As much as I dearly respect this great warrior, the good Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal forgot one of the fundamentals of leadership: The pace of the pack is set by the lead dog.
One has to seriously question the otherwise brilliant Gen. McChrystal’s judgment to allow an antiwar, biased reporter from Rolling Stone magazine access to him and his staff for 30 days. I know for a fact that the bulk of writing in this traditionally goofy magazine is at the very best suspicious, more often than not simply hard-core left-wing propaganda.
Gen. McChrystal had to know the hack from Rolling Stone would portray him and his staff in a negative light. For Gen. McChrystal to believe otherwise would be analogous to me believing Rolling Stone magazine would give me or the National Rifle Association a fair shake. Not happening.
If Gen. McChrystal felt strongly about how the war was going, one way or another, he should have requested a private meeting with President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen and laid it out to them what specifically needed to be done to win the war. If they didn’t agree with him, he should have offered his resignation. Who knows, maybe he did. What we do know is that he gave Rolling Stone magazine access to him and his staff. By any stretch of imaginative journalism, that was tremendously dumb.
After watching Gen. McChrystal in a “60 Minutes” interview a year or so ago, I had no doubt that he believed then that the Afghanistan war was a total klusterphunk in progress because of the community-organizer-in-chief, Mr. Obama, and the Mao Zedong fan club with whom he had surrounded himself.
Unfortunately, at the end of the day, Mr. Obama is, in fact, the commander in chief. Even as angry and frustrated as Gen. McChrystal surely was with the naive rules of engagement and the embarrassment of telegraphing to the enemy that we are packing up and leaving next July, throwing verbal spears in public at the Obama administration for its goofy Afghanistan war policies was just not right. He deserved to be fired.
Ultimately, Gen. McChrystal should publicly apologize to the military men and women who are left behind to carry out their duty in Afghanistan. He should tell them and their parents and loved ones that what he and his staff did negatively affected the good order and discipline of the military and there is never any excuse to undermine that while wearing the uniform. He should tell our warriors he is tremendously proud of them, that they should hold their heads high and continue to take the fight to America’s enemies. He should then follow Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s advice and fade away.
Maybe Gen. McChrystal believes he figuratively dived on a grenade in hopes the Rolling Stone explosion would ignite a much-needed deeper debate over the Afghanistan war. Maybe he just wanted out of Mr. Obama’s klusterphunk. Maybe he had no clue what the writer was going to write.
Regardless, Gen. McChrystal and his entire staff were outmaneuvered by a hack from Rolling Stone. Simply amazing.
Gen. McChrystal doesn’t need to appear on the Sunday-morning talk shows to further trash the commander in chief and his dopey war policies. He should leave that to others not wearing the uniform. He should instead be at the airport and quietly greet every flight of warriors returning home from Afghanistan.
When I think of the war in Afghanistan , I don’t think of President Obama, our generals, the politicians, the wrongheaded war policies, the embarrassment of an exit strategy instead of a victory strategy, or the incessant yammering of clueless talking heads. I think of the young men and women at the true pointy end of the spear. I think of the guy with the rifle slung across his back, humping over hills, on constant alert and eating food the ACLU would probably sue our prisons over if we fed it to convicted killers.
We must put the care and concern of the warriors first in all that we do and say. They deserve our very best. I hope you never forget that the pace of the pack is set by the lead dog, Gen. Petraeus.
Ted Nugent is an unstoppable American rock ‘n’ roll, sporting and political activist icon. He is author of “Ted, White & Blue: The Nugent Manifesto” and “God, Guns and Rock ‘N’ Roll” (Regnery Publishing).