AMOUNT OF TROOPS. THE GENERAL KNOWS ABOUT WAR AND HAS BEEN IN THE THICK OF IT,WITH COMPETENT ADVISORS. THE CILIVIANS ADVISORS TO TO OBAMA DONT KNOW CRAP. THEY ARE POWER HUNGRY

YOU PEOPLE THAT DONT REALIZE THAT THE GENERAL DID AMERICCA A BIG FAVOR.WHY WOULD LIKE TI LIVE LIKE AN OSTRICH??

Posted by: chuck2251 | June 22, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse


You've missed the point rather widely. What the general says about ambassadors and the VP (or what they say about him) is one thing - bad mouthing the President is quite another. Maintenance of good order and discipline in the military requires that the general submit his resignation.


Posted by: tm13 | June 22, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Dear janet would you be so kind as to define a "whole-hearted" approach to winning and while you are at it would either you or Diehl define winning (victory)?

Posted by: army164 | June 22, 2010 10:27 PM

------------------------------------------

Sure I'll define it, Army.

Winning would be to make the Taliban and al Quaeda impotent.

To let the people of Afghanistan be free of the oppressive hand of the Taliban.

And I would like to see Karzai replaced as Afghanistan's leader, too. He is also part of the problem. Although we might have to live with that albatross.

McCrystal felt that he could defeat the Taliban and al Quaeda. That's why he asked for more than 20,000 troops, of which he hasn't even received that number.

McCrystal was making strides in western Afghanistan neutralizing the Taliban in that area, but to finish the mission he needs more troops.

Instead he has had to put up with a clueless President, a VP who is equally clueless and a bunch of political appointees who shuffle papers and rubber stamp the President's "non-policies."

Posted by: janet8 | June 22, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

McChrystal is not the President. So as much as he might like to set the course of US military expansion he does not make that call. A lot of generals have an inflated opinion of themselves. They do not understand civilian life in general and obviously some don't know as much about the chain of command either. But they do not boss civilians or the civilian leadership. I only have as much respect for them as they deserve.

Posted by: repudar711 | June 22, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Whatever, the bottom line is no one in the military of his rank and stature should have his staff conversing with a rock magazine. Are you kidding me? And one with a naked Lady GaGa on the cover. How our enemies are rejoicing. They made themselves and the nation look like fools.

Time magazine, maybe even Newsweek. But Rolling Stone? Lord help us.

Posted by: hakafos44 | June 22, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

So how many other journals are doing investigative journalism these days?

Posted by: repudar711 | June 22, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Sebastian Diehl is stupid, even by the Washington Post's dubious standards.

Posted by: thrh | June 22, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Sure I'll define it, Army.

Winning would be to make the Taliban and al Quaeda impotent. To let the people of Afghanistan be free of the oppressive hand of the Taliban.

And I would like to see Karzai replaced as Afghanistan's leader, too. He is also part of the problem. Although we might have to live with that albatross.


______________________________________

al Qaeda is already impotent in Afghanistan. Has been for years now -- so scratch that one.

Perhaps you would like to inform McChrystal that making the Taliban impotent is part of his mission because currently it isn't. He has a limited mission of protecting the population, not hunting down and killing Taliban. Strides in Western Afghanistan where there are virtually no Taliban (as there are very few Pashtuns, from whence the Taliban draw their manpower and resources) is not very impressive and certainly not transferrable to the rest of the country.

As for being free of the oppressive Taliban, ask the people of Afghanistan what's the difference between the Taliban and their present government --- the most common answer is --- not much.

Finally you acknowledge that getting rid of Karzai is necessary because he is part of the problem. I agree but that is also not part of the mission.

In short, unless you get McChrystal and the President to change the mission then your definition of victory is unachievable.

And unless we change the mission set we are wasting lives and treasure.
We can't kill every Taliban and unless we can consolidate gains and turn areas of the country over to an effective and decent government with a police and military that can further protect the population it will only be a few months to a year and the Taliban return. McChrystal's plan requires a ten year commitment and no one, American, NATO, or other coalition partner is willing to invest that amount of blood and treasure.

Posted by: army164 | June 22, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Army, you wrote:

"We can't kill every Taliban and unless we can consolidate gains and turn areas of the country over to an effective and decent government with a police and military that can further protect the population it will only be a few months to a year and the Taliban return."

--------------------------------------

I remember in 2002 we had the Taliban and al Quaeda on the run in Afghanistan, we were making headway in ridding the country of them.

Then, in 2003, Bush decides to invade Iraq, pulled a large amount of troops from Afghanistan to Iraq and being a step-child to Iraq, Afghanistan saw a re-surgence of the Taliban. Our troops were in a holding pattern for the better part of 5 1/2 years and when the mission was again focused in Afghanistan, we were back to square one.

We chased the Taliban out before, we can do it again and this time permanently.

If our forefathers had a defeatist attitude, America would have never been born.

We ARE an exceptional nation because of our "can-do" attitude which has produced many accomplishments of which we should be proud.

Our current leader, Obama, doesn't think so as he has stated we're no better than any other nation.

As long as we have a leader with that attitude, America will not achieve the high level of it's enormous capabilities.

Posted by: janet8 | June 23, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Diehl, let's try a test: You work for that clown Fred Hiatt, who's done more than most to turn this newspaper into a complete joke, a neo-con mouthpiece -- and a financial disaster. Now, I assume you're a good little lickspittle who'd never say anything true, er, "bad", about dear Fred. But let's say you did, to the Washington Times. Let's say the Times caught you whining about all the meetings Fred drags you to, and what a waste they are.

Do you think Fred would let that slide, Diehl? Do you think **any** organization would? And remember, you're just a third-rate hack in a dying company -- there aren't any **real** stakes in your little cloister.

Idiot.

Posted by: SGlover910 | June 23, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

How can anyone blame General McChrystal , for the level of frustration he is experiencing, when he is dealing with a president that is on better terms, and more familiar with , his GOLF CADDY , than the General in command of the War in Afghanistan .

Posted by: swannie3 | June 23, 2010 2:04 AM | Report abuse

McChrystal needs firing for being an incompetent, insubordinate putz-sort of a transgendered whiny Sarah Palin. Can't handle the job, general? Quit.

Posted by: tuonela | June 23, 2010 2:29 AM | Report abuse

McChrystal needs firing for being an incompetent, insubordinate putz-sort of a transgendered whiny Sarah Palin. Can't handle the job, general? Quit.

Posted by: tuonela | June 23, 2010 2:30 AM | Report abuse

If Obama fires the General, he will signal that free speech is only for the left. It would prove Obama is too thin-skinned to tolerate real criticism.

Posted by: surgres | June 23, 2010 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Here's a scoop for Rolling Stone, a distinct majority of American voters think Barack Obama should be dismissed.

Posted by: johnson0572 | June 23, 2010 7:08 AM | Report abuse

So, when Israel screwed up on the high seas, it was Obama who had the problem, and now that McCrystal has screwed up, again Mr Diehl sees it as Obama's problem. I think I could write Diehl's articles myself, since the conclusion is always the same: Obama is always to blame. What a crock, indeed!

Posted by: glenerian | June 23, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

If Obama doesn't fire McChrystal, his image as a Carteresque political weakling will be highlighted, and that will be deadly to all Democrats and his own reelection.

Posted by: stephendclark | June 23, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Look, the reality is that most Americans question McChrystal judgement in voting for this disaster of a President in the first place. What exactly did he expect from No-Show Obama? A wizard of strategy and diplomacy learnt giving ACORN seminars to a bunch of dolts in Chicago? Don't know why he is upset? HE IS ONE OF THOSE who voted for and gave cover to this bunch of anti-military idiots in the first place.

That being said, he is only stating what is common knowledge around the military and the world. Biden has always been a bozo and everyone knows it. And of course,Obama was unprepared for their first meeting, Barry only did it because he was getting some flack to his ego after not meeting with anybody about Afghanistan for the first 6 months of his administration. Barry is the worst man imaginable for the position, he is a childish idealogue who is so lost in his own reality that he HATES when the real world infringes on his fantasy of acting like a President and doing the "things" he has dreamed a marxist President would do.

Posted by: LogicalSC | June 23, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm a conservative and retired military, and I believe McChrystal has to be fired. Obama then needs to get his entire Afghan team into line and on the same game plan. He probably needs to demand the resignation of Jones and some others as well. The larger question though is questioning Obama's competency. He doesn't seem to be able to get along with anyone these days, appears to an indecisive waffler, and does NOT have the respect of foreign leaders (although he's still popular with foreign voters).

Posted by: JohnR22 | June 23, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

We want officers with bravado. And some good sense. Rolling Stone reporters are not to be trusted. We all know what Rolling Stone wants to do to the USDA.
So the General did a FUBAR.


Let General McChrystal be judged by his actions - not his words. If you wanted someone to talk ever so politely - you should go to State, not DoD.

They shoot.

Posted by: gary4books | June 23, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse


More scapegoating of President Obama! Have you no other arrows in your quiver apart from Obama attacks.

Your writing has become predictable and boring.

Posted by: juneconwaybeeby | June 23, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

I am so sick of the Redneck underclass Reight hating on Obama.

McChrystal is nothing more than white trash who has been Peter Principaled to General.

What a classless ass he is.

If you want to hate on Obama, please tell me it is OK that Bush drowned New Orleans, crashed the economy, killed over one million Iraquis as collateral damage during his lie of a war.

Reddie teabaggers, are red meat, undereducated blue collar whites.

Posted by: lenegal77
------------------------------------------

This statement would be funny except "the stupid one" chose, read that again, chose McChrystal as HIS general! McChrystal voted for "the stupid one"! so I guess you most be talking about yourself Lendegal77 as being white trash since its most certain YOU also voted for "the stupid one"! Regarding New Orleans, "the stupid one" makes Bush look like a piker compared to the lasting damage his management of the oil spilled has caused. As far as "the stupid one" skills as a military commander..hahahahahahah what a rube. I guess they didn't cover military command in community organizing school. If Bush was an idiot as a military commander, 'the stupid one" is a retard.

Posted by: elcigaro1 | June 23, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Dear Janet

The key phrase in your reply last night is this one "holding pattern for 5 1/2 years". Our enemy in Afghanistan is time -- the Taliban have plenty of it and we --- no matter how exceptional we are as a country --- have very little of it left. There is simply zero tolerance for another 5 years in Afghanistan propping up a failed government that can't escape its corruption-laden past. Our lessons to be learned from both Iraq and Afghanistan is you can't force anyone on this earth to accept and embrace western style democracy.

We are not going to chase every last Taliban down and kill them. We cannot ensure that Afghanistan's neighbors will likewise track down and kill every last Taliban. The government we are supporting makes deals with the Taliban and will continue to do so after we leave to insure they remain in power. Karzai doesn't give one rat's butt about Afghanistan he cares about Karzai. The warlords don't care about Afghanistan they care about themselves. The Taliban doesn't care about Afghanistan they care about themselves. Time for the United States to care about itself for a change.

By the way in 2001/2002 we had the Taliban and AQ on the runwith the help of the same warlords who now side with the Taliban if it is more advantageous to them. That will never change. Karzai, warlords, Taliban etc. will cut whatever deal they need to keep themselves in power and there is nothing we can do to change that.

There are limits to our exceptionalism afterall.

Posted by: army164 | June 23, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Janet

PS, Diehl is an idiot.

:)

Posted by: army164 | June 23, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Hey Diehl your politics are showing as well as your total lack of military experience and understanding. Had any of those under McChrystal's command offered up a similar interview concerning his leadership I can assure you that not only would they have been relieved of their duties but there would have been a court martial to effectively see that their career was officially ended. McChrystal has allowed his ego and arrogance to get in the way of his leadership and should not be allowed to resign or retire but be demoted and removed. It is amazing that you can rise to the rank of General yet have so little respect for the military as to violate the most basic of regulations in such cavalier manner.

Posted by: mcordray | June 23, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I totally agree with most of the comments in here that McCrystal needs to be fired or he should step down. Perhaps traitor is what we should call him and prison is the answer. He blabbed his anger to a magazine rag...come on? He is angry and totally out of control. He could be risking lives many of our brave men and women for giving his personal feelings about President Obama and his administration and worse than that Our military strategy!!

I am so sick of People and reporters putting down our President. He was dumped a pile of a mess from Bush and President Obama is working hard. Its just the republicans and the right wing a lings that keep attacking him. His hands our tied to some degree with the contractal agreements by the last administration. You cannot blame Obama for absolutely everything that has happened that took years to get here.. Get some fresh new blood to replace McCrystal and maybe our relationship with Afghanistan will improve.

Posted by: rlarkin2 | June 23, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Uh, I think his name is Eikenberry (not Ikenberry). Nice work, genius.
Posted by: wkristol | June 22, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

If this is all you have to contribute, go back to your playpen.

Posted by: IGotAComment | June 23, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I think McCrystal is a jerk. He's been given more than one chance to do the right thing, and for the 3rd time he's blown it. First he lied about Tillman, and now, for the second time, he's been passive-aggressive and gone "rogue" to get his way by shooting off his mouth. He seems to think that there is a boundless supply of people willing to die for nothing, and if he can't have it his way, then it's no way. Ask his people. If Afghanistan is so darn easy, even Bush could have taken care of it if he wasn’t invading another country for NO reason. But he didn’t. These people who think it is ok for McCrystal to speak out like this are wrong - it’s against the law. If he was working for me I’d fire him. War is bad enough as it is, but with someone in his position undermining the United States at every turn there is absolutely no trust. Not the kind of person I want on my team. And in my opinion, Obama is now being used as the new quit smoking axiom – if he wasn’t president everything would be perfect

Posted by: julieforBarack | June 23, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Blame both the President and his general for putting the cart before the horse in Afghanistan.

Instead of fretting over `hearts & minds' and then defeating the Taliban, they have it backasswards.

Kill the Taliban and then the `hearts & minds' will follow.

As it is now, the Taliban kills and then slips out, then back again at will, decimating our allies among Afghani populations.

Kill the Taliban and then the Afghanis will have security and peace-- and will be a join us in building what we all want for that sad country.

Posted by: AlongTheWatchTowers | June 23, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

In Viet Nam we saw the folly of fighting a war by killing everything that came between us and the enemy. McChrystal's "Slash and Burn" strategy is wrong, AND he is insubordinate.
Obama brought him in to listen objectively to the general's opinions. Then he will replace him with someone who can provide real leadership for an army at war.

Posted by: kbtoledo | June 23, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

The Rolling Stone story is about this administration, not McChrystal, per se.

The Players:
ROLLING STONE VS OBAMA & McChrystal/Clinton/Karzai v Biden v Eikenberry v Holbrooke.

Obama wants his followers to see in him the answers to all of their needs, and wants to let himself be the screen for their projections, but unfortunately the little man behind the curtain is not a strong enough leader to fill the stage.

If Obama thought he had trouble putting together a team and a plan to carry out the "Necessary" Afghan conflict with McChrystal in charge, just wait until he tries to sort out this one. No matter whether or not McChrystal's resignation is accepted, no matter whether or not McChrystal is successfully scapegoated, the churning surf is going to pollute the shores of this gulf, too. All kinds of ugliness is about to be tossed ashore.

Posted by: Bairkus | June 23, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that Obama is not in charge of anything. He lurches from one problem to the next screwing up one after the other. Long on rhetoric but woefully short on decisive leadership, he simply is always on the defensive and tellingly always blaming someone else. The "Bush did it" or "Bush didn't do it" meme is real old now and the facts are emerging that the job of POTUS is beyond him...anyone really who does not have the required high level management skills, which face it, a community organizer does not have, will never have. A couple of years playing at being a Senator in waiting for a shot at the Presidency did nothing to prepare him for the job ahead. Obama really believes that as The President, He only has to say it and it will be done. Then he can go play golf.
When it comes to the war in Afghanistan, his ongoing lack of decisiveness, his compromises, his plain lack of attention to the bothersome war, has now evolved into one big dangerous mess. As for the endless and futile Bush bashing and blaming... get over it.
EVERY PRESIDENT HAS TO DEAL WITH WHATEVER HAPPENED BEFORE AS WELL AS THE UNEXPECTED. IT IS THE JOB. IF YOU CAN'T TAKE THE HEAT.....

Posted by: Kateliz | June 23, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

We've got the worst president in office since who know when. How can we blame the general and his staff for speaking the truth? We desperately need to get rid of Obama, not the general!

Posted by: josephpturner | June 23, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

It is absolutely correct for Obama to accept the resignation of General McChrystal. All general officers sign an undated letter of resignation, which can be accepted at any time by the President.
The curious thing about the current circumstances is why a politically savvy warrior general fell upon his sword so publicly. McChrystal knew the UCMJ restrictions on political speech, so what was his motivation to allow a reporter from a chronically hostile weekly paper so much access?
This is now the second general fired by Obama over Afghanistan. Obama surely owns the war now.

Posted by: silvergoat1 | June 23, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Lets stop blaming Bush for everything, every president gets landed a lot of crap from the president before. If you want to be president then it's your job and your responsibility to take care of the presidents before you mistake whether you like it or not. All I noticed is that the liberal press always give Obama the pass, they think this man sh$$ gold. What I see is a man ducking his responsibility from the oil spill to, jobs, country safety. Maybe if he took the time instead of hosting dinners and golfing maybe things would get solved. This man loves people who are communist, and this bowing to people is making me ill, we are Americans and we should bow to no one that is why when something goes wrong they always want America to go in and clean up the mess.this man couldn't run a hot dog stand and if he did he would need a teleprompter to talk. can't wait to vote this man out of office.

Posted by: susieq8163 | June 27, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

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