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nebraska29
If you think about it, this comparison is a history major's thesis ultimate dream. Here are some tidbits just off my 'noggin.

*Both Obama and Lincoln didn't have military experience
*Both presidents elevated their respective general
*Both generals were criticized for how they managed their respective wars
*Both generals didn't respect their commander in chief
*Both presidents were Muslim

Questions for debate:

1.)Like McClellan, will McChrystal make a foray into politics to oppose Obama or to lead the charge against him?

2.)Is McChrystal more similar to, or different than, General McClellan? What evidence leads you to your conclusion?

3.)Is Obama more similar to, or different than, Abraham Lincoln? What evidence leads you to your conclusion?

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BoF
QUOTE(nebraska29 @ Jun 23 2010, 10:33 PM) *
If you think about it, this comparison is a history major's thesis ultimate dream. Here are some tidbits just off my 'noggin.

*Both presidents were Muslim

Before we get started, I must challenge the above statement.

Lincoln’s Religion

QUOTE
Abraham Lincoln's religious beliefs are a matter of controversy. Lincoln frequently referenced God and quoted the Bible, yet never formally joined any church. He was private about his beliefs and respected the beliefs of others. Many attempts have been made to define his beliefs as either religious or secular. While Lincoln never joined any church, there is disagreement about whether he experienced a conversion to Christianity later in life, particularly during his tenure as president. His close personal friend, bodyguard, and biographer Ward Hill Lamon said:

Mr. Lincoln did not, to my knowledge, in any way change his religious ideas, opinions or beliefs, from the time he left Springfield till the day of his death. I do not know just what they were, never having heard him explain them in detail, but I am very sure he gave no outward indications of his mind having undergone any change in that regard while here.[1

I read Doris Kearn Goodwins, A Team of Rivals. Nowhere does she indicate Lincoln had any Muslim leanings. Like Benjamin Franklin, Lincoln was ambivalent about his religion.

Obama’s Religion

QUOTE
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Barack Obama is stepping up his effort to correct the misconception that he's a Muslim now that the presidential campaign has hit the Bible Belt.

<snip>

"I've been to the same church _ the same Christian church _ for almost 20 years," Obama said, stressing the word Christian and drawing cheers from the faithful in reply. "I was sworn in with my hand on the family Bible. Whenever I'm in the United States Senate, I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. So if you get some silly e-mail ... send it back to whoever sent it and tell them this is all crazy. Educate."
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22767392/

After the fiasco with Jeremiah Wright, Obama has been looking for a new church. He has found a chuirch at Camp David, but I doubt he attends regularly.

QUOTE
For the past five months, White House aides and friends of the Obamas have been quietly visiting local churches and vetting the sermons of prospective first ministers in a search for a new — and uncontroversial — church home. Obama has even sampled a few himself, attending services at 19th Street Baptist on the weekend before his inauguration and celebrating Easter at St. John's Episcopal Church.

Now, in an unexpected move, Obama has told White House aides that instead of joining a congregation in Washington, D.C., he will follow in George W. Bush's footsteps and make his primary place of worship Evergreen Chapel, the nondenominational church at Camp David.
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,...l#ixzz0rlpzHCnA

Otherwise, this seems to be a fine thread. Doris Kearns Goodwin has been on MSNBC talking about this, especially Lincoln and McClellan. I may participate later.

Meanwhile, welcome back to the board and the liberal fold. I hope you stay here. flowers.gif
Dontreadonme
The Muslim reference is completely lost on me too......

But yesterdays copy of The Atlantic had a paragraph about this very subject:

2010, 1862: So many false analogies. McChrystal was in no way this decade's Douglas MacArthur. And there are many ways in which Gen. Stanley McChrystal is not like Gen. George McClellan, famously sacked by President Lincoln in 1862. Where McClellan had, as Lincoln noted, "the slows," McChrystal, if anything, had the "fasts" -- was an effective battlefield commander, a soldier of first rank, and was never insubordinate. But McClellan, in his private letters, was contemptuous of his commander in chief, calling him a "gorilla": "What a specimen to be at the head of our affairs now!" The sad irony of the day is that McChrystal himself, initially skeptical about Obama, had grown to trust his commander in chief. But McChrystal's staff -- they were stuck in McClellan mode. And indeed, there may have been a reason for this: civilian control of the military means little when the civilians can't tell their knees from their elbows in Afghanistan.
Raptavio
I have a feeling the "both Presidents were Muslim" bit was a joke, fellas - a poke at the Birther subset of the Tea Bag protest movement.
Amlord
1.)Like McClellan, will McChrystal make a foray into politics to oppose Obama or to lead the charge against him?

McClellan was a failed Presidential candidate and did not become governor of New Jersey until more than 15 years passed after he was sacked. McChrystal does not seem to be a politician. He tells it like it is and is a man of action, two things that are the very antithesis of a politician.

2.)Is McChrystal more similar to, or different than, General McClellan? What evidence leads you to your conclusion?

McClellan was relieved for perceived ineffectiveness. Lincoln famously quipped: "If General McClellan does not want to use the army, I would like to borrow it for a time."

McChrystal was relieved for perceived insubordination. After reading the Rolling Stone article, I see a general lack of respect for the civilian government, but not for Obama himself. Biden was not in McChrystal's chain of command. Neither was Holbrooke or Eikenberry.

How come Eikenberry isn't in trouble for criticizing McChrystal? Double standard.

Frankly, I read the Rolling Stone article as a hit piece on McChrystal. I saw an interview with the "journalist" that wrote it and it is quite openly hostile to everything to do with Afghanistan and our aims and policies there.

Of course, there was no criticism of Obama, nor of the Pentagon. Only the diplomatic dunderheads who don't seem to know up from down.

All of that said, the strategy in Afghanistan does seem to be failing. We haven't made progress there. Maybe this was a firing for ineffectiveness and Obama isn't a strong enough leader to say that McChrystal is not getting the desired results.

3.)Is Obama more similar to, or different than, Abraham Lincoln? What evidence leads you to your conclusion?

Obama is no Jack Kenne, er Abraham Lincoln.

By the way, Lincoln was clearly not a Muslim. innocent.gif
Raptavio
QUOTE(Amlord @ Jun 24 2010, 10:21 AM) *
McChrystal was relieved for perceived insubordination. After reading the Rolling Stone article, I see a general lack of respect for the civilian government, but not for Obama himself. Biden was not in McChrystal's chain of command. Neither was Holbrooke or Eikenberry.

How come Eikenberry isn't in trouble for criticizing McChrystal? Double standard.


http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/134410p.pdf

That's why. Neither Eikenberry nor Holbrooke is an active duty officer. McChrystal was. The military code of conduct applies to him and his conduct was expressly inexcusable. It was also the "last straw" after several other times he "talked above his pay grade" and also when he was neck deep in the Tillman coverup.

Yes, there is a different standard for our military commanders than there is for our civilian leaders. That is by design, and it is a good thing.
Amlord
QUOTE(Raptavio @ Jun 24 2010, 11:54 AM) *
QUOTE(Amlord @ Jun 24 2010, 10:21 AM) *
McChrystal was relieved for perceived insubordination. After reading the Rolling Stone article, I see a general lack of respect for the civilian government, but not for Obama himself. Biden was not in McChrystal's chain of command. Neither was Holbrooke or Eikenberry.

How come Eikenberry isn't in trouble for criticizing McChrystal? Double standard.


http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/134410p.pdf

That's why. Neither Eikenberry nor Holbrooke is an active duty officer. McChrystal was. The military code of conduct applies to him and his conduct was expressly inexcusable. It was also the "last straw" after several other times he "talked above his pay grade" and also when he was neck deep in the Tillman coverup.

Yes, there is a different standard for our military commanders than there is for our civilian leaders. That is by design, and it is a good thing.

McChrystal broke nothing in the "no politics in the military" doctrine.

Section 888, which is referenced therein, was also not violated by McChrystal. Section 888 prohibits "contemptuous" language against any of several officials. Nobody would contend that McChrystal himself used contemptuous language.

Obama's rationale for accepting McChrystal's resignation was for team unity. To me, that means he should discipline anyone who isn't on board. That would include at least Eikenberry.
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(Amlord @ Jun 24 2010, 02:00 PM) *
McChrystal broke nothing in the "no politics in the military" doctrine.

Section 888, which is referenced therein, was also not violated by McChrystal. Section 888 prohibits "contemptuous" language against any of several officials. Nobody would contend that McChrystal himself used contemptuous language.

Obama's rationale for accepting McChrystal's resignation was for team unity. To me, that means he should discipline anyone who isn't on board. That would include at least Eikenberry.


This is very deja vu, reminiscent of Fallon's resignation as Centcom commander after his Esquire piece. My thoughts are the same for both. I was very critical of Fallon for that interview at the time, and he later admitted that he didn’t like this spin in the Esquire article, and referred to it as “poison pen stuff”. Well, sorry Fallon, you agreed to sit for that interview so you’re responsible for the spin…I think the same of McChrystal. The sin was not in his disagreement with the White House, it was for choosing the Rolling Stone to do so so very publicly during his command. He publicly undermined command and no president can afford to have a senior military commander flout his/her constitutional authority or freelance his own foreign policy (my words for that last thread, copy and paste is nice).

He needed to go. I have very little respect for a commander that would choose a public platform to voice his grievances with the policies of his democratically elected leader while under the assumption of command. And btw, anyone under McChrystal would have certainly received punishment for questioning his personal decisions publicly while serving under him, and rightly so. So yes, he certainly did break "something" in the military doctrine. If he disagreed so adamantly he should have relinquished command, fell on his sword, and THEN disagreed publicly. That's how it's done. This is true regardless of how correct or poignant the assessment. He didn't, and is now quite low in my estimation.
Raptavio
QUOTE(Amlord @ Jun 24 2010, 01:00 PM) *
QUOTE(Raptavio @ Jun 24 2010, 11:54 AM) *
QUOTE(Amlord @ Jun 24 2010, 10:21 AM) *
McChrystal was relieved for perceived insubordination. After reading the Rolling Stone article, I see a general lack of respect for the civilian government, but not for Obama himself. Biden was not in McChrystal's chain of command. Neither was Holbrooke or Eikenberry.

How come Eikenberry isn't in trouble for criticizing McChrystal? Double standard.


http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/134410p.pdf

That's why. Neither Eikenberry nor Holbrooke is an active duty officer. McChrystal was. The military code of conduct applies to him and his conduct was expressly inexcusable. It was also the "last straw" after several other times he "talked above his pay grade" and also when he was neck deep in the Tillman coverup.

Yes, there is a different standard for our military commanders than there is for our civilian leaders. That is by design, and it is a good thing.

McChrystal broke nothing in the "no politics in the military" doctrine.

Section 888, which is referenced therein, was also not violated by McChrystal. Section 888 prohibits "contemptuous" language against any of several officials. Nobody would contend that McChrystal himself used contemptuous language.

Obama's rationale for accepting McChrystal's resignation was for team unity. To me, that means he should discipline anyone who isn't on board. That would include at least Eikenberry.


You forget - Obama had to take McChrystal to the woodshed before for calling out Vice President Biden. This time, McChrystal was the one who said: "Are you asking about Vice President Biden? Who’s that?" Sorry, Amlord, he broke the doctrine, directly and on the record before a flipping reporter - plus he permitted his staff to do the same and is accountable for what he allows his subordinates to do.

The question of whether Eikenberry needs to be reined in as well is a separate matter. But McChrystal directly broke the military code of conduct and allowed further breaches by his senior staff. The former at least is a court martial offense, and the latter probably is too. You're the first person I've ever seen suggest otherwise.
Amlord
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Jun 24 2010, 02:21 PM) *
QUOTE(Amlord @ Jun 24 2010, 02:00 PM) *
McChrystal broke nothing in the "no politics in the military" doctrine.

Section 888, which is referenced therein, was also not violated by McChrystal. Section 888 prohibits "contemptuous" language against any of several officials. Nobody would contend that McChrystal himself used contemptuous language.

Obama's rationale for accepting McChrystal's resignation was for team unity. To me, that means he should discipline anyone who isn't on board. That would include at least Eikenberry.


This is very deja vu, reminiscent of Fallon's resignation as Centcom commander after his Esquire piece. My thoughts are the same for both. I was very critical of Fallon for that interview at the time, and he later admitted that he didn’t like this spin in the Esquire article, and referred to it as “poison pen stuff”. Well, sorry Fallon, you agreed to sit for that interview so you’re responsible for the spin…I think the same of McChrystal. The sin was not in his disagreement with the White House, it was for choosing the Rolling Stone to do so so very publicly during his command. He publicly undermined command and no president can afford to have a senior military commander flout his/her constitutional authority or freelance his own foreign policy (my words for that last thread, copy and paste is nice).

He needed to go. I have very little respect for a commander that would choose a public platform to voice his grievances with the policies of his democratically elected leader while under the assumption of command. And btw, anyone under McChrystal would have certainly received punishment for questioning his personal decisions publicly while serving under him, and rightly so. So yes, he certainly did break "something" in the military doctrine. If he disagreed so adamantly he should have relinquished command, fell on his sword, and THEN disagreed publicly. That's how it's done. This is true regardless of how correct or poignant the assessment. He didn't, and is now quite low in my estimation.

Which statements in the article do you think were out of line?

I initially had the same reaction as you. A general has no business criticizing the White House or publicly disagreeing about strategy. They have given a mission and their job is to carry it out, not question the decision.

However, McChrystal is running the show. He got his COIN strategy. Obama gave him the majority of the troop increase he requested. The "criticisms" in the article surrounded three people: Biden (one comment by an aide which McChrystal could have been unaware of), Eikenberry, and Holbrooke. The criticism of Holbrooke is that he had no job security and so he seemed to have no long term objectives.

McChrystal's mistake was talking to Rolling Stone, no doubt about that. Allegedly, this Rolling Stone guy followed them around for a month. If you followed a VP of any large company around, I'm sure that in that month you will hear criticisms of other departments. It's just how large bureaucracies work.

QUOTE(Raptavio @ Jun 24 2010, 02:44 PM) *
The question of whether Eikenberry needs to be reined in as well is a separate matter. But McChrystal directly broke the military code of conduct and allowed further breaches by his senior staff. The former at least is a court martial offense, and the latter probably is too. You're the first person I've ever seen suggest otherwise.

Can you cite anyone who thinks this is a Section 888 offense or anyone who is suggesting that he be court martialled over this?
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Raptavio
Well, the National Review (commies!) thinks it was a violation, and used the language of section 888, but did not specify the section:

http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spo...iden-eikenberry

Another well known pinko, Judith Miller, thinks so and cites Section 888:

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/06/23/...trategy-remain/

Amlord
QUOTE(Raptavio @ Jun 24 2010, 03:37 PM) *
Well, the National Review (commies!) thinks it was a violation, and used the language of section 888, but did not specify the section:

http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spo...iden-eikenberry

Another well known pinko, Judith Miller, thinks so and cites Section 888:

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/06/23/...trategy-remain/

Care to quote anything in the article that could be described in court as "contemptuous"?
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(Amlord @ Jun 24 2010, 02:49 PM) *
Which statements in the article do you think were out of line?


The article in its entirety was out of line for a serving commander.

QUOTE(Amlord @ Jun 24 2010, 02:49 PM) *
McChrystal's mistake was talking to Rolling Stone, no doubt about that. Allegedly, this Rolling Stone guy followed them around for a month. If you followed a VP of any large company around, I'm sure that in that month you will hear criticisms of other departments. It's just how large bureaucracies work.


Here's the thing...the analogy isn't the same. Commanders are quite adept at speaking to their audience. No commander worth his salt gives the appearance that he seriously doubts leadership (exception in moments of candor in front of other commanders, NOT subordinates). Even with a journalist "following him around for a month" he could dismiss that person from the room anytime rather than saying anything untoward and printable in front of him. He has had 33 long years of service to become accustomed to being watched 24/7. Make no mistake, seriously, generals are politicians even before they are warriors. McCrystal was not simply careless. No one who has made it to that position is.
Amlord
The comments of the NRO piece mention Section 888, but the article itself does not.

Judith Miller quotes the section, but doesn't say that McChrystal violated it.

QUOTE
There was no evidence that the two men disagreed about the conduct of the war or the strategy for fighting it. Nor was there any indication that Gen. McChrystal was insubordinate. But as President Obama said today, winning the war in Afghanistan requires a “unity of effort.” There is also an unwritten rule of bureaucracy, and not just in the military: thou shall not mock thy boss or commander-in-chief, at least not in public, or within earshot of a reporter. And you can’t permit your aides to do so either.


Of course, no actual quote of anyone at all "mock"ing the President. It simply did not happen. Eikenberry and Holbrooke are not covered under 888. Biden is, but everyone insults Biden because he is so insult-worthy. McChrystal did not mock Biden, he merely dismissed him as unimportant "Biden who?". Certainly not a complement, but not contemptuous either.

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Jun 24 2010, 04:02 PM) *
The article in its entirety was out of line for a serving commander.


So it is just the general tone, which was framed by an anti-war reporter for Rolling Stone? Gotcha.

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Jun 24 2010, 04:02 PM) *
QUOTE(Amlord @ Jun 24 2010, 02:49 PM) *
McChrystal's mistake was talking to Rolling Stone, no doubt about that. Allegedly, this Rolling Stone guy followed them around for a month. If you followed a VP of any large company around, I'm sure that in that month you will hear criticisms of other departments. It's just how large bureaucracies work.


Here's the thing...the analogy isn't the same. Commanders are quite adept at speaking to their audience. No commander worth his salt gives the appearance that he seriously doubts leadership (exception in moments of candor in front of other commanders, NOT subordinates). Even with a journalist "following him around for a month" he could dismiss that person from the room anytime rather than saying anything untoward and printable in front of him. He has had 33 long years of service to become accustomed to being watched 24/7. Make no mistake, seriously, generals are politicians even before they are warriors. McCrystal was not simply careless. No one who has made it to that position is.

Maybe today's generals are all politicians, but that has not always been the case. I don't think anyone would use the words "discrete" or "diplomatic" about George Patton.

I have a suspicion that this was a planned exit strategy by McChrystal. It's uncertain how and where this Rolling Stone guy was hanging around for so long. The story says he sat down several times with the general. The rest of the stuff could have been dug up by anyone with a contact in the general's inner circle and was not necessarily given out as quotes for a story.
Raptavio
QUOTE(Amlord @ Jun 24 2010, 03:08 PM) *
QUOTE
There was no evidence that the two men disagreed about the conduct of the war or the strategy for fighting it. Nor was there any indication that Gen. McChrystal was insubordinate. But as President Obama said today, winning the war in Afghanistan requires a “unity of effort.” There is also an unwritten rule of bureaucracy, and not just in the military: thou shall not mock thy boss or commander-in-chief, at least not in public, or within earshot of a reporter. And you can’t permit your aides to do so either.


Of course, no actual quote of anyone at all "mock"ing the President. It simply did not happen. Eikenberry and Holbrooke are not covered under 888. Biden is, but everyone insults Biden because he is so insult-worthy. McChrystal did not mock Biden, he merely dismissed him as unimportant "Biden who?". Certainly not a complement, but not contemptuous either.


So because 'everyone insults Biden' (interesting statement, but...) that makes it OK?

And well, not a complIment, but not contemptuous? Well, I guess that's your opinion, but McChrystal's out of a job, nonetheless.
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(Amlord @ Jun 24 2010, 04:08 PM) *
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Jun 24 2010, 04:02 PM) *
The article in its entirety was out of line for a serving commander.


So it is just the general tone, which was framed by an anti-war reporter for Rolling Stone? Gotcha.

An anti-war reporter for Rolling Stone that the good general voluntarily provided ammunition for. Quite so. thumbsup.gif

QUOTE(Amlord)
Maybe today's generals are all politicians, but that has not always been the case. I don't think anyone would use the words "discrete" or "diplomatic" about George Patton.

George Patton led the charge when our military forces fired deadly chemicals on our own citizens, specifically world war I veterans and their families living in shacks around Washington DC. I know it violates romantic history, but Patton was a politician too. I don't recall any articles of his drawing the president's (or Vice President's) actions into question as a commander?

QUOTE
I have a suspicion that this was a planned exit strategy by McChrystal.


That's precisely my suspicion as well. And it really annoys me. If this is your suspicion, why defend him in any way? It's a crappy way to lead, and a disservice to those serving under him.
Amlord
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Jun 24 2010, 04:18 PM) *
That's precisely my suspicion as well. And it really annoys me. If this is your suspicion, why defend him in any way? It's a crappy way to lead, and a disservice to those serving under him.

I don't mean to defend him, but it is important to understand why he was allowed to resign in order to answer these particular questions for debate (which we've wondered far afield from). I read the article after hearing that McChrystal laid into the administration and I quite frankly read something that was quite boring with a few salty comments in it. Then I heard an interview with the author and the light went on.

Obama claimed that team unity was needed and yet only took action against one of the people who weren't playing nice. There is more to this story than is being let on, either inside the administration or inside of McChrystal's head.

McChrystal was not removed for incompetence, as McClellan was during the Civil War. I don't think McChystal was doing a particularly good job in Afghanistan, since we've been losing ground for some time now.

McChrystal is not a politician, or at least not a very good one, so his future career is probably not going down that path.
Raptavio
If it was his planned exit, it seems oddly self-defeating. He resigned, and Obama praised him effusively having accepted his resignation. He didn't fire him or show any acrimony towards him -- and McChrystal could have refused to resign and get fired instead, thereby establishing his credentials as a dissident who was silenced by Obama, giving him the right kind of resume to become a FOX pundit or a Tea Party candidate for office. Instead he prostrated himself for his error, resigned, and was given as gracious of an exit as he could hope for.

No, Occam's razor suggests this was not deliberate, but was simply a grievous error.

So does Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
Amlord
QUOTE(Raptavio @ Jun 24 2010, 04:11 PM) *
And well, not a compliment, but not contemptuous? Well, I guess that's your opinion, but McChrystal's out of a job, nonetheless.

They aren't antonyms.

QUOTE(Raptavio @ Jun 24 2010, 04:34 PM) *
So does Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

And why should we suspect that a general whose very job is strategy is stupid? You are assuming something with nothing to support it as evidence, just as I did.

Occam's razor is always good to apply, but something is amiss here. McChrystal certainly could not quit in good faith. It is his strategy, after all, but it is not working as intended. If he wanted out, he had few good options unless he could fake an illness or family emergency...
Raptavio
QUOTE(Amlord @ Jun 24 2010, 03:39 PM) *
QUOTE(Raptavio @ Jun 24 2010, 04:11 PM) *
And well, not a compliment, but not contemptuous? Well, I guess that's your opinion, but McChrystal's out of a job, nonetheless.

They aren't antonyms.


No, they aren't, but such derisive dismissal, on the record, I would certainly call contemptuous.

QUOTE
QUOTE(Raptavio @ Jun 24 2010, 04:34 PM) *
So does Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

And why should we suspect that a general whose very job is strategy is stupid? You are assuming something with nothing to support it as evidence, just as I did.

Smart people can do stupid things. Both Occam's and Hanlon's razor are rules of thumb, not evidentiary. I'm suggesting that suspecting him of deliberately throwing himself on his sword by causing political trouble for his Commander in Chief (whom he supports and voted for) doesn't pass the plausibility test.

QUOTE
Occam's razor is always good to apply, but something is amiss here. McChrystal certainly could not quit in good faith. It is his strategy, after all, but it is not working as intended. If he wanted out, he had few good options unless he could fake an illness or family emergency...


Sorry. That's not compelling. At best, it's speculation. At worst, it's rank conspiracy theory since his senior staff would have all had to collude to be that blindingly stupid with a reporter present just to get their boss an excuse to retire - and damage their own careers in the process.

By the way, Amlord, I have to compliment you for this:

QUOTE(Amlord @ Jun 24 2010, 10:21 AM) *
By the way, Lincoln was clearly not a Muslim. innocent.gif


It's a rare mark where someone has the courage to poke fun at his own political allies' insane conspiracy theories -- in this case, one about the President being a secret Muslim. Good form.
nebraska29
Oh sure, sweep the facts about Ibrahim Hussein Lincoln under the rug, I see how you people are. rolleyes.gif

About McChrystal and McClellan; they both wanted a troop build up and "slowed" the war effort, though in the latter case, McChrystal's was of a different variety. McChrystal is known for his desire to pump up his forces by 50,000. He "slowed" the effort by requiring restrictive rules of engagement. While this is "faster" than anything McClellan would've done, it does show how his own effort impeded the war. McClellan kept sitting in one spot, hoping for reinforcements and asking for more men. I don't believe it would be debatable that he was a "go getter" when it comes to offensive military campaigns, so I'll let that slide as a given.

QUOTE
But the bigger problem with McChrystal’s leadership has always been the general’s devotion to unreasonably restrictive rules of engagement that are resulting in the unnecessary deaths of American and coalition forces. We have had many, many accounts of the rules endangering Americans, and the Rolling Stone article provides more evidence. In the story, a soldier at Combat Outpost JFM who had earlier met with McChrystal was killed in a house that American officers had asked permission to destroy.

Source.

raouldangerfield
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Jun 24 2010, 01:02 PM) *
QUOTE(Amlord @ Jun 24 2010, 02:49 PM) *
Which statements in the article do you think were out of line?


The article in its entirety was out of line for a serving commander.

QUOTE(Amlord @ Jun 24 2010, 02:49 PM) *
McChrystal's mistake was talking to Rolling Stone, no doubt about that. Allegedly, this Rolling Stone guy followed them around for a month. If you followed a VP of any large company around, I'm sure that in that month you will hear criticisms of other departments. It's just how large bureaucracies work.


Here's the thing...the analogy isn't the same. Commanders are quite adept at speaking to their audience. No commander worth his salt gives the appearance that he seriously doubts leadership (exception in moments of candor in front of other commanders, NOT subordinates). Even with a journalist "following him around for a month" he could dismiss that person from the room anytime rather than saying anything untoward and printable in front of him. He has had 33 long years of service to become accustomed to being watched 24/7. Make no mistake, seriously, generals are politicians even before they are warriors. McCrystal was not simply careless. No one who has made it to that position is.


And there you hit the nail on the head. This is my debut post so I will exercise both brevity and clarity, as I try to do as a history author and editor. I was in Army PIO for part of my enlisted tour during the Vietnam era. I had occasion multiple times to interview and report on our three-star general. He emphasized on more than one occasion, in very similar words, your key sentence above: "No commander worth his salt gives the appearance that he seriously doubts leadership (exception in moments of candor in front of other commanders, NOT subordinates)." I can still recall when he had a conference, with a few dozen stars shining about, and I can still remember that at a certain point he turned to me and a couple of other reporters, and very graciously said that the cocktail party had reached the point where he and the other starry ones were about to chew on each other's (behinds)* and take no prisoners, and maybe bitch about the guys upstairs. But you'll find both the champagne and the hors d'oeuvres in the waiting room will likely be up to your satisfaction, soldiers. Enjoy.

Quite a feller. I thought of him when I read the Rolling Stone story. I give kudos to the reporter for getting deep enough to score, but McChrystal broke cardinal rules, both of relaxing the rigor of the chain of command (one of the elements that has led to our superiority) and of not putting the fear of God into his officer staff about EVER making a statement that would make the old man look bad or that would endanger the mission.

An aside, Mrs. Pigpen, what a lovely garden you plant. I think I'm going to like your style, neighbor.

*=sorry about the bad word. I hadn't read the list of the deadlies. My apology. I usually only use the really profane words as I would have as a Confederate Artillery Commander: "Fire for effect!" My apologies.
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