Stanley McChrystal: Christ Figure?

Afghanistan has been absent of late from our cyber-parchment. The public discourse has taken an apparent sad turn, and a dirge vice a blog may be in order.

No longer a sleeper issue, Afghanistan is the topic of choice for everyone—at least journalists, politicos and hacks in either area, especially inside Washington, D.C. How can so many disparate people have so, so many varied opinions on the Run for the Poppies and get them published or otherwise aired in the public discourse? (Accuracy not required.)

Topics run the gamut from troop levels to allied participation, to the Afghan people, the nation’s police, and the Afghan army. And who can forget the Taliban? We have learned there are more than two sides to these issues.

There seems to be one thing these hens can agree on: The discrediting of the U.S. front man in Afghanistan, Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal. While some back him, others would have him burned at the stake.

McChrystal is like an Army of One, but everyone’s Great White Hope has become a pariah to current ruling fat cats of Washington. Yes, disagree with his troop level recommendation and express concern with his “strategy.” (Would you really want this man’s job?) But to splay the guy in the national press, comparing him to the controversial World War II hero and later disgraced Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur? Or to criticize his approach with his commander in chief? Puh-lease.

Interestingly, there is no story here about McChrystal. The story lies in his duplicitous detractors. Is the political gain worth the damage?

Undoubtedly president and commander will work out their differences, whatever they may be. And they can do this without everyone’s help. But on the topic of assistance, one would think CENTCOM commander Gen. David Petraeus would have said, “Hey, Stan, I guess I forgot to mention a few things.” Did national security advisor and retired Marine Corps general Jim Jones think to send McChrystal a note? Inappropriate? Is it more appropriate to allow things to disintegrate as they have? We think ol’ blue eyes (Jones) is calling the shots, so we’re unsure why McChrystal has been left without sufficient top-cover.

According to the Wall Street Journal, two recent books cover the Afghan topics of interest well, “Lessons in Disaster” (so many meanings) and “A Better War.” based on knowledge gleaned from such publications seem more constructive than the public crucifixions of U.S. commanders.

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