Afghanistan War: Should General McCrystal Apologize?

by CJFosdick on June 22, 2010

HOLD THE PRESSES: Breaking news on the morning of June 21, 2010 is a story about remarks General Stanley McCrystal, general in charge of the War in Afghanistan, said in an interview published in the current Rolling Stone Magazine, not even on the market yet.

Mc Crystal criticized General Eikenberry, General Jim Jones, Vice President Joe Biden, and the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, BARRACK OBAMA himself. Of course, as thin-skinned as Obama is, he probably won’t tolerate this criticism from the general he himself chose to run the Afghanistan War. McCrystal has been summand home, and speculation runs high that he will be fired. What McCrystal did was totally against the Armed Forces Policy. If he had problems with how Obama was managing the war, he should have told the President privately, not in public. McCrystal knows this, so why would he jeopardize his career, his reputation, and the future of the war itself? Interestingly, McCrystal has already apologized, not for what he said, but that he said it in public. Note this difference — he’s not sorry for his words; he sorry he said them in public.

Lately, very much in the news, has been information dribbling out that the war in Afghanistan is in chaos. Many retired generals and news analysts have gone on record that the war is not winnable. It is now time for a little exercise in history:
•Going back fifty years, President Truman shocked the nation by firing the very popular World War II hero, General McArthur, also general of the Korean War, because McArthur wanted to expand the Korean War and drop Atomic Bombs on China. I believe history has shown that Truman used wise judgment. To have gotten into a war with China with the vast Chinese numbers available for the army could well have been suicide for America, not to mention the humanitarian fact of just how devastation the Atomic Bomb was.
•McCrystal himself reminds us that Obama knew nothing about him. Obama had a ten minute interview with McCrystal when he was hired and that it was mostly a photo op. It sticks in my mind that on another time, when Obama was having another photo op, he gave McCrystal a twenty minute time slot to discuss the war.
•Obama spent months, months deciding on whether or not to do the surge, and then committed fewer troops than McCrystal had requested. THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS, OBAMA HAS NOT TAKEN THIS WAR SEREIOUSLY, HAS OFTEN PUT IT ON THE BACK BURNER, AND HAS NOT FOLLOWED THROUGH WITH SOME OF HIS COMMENTMENTS FOR THE SURGE OF AMERICAN TROOPS in Afghanistan.
•In the very same speech that Obama announced the surge, he then announced we would start pulling troops out in August of 2011. This is sheer madness in my opinion. It’s telling our enemy if they are just patient, they can outwait us, and win by default.
•Colin Powell, a winning general in the Gulf War and Secretary of State under George Bush, said the purpose of war is to “break things and kill people”. Yet, in this current war, everything has gotten so P.C. we dare not kill a civilian, and our troops need permission to do anything before a strike is called. All this takes time and by then, I imagine the time for strike has often already ended. America is no longer allowed to break things and kill people in war.
•Before he was elected, Obama went on record that every president needs to multitask and that he himself is excellent in multitasking. The fact is, he isn’t. He is coping with the bad economy, lack of jobs, the oil spill in the Gulf, the border problem, selling his very unpopular healthcare plan, and of course, having downtime for dates with Michelle, golf, White House concerts, campaigning, gadding around the country. You name it; Obama multi-tasks. But he has spent very little time concentrating on the Afghan War. In a word, he is terrible at multitasking.

Of course the Afghan War is failing. Of course, the general in charge is totally frustrated, not being allowed to fight as he, the expert, feels necessary to win. The question of the moment is: Why would McCrystal jeopardize his future, his career which has been spotless to date, and his reputation. I think he knew exactly what he was doing. It is my guess that what McCrystal did with his public criticism of the administration was a well thought-out plan, and he is being smarter than a fox. He knew how badly the war was going. He has faced and probably agonized about losing this war under his command. That would stay in the history books forever, McCrystal, the losing general. He has to feel profound guilt for placing our brave American men and women in a position of being killed and maimed when the decisions made from the administration for-ordain the troops losing. He is a well-loved general. The troops trust him and his judgment. I think McCrystal decided the best way to change the course of the war, was to forget about his on personal reputation for the sake of a bigger cause. So, he went public with the problems in Afghanistan, rather than sit back and wait for the inevitable loss to happen.

Of course, McCrystal should NOT apologize! Not many men would forget their own ambitions in this manner. General Stanley McCrystal is the finest, most honorable hero I know of. In a world of greedy, petty, me-mine-only citizenry, I’m proud that America can still raise a man of his stature. Thank you, General McCrystal.

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