Tag Archives: Insubordination

The Tattlesnake It’s McChrystal Clear: The General is Running for President Edition

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.

Read more:

“The Runaway General” — Michael Hastings, Rolling Stone, June 8-22, 2010.

Stanley A. McChrystal’s Wikipedia bio.

“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.

The Tattlesnake It’s Time For Obama to Fire Petraeus Edition

GOP Candidate-in-Waiting Petraeus’ Machinations Are a Threat to the President’s Civilian Authority

Lincoln had his George McClellan; Truman had his Douglas MacArthur; there’s a history of politically ambitious generals undermining their elected Commander-in-Chief to bolster their own prospects at the presidency. In McClellan’s case, he dragged his feet and lost battles that he should have won, setting the stage for his promise to negotiate an end to the conflict with the Confederacy in his 1864 run for the presidency against Lincoln, a man he privately loathed and irrationally blamed for the Civil War. Fortunately, the self-styled ‘American Napoleon’ lost that election. Dugout Doug MacArthur openly flouted Truman’s orders and tried to widen the Korean War into a war with China, including the use of nuclear weapons, hoping to capitalize on his war hero status to glide to victory over Truman as a Republican in 1952. In both cases, the generals were appropriately fired: McClellan was quietly relieved of his command of the Army of the Potomac in 1862; MacArthur publicly axed by ‘Give ’em hell Harry’ in 1951.

It’s an open secret that CENTCOM commander Gen. David Petraeus lusts to be the GOP presidential candidate in 2012, and thinks he can ride to the White House as an Eisenhower-like hero who ‘won’ the war in Iraq, thanks to his Surge plan, which mostly amounts to bribing warlords with US taxpayer money. However, his CinC President Obama, elected on a promise to end the unpopular Iraq War and concentrate on our collapsing economy, has ordered Petraeus and his deputy, chief US commander in Iraq Gen. Ray Odierno, to have US combat forces out of Iraq within 16 months. Petraeus’ reaction, according to Gareth Porter of the Inter Press Service, was to put pressure on Obama to change his policy, offer to disguise our continued presence in Iraq by calling combat troops ‘support troops,’ and enlist the aid of military brass to push for a continuation of our occupation of Iraq. As Porter notes:

“A network of senior military officers is also reported to be preparing to support Petraeus and Odierno by mobilising public opinion against Obama’s decision.”
— Gareth Porter, “Generals Seek to Reverse Obama’s Iraq Withdrawal Decision,” Feb. 2, 2009.

It is not up to Petraeus nor any of his deputies to ‘mobilize public opinion’ against a presidential decision, to find ways to keep troops in Iraq contrary to a presidential directive, nor to use their command to enhance their future in politics. (The CENTCOM commander himself would hardly countenance such scheming by a member of his staff.) Petraeus’ only two options, according to the oath he took when he joined the US Army, is to either follow a legal order from the president, or resign his commission; anything else smacks of insubordination. Since it’s unlikely Petraeus will resign, that leaves only one choice for Obama, the same one exercised by Lincoln and Truman before him fire his insubordinate subordinate and replace him with someone who will follow orders.