• Thanks Kyle,interesting and confirms much of what I've read from other sources... Mr. Hitchens is an arrogant chap but he does give a factual account and never holds back.... If you get a chance, watch " Green Zone" because although some parts are fictional(as movies are) the basis of us being in Iraq is accurate and in line with several books I've read on the subject.

    July 5, 2010 at 2:45 p.m.

  • Hi Mike,

    I read a good article by Christopher Hitchens that makes for interesting reading on this subject:

    July 5, 2010 at 2:32 p.m.

  • Today's assignment, class, is to compare and contrast the media response to Gen. Shinsecki's badmouthing of the Bush administration with the same media's response to Gen. McChrystal and his staff. Bonus points: identify individual reporters who praised Shinsecki to the skies for his "honest and forthright" statements while demanding McChrystal's head. Extra bonus points: Explore the argument that Gen. McChrystal was true to the oath he took to "...defend this country against all enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC..."

    June 27, 2010 at 11:36 a.m.

  • Writein, it is ALREADY politicized. That all parties will try to use it to their advantage is a foregone conclusion.

    June 26, 2010 at 1:48 p.m.

  • Mike.

    Conservatives, the Tea Partyiers, and Sarah Palin-types within the GOP will politicize this in 2011 and 2012.

    June 25, 2010 at 6:42 p.m.

  • No Observer

    I was just mocking the right wing because that is the conclusion they draw... They own God, the constitution and the

    I'm surprised you didn't catch on to the tongue- in- cheek...How naive.

    I'm going to leave General Stanley McCrystal alone but if one were to check a little closer, he is not exceptional because he had come close to the waters edge many times from West Point, on. He was involved in the Tillman cover-up, for which he apologized.

    You are speculating on his reasons for dismissal, that's your prerogative.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:28 p.m.

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    June 25, 2010 at 1:23 p.m.

  • From your posts, one could easily draw the conclusion that you feel one cannot be an American patriot and a liberal. While that is probably true more often than not, General McCrystal seems to be the exception to the rule. Regardless of his political stance, he was widely admired by his troops and clearly dedicated to prosecuting this war to a successful conclusion, something that was impossible as long as the Afghans believed we would be leaving in a year or so. I stand by my earlier post.

    June 25, 2010 at 12:27 p.m.

  • Mike...The idea was that the ONLY way to win is to kill them all, salt the ground and poison the water so no one can live there. Since we can't do that, we CANNOT win. I wasn't advocating anything.

    June 24, 2010 at 6:42 p.m.

  • Imo, the Afghanistan population as a whole, would probably prefer to be left alone by any group be it Taliban, Al Queda or advises and help from the US/UN.

    IMO, they just want to keep doing what they have always done, live within their own tribe, grow their frowned upon crops and live as they always have.

    June 24, 2010 at 6:40 p.m.

  • Well Mike, I know you don't put much faith in personal accounts, double that for second hand ones, that being said I remember what my brother told me about winning hearts and minds in Vietnam.

    He served his 18 months from 68-69 as..

    1968-1969 - Advisory Team 46, Khanh Hoa Province, Dien Khanh District, Phoenix DIOCC Officer.

    He told about how they would take a pair of pigs, 200# of feed, and materials for fencing and give them to villagers.

    They would come back a month later and the pigs where gone, the villagers said they had to eat them, they where hungry.

    Some times the best of intentions to influence hearts and minds simply does not work, in the case of Vietnam, instead of pigs, the military would have been better served delivering 300# of rice a month instead of expecting hungry people to wait for pigs to breed, have a litter of pigglets and wait until they grew enough to butcher.

    On a side note, much like the northern alliance in Afghanistan, the most loyal allies in Vietnam, (again according to my bro.), where the Monteyard tribesmen.

    June 24, 2010 at 6:22 p.m.

  • Israel is surrounded by its natural enemies ,so it's not exactly an apples and oranges....Despite being involved in many wars;we are not a warring nation..I am not endorsing a draft or military service for that matter..I'm saying we should debate and consider the ones we are are sending out on numerous tours. We should also consider their families.The military favors the all-volunteer forces,that should also be considered.

    I think congressman are human beings and since they are our duly elected representatives, they should not have to give up their benefits,no more than anyone else...Just my opinion.

    June 24, 2010 at 5:50 p.m.

  • Waywardwind

    I am not endorsing a counterinsurgency but that is the stradegy General Petraeus devised and will use in Afghanistan....I hope you are kidding because killing innocent civilians for the sake of killing will not only make lose our allies but also our moral fiber.....It is not only our political leadership that prevents us from a barbaric "kill'em all" mentality ,I bet a small percentage of Americans feel that way.It's a good bet General Petraeus (from what I read) would deplore such a plan.

    June 24, 2010 at 5:37 p.m.

  • Let’s say it's closer to 232,000,000 considering we don't want kids fighting, and then subtract the over 50 crowd. can we call it 150 million or something close to that? it's still a low ratio.

    perhaps you're right. if everyone was required to serve at least 1 or 2 years in the service they would have a different view on war. less apt to fight? maybe, maybe not. look at Israel. they are required to serve, and yet they are constantly at war. maybe that's a poor example.

    i do disagree about congress' children and grandchildren. i'm sure they would find some way to keep them out. after all congress isn't going to be forced to give up their health plan, pension plan, congressional bank benefits, etc.

    June 24, 2010 at 5:27 p.m.

  • Mike..."winning the hearts and minds of the people" is an ominous phrase. It brings to mind America's disasterous experience in Vietnam. We tried to set up a government and train indiginous forces there, also. We have now been involved in Afghanistan longer than we were in Vietnam (104 months to 103) and I am convinced there is no sucessful end in sight. For some reason, the American government is incapable of learning from history. The Soviets couldn't win in that godforsaken land and neither can we. Our political leadership won't let us kill'em all and let god sort'em out. Failing that, there is no way to win.

    It's just like Vietnam all over again. The French couldn't win there and we were gonna show'em how to do it. We can try to bomb them back to the 19th century, but that's not gonna work. Hell, they never progressed past the 14th. The 19th century would be a vast improvement. There's not much to destroy -- to them, high tech is rubber tires on a donkey cart. The best we can hope for is to kill them one at a time and that's no way to win a war. The only good thing (if you can call it that) is that we've lost fewer than ten percent of the dead of Vietnam. Unfortunately, this isn't cause for celebration because they have been wasted to no good end.

    June 24, 2010 at 5:24 p.m.

  • Poor wording,my mistake should have been
    1.5 million today out of 300 million.


    June 24, 2010 at 5:13 p.m.

  • Qucik question about your post, Mike. "We will always have a troop problem because less than 1/2 of 1% volunteer"

    1% of the national population? I assume that is what you were referring to but I want to be sure.

    June 24, 2010 at 4:51 p.m.

  • Not any more....he's a dirty low down

    General Stanley McChrystal banned Fox News from his headquarters, according to The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder.
    Ambinder wrote Wednesday (via Michael Calderone) that McChrystal is a liberal, and added in the detail about Fox News to flesh out the point:
    Even more about McChrystal: now it can be told. The story about him voting for Obama is not contrived. He is a political liberal. He is a social liberal. He banned Fox News from the television sets in his headquarters. Yes, really. This puts to rest another false rumor: that McChrystal deliberately precipitated his firing because he wants to run for President.

    June 24, 2010 at 4:03 p.m.

  • observer--

    So McCrystal is a martyr?

    June 24, 2010 at 3:58 p.m.

  • I don't believe in kicking a person while they are down, so I think the decision was just, and we need to move forward.

    To me, "a fact" is providing the proof that 10,000 additional troops in a faster time period would have provided different results. As I recall, we didn't have the additional 10,000 troops at the time of request because we were still transitioning in Iraq, to a lesser combat role. This is the plan and timeline General Petraeus devised and agreed to. A counterinsurgency plan involves winning the hearts and minds of the people,settling up a government and training the Afghan forces. The other day General Petraeus said the amount of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan were in the double digits. General Patraeus said we will RE evaluate in July and again in December.

    We will always have a troop problem because less than 1/2 of 1% volunteer.... If we want to send large forces to foreign countries and still have a residual force at home, then we need to RE implement a draft or have a war tax, to pay for additional volunteers..... I think we should realize that some are making their third or forth tours to Afghanistan.

    BTW If we were to implement a draft or suggest a war tax, we wouldn't have as many yellow ribbon patriots because then everyone would have a stake in the decision to go to war. Congress would actually make time to have reasonable debate because they could no longer depend on supplemental bills and their children and grandchildren would have to be considered. Then it would not be a left right the issue anymore, it would be an American issue, as it should be.

    Observer,perhaps you pulled the trigger too quick.and now want to retract your

    General Stanley McChrystal banned Fox News from his headquarters, according to The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder.
    Ambinder wrote Wednesday (via Michael Calderone) that McChrystal is a liberal, and added in the detail about Fox News to flesh out the point:
    Even more about McChrystal: now it can be told. The story about him voting for Obama is not contrived. He is a political liberal. He is a social liberal. He banned Fox News from the television sets in his headquarters. Yes, really. This puts to rest another false rumor: that McChrystal deliberately precipitated his firing because he wants to run for President.

    June 24, 2010 at 2:05 p.m.

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    June 24, 2010 at 1:52 p.m.

  • With all the opinions flying around, several facts appear to have fallen by the wayside. To wit:
    General McCrystal is a very intelligent human being; dummies do not get to wear four stars on their shoulders.
    He had requested 40,000 troops to support his "surge"; after six months of dithering and hand-wringing, he was grudgingly allowed 30,000, all of whom have yet to appear on the scene.
    The general had to be aware of Rolling Stone's left-wing bias when he agreed to the interview.

    From these facts, it appears that the general, well aware of the consequences, chose to take one for the team. The sentiments he expressed strike me as representative of the sentiments of the overwhelming majority of our armed forces. It appears that he could no longer stomach presiding over a war that he was not allowed to win, putting American forces' lives at risk while trying to fight with one hand tied behind his back.

    I find it impossible to believe that he did not understand his comments would result in his being relieved of command. More plausible is that he took this action because he could see no other effective action available to him. If I am correct, and the facts seem to argue so, he is a true American patriot. He sacrificed his career for the welfare of his troops. God bless him.

    June 24, 2010 at 12:52 p.m.

  • Writein

    I didn't know Hannity said those words but nevertheless, hats off to the Republican Party for not politicizing this issue....IMO

    June 24, 2010 at 10:04 a.m.

  • waywardwind

    Those darn stars are misaligned again because on this topic we are in agreement...:-)
    Good Post

    June 24, 2010 at 10:01 a.m.

  • Whenever you are exercising your duties as a soldier or public servant, your free speech rights are limited; because during those times, your acting as apart of the “representative government“.

    Our government has laws to protect citizens from the weight of government; words express in the line of duty by soldiers and public servants have the ability to oppress or skew the rights of citizens, and our constitutional republic.

    This is why many “local”, state, and even our federal government have procedures, rules, and punishments pertaining to these unethical behaviors.

    That was why some “city charters”, require the removal of elected officials when they express opinions that bias political process, hint!

    On the matter regarding the general, at least Democrats have respected the “rule of law”, in this case. The General should have choose a different occupation, like mayor.

    To engage in unethical behavior, lol.

    Despite this, I think the General is alright, at least he is honorable enough to accept the consequences of his actions. I guess, he wouldn’t make a good mayor, apparently honor might disqualify one for the position?

    June 24, 2010 at 8:34 a.m.

  • rollinstone,

    In a way, he did disobey orders. He was taught a certain code of conduct and he knew it was required of him at all times. He also showed the world that the US has a few cracks in it's defense where there should be none visable. We have to present to the world a solid defense system or it hurts our credibility.
    He has no place in the job he held, when he cannot even defend the Commander-in-Chief, the Vice President, and whoever else he cut down in public. That shows poor character and poorer self-control.

    June 24, 2010 at 12:19 a.m.

  • I agree with Windy on this one.

    Outspoken or not, the CinC calls the shots - that's a privilege afforded to the President under the Constitution.

    Whether it was justified or not is another matter and we can speculate all we like about the politics around the issue but it has always been this way from the very first wars the US fought to the present day.

    June 24, 2010 at 12:02 a.m.

  • Mike.

    First of all, I can’t stand Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Nethyahu. People think President Obama is anti-Jewish and hates Jews, which I doubt. Nethyahu’s neo-conservatism much like the Iranian Officials presents a clear danger to our troops and peace.

    Second and on topic. Sorry but I consider people like Sean Hannity and others as enemies. Yesterday, Hannity said that the general should be fired etc, today he is now saying McCrystal is a victim of the President.

    June 23, 2010 at 11:33 p.m.

  • Did McCrystal disobey orders? Naw, he did a little bit of b!tching, so what? But he's history now he's been demoted and will probably retire, write a book and become a Fox News analyst - now you will really hear some b!tching.

    June 23, 2010 at 1:33 p.m.

  • Mike...Yeah, I read where the general voted for Obama, but I still think he should be fired. If his opinions were solicited, he was obligated to honestly give them even if they were contrary to the president's. However, once policy is made and orders are given, it is the responsibility of the general (indeed, any soldier) to say yessir and do his best to carry out the orders he's been given. If he is giving opinions to publications that contradict the orders he's operating under and makes disparaging comments about the civilian leadership that is leagally superior to even four-star generals, he should resign and make his comments as a civilian.

    What would a company commander do if some of his non-coms started telling the privates under them that the orders they were given are not only stupid, but dangerous and will likely cause casualties? Do you think that might decrease the effectivness of the unit? If a squad is told to clear a building that might contain armed enemy, the privates don't get to ask what idiot decided this was a good idea. The military defends democracy but does not exercise it. The line from the movie is accurate, "We follow orders, son. We follow orders or people die." Sadly, sometimes the orders really ARE stupid and people do die as a result (think back to Vietnam and LBJ with his SecDef Robert Strange McNamara), but regardless, the orders must be followed.

    June 23, 2010 at 12:22 p.m.

  • waywardwind

    I guess you missed the part where General McCrystal voted for Obama but he was talking about the first meeting he had with the new president. The president did not know who we was nor did he seem engaged. This was an opinion that angered McCrystal but is it is my opinion that this general had already been called on the carpet twice, so perhaps much of this was just venting. I'm just trying to put the human element into it. I can remember being chewed out by a boss, vetting my anger in front of my friends, and then realizing I was wrong and the boss was just doing his job.

    I don't necessarily agree with that freedom of speech analogy, private citizen or not... I knew I could not talk about my supervision without a threat of being fired as a private citizen.

    You are a war history buff, so I'm pretty sure you recall that generals and some presidents have had some private discussions behind closed doors, without it being called insubordination. General McCrystal and president Obama agree on policy because it is what the generals suggested. This has more to do with loose lips and conduct unbecoming of a military officer....IMO

    I think the Truman and MacArthur incident was about policy, so of course President Truman had no choice. General McArthur had a lot more clout and people on his side,than McCrystal.

    June 23, 2010 at 11:40 a.m.

  • writein
    I can see your point where the terrorist might use this situation as a propaganda tool but I will go a step furthur and say that might have worldwide implications, namely in dealing with Israel's Benjamin Nethyahu.

    I can't go as far as to say we have enemies at home because many right wing pundits thought the general was wrong.

    This morning I heard we had about six generals 'ready to take over in Afghanistan within 72 hours, without missing a beat.

    June 23, 2010 at 11:14 a.m.

  • arlewil

    I guess we read the same article but came away with different opinions.

    I don't disagree necessarily with the " loose cannon" analogy but General McCrystal is a spit and polished elite officer who has been trained to run a tight ship. This was not the first time he has been called on the carpet. He was the general that covered up the "Tillman" investigation.

    I think secretary of state Hillary Clinton is doing an outstanding job and I think vice President Biden is a great consultant to the president but the jury is still out on Atty. General Holder and Interior Secretary Salazar.

    June 23, 2010 at 11:01 a.m.

  • Sandwichh

    Don't wear your feelings on your sleeves, I don't wrap myself up in the flag and call someone unpatriotic, even though you call me a elitist progressive.... I think it's quite clear that I was commenting about those that sit in front of a microphone talking to millions on a subject they don't know anything about.

    Check my comment history because just recently I made a statement that military service has nothing to do with respect for the flag and most certainly nothing to do with patriotism.

    June 23, 2010 at 10:46 a.m.

  • I stick with my original suggestion that edpost stay with the avatar of the horse's rear end. It was the most appropriate avatar I believe I have ever seen on the Advocate forum.

    He's trying very hard to fill Kenneth's shoes as most obnoxious poster over here, but those are big shoes to fill. The good news is, ed is sooooooo very close to having them filled. Any day now.

    June 23, 2010 at 10:28 a.m.

  • RE:Ed Post

    This is positively the last time I will have any contact with you because unless you stay on topic, quit posting lies about me, I will treat you the same way I did another poster that was banned for the third time. I will delete all your comments,if you continue in the direction you are pursuing for the following reasons:

    1. You have an obsession with president Obama, that's OK, but write your own blog and don't piggyback off mine.
    2. If you're gonna accuse me of being dishonest(plagiarizing) submit your proof because I gave credit to Rolling Stone and Newsweek's, Johnson Alter.
    3. I have never called the Advocate to report someone I thought was being rude. I will go on record right here, giving the Advocate permission to say one way or the other. When it comes a time, that I have to call the Advocate to referee, I will just call it quits. Obviously, I do not get paid for this and it is time consuming.
    4. Several years ago, the banded poster would attacked every comment I made in the comment section and then would attack posters that agreed with me, on my blog. Several of those posters e-mailed me, saying they had better things to do than putting up with a troll. It's funny, the editor of that time warned us(on line) but their tolerance gave out when they found out he was logging on using seven different aliases.
    5. Yesterday, you posted that I did not want to debate with you because I said it was the "bait and switch."... Yesterday and today, you said I went to the principal's office(Advocate) and snitched... Both statements are lies.....
    6. Look at your comment section, I I think I can safely say that over 90% of your comments are directed at me, in the negative. You haven't gone as far as the banded poster because he devoted two or three blogs to try to denigrate me.
    7. I have tried my very best to ignore your post but at the same time let you have your say... It is my opinion, that you want to use a blog that took me about an hour and 1/2 to write, to change the topic to something you want to engage in. I call that lazy because you have the opportunity to write your own blogs a state your opinion. Rest assured, I will not read your blog.
    8. In my old age, I have become tolerant man but I am not a shrinking violet and I don't wanna be a part of a blog that is just about childish ad Hominem attacks.
    9. Have never considered that someone else might have turned you in for being obnoxious or a staffer thought you might have gone over the line? Does your ego, allow such questions?
    10. For the record, I did not delete anyone's comments last night....BTW throughout the years I have seen where posters informed us that they have been warned by the Advocate staff to mind their manners.... Some take that warning as a badge of honor.

    June 23, 2010 at 10:21 a.m.

  • The general's first mistake was going easy with interviews for The Rolling Stone. I remember when the Stone came out, a hippie, anti government, anti war, anti military magazine. And it essentially still is, depends on what party is in office. Just much it is much better done.

    Most of the bad comments were done by the General's aides. Still, the behavior is answerable to the General.

    As I have been in communication with my wife's cousin, retired Army with 4 tours in Iraq and now 9 months teaching Afghan troops, he states Afghanistan is not Iraq by any means. For the general to go would not be good for that effort. But it would be in line for him to go.

    And the elitist progressive comments about those right wingers who have not served don't know, there are many of us who tried to go in and things like the doctors would not let us. I tried twice. And many of us are just as up on stuff as some I know who were forced to serve. Just one of my burrs, we are just as patriotic as any.

    June 23, 2010 at 9:11 a.m.

  • Mike
    The General had too many "loose cannons" on his ship. I read the article in Rolling Stone and most of the damage came from an out of control staff.
    Our President has too many loose cannons on his ship. The General, Secretary of State, Secretary of the Interior, Vice-President, Attorney General and Chief of Staff just to name a few. It looks like we are going to have a ship wreck.

    June 23, 2010 at 8:54 a.m.

  • Edpost.

    I do not believe you really feel sorry for the President etc.

    June 23, 2010 at 2:21 a.m.

  • If I were a Presidential advisor, I would advise the President in NOT firing the General. All this is a trap. A Proraganda tool for Terrorist organzations aborad and yes "enemies" at home.

    What I mean by enemies at home are those who have the us vs them myway or hiway local mentiality

    June 23, 2010 at 1:35 a.m.

  • BOY???? BOY????

    June 23, 2010 at 12:58 a.m.

  • I (Rollinstone) read the Rolling Stone article and it seems like a big to do over nothing. There is little there to complain about and what there is sounds like some men in a highly stressed position blowing off a little steam - stick a fork in it!

    June 22, 2010 at 9:41 p.m.

  • My feelings about the president are no secret; I don't trust him and think he and his administration are a real threat to the nation and our liberty.

    HOWEVER...for good or ill, he is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States and the general was wrong to say what he said to Rolling Stone. He should be fired forthwith. Truman had no choice but to fire MacArthur during the Korean War and Obama has no choice here. McCrystal is not a private citizen who has First Amendment rights to free speech. If the president allows him to get away with shooting off his mouth to Rolling Stone, there will be no way for any commander to disicipline any soldier for insubordination. McCrystal had the option of resigning his commission and speaking out as a private citizen -- even entering the presidential race against Obama, but he didn't do that. Regardless of his accomplishments during his career, he has crossed the line and must be fired. I saw a blurb on Drudge a little while ago that he has indeed tendered his resignation but no details were available.

    June 22, 2010 at 7:05 p.m.

  • We now know the the culprit..It was cases of Bud Lite lIme....According to Rollingstones' Michael Hastings, most of blabbing came after Iceland's volcano forced the general to take a bus from Paris to Berlin. The bus was loaded several cases of the general's favorite brew but the real mistake was taking reporters along for the ride.The general is not denying the validity of the story because this happened every day.,even without the influence of Bud Lite.

    June 22, 2010 at 5:33 p.m.

  • edp?os?,

    Ar? y?o a tr?ll no??

    June 22, 2010 at 4:54 p.m.