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What General McChrystal Said: Excerpts That Got Him Fired

Updated on June 26, 2010

Like many of you, I really did not hear what the big issue was that got General McChrystal, the commander of all US forces in Afghanistan, fired. Whether you think it is just or not, military personnel talk the way they do. Many could give a hoot about PC, you know, political correctness so not to offend. When in a war zone, all this PC stuff flies out the window. They vent and slang it out their frustrations about war, policy, rules of engagement and every day life. 

General McChrystal is no different except for his rank. Here are some of the things that got him fired:

  1. McChrystal was ordered to attend a dinner with the French minister in order to keep the French in the war. His response was, "I'd rather have my ass kicked by a roomful of people than go to this dinner. Unfortunately, no one in this room could do it."  When someone asks who's he going to dinner with, his reply is, " some French minister that is fucking gay".
  2. Numerous inside belittling remarks about the Vice President, Joe Biden, or Joe Bite me.
  3. McChrystal found it difficult to confer with Washington, namely Obama and Biden regarding Afghanistan policy because, " I was selling an unsellable position" that put himself and Washington on opposite sides of the table.
  4. McChrystal's comments about Obama after their first meeting, "he looked uncomfortable and intimidated by a room full of military brass"
  5. McChrystal vents his frustrations about the politics of war and talks shit about many in the Obama administration like General Jones who is referred to as, " a clown stuck in 1985".
  6. McChrystal found dealing with Richard Holbrooke, the official in charge of reintegrating the Taliban into Afghanistan like a, " wounded animal that may get fired, that makes him dangerous. He just comes in, pulls on a lever or whatever he can grasp onto".

McChrystal delayed the upcoming military attack on the Taliban controlled city of Kandahar because he was not sure if the locals supported the idea. This was important because one of the reasons that the Marjah attack failed was because of just that. The locals helped the Taliban.

While many in Washington abandoned McChrystal as supporters, including Obama and Biden, oddly enough, Afghanistan's president Harmid Karzai called him, "the best American commander of the war" and was sad to see him fired.

It is a political story on a military issue that is a total lost cause anyway. A waste of US resources, time, money and life on some illusion after 10 years that we can make Afghanistan a democracy. Bullshit. The Russians are laughing their heads off.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 7 years ago

      sounds the same, and your point is, are you agreeing or not agreeing?

    • profile image

      Kelly 7 years ago

      You got your first point wrong. Here is is, from the Rolling Stone article:

      "I'd rather have my ass kicked by a roomful of people than go out to this dinner," McChrystal says.

      He pauses a beat.

      "Unfortunately," he adds, "no one in this room could do it."

      With that, he's out the door.

      "Who's he going to dinner with?" I ask one of his aides.

      "Some French minister," the aide tells me. "It's fucking gay."

      If you got that wrong, what else did you get wrong?

    • swordsbane profile image

      William Grant 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      While I don't believe that the Republicans do that much better during wartime, I do believe that many of the top military brass seem to get along better with conservatives than liberals and that counts for a lot. On the other hand, we have a democracy and the government changes. They (the military) needs to suck it up.

      I doubt Obama got rid of McChrystal because of the remarks he made. They never really saw eye to eye and I think the White House was just looking for a good reason to sack him. From all accounts, Petreaus is a good commander. We'll see if that's true. You couldn't ask for a more fucked up situation to jump into than Afghanistan.

      I do think that Congress needs to get the hell out of the way once it decides to go to war. There are only two speeds on the military spedometer: stopped and max. Anything in between is kind of silly. If you're justifiably concerned about what they'll do, then don't go to war in the first place. You tell them the outcome you want to happen and they'll tell you what they need. If you can't give them what they need, then maybe you shouldn't be fighting that war.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 7 years ago

      Petra is on the mark.

    • OpinionDuck profile image

      OpinionDuck 7 years ago



    • profile image

      webminer 7 years ago

      You got one thing right, it is your opinion. Unfortunately I think you need to review the politics behind the scenes regarding WW2 and the subsequent conflicts. The real world is seldom as simple as many right wing aficionados(and left wing aficionados also) would like to present it. Reality is seldom simple and beating the imperial war drum is not always the best thing to do.

    • OpinionDuck profile image

      OpinionDuck 7 years ago


      Obama and his lap dog Biden have not accomplished anything worthwhile in their first eighteen months in command.

      Obama like Bill Clinton is an legal academic with no military experience. Bush and Cheney didn't do a great job in their term, but they did better in the war game.

      The real lame duck in the war game is the Congress, especially democratic ones. From WWII till now they are responsible for losing every war since then.

      Even WWII was a give away to the Russians by Congress. This caused the Cold War and the emergence of China as a world threat to peace.

      In Korea and Vietnam it was not the military leaders that failed but the intervention of a feeble Congress.

      Congress allowed China to mug South Korea and Vietnam.

      Congress was afraid to put China and Russia out of the world acquisition game.

      Had Cognress not thrown in the towel to Russia at the end of WWII then there might not have been a cold war or the emergence of China as a world power. At least not to the extent of challenging the US. This could have made a difference in Korea and Vietnam.

      JFK had the guts to challenge Russia in the Cuban Crisis and Regan had the guts to challenge the USSR to bring down the Iron Curtain.

      Regan and George H Bush did let us down by throwing Ollie North to the wolves.

      Jimmy Carter was a joke when he was feeble in his attempt to free the hostages in IRAN.

      bottom line is that Presidents without military background are not really respected by the third world.

      Congress needs to back up our military to the hilt. They didn't do that with Iraq and Afghanistan, or Korea or Vietnam.

      my opinion...

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 7 years ago

      Thanks, did not know that.

    • Lance Crowe profile image

      Lance Crowe 7 years ago

      I agree the comments were trivial and really there should have been ground rules set up with the reporter from the start. As a vet I have to point out that it's a violation of military law for any commissioned officer to bad mouth anyone in public office. Sorry I don't have a reference at the moment as I'm mobile. But they really could have taken him courts martial over it if they wanted to.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 7 years ago

      Petra, glad to see you know military history. I agree with the analysis. The only positive thing about this war is that it has not cost 50,000+ lives, other than that, we are going down the same road we did 40 years ago, the outcome will be the same.

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      I believe this entire McCrystal affair to be an orchestrated political effort to find scapegoats in order to “explain” an impossible mission and a war that has created more problems than can ever solve.

      Darius of Persia and Alexander the Great knew better than to spend time and resources and so did Russia. Except for Ghingis Khan, nobody ever dominated that region for long.

      McCrystal said, and I agree “for every one we kill – whether civilian or active combatant – we make 10 enemies” Probably we make a lot more enemies than that considering they all have large families and many friends.

      Using bombs to change minds and hearts is crazy and it will never work (remember Vietnam?!).

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 7 years ago

      I am sure he thought it would be good PR

    • Joni Douglas profile image

      Joni Douglas 7 years ago

      Allowing the reporter to include the damaging remarks was stupid. Doesn't it make you wonder why such a smart guy would allow that?

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      But yet our statesman president is compatible with Japanese Emperor Akihito (bowed to him), with a Saudi king (bowed to him), with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev (split a plate of french fries with him)...

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 7 years ago

      seems like two incompatible personalities.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      It's a shame that our statesman president handled the situation by getting 'angry' after reading the article and before meeting with the General. You'd think a Harvard-trained lawyer and an adjunct professor of constitutional law would wait until all sides of the story are available.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 7 years ago

      Personally, I do not think much of the comments. People talk shit all the time. His big mistake was allowing a reporter in his inner circle, which even stunned the reporter who was allowed to follow them around. he was not expecting this kind of access.

    • vrajavala profile image

      vrajavala 7 years ago from Port St. Lucie

      Lt. Col Tadd Sholtis, on his website the Quattro Zone, suggests that the Rolling Stone comments were "made not out of ingrained malice toward the Constitution, but out of a kind of sour humor that emerges under conditions of intense work and constant scrutiny. That doesn't justify the remarks, but it puts them squarely in the realm of the forgivably human." looks like Quatto Zone has been taken down in the last hour, due to Michael Yon quoting it.