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Oct 01st
Home Columns A Cup O' Kapeng Barako A General Named McChrystal Versus the President Named BHO
A General Named McChrystal Versus the President Named BHO PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - A Cup O' Kapeng Barako
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 19:11


By Jesse Jose

A Cup O’ Kapeng Barako


T hree words: He’s got balls. 


To me there are only three words fit to describe Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the head honcho in the battleground of America’s war in Afghanistan – he’s got balls. 


No ifs or buts, but yes, indeed, he’s got balls.


And I think the real reason he got “fired” from his job as the man in Afghanistan fighting the insurgents there and the Talibans, is that his balls are a lot bigger than President Obama’s.


And Obama didn’t like that.


Because, you see, on one side of this equation is the General, a proven brave warrior, a brilliant war general, a West Point graduate, a Marine and a Special Forces operations officer with all kinds of medals earned in fighting battles.  He was the man in Iraq, as the LA Times puts it, “given the credit for undercutting the Sunni Arab and Shiite Muslim militias, and singled out for praise after the June 2006 operation that killed the leader of the militant group al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab Zarqawi.” 


In other words, General McChrystal was the one who physically and completely broke the back of the insurgency there.  He was the Man, the “Axman” of Gen. David Petraeus, who engineered the turnaround in the war in Iraq.


On the other side of the equation is President Obama, the so called commander-in-chief of the United States military, who has no military education or experience whatsoever, not even one course in high school of Jr. ROTC.  The closest military experience he had ever had were saluting and shaking hands and paying lip service to battle-weary soldiers returning from their second, third or fourth tours from America’s wars overseas. 


I guess for Obama, vis-à-vis rendering military salutes to America’s returning warriors, is close enough to having a military experience.


POKING FUN AT OBAMA AND HIS AIDES: The reason daw the General was “fired” was because of disparaging personal comments that he and his aides made about Obama and his own civilian aides, who oversee kuno the war in Afghanistan from their air-conditioned offices in Washington, D.C.


These comments appeared in a Rolling Stone profile story, “The Runaway General,” written by Michael Hastings, who reported that McChrystal is said to be “frustrated” with Obama and his top civilian leadership.


And that when McChrystal first met Obama, he was “disappointed” with the President’s limited knowledge of the war and his complete “unpreparedness” for conducting a war against insurgents in Afghanistan.  And during a meeting at the Pentagon with McChrystal and several other generals, Obama was clearly “uncomfortable and intimidated.”


The General was also quoted saying that he found Obama “painful” when the president reprimanded him last fall for speaking openly about his desire for more U.S. troops in Afghanistan.


In this story, one of McChrystal’s aides called White House National Security Adviser Jim Jones, who is a retired four-star general, a “clown,” whose war strategy thinking is “stuck in 1985.”


Hastings also wrote that McChrystal and his staff made fun of Joe Biden about “dismissing the vice president with a good one-liner.”


And that McChrystal was quoted to have said: “Are you asking about Vice President Biden?  Who’s that?”  Then an aide quipped, “Biden?  Did you say, Bite me?”


The general was also portrayed as “exasperated” by e-mails that he had received from Richard Holbrooke, Obama’s special envoy to Afghanistan and was quoted as saying: “I don’t even want to open them.”


Of Karl Eikenbery, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, and McChrystal’s harshest critic of his Afghan war strategy, the general said the ambassador’s main preoccupation was merely to cover his butt: “The one who covers his flank for the history books.”


THE “BETRAY US” GENERAL TO THE RESCUE: President Obama said General McChrystal’s insubordinate conduct “undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system.”


YET, right after the firing of McChrystal, Obama RE-AFFIRMED his commitment to the same war strategy and policy that was drafted and proposed, and overseen on the scene by General McChrystal himself.   


And then he ordered Gen. David Petraeus, the head honcho of Central Command -- whom, if y’all remember, Obama had called General “Betray Us” for proposing that surge in Iraq – to step down from his lofty position in Central Command and assume the position that McChrystal had vacated as battleground commander in Afghanistan.


Obama then called the appointment of Petraeus “a change in personnel but not in policy.”


So, the REASON General McChrystal was sacked from his command was because President Obama didn’t like the fact that he and his aides were mocked and made fun of by the general and his staff.


It’s NOT for incompetence for handling the Afghan War, that’s for sure.  How petty naman the reason was.  Pikon pala etong si Obama.  Pero, tinawag niya si General Petraeus as General “Betray Us” during the troop surge in Iraq.


W hat’s good for the goose should be good for the gander. But in this case, who’s got the bigger balls, the goose, or the gander?  And who’s the goose and who’s the gander?  And, who’s the better person here?


So, I’ve said all this. I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer. Is that being insubordinate, too? Speaking out my views? What’s Obama gonna do? Force me also to retire? I am already retired. Take away my military pension? I am no FilVet who beg for “handouts” from the U.S. government for my wartime services. I am a U.S. military veteran.  I’ve served this country for over 20 years, and in wartime, too. I earned my pension and disability benefits. Every bit of it. 


But most importantly, I’ve also earned my right to speak out. And I think Gen. Stanley McChrystal was fired unjustly, and President Barack Hussein Obama’s decision to sack him was a show of arrogance on his part. 


It’s true that one of the basic elements of the U.S. Constitution is civilian control over the military. But render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar….  And let the generals win their wars. 


Let them speak out, too, fearlessly. That’s all.  JJ


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 June 2010 19:16
Comments (4)
1 Wednesday, 30 June 2010 20:28
Bravo, JJ, this is one of your best columns!!! Baka si BHO hindi pa nag PMT sa high school . . . He, he, he.

2 Wednesday, 30 June 2010 20:33
Jesse Jose wrote: "Let them speak out, too, fearlessly."

Pareng Jesse,

True enough, General McChrystal spoke fearlessly. Whether he deserve the boot or not was the question Obama also decided fearlessly. That's the American way. Speak up. speak out honestly without equivocation regardless of the consequence.

Best regards,

Romy Marquez
3 Thursday, 01 July 2010 16:30
Dear Mr. Jose:

You should have written that both President Obama and the military establishment should decide to get out of Afghanistan, as the United States and her allies are in a No-win situation there.

The Imperial British forces, other invaders and the Russian military could not win in Afghanistan, so how can the U.S. win there? Besides the Afghan tribes have been warring among themselves for a thousand years or more. So?

More power to you and your column,

Maria Clara
4 Friday, 02 July 2010 22:20
Pareng Romy,

Salama nga pala ka comment mo. I agree that Obama made his decision, "fearlessly," too. But it's such a waste that a brilliant, courageous general got sacked just because he spoke up. And deemed to be "insubordinate" because of it. To me, that's un-American.

BTW, I wish to tell you that you're doing splendid work reporting on what's going on in Toronto. I've watched all your You Tube videos. Thank you for sharing them.

Take care now and have a great weekend.

Jesse Jose

(As e-mailed to Mr. Marquez with CC to the Editor)

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