Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
April 26, 2017 Disclaimer: Please read.

Statements and opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors, not Truthdig. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions.

Truthdig Bazaar


By William F. Gavin

more items

Email this item Print this item

Put a Sock in it, Stan

Posted on Oct 5, 2009
White House / Pete Souza

By Eugene Robinson

How to proceed in Afghanistan will be among the most difficult and fateful decisions that President Barack Obama ever makes. But he’s the one who has to decide, not his generals. The men with the stars on their shoulders—and I say this with enormous respect for their patriotism and service—need to shut up and salute.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, is entitled to his opinion about the best way forward. But he has no business conducting a public campaign to build support for his preferred option, which is to send tens of thousands more troops into a country once called the “graveyard of empires.”

McChrystal’s view—that a strategy employing fewer resources, in pursuit of more limited goals, would be “shortsighted”—is something the White House needs to hear. He is, after all, the man Obama put in charge in Afghanistan, and it would be absurd not to take his analysis of the situation into account. But McChrystal is out of line in trying to sell his position publicly, as he did last week in a speech in London.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates was right to lay down the law. Gates said Monday that it is “imperative” that military and civilian leaders “provide our best advice to the president candidly but privately.” I believe that’s Pentagon-speak for: “Put a sock in it, Stan.”

McChrystal’s statements came at a pivotal moment when the White House is engaged in a fundamental review of Afghanistan policy. Some officials, including Vice President Joe Biden, have argued for a minimalist approach in terms of goals and resources. Obama has called Afghanistan a “war of necessity,” but now must face the implications of an open-ended escalation.


Square, Site wide
McChrystal, in his public advocacy for more troops, seemed to be trying to limit Obama’s options. But what we want to achieve in Afghanistan is a political question, and we don’t pay our generals to do politics. That’s the job of the president and the Congress—and whether our elected leaders decide to pull out tomorrow or stay for 100 years, the generals’ job is to make it happen.

For the record, this would be my position even if McChrystal were arguing for an immediate pullout—or even if George W. Bush, rather than Obama, were the president whose authority was being undermined. In October 2006, when the chief of staff of the British army said publicly that Britain should pull out of Iraq because the presence of foreign troops was fueling the insurgency—a view I wholeheartedly shared—I argued that he ought to be fired. I wrote that I didn’t like “active-duty generals dabbling in politics, even if I agree with them.” If military officers want to devise and implement geopolitical strategy, they should leave their jobs and run for office.

In a confidential report to the president—leaked two weeks ago to Bob Woodward of The Washington Post—McChrystal argued for a counterinsurgency strategy that would basically involve protecting the people of Afghanistan from the Taliban and al-Qaida, and thus winning the population’s hearts and minds. To do this would require lots more than the 62,000 U.S. troops now in the country. So, logically, McChrystal wants more forces—and wants them soon.

But it would be a dereliction of duty for the president not to consider alternatives. It seems to me that there’s a glaring contradiction in McChrystal’s analysis. If history tells us anything about Afghanistan, it’s that the presence of large numbers of foreign troops tends to inflame nationalist resistance. Yet carrying out McChrystal’s plan would require substantially more U.S. troops—reports say that the general wants as many as 40,000, which would make the U.S. “footprint” roughly as large as that of the Soviet military during the failed occupation of the 1980s.

One alternative would be to focus narrowly on eliminating the possibility that al-Qaida could ever again use Afghanistan as a launching pad for attacks on the United States or its allies. But that would mean tolerating and even negotiating with the odious Taliban, which is resurgent. And with nuclear-armed Pakistan to the east of Afghanistan and nuclear wannabe Iran to the west, calibrating the proper U.S. military presence could hardly be a higher-stakes exercise.

Privately, Obama needs to hear McChrystal’s advice. Publicly, he needs to hear one simple phrase from the general: “Yes, Mr. President.”
Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)
© 2009, Washington Post Writers Group

Lockerdome Below Article
Get a book from one of our contributors in the Truthdig Bazaar.

Related Entries

Get truth delivered to
your inbox every day.

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Join the conversation

Load Comments

By Dave Schwab, October 7, 2009 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

Yesterday, the US Senate approved the largest military budget bill in the history of our nation: $626 billion.

Next, the bill will be sent to a conference committee and then back to the House and Senate for final passage.

There is still a short window of opportunity to stop this wasteful military madness.

Tell your members of Congress to vote “NO” on the 2010 defense appropriations bill:

Report this

By @CT, October 7, 2009 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

LA writes:
“How, considering the Tillman cover-up fiasco, did McChrystal ever get confirmed for this position?”

Heck, how’d Oblabla wind up with Dennis Blair (who more or less mutinied in favor of Indonesian military slaughter while under supposed contrary direction from then-president Clinton) as His biggest, baddest czar?

Just loves a man in uniform, apparently, the butcher the better.

Meanwhile, if a Republican-without-birthday-suit were pulling this crap—whether on insurance “reform” hahaha or on “terrorism” or—post-Copenhagen, naturally—on underclass black kids killing each other in the streets of Chicago, there’d be hell to pay in the Congress and in the streets, with people of all political stripes calling for His prompt impeachment.

Report this

By LA, October 7, 2009 at 8:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How, considering the Tillman cover-up fiasco, did McChrystal ever get confirmed for this position? Who’s his “daddy?” Who is making money off the war? What actions increase America’s security risks? What actions decrease those risks? Currently, our greatest risk is domestic terrorism. If winning the Afghan war was so critical, Americans would be clamoring for the draft.

Report this

By @CT, October 7, 2009 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie writes:
“What’s the principle here?”

That if snore-bore Eugene Robinson throws enough essays into the wind, nobody’ll bother to mention that the Obama organization is a nasty disaster?

Report this

By bogi666, October 7, 2009 at 7:33 am Link to this comment

Since McChrystal has been in command of AfPak the situation there has deteriorated. The Pentagon is a loser when it comes to wars because they have losers like McChrystal “leading” them. POTUS Obushama needs to exercise his constitutional authority as Commander in Chief of the Military by firing McChrystal for insubordination. What McChrystal is doing is laying the ground work for him to deny responsibility for loosing in AfPak and deflecting his responsibility to POTUS Obushama, how very christian of McChrystal the “I’m not responsible” doctrine of the pretend christians which has been institutionalized by business, governments and chruches which gives the “I’m not responsible” doctrine legitimacy.

Report this

By The Old Hooligan, October 7, 2009 at 7:01 am Link to this comment

Afghanistan is a sinkhole. For as long as we continue to feed it American lives and treasure, it will quite willingly waste them both.

Report this

By need-for-reason, October 7, 2009 at 6:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

  I wonder, though, if McChrystal had said if the war was a hopeless disaster, if everyone on this site would want to shut him up.  I don’t think so.  But there I go—indulging in primitive logic again.

Actually, I was going to bring this up before. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that Gen McChrystal privately felt that it was a disaster to stay in Afghanistan. He still, as the Afghan commander, is required to tell his chain of command what he feels is needed to accomplish the national security objectives. So he tells Petraeus, Gates, and Obama that he needs 40,000 more troops, etc, etc.  What if he then went out and hit all the Sunday morning political shows, 60 Minutes, Larry King Live, NYT, and WashPost proclaiming that he personally feels our course in Afghanistan is doomed to failure? If he felt strongly enough that we are on the wrong course, one way or the other, he could resign/retire and then join the media circus as a retired military talking head.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, October 7, 2009 at 4:57 am Link to this comment

‘I may well be wrong here—as an advocate for an almost immediate military pull out from Afghanistan—I’ve been grateful so see the enormous numbers McChrystal has been putting out there ... It’s one of the only ways to get the attention of the AMERICAN PEOPLE and may actually save some lives. ...’

One of the things that got people to understand that Americanizing Vietnam was a lost cause was General Westmoreland’s statements that more troops would be necessary to subdue the country, even after 500,000 had become involved.

Clearly, if the chain-of-command folks around here had their way, Westmoreland would not have been allowed to speak publicly.  That’s because we, the people, don’t need to know what the military commanders think, I guess.

I wonder, though, if McChrystal had said if the war was a hopeless disaster, if everyone on this site would want to shut him up.  I don’t think so.  But there I go—indulging in primitive logic again.

Report this

By djnoll, October 7, 2009 at 3:34 am Link to this comment

From 9/11 the idea of going into Afghanistan was to get Bin Laden.  However, then as now, we have had political leaders and military leaders who seemed more intent on other agendas, abdicating good strategy for more power. 

There is a way out of this mess, while still achieving the objective of getting Bin Laden and his lieutenants.  It is a less is more strategy, and it was used successfully by the Brits when they drove out Rome; by the underground in both WWI and WWII; by our own Forefathers in both the French and Indian War and the American Revolution.  A large armed military force for an action that requires guerrilla tactics is both foolish and expensive, and never wins.  It is the lesson of history and of Vietnam.

It is time to develop a strategy that draws on history, not might, and to get our soldiers out of there at the same time.  It is possible if done correctly, but it would not ratchet up war profits for corporate and military interests.  However, it is good strategy and it will save lives.

I am going to DC.  I will arrive on November 3rd, and part of the message I am bringing is that we need different advisers for the President - not those who voted for war or who were appointed to support that war effort.  It is time for a change in policy and it is time for new advisers who will do what is necessary to meet the demands of the American public while protecting our soldiers as they accomplish a mission that WE ALL SUPPORTED RIGHT AFTER 9/11!  We need to remember that the mission in Afghanistan was capturing Bin Laden et al, and that mission was abandoned by Bush, not by our soldiers over there or by our national need for justice.  Join me is sending a message! Go to my website at

and help me send a message that is loud, clear and unmistakable.

Report this

By SusanSunflower, October 6, 2009 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment

I may well be wrong here—as an advocate for an almost immediate military pull out from Afghanistan—I’ve been grateful so see the enormous numbers McChrystal has been putting out there ... It’s one of the only ways to get the attention of the AMERICAN PEOPLE and may actually save some lives.

WRT Iraq and Afghanistan and Gitmo and healthcare and global warming—Imho, Obama has been trying to be all things to all people ... and, frankly, he’s stuck.

It’s good to hear these grim numbers and bleak prognosis from “the man in charge of Afghanistan”—shades of Petraeus. I don’t care if McChrystal is covering his own butt or saying what the president can’t or won’t—Remember 2003, 2004 and 2005 in Iraq? When they announced a “change in tactics” or focus or whatever pretty much every 3-4 weeks ... which from here was pretty much indistinguishable from the last “change” and was unable to even “hold its own” much less make progress.

Let’s talk about a draft to meet the manpower needs in Afghanistan—please.

Note, the number of troops in Iraq apparently is frozen until early 2010 ...

” At present, there are 131,000 troops in Iraq. The number has lowered slightly over the past several months, from 135,000 in March. General Ray Odierno had previously predicted that the level would be 120,000 by the end of this year, but today’s announcement suggests that already trivial pullback is now being treated as a best case scenario.

If there is one bright spot, it is that the announcement insists that the overall troop levels won’t actually increase in the next several months. Still with President Obama promising during the campaign to have all the troops out by May of 2010, the apparent halt to what little troop level reductions have happened already suggests that far from being almost over, the war will continue for the forseeable future.”


Haven’t we heard repeatedly that that such numbers were “unsustainable” ...

Maybe McChrystal can have a Chronkite effect on Afghanistan—something’s got to stop this runaway train.

Report this

By airmanemeritus, October 6, 2009 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment

The military has a chain of command.  McChrystal, who as ISAF commander and Commander, US Forces, Afghanistan, has several people to go through before he gets anywhere near the President. For all his stars, he is nothing more than a field commander in this mix.  He does not rate direct communication from the President, unless the President deems it necessary. 

And if, after talking to the SECDEF and/or JCS Chairman (or even the National Security Advisor), the President feels a conversation is necessary, he will usually ask the SECDEF or JCS Chairman to get this guy on the phone or tell him to get his butt on a plane (which explains McChrystal’s brief trip to Copenhagen last weekend).

Obama is doing it exactly as it should be done.  As President, he has no time to get involved in the tactics of a field commander – and by the same token, knows not to distract these guys.  When a President comes calling, everything comes to a halt.  Obama’s people will tell him what he needs to know and Obama will make the decisions a President as Commander in Chief will make - which actually, are very, very few.  He is not a king on his throne in the war room, directing the action, as Bush thought he was.

Bush didn’t know his butt from a hole in the ground when it came to much of anything, let alone military strategy.  His weekly meetings with field commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan provided a totally unneeded and unwelcome level of influence on those commanders’ actions.  It’s a safe bet that, if he had stopped meddling as much as he did, both engagements could have had significantly different (and more favorable) outcomes, as they were reacting to Bush’s desires as much as they were to events on the ground.

And I still believe strongly that the Bush gang used every man and woman in the US armed forces as nothing more than firewalls to protect themselves from even greater scrutiny, criticism, or worse as a result of their decisions and actions, nearly all of which proved to be disastrous. The “Support Our Troops” thing is the most blatant example of how these guys used us – I hate the dishonesty of that phrase; it’s as bad as a loaded question.  At the same time, they allowed all these senior officers to express their opinions in the news media in an unprecedented fashion for the same reasons.

As for McChrystal – his flat-hatting around the world making speeches expressing his opinions is out of line.  What he’s doing should stay strictly within the chain of command, but because of what Bush and Rumsfeld allowed, this behavior seems to now be acceptable.  Unfortunately for McChrystal, he overestimates his own standing.  This past weekend, we heard the National Security Advisor, a retired four-star Marine, imply that McChrystal has gotten out of line, and right after that, we heard the SECDEF say that McChrystal is the “right man for the job.” Translating these two pronouncements, McChrystal has been told that, while we know you can get it done, we can still get it done without you. 

We have likely seen the end of McChrystal’s public pronouncements.  He cut it very close, and regardless of what the pundits tell you, there is no “debate” taking place.  Just look at what Truman did with MacArthur.  If he isn’t careful, McChrystal’s attitude will earn him a public execution.  Personally – I think Obama should do it, simply to get the civilian/military balance back on track.

Recall the scene in the movie “The Untouchables” where De Niro’s Al Capone gives a speech on the virtues of teamwork before beating one of his capos to death with a baseball bat in the presence of the others.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, October 6, 2009 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment

Just out of curiosity, I wonder if any of you would like to engage my question.  Eugene Robinson says generals should shut up in public.  It seems to me they should feel free to express their ideas to the public, as long as they do not claim to be speaking for someone or something else (like the government), use naughty words, etc. etc. etc.  I am pretty sure if McChrystal had expressed my opinion about the war, few on this web site would be saying he should be silenced.

What’s the principle here?

Report this

By mike112769, October 6, 2009 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

The American government does not have the political will to win in Afghanistan; therefore, we should leave now. For us to “win” this war, we would have to become our enemies. We would have to instigate a mass slaughter of the native people.

If we were to start mass killing of civilians, who would we be? We would be the same people we’ve been fighting throughout our entire history as a nation.

A lot of people overseas call America a “young” nation. Barely over 200 years old. If we accept that comparison, then we have been in the wild, partying phase (you all remember those days); we thought we were completely invincible. Now, we are at the point where we, as a society, seem to be growing up a bit (late 20s early 30s).

We are starting to realize that yeah, we can still fight, and probably kick your ass, but is it worth it? Do we really need to invade a country just for the benefit of a few people? Americans are finally starting to ask these kinds of questions more and more. The people are growing up.

The general can run his mouth all he wants, it’s a free country. It is not in his best interest to do so, but do you want to live in a country that would force him to shut up? McClellan tried the same stuff with Lincoln, ,and look where it got him. The general will be remembered for sniping at the president, not his service.

Obama will probably not be allowed to pull out of Afghanistan. Regardless of his position, he does have to look at the objective realities of the situation. The most important (for him), is the fact that his campaign donors (that bought him the office) want the war to continue. The group he has around him is the same people that have been there for decades. They want no part of any change, so we won’t have any.

Most people really think this is a democracy. It’s not. It’s a Republic, and our representatives, from Obama on down, are big businesses lapdogs. The ones who call the shots are making a fortune off of the taxpayers, so why would they want to stop?

We NEED to leave Afghanistan. Forget about winning or losing and just think about what is right and wrong. Our politicians won’t let us leave. It will be up to the public to decide when to leave Afghanistan and the Middle East. How long will we let these people, who have nothing in common with the rest of us outside the Beltway, represent us?

Report this

By @CT, October 6, 2009 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

Eugene Robinson, combining unctuousness and vulgarity, writes:

“The men with the stars on their shoulders—and I say this with enormous respect for their patriotism and service—need to shut up and salute.”

Do Robinson/Obama “respect” McChrystal more for Pat Tillman, or for his background in black-ops/torture? Why’d Obama appoint McChrystal, anyway?

Worth a read (May 2009):
Obama Appoints Assassin McChrystal as Afghan Commander

Remember that Robinson—back when he was still prissy about such things, before he had Obama’s big skirts to hide behind—wrote an op-ed advocating torture for the last president. Now that ‘Bush’s Cognitive Dissonance’—as Robinson wrote then—has segued into Obama’s fecklessness on all fronts, is every O-pologetic from Robinson just another thousand words—especially that “Put a sock in it, Stan”—he’ll soon be eating?

Report this
Hulk2008's avatar

By Hulk2008, October 6, 2009 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

Harry Truman gave McArthur his walking papers.  So Gen. McChrystal should be a bit more circumspect about his public “recommendations”.  Just because the military has held sway in the last 8 years should not give them the idea they are now in charge.  Frankly, it’s surprising how well Sec. Clinton, Sec. Gates, and Pres. Obama are cooperating on these extremely difficult matters; they are bringing in all kinds of advice - even from Congress (Oh, My !). 
  Basically, if you ask the military for a “solution”, it’s going to be a military one - it’s what they do.  But Al Qaeda and Afghanistan (the poorest land on earth) are far more complex than a military posture can solve.  Al Qaeda is EVERYwhere, not just Afghanistan or Pakistan.
  We should get out of that hell-hole as soon as practical - it was a quagmire from the start.  Again, as Lau Dze said Chi Hu, Nan Sya -  When you’re riding a tiger, it’s hard to get off.

Report this

By JFoster2k, October 6, 2009 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

Here’s a revolutionary idea…

Rather than maintaining our national security by killing people, perhaps we could try not making them hate us?

But then again there is religion… the antithesis of reason and good judgement.

Unless the christian fanatics running the US eradicate the islamic fanatics running the middle-east, we are apparently gridlocked between 2 gods with an unquenchable need to endlessly slaughter humans. What a pity. We had such promise as a species.

Report this

By John Hall, October 6, 2009 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s fine if McChrystal wants to give his opinion
publicly, as long at it’s in a way that doesn’t give
the appearance of undermining Obama’s authority. The
president is also the commander-in-chief, after all.

Report this

By Randy, October 6, 2009 at 11:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gen. Stanley McChrystal was the general put in charge of the coverup of Pat Tillmans death, using it for political advantage to continue the war and get Bush re-elected, and is a disgrace to the military uniform. He lied his ass off to Congress, the American people (tha’s us), and should be tried and shot if convicted.  Go read about it in, Jon Krakauer’s “Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman” or see The Daily Show interview.

Report this

By Michael Murry, October 6, 2009 at 11:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As we used to say to our f*-up-and-move-up General Motors generals back during America’s War on Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos):

“If you knew what to do, you’d have done it already. If you could have, you would have; but you didn’t, so you can’t.”

And to put things in even simpler language for the Worst and the Dullest in our self-styled foreign-policy elite:

“We lost the day we started and we win the day we stop.”

The time has long since come to just stop this unmitigated, ruinous stupidity.

Report this

By need-for-reason, October 6, 2009 at 10:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In as much as military operations are an extension of our national security policies, it is encumbant on our military leaders to devise strategy and tactics to accomplish the objections set out by our civilian leadership, namely the President. I believe Gen McChrystal can be called on to provide his recommendation to accomplish these goals and objectives and that the President should take into consideration along with the considerations of his National Security Council. It is correct that the general should not be politicizing his recommendations. However, VP Biden, or any other administration spokesperson, should not be out airing their views, either, ahead of final decision by the President. Media talking heads? Well, that’s another matter.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, October 6, 2009 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

Patrick Powell:
‘If Obama walks away in Afghanistan, Democrats won’t be trusted on national defense for decades.’

That was the reasoning behind sinking into the bloody quagmire of Vietnam, but it turned out that not walking away was even worse.  It turned out that fighting a stupid, purposeless, unnecessary war was not the way to popularity and electoral success, and it could turn out the same way in Afghanistan.  I’d say that part of “defense” is knowing where, when and what to defend, rather than getting suckered into every possible war you can find.

Report this

By Patrick Powell, October 6, 2009 at 8:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If Obama walks away in Afghanistan, Democrats won’t be trusted on national defense for decades.

Then again, I live in the real world.

I love the irony, btw, the kook website telling the hand picked command general to stfu.


Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, October 6, 2009 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

Yes, but should McChrystal be forbidden to speak publicly?  Why shouldn’t the sovereign people hear what he has to say so they can democratically write to their representatives and express their informed will about the issues?

Report this

By Big Wes, October 6, 2009 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

Constant war for constant soldiers…
De-escalation through military force…

I wonder if a majority of the Afgan people want to be “protected” from the Taliban?  It’s simple.  If not, we will always be viewed as intruders and there will always be an insurgancy trying to expel our forces.  Of course, if you’re in the business of waging war, that’s job security for you…

Report this

By Rob, October 6, 2009 at 7:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The real question is, who behind the scenes, deep in the Pentagon I expect, is pulling McChrystal’s chain?  The idea that the President makes these decisions puts the whole thing in Obama’s lap.  I have been going under the assumption that the Pentagon really does make all military decisions and Obama is more or less a spectator.  I seriously doubt that things work the way we assume, but I really doubt that the Pentagon listens to anyone, except maybe military contractors.

Report this

By Mary Ann McNeely, October 6, 2009 at 7:28 am Link to this comment

Warriors want war - any war.  Obama, being a cynic and a coward, will probably
give the military what they want.  Americans and Afghans will bleed and die for
nothing.  It will go on and on and on as this heedless and pathetic empire
continues down the road of self-destruction.

Report this

By seg, October 6, 2009 at 7:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama should fire McChrystal immediately—he’s a psycho killer officer, like so many in our officer corps.  We don’t want psycho killers as grunts, but we allow thousands as officers—go figure.  He also thinks he can publicly pressure the president.  So Prez, who’s the real power here?

(appologuide, yeah, that beheading video was so fake it’s embarrassing Americans fell for it.)

Report this
peterjkraus's avatar

By peterjkraus, October 6, 2009 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

Hmmmm….. Korean “police action”? A draw. Vietnam? Lost. Beirut, Lebanon? Tail-between-legs Reagan withdrawal. Grenada? Whoa, we WON! Against whom, exactly? And look at the catastrophe it has now become. Panama? So-so. Yugoslav provinces? Not so good. Iraq I? Big, huge, ball-grabbing victory? Iraq II? C’mon.

We love declaring victory where there’s mainly failure to report. Face it, our glorious military leadership is full of posturing losers. Since World War II, which ended with the world’s hugest double-bang in 1945, all these star-studded lametta-queens have led the U.S. from one catastrophic engagement into the next.

Consequently, McChrystal and his ilk should shut up. Their advice has, over the past sixty-plus years, been a bunch of bullshit.

Report this

By cltx09, October 6, 2009 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

This shouldn’t even be a debate. We’ve got no business there.

Report this

By A reader from the UK, October 6, 2009 at 6:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I disagree with the point being made this article. If things were going really well in Afghanistan and everything was working out perfectly I’m sure nobody would complain if a member of the military went and stated as such directly to the public. It’s only because things aren’t going so well (i.e. because the US government has something to hide from its people) that the author is concerned that the public now know more about the reality of the situation in Afghanistan than they otherwise would have.

Report this

By Don, October 6, 2009 at 3:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So who control our country? The miltary industral complex? So it does not matter what the commander in chief wants? We are going to stay reguardless of what BO wants, or anyone else for that matters. Where is the constitution? Torn up and worthless? Where is congress? It’s in their power to make war or peace, ONLY they have that power. What are they doing? siting on their worthless ass collecting their pay checks for no work? Going to question why we should or should not stay? You’re fired or told to shut up, only privite hearings are allowed. Public comment not wanted. When are the dumbed down stupid American public going to assert their rights to be heard and end this nutty business. New boss same as the old boss, doesn’t matter what what party you’re a member of. It’s ALL carefully controled by the elete, the power brokers who make a great deal of money keeping people in fear. They will retire wealthy while the American nation goes broke in three more years. Just keep up the hate, divided and conqure. These people have no intrest in America, it’s only the pocket book and the bottom line for them. They can move anywhere. We are stuck. Am I the only one who can see behind the curtain? Wake the hell up!

Report this

By Steve E, October 5, 2009 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yeah, whatever happened to the idea to withdraw and go home. I think I know
some of the real reasons we do not just retreat. At the top of the list is the fact
that they must keep The Military Industrial Complex humming in the face of our
dire financial situation and catastrophic needs of our nation. Meanwhile Iran is in
their crosshairs. Next we cannot accept failure no matter what the cost. When
Russia realized they could not win and the war broke the bank they accepted
failure and left.

Report this

By clay curtis, October 5, 2009 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment
Whether or not you agree with how he does it, i think the general is right for asking for more troops. The days of air-strikes and politics are over. Only troops can can achieve the wanted results!

Report this

By apolloguide, October 5, 2009 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

McChrystal is the redneck from W.VA who had his JOSC
boys dress up as insurgent militants and then behead
Nick Berg.  He needs to go the the gallows along with
his entire JOSC.

The only way to win this war is to walk away from it.

Report this
Right Top, Site wide - Care2
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide

Like Truthdig on Facebook