Theodore's World: 'You sit and ask yourself: What are we doing here?' by Andy McCarthy

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June 25, 2010

'You sit and ask yourself: What are we doing here?' by Andy McCarthy

'You sit and ask yourself: What are we doing here?'

by Andy McCarthy

Why would General Stanley McChrystal give that kind of access to a lefty rock-n-roll magazine? Maybe because he's a kindred spirit who felt the need to assure Rolling Stone's Michael Hastings that he voted for Obama — even against McCain, a military legend who shares McChrystal's transnational progressive outlook.

"Now it can be told," elaborates Marc Ambinder at the Atlantic "The story about [McChrystal] voting for Obama is not contrived. He is a political liberal. He is a social liberal. He banned Fox News from the television sets in his headquarters. Yes, really."

Yes, really. The revealing Rolling Stone profile also tells us that the general "banned alcohol on base [and] kicked out Burger King and other symbols of American excess." (Recall the very similar Obama edict that American forces not fly the Stars and Stripes at their base during their humanitarian mission in Haiti — a self-loathing trend that has also taken hold on college campuses.) Even McChrystal's undoing here — ironically, by Rolling Stone, not Fox News — is, as VDH suggested yesterday, attributable to a disturbing contempt for authority and decorum that McChrystal and his top aides made little effort to conceal from Hastings. (Byron has more on that, here.)

I got in some hot water here last year for arguing that Gen. McChrystal, for all his undeniable valor, is a progressive big-thinker who has been conducting a sociology experiment in Islamic nation-building. It's a flawed experiment that assumes Afghan Muslims will side with us — i.e., the Westerners their clerical authorities tell them are infidel invaders and occupiers — against their fellow Afghan Muslims.

Nothing in the ensuing months changes my mind. To the contrary, what I've seen lately indicates that, while our troops are imperiled under strait-jacketing rules of engagement imposed by Gen. McChrystal to avoid offending Afghans, Christian missionaries have been suspended for preaching (proselytism for any belief-system other than Islam is illegal in Afghanistan).

I've seen Asia News's report that Afghan converts to Christianity have been sentenced to death for apostasy. All this, moreover, is happening under the new constitution we helped write, which (as the State Department bragged in 2004) enshrines sharia as Afghanistan's fundamental law. That is, the Afghan Muslim population our troops are fighting and dying to protect has institutionalized the persecution of other populations (when the said Muslims are not otherwise busy killing each other).

In the Examiner, Byron points to Rolling Stone's account of a frustrated American soldier, lamenting the death of a fellow soldier killed because of the rules of engagement. "You sit and ask yourself," says the soldier, "What are we doing here?" I don't know, but whatever it is, it is not what Americans thought they were sending our military to Afghanistan to do.


From Rush Limbaugh:

"In some people's opinion, look at what's happened here is in order to save his bacon, Obama's had to go get a "Bush general his party hates in order to save his bacon in the war in the Afghanistan, and despite Obama being the commander-in-chief, it's really Petraeus now 'cause he holds all the cards 'cause he is the safety valve."
"Even more about McChrystal: now it can be told. The story about him voting for Obama is not contrived. He is a political liberal. He is a social liberal," and he is a wacko environmentalist liberal. "He banned Fox News from the television sets in his headquarters." He has banned fast food, Burger King and all that from his headquarters and from people in his command.
this explains why he trusted some reporter from Rolling Stone. If this guy is as far left as he is -- and, by the way, if this is true (and I happen to believe it now), if this is the case, you can't say that Obama got rid of McChrystal for politics. They're two peas in a pod here. The guy voted for Obama. So whatever PR somebody wants to attach to it. Obama just got rid of a like-minded soul except for the fact that McChrystal likes to pull the trigger and kill the bad guys and Obama doesn't. McChrystal likes to win. Obama doesn't. But now Obama has been maneuvered into a position where the only option is to win, because that's what you go get Petraeus for. That's why you get rid of McChrystal. So now Obama's really screwed himself and the left-wing base because he'd made it clear he's hired Bush's most hated general -- the successful architect of Iraq, of the surge, counterinsurgency strategy -- and charged him with winning. What do you do bet that July 11th withdrawal date gets moved now?
I cannot emphasize this enough. McChrystal and Obama, policy-wise, were on the same page. They were in total agreement on policy. In this Rolling Stone piece whatever McChrystal and his aides said was aimed at the folks who opposed Obama's policy, and who were they? Vice President Bite Me, John Kerry (who served in Vietnam), Jim Jones his national security guy, Richard Holbrooke, and this guy Eikenberry. But those guys are kept on in the national security team, and the general -- who was on the same page with Obama policy-wise, other than the number of troops on the ground. McChrystal didn't get the boots he wanted and he doesn't like the time frame, but in terms of everything else they were pretty much on the same page. So he goes. If Obama really wanted to get rid of the division, getting rid of the general was the wrong guy to get rid of.
Get rid of the clowns in his own national security team. Vice President Bite Me, Holbrooke, and Eikenberry especially. That's where the rift is, or was.

Rush had read this article and others and in case you would like to read it too, CLICK HERE for the link.

The Night Beat: Obama Borrows the Military Back


Wild Thing's comment........

Pretty rich irony, isn’t it? Obama fired a progressive General who voted for him, and replaced him with Bush’s General. I peeked in over at DU to see how they were reacting to all of this and they are not happy about it.

So it appears that Obama was forced to sack someone who emulated his liberalism. This is just bizarre.

There is also this:
From The Washington Examiner

But the bigger problem with McChrystal’s leadership has always been the general’s devotion to unreasonably restrictive rules of engagement that are resulting in the unnecessary deaths of American and coalition forces. We have had many, many accounts of the rules endangering Americans, and the Rolling Stone article provides more evidence. In the story, a soldier at Combat Outpost JFM who had earlier met with McChrystal was killed in a house that American officers had asked permission to destroy. From the article:

The night before the general is scheduled to visit Sgt. Arroyo’s platoon for the memorial, I arrive at Combat Outpost JFM to speak with the soldiers he had gone on patrol with. JFM is a small encampment, ringed by high blast walls and guard towers. Almost all of the soldiers here have been on repeated combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and have seen some of the worst fighting of both wars. But they are especially angered by Ingram’s death. His commanders had repeatedly requested permission to tear down the house where Ingram was killed, noting that it was often used as a combat position by the Taliban. But due to McChrystal’s new restrictions to avoid upsetting civilians, the request had been denied. “These were abandoned houses,” fumes Staff Sgt. Kennith Hicks. “Nobody was coming back to live in them.”
One soldier shows me the list of new regulations the platoon was given. “Patrol only in areas that you are reasonably certain that you will not have to defend yourselves with lethal force,” the laminated card reads. For a soldier who has traveled halfway around the world to fight, that’s like telling a cop he should only patrol in areas where he knows he won’t have to make arrests. “Does that make any f–king sense?” Pfc. Jared Pautsch. “We should just drop a f–king bomb on this place. You sit and ask yourself: What are we doing here?”

Posted by Wild Thing at June 25, 2010 06:48 AM


McCrystal will probably have to retire now. For him to retire as a 4-star pay grade requires congressional approval. Otherwise, he has to retire at the 2-star pay grade. Either way, he'll be well compensated based on 35 years service.

4-star retirement pay is $15,050 per month
2-star retirement pay is $11,466 per month

Also, being a liberal, he'll most likely get a job at one of the networks as a military adviser.

Posted by: BobF at June 25, 2010 10:09 AM

There has to be better screening of officers that serve with rifle companies. You can't have somebody making up the ROE's as he sees fit in order not to offend, a government, civilian population that is not at all friendly to our troops. He was in lock step with obama and the ROE's were just as bad as if obama wroted them himselve.

Now General Petraeus is taking over and he's on the other side of the political spectrum. If Petraeus stays true to form it won't be long before he gets the ax too. So we will see.

Posted by: Mark at June 25, 2010 01:21 PM

If anything this whole flap has brought out one thing. Vice-President Bite-me. That makes the whole thing worth it.

Posted by: Mark at June 25, 2010 07:04 PM

BobF., when I read this about his politics, my first thought was I hope he doesn't turn into another wesley clark. One is already too many wesley clarks.

Mark, heh heh yes that was a good one for sure about Biden.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 26, 2010 03:16 AM