As we speak, General Stanley McChrystal has had his 30 minute face-to-face with President Obama and has departed the White House. No word yet on the outcome of that meeting.
There is mixed public opinion on this fracas whereby McChrystal dissed the Obama administration, their policies in Afghanistan and their diplomatic corps. Certainly one would think that McChrystal would watch his four-star mouth when a reporter is right in front of him with recorder and pen and pad, even though he directed his thoughts to an aide, rather than the reporter. McChrystal’s rogue nature is at best, an example of gossiping and ego-fulfillment. At worst, his behavior is blatant insubordination.
Nevertheless, there are many who believe that the General’s military experience, doggedness to fight until victory is attained and knowledge of Afghanistan is worth any amount of public derision of the administration by the General. They insist the war must be won (Ha!) and McChrystal is the man to do that.
I beg to differ. McChrystal should resign effective immediately. The first time my hackles were raised at his professional behavior was during the Pat Tillman fiasco. Tillman gave up a lucrative career in professional football to join our armed forces and serve his country. He was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan. Friendly fire is a known and too often, frequent aspect of war. McChrystal knew from the get-go that Tillman was thus killed, but withheld that information from Tillman’s distraught family. In effect, McChrystal choreographed this cover-up to avoid any blame falling on the U.S. military for Tillman’s death. Right then and there I knew there was some unethical, fatal flaw in the person of Stanley McChrystal, and I winced when President Obama made him our top military man in Afghanistan.
Now McChrystal has gone rogue again, by publicly criticizing his boss. Does this need of McChrystal to override the chain of command for his own self-validation violate his professional obligations? You betcha. He needs to go. Regardless of whether or not he is as skilled a wartime General as some say, the fact that he spoke against his Commander-in Chief’s policies is a complete infraction against Rule Number One in the military: obey your superiors. Some of McChrystal’s spoken blunders might very well be correct. However, he does not have the option of his opinions as long as he is employed by the United States Armed Forces.
Finally, in relation to this McChrystal incident, where in the world is General Petraeus and why hasn’t he taken control of this turn of events? Seems to me that Petraeus should get his four-star tush in gear and step up to the plate of hiring and firing.
Similarly, U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman of New Orleans has issued a ruling blocking President Obama’s six month deep water drilling moratorium. The Judge stated that the economic survival of the area (and of the oil companies, no?) is more important than the health of its people and environment. The deep oil rigs in question have been inspected and declared safe. Didn’t we hear that before? However, let us suppose that the regulatory agencies are correct and that these wells are indeed safe. The real problem is that should there be an “unforseen” accident (remember that issue of good old “human error”), there are still no contingency plans to contain and clean up the subsequent mess. How can this Judge Feldman make such a ruling when the solutions to righting any disasters are still not yet devised?
You should know that this Judge Feldman had and still has investments in eight major oil companies. Has he never heard of the term “recusal”? Where are his professional ethics? They are probably in the same gutter as General McChrystal’s.
McChrystal and Feldman both have acted in their professional capacity poorly and, in the end, for their own well-being and profit. We have seen such behavior before from the likes of Enron, health care insurance companies, Wall Street, Madoff and now BP. When will this devotion to profits over well-being end?
Hard to believe, but this was a BP advertisement just a few short years ago in 1999. Actions speak louder than words and perhaps, we should be much more savvy in believing what we are seeing.