Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Out of the Mouths of Soldiers

Sometimes you have to wonder what people were thinking when they say the things they say. This is particular true if you are in the public eye. Say a politician or maybe an important military commander say in a major theater of combat operations. Like oh I don’t know say Afghanistan.

All I can say is what was General McChrystal thinking. Perhaps even more important what was McChrystal’s staff thinking to say the things they did to the reporter from Rolling Stone. Is having Tin Ear now a major disease like Swine Flu? Unlike Swine Flu, Tin Ear seems to be only affecting people in the public eye. So the public in general is safe from this malady which is a good thing.

Some of the things said sound like something a little kid would say about someone
. This one comes to mind:

“Are you asking me about Vice President Biden? Who’s that?” McChrystal is quoted as saying at one point in the article.

“Biden?” chimes in an aide who is seated nearby, and who is not named in the article. “Did you say: Bite Me?”

Bit Me? Really bit me! How sophomoric is that.

Or this one:

The article claims McChrystal has seized control of the war “by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House.”

I can understand having these feelings. Being frustrated by not being able to control events like one would want to. That prosecuting a war has to be one of the hardest things to do. That this war has to be unbelievably difficult. That the tension between defeating the enemy while at the same time not reeking havoc on a civilian population must be very difficult. This is especially true when lives are being risked and lost.

What also puzzles me about this is why no one around the general said I don’t think this is a particularly good idea to give this interview and say the things we are saying. And that can apply to all of these types of events when you say to yourself what the hell were these people thinking. The answer is they weren’t really rationally thinking through their actions. They were mad or defensive or upset in some way and said things they shouldn’t have.

In the end it cost the generally his job. And even more importantly it’s going to disrupt the American efforts in Afghanistan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The "wimps in the white house" line was from the author. The great majority of the most sensational remarks are from the author.

Drop all the characterizations and just read what's between quotes. It's interesting.