By publicly making derogatory comments about his superiors in the chain of command President Obama, VP Biden, Defense Secretary Gates, White House National Security Adviser Gen. Jim Jones — US Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal has committed an act of rank insubordination, and I think he did it intentionally.
Subsequent apologies for his loose-lipped Rolling Stone interview notwithstanding, McChrystal knows Obama must, in order to maintain what little credibility he has with the military as commander-in-chief, relieve McChrystal of his command and he should break him in rank down to a Colonel or, at least, Brigadier General, but, considering Obama’s reticence in such matters, he likely won’t do the latter.
McChrystal well knows that if he wants to criticize his superiors there is a legitimate and honorable way to do so resign his commission and fire away as a civilian. Instead, the wily general has manufactured a situation wherein Obama must relieve him or lose all respect with the military establishment and a good portion of the public, as well.
Why would McChrystal set up such a situation? The easiest answer is that he’s planning on running for president as a Republican in 2012 and he can use it to a) play the aggrieved victim of a president and administration that doesn’t know what it’s doing in the Middle East; and b) insulate himself from charges of incompetence when we are forced out of Afghanistan. “I told the president the strategy he was pursuing to defeat the Taliban was na and wrong and that I had a better plan. This so angered him he found a flimsy reason to dismiss me.”
This is the line I believe McChrystal will employ following his resignation after Obama has relieved him of his command. Such criticism dovetails nicely with the GOP’s probable angle of attack on Obama in 2012 arrogant, incompetent, headstrong, vengeful, na and McChrystal will go to the head of the class of potential presidential candidates in a so far thin field for the Republicans — Romney’s no barn-burner; Palin’s a sour joke; Gingrich is stuck in the mud of 1994; Pawlenty’s a calamitous bore, and no one else is really on the radar.
Of course, the GOP establishment would welcome McChrystal with open arms as the second coming of Dwight Eisenhower, but even the various Teabaggers, quasi-Libertarians and Christian zealots who are now the party’s foundation would most likely not much contest nominating a ‘military hero’ such as the general. His campaign would also provide some lengthy (and stable) coattails for other Republicans to ride, a surcease from the almost daily factional friction of a minority party in turmoil.
The question: Will former Pentagon black-ops chief McChrystal’s new strategy to gain the White House work any better than did his plans to tame Afghanistan?
The answer: For a man as arrogant, incompetent, headstrong, vengeful, and na on public matters as Stanley McChrystal — who also, according to Rolling Stone, thinks Bud Light Lime is a great beer is a resounding no.
“The Runaway General” — Michael Hastings, Rolling Stone, June 8-22, 2010.
“New Afghanistan Commander Ran Secret ‘Executive Assassination Ring’ Under Cheney”
— Tom Englehardt, TomDispatch.com, May 21, 2009, by way of The Huffington Post.
2010 RS Janes. LTSaloon.org.