by Thomas Riggins
After reading the Rolling Stone article that brought down McChrystal, I can only say that Obama really had no other choice but to "accept his resignation"--i.e., fire him. The arrogance and contempt shown by the general and his immediate staff towards the president and his team, of which McChrystal was obstensively a part, is hard to understand. What planet did McChrystal and his staff think they were living on to make such inflammatory comments about the president and vice president and other members of the administration?
However, there is even a greater story here than the downfall of an unwise general. Below is the conclusion to the Rolling Stone article which indicates that Afghanistan is a LOST CAUSE.
"After nine years of war, the Taliban simply remains too strongly entrenched for the U.S. military to openly attack. The very people that COIN [Counter Insurgency--tr] seeks to win over – the Afghan people – do not want us there. Our supposed ally, President Karzai, used his influence to delay the offensive [the surge], and the massive influx of aid championed by McChrystal is likely only to make things worse. "Throwing money at the problem exacerbates the problem," says Andrew Wilder, an expert at Tufts University who has studied the effect of aid in southern Afghanistan. "A tsunami of cash fuels corruption, delegitimizes the government and creates an environment where we're picking winners and losers" – a process that fuels resentment and hostility among the civilian population. So far, counterinsurgency has succeeded only in creating a never-ending demand for the primary product supplied by the military: perpetual war. There is a reason that President Obama studiously avoids using the word "victory" when he talks about Afghanistan. Winning, it would seem, is not really possible. Not even with Stanley McChrystal in charge. "
Note the following:
1. THE TALIBAN IS TOO STRONG FOR THE US TO OPENLY ATTACK.
2. THE AFGHAN PEOPLE DO NOT WANT US THERE.
3. SO FAR ALL THE US HAS DONE IS BRING ABOUT PERPETUAL WAR.
4. WINNING THIS WAR SEEMS NOT REALLY POSSIBLE.
This pessimism is only greater if you read the entire article. So while Obama was right to get rid of McChrystal, he is making a great mistake in taking the American people down the road of perpetuating this meaningless war. This was Bush's war, Bush's lunacy. We must convince Obama to abandon it or it will destroy his presidency and open the doors of reaction here at home.