|U.S. Air Force / Master Sgt. Jerry Morrison|
Early reports already chewed over the insults to Ambassadors Eikenberry and Holbrooke and National Security Adviser Jones, but there’s a lot more to the Rolling Stone article that could mean Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s ass. Here are 11 jaw-droppers, groaners and sigh-inducers.
- The general would “rather have my ass kicked by a roomful of people than go out to this dinner” with a French minister, but determines no one is capable of beating his ass. One of his aides says of the dinner, “It’s fucking gay.”
- Vice President Joe Biden? “Who’s that?,” McChrystal jokes. An aide adds, “Did you say: Bite Me?”
- McChrystal’s handpicked staff calls itself “Team America,” after the movie “Team America: World Police” that makes fun of people like Stanley McChrystal and his staff.
- McChrystal is said to sleep little, eat less and run a lot. In one month, the reporter witnesses the general eating only once.
- Although he clearly doesn’t get along with President Obama and is disappointed in their relationship, McChrystal voted for the president.
- Team America actually likes Hillary Clinton (a rare honor for an administration official) because she once advocated giving McChrystal whatever he wanted.
- McChrystal had to negotiate for hours to have Afghan President Hamid Karzai roused from a nap.
- McChrystal was a key figure in the cover-up of Pat Tillman’s friendly-fire killing and warned the Bush administration that the then-president could be embarrassed. McChrystal was also linked to detainee abuse. These two scandals did nothing to thwart his rise. The general was promoted days after Tillman’s death.
- The general carries a set of custom nunchuks with his name engraved on them.
- One particularly compelling section of the article shows McChrystal trying and failing to convince soldiers on the ground that his strategy is worthwhile. There is a strong feeling among the rank-and-file soldiers quoted that we are losing the war.
- A senior adviser is quoted as saying the war is going worse than we realize: “If Americans pulled back and started paying attention to this war, it would become even less popular.” Still, Pentagon officials are hoping that rather than a withdrawal of troops, the White House will approve a third surge.
Do yourself a favor and read the entire article. There are many more gems where these came from. —PZS