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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Trump-bashing general hated Obama too

So retired Army General Stanley McChrystal is a star today because he went on ABC News to say Orange Man Bad.

How soon they forget that McChrystal was forced to retire eight years ago when he publicly bashed Obama.

Martha Raddatz, who nearly sobbed on national TV when she realized on Election Night that Hillary blew the election, set him up.

Raddatz: "Do you think he’s a liar?"
McChrystal: "I don’t think he tells the truth."
Raddatz: "Is Trump immoral, in your view?"
McChrystal: "I think he is."

This is not journalism. This is political masturbation. Raddatz was not trying to inform anyone of anything. She just wanted to smear the president as an immoral liar. All journalists do. A trade that hates the military suddenly has a deep and abiding affection for generals who dump on President Trump.

But when Obama canned McChrystal eight years ago, no one in the media defended the general.

Obama had no choice.

Rolling Stone had Michael Hastings do a profile of the general in 2010 when he was commander of the war in Afghanistan.

Hastings began his piece, "'How'd I get screwed into going to this dinner?" demands Gen. Stanley McChrystal. It's a Thursday night in mid-April, and the commander of all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan is sitting in a four-star suite at the H̫tel Westminster in Paris. He's in France to sell his new war strategy to our NATO allies Рto keep up the fiction, in essence, that we actually have allies. Since McChrystal took over a year ago, the Afghan war has become the exclusive property of the United States. Opposition to the war has already toppled the Dutch government, forced the resignation of Germany's president and sparked both Canada and the Netherlands to announce the withdrawal of their 4,500 troops. McChrystal is in Paris to keep the French, who have lost more than 40 soldiers in Afghanistan, from going all wobbly on him."

Wait. I thought we had perfect relations with everyone in NATO before Drumpf came along.

Of course, the dinner was part of the job. As an allied commander, McChrystal had to show diplomacy. But the article showed that the general had all the maturity of a specialist four.

"'The dinner comes with the position, sir,' says his chief of staff, Col. Charlie Flynn. McChrystal turns sharply in his chair. 'Hey, Charlie,' he asks, 'does this come with the position?' McChrystal gives him the middle finger," the story said.

That's nice, but remember, this is the guy who is now judging the veracity and the morality of our commander in chief.

The story said, "Even though he had voted for Obama, McChrystal and his new commander in chief failed from the outset to connect. The general first encountered Obama a week after he took office, when the president met with a dozen senior military officials in a room at the Pentagon known as the Tank. According to sources familiar with the meeting, McChrystal thought Obama looked 'uncomfortable and intimidated' by the roomful of military brass. Their first one-on-one meeting took place in the Oval Office four months later, after McChrystal got the Afghanistan job, and it didn't go much better. 'It was a 10-minute photo op,' says an adviser to McChrystal. 'Obama clearly didn't know anything about him, who he was. Here's the guy who's going to run his fucking war, but he didn't seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed.'"

Ah, the boss is General McChrystal.

Right.

How did that work out?

Later the story said, "As McChrystal leaned on Obama to ramp up the war, he did it with the same fearlessness he used to track down terrorists in Iraq: Figure out how your enemy operates, be faster and more ruthless than everybody else, then take the fuckers out. After arriving in Afghanistan last June, the general conducted his own policy review, ordered up by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The now-infamous report was leaked to the press, and its conclusion was dire: If we didn't send another 40,000 troops – swelling the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan by nearly half – we were in danger of 'mission failure.' The White House was furious. McChrystal, they felt, was trying to bully Obama, opening him up to charges of being weak on national security unless he did what the general wanted. It was Obama versus the Pentagon, and the Pentagon was determined to kick the president's ass."

The Pentagon won. Obama caved and gave him 30,000 more troops.

And six months later, the Rolling Stone reported, "Even those who support McChrystal and his strategy of counterinsurgency know that whatever the general manages to accomplish in Afghanistan, it's going to look more like Vietnam than Desert Storm. 'It's not going to look like a win, smell like a win or taste like a win,' says Maj. Gen. Bill Mayville, who serves as chief of operations for McChrystal. 'This is going to end in an argument.'"

Eight years later, the surge didn't end the war. The surge in Iraq did, but Afghanistan is in a perpetual state of war. Like Obama in 2009, President Trump wants out. Unlike Obama in 2009, the generals cannot intimidate President Trump.

Which is why McChrystal went ABC today.