Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bite Me

The latest pearls of military wisdom from Our Man in Bananastan:
"One aide as saying McChrystal seized control of the war "by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House."

"One aide called White House National Security Adviser Jim Jones, a retired four star general, a "clown" who was "stuck in 1985."

"On Holbrooke, an aide is quoted saying: "The Boss says he's like a wounded animal. Holbrooke keeps hearing rumors that he's going to be fired, so that makes him dangerous." McChrystal is also described as exasperated on receiving an e-mail from Holbrooke. "Oh, not another e-mail from Holbrooke. I don’t even want to open it."

Obama agreed to dispatch an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan only after months of study that many in the military found frustrating. And the White House's troop commitment was coupled with a pledge to begin bringing them home in July 2011, in what counterinsurgency strategists advising McChrystal regarded as an arbitrary deadline.

McChrystal's team disapproves of the Obama administration, with the exception of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who backed McCrystal's request for additional troops in Afghanistan.

A member of McChrystal's team making jokes about Biden, who was seen as critical of the general's efforts to escalate the conflict and who had favored a more limited counter-terrorism approach. "Biden?" the aide was quoted as saying. "Did you say: Bite me?" Biden initially opposed McChrystal's proposal for additional forces last year. He favored a narrower focus on hunting terrorists."
That's it. I'm now officially sick of my Army's general officer corps. From Ray "The Desert Ox" Odiernio, Abizaid, Sanchez, Slick Dave Petraeus, and now this idiot McChrystal - and remember, though none of these quotes come from the Man Who Wears The Stars these are his dogrobbers, selected for their enthusiastic syncophancy and utterly craven lickspittality...if they had an independent thought somewhere in their bullet heads they would be out leading a presence patrol in West Buttfuckistan - I swear, I can't find one of these douchenozzles I'd consider capable of leading four privates to a latrine.The quality of American general officers has never, in my opinion, been truly high. The officer selection process has always seemed to follow the old Japanese adage "The nail that sticks up will be hammered down". And we've had eight years of the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld ideal of the big-R Republican general, committed not to the safety of the small-r republic but the geopolitical fantasies of the red-meat wing of the Grand Old Party.

And here is the result.

I have no doubt that Holbrooke is a paranoid dick and Biden an interfering old nanny goat. But;

1. Our entire system is built around civilian control of the military. No doubt that George Washington and Ulysses Grant thought that their civilian masters were dicks and nannies, too. But they got it, and kept their fucking mouths shut.

2. And this entire clusterfuck in central Asia is all about civilian political objectives. Killing raggedy-assed Afghan hillmen is utterly meaningless, and if McChrystal doesn't get this - and these quotes suggest that he and his dogrobbers don't - then he's not just a problem but THE problem and needs to go, like, yesterday.

3. And the final word on this comes from my old First Sergeant Holmes, uttered when he caught me mouthing off about the political situation in Panama, circa 1986."Who da fuck elected you, sergeant?" he snarled.

"Nobody, First Sergeant." I replied.

"You gots a whole bunch of politicians folks in CONUS done elected they ass and they job to tell yo ass what the fuck you gotta do. It you job to shut yo piehole and get the fuckin' job done they tells you to do. You gots a problem with that, you can tell yo momma. But you shut the fuck up around the troops, and around the civilians. Are we Airborne?"

"Airborne, First Sergeant!"

It seems that if we're going to keep him around we need to recall First Sergeant Holmes from his well-deserved retirement to adminster some Old Army wall-to-wall counseling to the good general and his aides.

The sooner the better.

Update 6/22 p.m.: So it seems that the good General has "offered" to resign.

Well. Aren't we the speshul snowflake.

I can't think of anything that demonstrates the degeneracy of both our Army's general officer ranks and the level of "geopolitical" thinking inside the Beltway.

OK, first, sir, man the fuck up and officially submit your resignation. Put it on the SecDef's desk. If he tears it up, scoop up the pieces and scuttle back to Kabul; you've won the Dugout Doug Lottery and Obama has just handed you his babymakers for the rest of his one term.

Second, Obama; this man serves at your pleasure. If you think, given the level of contempt this entire business shows (regardless of who actually said what to whom), that this man is going to execute the strategy that you and your advisers formulate, I will carry your rucksack from here to the Halls of Montezuma and kiss your fucking ass when we get there. He's a general; there's an assload of 'em, cross the river and knock on the door of that wierd five-sided office. Betcha you'll trip over one within two minutes. Afghanistan is a goatscrew - pretty much any one of them can hand over our cash to corrupt Karzai cronies and fail to figure out that killing 29-cent muj with million dollar missiles is a mug's game. Pick the first one you see. Trust me, he can't do that much worse.

So why haven't you sacked him yet?

As First Sergeant Holmes would have said; you fuck up and I will personally fuck you up in reciprocity, and if you think I'm joking, fuck up.

Or as Sergeant Lawes observes, what a fucking fuckup of a fucking fucked-up fuckstory.


  1. And maybe, with even better results, since your fellow is in retirement, do the same with a certain elected resident of the Oval Office.

    I think he'd do well to shove some decent common sense where it will do the most good.

    I'm sure there's a applicable artillery metaphor in there somewhere?



  2. Does this allow McChrystal a way to avoid being labelled "the general who lost Afghanistan"?

    I ought to be surprised that McChrystal hasn't already resigned.

  3. basil: As I said, our military leaders have dealt with civilian fucktards since 1775. The intelligence or stupidity of the sitting President isn't the issue here, but rather the role of a military, and its leaders, in a democracy.

    As for Obama, well, I'm not sure that whipping up on his head with dimension lumber would smarten him up. I don't think its an issue of smarts - the guy seems smart enough. The issue here seems to be fear. He doesn't want to be Carter, or LBJ, taking the hit for a failed foreign war. So I think he fears the label of "weak" more than he fears a beating.

    But that's just me.

    Ael: I have yet to see a current serving U.S. GO with the steel balls to state his case to the NCA and, if his oplan is rejected, to resign.

    The despicable part about this is that McChrystal had the option to do this early on. He knew that Obama had to set a hard deadline for withdrawl - it was right up front in the man's campaign. He knew Biden and Holbrooke wanted a less-counterinsurgent-more-counterguerilla/counterterroriam approach; they'd written and spoken about it extensively.

    If you take a job and the boss changes the job parameters on you unexpectely you have a right to bitch. If you take a job knowing what the boss wants and disagreeing with it you're a fool, and you need to STFU and get on with the job, or quit.

    This shows me that McChrystal is both a fool and a knave.

  4. The report on
    Warlords and the supply route makes for an instructive read.

    The ice cream cone keeps on licking.

  5. Chief,

    I agree McChrystal needs to go, no doubt about that at all. And I also agree that the general officer selection process has been broken for a couple of decades.

    The thing is, I think McChrystal is one of those nails that stuck up yet he somehow still managed to get promoted. Personally, I think he was the wrong guy for the job in Afghanistan - we really needed an Eisenhower and not a Patton. Despite the fact I thought Wesley Clark was a raging douche when I served under him at Eucom, he's more the kind of general you'd want for an Afghan commander where political acumen is necessary. McChrystal was good for a place like JSOC or command of the Rangers, but he was out of his league from the beginning with this assignment.

  6. As a German, I'm kinda entitled to remark that generals can be TOO apolitical as well.

    "shut up" attitudes are as wrong as being too chatty or MacArthur-bomb-loving.

  7. Chief:

    As I said, our military leaders have dealt with civilian fucktards since 1775 . . .

    Yes, I know the situation. I've gotten a decent education here. And I'm not suggesting your Sergeant give Obama a trip to the woodshed to use any size of lumber.

    I'm sure you recall Caesar's Sunday afternoon foray into ancient Belgium, guest of the Nervii among others. Fine example of woodshed tripping and ass being served.

    What saved that Roman's ass from being cooked thoroughly were the men-at-arms and the sergeants/centurions that led them.

    I think what has scared this president shitless as well as Dubya and Darth after 9/11, was any similar event happening again on their watch.

    Like the Israelis swear, "Never again!"

    Mebbe instead of shiny bedecked high-power generals sitting on the Joint Chiefs and retired generals advising the president, we ought to have a set of experienced NCOs.


  8. Sven,

    Agreed. Military officers are not slaves, but there are reasonable and appropriate methods for them to voice their disagreement over policy - unprofessional comments to a reporter is not one of those methods.

  9. Andy: I think that part of this is a larger failure, part of what seydlitz likes to rail about when he talks about our lack of "strategic thinking".

    Not sure what it was but it seems to me that we used to be better at turning out Eisenhowers, George Marshalls, Pershings and the like. For all that we now have the huge defense university establishment and the think-tankery that goes with it, we seem to have a real problem with creating, not "political generals" - we have assloads of 'em - but generals who can work the area between the top levels of the operational art and strategy and the operational levels of geopolitics.

    The British, back in their colonial days, used to churn these fuckers out by the bagful. Roberts, Gordon, Wolseley, Bob Napier, Kitchener...

    If we want to play the good little colonial warriors we're gonna have to start figuring out how they did it, and fast.

    If we keep at it with these clowns, we're gonna be hating life.

  10. Sven: True, but there is little danger of that around here. Playing politics is bred into our GO selection process.

    My problem is that there is a perfectly legitimate method for GOs to have their say; you speak your peace in private to the politicians. And then, if they don't see it your way, you resign your commission. You don't even have to say anything. Your action says it all - you have an unreconcileable disagreement with your civilian masters and you are unable to carry out the mission their way.

    You then don't have to criticize them directly. You state your strategic opinion, you let them state theirs. Then the People (who are supposed to be soverign) can judge between your assessment and the elected officials. If they agree with you, they can then vote the rascals out.

    The fact that McChrystal's bobos have chosen this approach speaks volumes about the degraded nature of politics and military integrity both in Washington and in the U.S. Army.

  11. basil: The point to having a figurehead President has become to have a single Head of State for the unwashed masses to huddle around.

    In some sense I kind of miss having a seperate Head of Government and Head of State, but that's by-the-by.

    But as Head of State, Obama, if he wished, could use his bully pulpit to explain to the fucktard American public that no amount of time or money running around the wilderlands of central Asia is going to convince people who hate the U.S. for things like loving us some Israel that blowing up one of our airliners isn't a Good Thing. And, since twenty or so guys can do this from a flophouse in Frankfurt, a rental cabin in Mogadishu or where-the-hell-ever, that these guys will succeed from time to time. And that all the wars and drones and yellow ribbons won't change that.

    And that when these guys do succeed, they will not be one picoshit closer to toppling the United States.

    The banksters could come close. We the People can do it, by being greedy, stupid, and shortsighted. But a bunch of raggedy-ass muj?


    So we might as well save our money for things like, oh, deficit reduction. And our troops for whoever the hell we'll end up fighting next month.

    I know this. You know this. Pretty much everyone outside the bedwetting Islamofascist wing of the Republican Party knows this. But the selfsame wingnuts are guarenteed to got utterly batshit if anyone says it, and Obama and the other governing D's appear to be fearful of that.

    If they are - and they appear to be - then an appear to their common sense and intelligence, even if adminstered with dimension lumber, is unlikely to have any effect.

    The cumulative effect of social promotion, drinking water flouridation, and reality TV appears to be coming home to bite us on the ass.

    I despair, sometimes. I really do.

  12. Hey, General Abazaid was/is a stand-up guy. I worked for him in the Joint Staff, he was the J5. He's a class act, did the best he could do in Iraq and then got the fuck out. You should take him off your list and replace him with the current CSA, General Casey, for whom I have no respect. Complete opposite of Abazaid, did what he was told when he was in the Desert and got the CSA job as a reward.

  13. Jason: I put Abizaid there for the same reason as all the other guys: he had an undo-able mission - in the political sense, not the military one - and he didn't have the sack to man up to the NCA and tell them that.

    I don't know anyone on this list personally and have no grudge for or against them as such. But as general officers, as an NCO I expect them to sell my life for the most value they can get. Abizaid, just like Casey, just like the PAO pricks like Pete Pace, was willing to go along to get along. So that, in my book, earns him the Cone of Shame. Doesn't make him any less a decent guy, or a great boss.

    George MacClellan sounds like he was a hell of a loveable commander. He just couldn't do the job and couldn't tell his political masters he couldn't, either.

    Oh, and here's another lovely quote from the Rolling Stone article, just for laughs:

    "Even those closest to McChrystal know that the rising anti-war sentiment at home doesn't begin to reflect how deeply fucked up things are in Afghanistan. "If Americans pulled back and started paying attention to this war, it would become even less popular," a senior adviser to McChrystal says."

    As First Sergeant Holmes himself would have said, what a fucking fuck of a fucking fucked-up fuckstory.

  14. I still submit you're being harsh on Abazaid. He was a good soldier, he went where his Cdr in chief directed, and did his time but not a day longer. I hear what you're saying but respectfully disagree. He did what good soldiers are supposed to do, he led the way in lieu of resigning his command.

    Gen Pace, Gen Myers, the rest of them, yeah, political pricks. But Abizaid was one of the good guys.

  15. Like I say; no argument that he was a good guy, and probably a hell of a great boss.

    But when it came down to nut-cutting time, he opted to save his career rather than tell the Truth to Power. I can't say I would have done differently, but, then, I never tried to or wanted to be a general.

    Am I being harsh. Yes. Am I FEELING harsh, after watching my Army get lied to, fucked over, screwed by its own commanders, the government and the People alike? Yes. I'm growing increasingly inclined not to cut anyone any slack. Treating everyone's fucking opinion like they were a speshul snowflake helped us get into this mess.

    Some things, some ideas, some opinions, are flat-out, thump-down, pure-D, head-up-ass wrong. And not calling them as such makes us as effed up as they are.

    I wish I could make nice about Abizaid; you obvoiusly liked the man, I respect your opinion, and I'm probably tarring him with my cynical brush. But I'm just really damn sick and tired of people getting caught flinging poop and having them tell us they thought it was chocolate.

  16. Oh, and the latest precious pearl?

    McChrystal has "offered" to resign.

    Fuck you, sir.

    Man up. Write out your resignation. Submit it to the SecDef. If he chooses not to accept it, scoop up your winnings and grab a hat - you've won the Dougout Doug MacArthur Lottery. If he does, well, you hung this one on yourself.

  17. Chief,

    Mighty fine commentary here on this one. If I wasn't already neck deep in getting my sorry ass ready for that final transfer to retired land, I'd say more.

    Let me just say that this entire funking story has me ragin pissed. PO'd at Genl Stan, his immediate boss Faintin Dave and their other boss Admiral Mike. If this is the best that we can offer, we're in big trouble and we best come home quick. As for the CINC, he better FIRE Stan, FIRE HIM NOW and be done with it. Don't go limp and quivery wondering what the likes of Bloody Billy Kristol or the lumber Kagan Bros would write. Or the bluster that will emerge from Lindsey (I'm not that way) Graham (as COL USAFR) or that other tired, washed up warhorse John (Black Ace) McCain.

    Failure to FIRE dooms to permanent weakness and deservedly so.

    And we still want to be there? YGTBFKM.


  18. JD: Interesting back-and-forth over at Jason's site about whether or not this is McC's "MacArthur Moment". Can't imagine how anyone with a functioning hindbrain could question it. McChrystal and his entire staff go public with a screed that, regardless of exactly who said what about who, makes the theatre commander's contempt and disregard for his political superiors - if you'll excuse the expression - crystal clear. Given the man's history of end-running the civilian command structure, if this ISN'T grounds for relief, what is?

    And, sadly, my sense is that the person of the theatre commander is really immaterial. McChrystal is doing about as badly as Casey did. It's not like the fucker is Manstein or Guderian, here. He's an overpromoted Ranger captain who hasn't lost his taste for bloodshed. The guy is practically a walking advertisement for the common sense of the Santayana quote “To delight in war is a merit in the soldier, a dangerous quality in the captain, and a positive crime in the statesman”

  19. Freud would say that McChrystal wanted this to happen, that his inner demons drove him to it. I think there might be some validity in that: he's clearly gone round the bend and is unfit for command.

    Not to mention that he's a gutless whiner. After establishing a bogus "study" group comprised of civilian war lovers who would faint at the sight of their own blood, former junior officers trying to make a name for themselves, and various other personages best described as wastes of good oxygen, he underhandedly leaked his wonderful "study" and got everything he wanted from a weak president. But that wasn't good enough. Once he got what he wanted and discovered the job was a little more difficult than he'd like, he decided to write his own history. Nothing was his fault, it was all the doing of those evil "others" out there, those who just don't get his greatness.

    But Obama shares the blame for having perpetuated the weird, dysfunctional C2 arrangement in Afghanistan. The way it used to work was we had something called a "country team," wherein the senior military officer was subordinate to the U.S. ambassador. Not here. Eikenberry, the ambassador, who was actually, IMO, right in his calls about the Afghan government, is somehow sitting out there as a peer or whatever of McChrystal's. So we got two guys in charge. Or whatever. And it really helps that there's bad blood between them. Note also that Eikenberry is a retired 3-star. McChrystal has four stars. Eikenberry is a nobody. He doesn't have the stature to take McChrystal on, which means he's effectively useless.

    And speaking of gutless wonders....Gates, Mullen, Petraeus. If any of 'em had any nuts, they'd advise McChrystal via back channel not just to offer it, but to actually resign. And then they'd leak it. By so doing, they would take the heat off the president and make matters considerably better for the nation. But of course, none of 'em will do it. They'll assume the three monkeys stance.

    Fuckin' cowards. The whole lot of them. And that includes Abizaid. Jason may like the guy, but what did he do for the nation? Other than roll over and let Bush scratch his tummy, that is. Every one of these damned generals and admirals has known the truth about these wars. They're not stupid, but they're craven. Instead of taking one for the team—the nation—they've found it far easier to get along by going along. Without even realizing it, the people of the United States have nurtured and saluted the descendants of the Wehrmacht general staff. And this goes back to Vietnam, BTW.

    Actually, it may be that our generals' Wehrmacht days are behind them now their man Bush is gone. Now it seems as if they've found new role models in South America.

    It's clear the military is totally out of control. It's no longer possible to respect the generals. And it won't be possible to respect our president if he fails to crack down on the junta, with the first step being the removal of McChrystal. Think about where we're going with this if McChrystal survives.

    Banana republic.

  20. Publius:I wish I could claim some sort of Chapter 11 excuse for McC. I think it's simpler than that. The man is the end product of twenty-plus years of flouridating the officer corps with the notions that Democrats are wimps and losers, than only Republicans are Real Men, and that Real Men love blowin' them some shit up and killin' them some ragheads.

    It's like we've learned from Adolf and put a friggin' ex-corporal in charge of an entire theatre.

    I'm already disgusted. A real President would have had this guy's head on his desk by dinnertime. Hell, a real Chief of Army Staff would have done it FOR him.

    Ball-less, clueless, worthless fuckers.

  21. To all,
    esp Publius.
    I believe that Mc C did this as a planned opening salvo in an attempt to win the Republican Pres nomination.
    I no longer feel that Pet will run-the Mc c will be the man.
    I've written a post on this to be up later.
    This was calculated to create a perfect storm for the election.

  22. "This was calculated to create a perfect storm for the election."

    Perhaps this WAS a MacArthur Moment...but not the way I meant it. From the Wiki entry on Mac: "MacArthur encountered massive public adulation, which aroused expectations that he would run for the presidency as a Republican in the 1952 election."

    I don't know if this was an actual conspiracy...but I wonder if McChrystal, or someone close to him, sees this as a way to make Obama into Truman, paving the way for Petraeus - or someone similar - to be Eisenhower in 2012?

    My understanding of the original MacArthur firing is that only an investigation by Congress that made it clear that Mac had been running amok in east Asia before Truman had relieved him kept Mac from being the GOP poster boy and backed down public hatred for Truman. I wonder if this is - if not an attempt to erect and American Caesar - an attempt to neuter Obama on central Asia as the GOP tried to use MacArthur to neuter Truman on Korea?

  23. So is it possible that our military commanders are no longer beholden to their CinC, but to their GOP/PNAC/WhatHaveYou owners? Reminds me of Ollie North, who should be out in the street, panhandling and begging for table scraps, but has been taken care of. By whom, we can only imagine. (Ahem, F ox News, Ahem.)

  24. To all,
    IF this war is a Nato alliance and therefore a coalition war, which we say that it is, then would it not follow that they would have a say in the firing and hiring of SUPREME COMMANDERS?
    Isn't that what coalitions do?
    So why does Commandante O have the unilateral call in this situation?
    The answer my friend is blowing in the .....

  25. It might be that the ISAF & OEF-A commander would be fired if the majority of allies insisted on it. They aren't offended by the recent affair, though.

    There's usually a division of jobs in multinational affairs, though; after a few rounds of trade-offs every involved country or group of countries has one of few posts secured for their candidates and leaves the others to others.
    There has never been a NATO secretary general from the U.S., for example:

  26. Sven,
    It's hard to be offended by the truth.

  27. Jason,
    Were Pace and Myers political?
    Or were they religous?
    It's a fine but important point.The religous thing appears to be a qualifyer THESIS.
    for admittance to the military academies these days. It also appears a qualifyer for GO status. Or so it appears.
    This would make a fine Ph D