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June 23, 2010

The McChrystal Drama. (Beats Shark Attacks)

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

No good juice out of yesterday’s elections? The World Cup not enough excitement for the beltway crowd?

As the (drama-starved cable and punditry) world waits with baited breath (yeah, it’s officially summer) for the verdict on Obama – McChrystal, doesn’t this pic of Stanley arriving at the White House for his fate to be meted out have a bit of a penitentiary feel?

(caption: General Stanley McChrystal arrives at the White House in Washington June 23, 2010. U.S. President Barack Obama will confront McChrystal, his top Afghanistan commander, before deciding whether to fire him over inflammatory comments that have angered the White House and threaten to undermine the war effort.)

  • Send in the clowns

    This high school drama has received more “reporting” over the past two days than Iraq has in the past month.

  • bystander

    Yes, it does. And, McCrystal’s posture in this photo kind of looks like he doesn’t expect clemency, either.

    What McCrystal and his cadre of handpicked collection of killers, spies, geniuses, patriots, political operators and outright maniacs were willing to say to a journalist working for the Rolling Stone just leaves me shaking my head. I guess they all thought they were too big, too critical, too untouchable, too important to fail. What was McCrystal thinking?

    BTW, that Ruttig piece is well worth a read.

  • isabella clark

    He is going INTO the penitentiary, while behind him a smear of blood-red marks his way. He is going to be released from the “prison” of power and fame. No more war, only the “freedom” of a desk job until retirement, his invincibility relinquished for want of dignity and, as Michael Hastings discovered, a proclivity, throughout his life and career, for “thumbing his nose at authority every chance he got.” Because he is a repeat offender, and he finds it so difficult to embrace anything other than manly-man things, he is going to find freedom a hard sentence. Personally, I think he should have been court martialed for the Tillman cover-up. But, alas, that other arrogant team, Bush and Cheney, promoted him. Suu-weet.

  • DennisQ

    Tough shit, Stanley. You don’t get that many chances to screw up when you’re a four star.

    Obama fired the unspectacular but competent Gen. McKiernan to put McChrystal in to salvage the war. McChrystal gave him his best Can do, Sir assurances that he would not fail. Obama flipped a coin and went with it.

    As it turns out, McChrystal is pretty good at directing covert killers to find and dispatch guys who need killing. But he couldn’t turn around the war in Afghanistan and he shouldn’t have said that he could.

    The scene in the bar described in the magazine should not have happened. McChrystal isn’t some company commander fraternizing with the senior enlisted men, he’s a four star general allowing drunken advisors to blurt out whatever occurs to them.

    Once again . . . tough shit, Stanley. Write your autobiography and let us know how things coulda gone if you’d been given the chance.

  • Michael Shaw


    Thanks for the reminder about McKiernan. Looking back, people won’t remember Stanley shooting his mouth off. They’ll look at the management of the unwinnable Afghan war as a game of shoot the messenger.

    Here’s our shot of McKiernan getting the boot.

    • DennisQ

      The problem may be that the talking points used to sell the war have found their way into the operations manual to conduct the war. We’re always fighting for other people’s freedom because we know their best interests even if they don’t. We’ve killed massive numbers of civilians in two wars that keep getting redefined. Every few years we’re fighting for something else.

      No wonder they have to replace generals. The problem isn’t mission creep, it’s that goals become murky. We were mystified when Obama agreed to an additional 30,000 troops in Afghanistan. Today he said the reason we’re fighting there is to defeat Al Qaeda.

      I’m starting to get very dissatisfied with official explanations. We know about Al Qaeda because they attacked us on September 11th because they hate us for our freedom. What’s the ongoing relationship between these guys and the Taliban? Do the Taliban hate us for our freedom?

      Don’t military guys pause and reflect on what they’re doing? The new Army is supposedly made up of brainy guys with graduate degrees – like Dave Petraeus with his Ph.D. It must be that they’ve got their own reasons to continue these wars, but they are keeping these reasons to themselves. It’s just not very democratic to withhold such critical information from the voting public.

  • NoContest

    “McCrystal signs deal with Fox News as war analyst.” Bet this occurs before the November election cycle if Sean Hannity has anything to do with it. (i.e. coming soon to a channel near you). This is one Stanley Steamer who is gonna have the last word, and it will be death by friendly fire for the Administration’s Afgan disaster. Let Pat Tillman tall you how that works, no wait, he’s dead.

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