Reaction to General McChrystal Speaking Out

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fred Kaplan, who writes the "War Stories" column for Slate, and George Packer, New Yorker staff writer, react to General McChrystal's criticism of the White House in a Rolling Stone profile and whether it could result in a leadership change in the military effort in Afghanistan.


Fred Kaplan and George Packer

Comments [16]


Everyone needs to take a breath. This was a case of mildly questionable locker room banter that's being vastly overblown by cable news. Of course, McChrystal should not be fired. He's far too valuable to the mission in Afghanistan.

Jun. 23 2010 12:17 PM

Enough of Obama bashing! Just who is our president, and who is in charge? Let McChrystal go!

Jun. 23 2010 11:22 AM
The Truth from Becky

I have heard so many apologies in the last week, this is NOT one of those "I will apologize publicly" and we can all go back to work now situations. He HAS to be punished!

Jun. 23 2010 10:47 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

I’m I the only one a little fascinated that three people whom usually don’t agree (me, Becky, and Hugh) seem to all be offended by General McCrystal’s disrespect to the Commander-in-Chief?

Jun. 23 2010 10:47 AM
Peter O. from Manhattan

Consider the following: McChristal realizes war is not winnable and wants out. He gets fired for disagreeing with the Administration. After we withdraw, he says they lost because they didn't listen to me. He avoids being he McNamara of this war.

Jun. 23 2010 10:46 AM
The Truth from Becky

OMG I agree with "Voter" in two segments in a row!

Jun. 23 2010 10:45 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn

There is a huge difference between Eikenberry/Holbrooke and McChrystal that Kaplan willfully ignores.

McChrystal is a military officer. Obama is the Commander in Chief. Constitutionally, Obama is McChrystal's commanding officer.

Utterly different from Eikenberry and Holbrooke.

Jun. 23 2010 10:44 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn

"This Rolling Stone reporter"

Thus Fred Kaplan puts down Michael Hastings and Rolling Stone who have done a far better job than either he or George Packer have done, period.

Packer and the New Yorker and Kaplan and Slate have done a miserable job of reporting on Iraq and Afghanistan. Packer was a willing participant in the media deception of the American people that got us into Iraq.

Jun. 23 2010 10:40 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Brian, Brian, Brian… It’s not what the General said, it’s what he did. Sure, anything goes American rudeness and disrespect is no big deal when it happens on the sidewalk or in the office, but this is the United States Armed Forces and General McCrystal did something for which he can be fired criticizing the Commander-in-Chief and challenging civilian control of the armed forces.
This isn’t some third-world “stan”, this isn’t Africa, this isn’t South America, this is the United States where generals answer to the people and the people elected Barak Obama as Commander-in-Chief.
Now, if nobody know-nothing talking heads and journalist want to criticize the president’s plan, that’s their Constitutionally given right. McCrystal doesn’t have that right and should pay the price for violating his duties.

Jun. 23 2010 10:39 AM
The Truth from Becky

I have never seen so much disrespect for the White House in my entire life. This is getting ridiculous.

Jun. 23 2010 10:37 AM

We are killing our kids for NOTHING. They are asked to build a nation where none has ever existed, and they are ordered not to defend themselves. Bring them all home, and offer political asylum to every woman in Afghanistan who risked death and disfigurement when we told them to go to school and to work and that we would protect them. I have no respect for or faith in McChrystal or Obama. They will not tell us the truth.

Jun. 23 2010 10:36 AM
The Truth from Becky

Brian are you insane? He is heading the war effort over there of which the President is the Commander in Chief. The same President who appointed him to the position. So is it OK to sit around and berate the President of the United States? Publicly You bet your (fill in the blank).

Jun. 23 2010 10:34 AM
RLewis from Bowery

I'd turn his butt around, tell him to shut up, and get back out there and finish the job.

Obama would show the real Team of Rivals.

Jun. 23 2010 10:32 AM
The Truth from Becky

I have two feelings about this since I do not have all the facts. One side of me says he should be flat out fired and the the other side of me knows that there are military procedures in place for insubordination. He should be punished and returned to Afghanistan.

Jun. 23 2010 10:32 AM
Jenn from Upper East Side

I think letting McChrystal go would be a tragic error on the Obama administration's part. He is uniquely knowledgeable in the nuances of this occupation and how to succeed. I was really inspired by his response to the important book "Three Cups of Tea" and the fact that he participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony of a new girls' school in Afghanistan built by the Central Asia Institute, as detailed in "Stones into Schools." The Central Asia Institute is well aware of the challenges of Afghan culture and has advised McChrystal on those challenges. Anyway, it would be a shame for Obama to let him go just for a little bit of ill-thought commentary.

Jun. 23 2010 10:19 AM

Our entire government, military and civilian, is ahistorical, delusional, and focused on polls and the next election.I clearly remember saying when the first troops were sent to Afghanistan and Iraq "smells like Vietnam." Sadly, it now looks, feels, tastes, sounds and smells like Vietnam. It was sheer hubris to believe that the Afghans, who defeated the Greeks, the English, and the Russians over millenia, would be amenable to American occupation. When do the choppers leave the embassy roof?

Jun. 23 2010 09:35 AM

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