General McChrystal's 'Rolling Stone' Remarks Cause Furor

Stanley McChrystal and Afghan President Karzai
General McChrystal and President Karzai
That General Stanley McChrystal and his aides felt compelled to make fun of several of President Obama's key civilian advisers to a reporter in a recent Rolling Stone interview indicates to me one very frustrated military man.

He has his own ideas about how things should go over there, while Obama and his White House gang have another, and the result has caused the general to make a special trip to Washington today to apologize and explain himself.

Which he pretty much has in a statement he made late Monday, after parts of the article were leaked to the Washington Post by the article's writer, Michael Hastings.

"I extend my sincerest apology for this profile," McChrystal said in a statement issued Tuesday morning. "It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and it should have never happened."

Interesting that he doesn't apologize for the comments.


Here's some of the name-calling, according to the Washington Post:

An anonymous McChrystal aide is quoted as calling national security adviser James L. Jones a "clown," who remains "stuck in 1985."

Referring to Richard C. Holbrooke, Obama's senior envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, one aide is quoted as saying: "The Boss says he's like a wounded animal. Holbrooke keeps hearing rumors that he's going to get fired, so that makes him dangerous."

On one occasion, McChrystal appears to react with exasperation when he receives an email from Holbrooke. "Oh, not another email from Holbrooke," McChrystal says, according to the article. "I don't even want to read it."

U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl W. Eikenberry, a retired three-star general, isn't spared. Referring to a leaked cable from Eikenberry that expressed concerns about the trustworthiness of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, McChrystal is quoted as having said: "Here's one that covers his flank for the history books. Now if we fail, they can say, 'I told you so.'"

That the leader of Afghan security forces and the Obama Administration don't see exactly eye-to-eye is not a total surprise. There have been numerous hints prior to this incident. The general has requested more troops to ensure success in the country, while the Administration has pushed back. Forces have also been ordered to use a kinder, gentler approach to strategy in effort to protect civilians, which many troops feel has left them dangerously exposed. June is on track to be the deadliest month for NATO forces since the war began nine years ago.


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