If you think that only high school “mean girls” claw and hiss and shred the reputations of other kids they deem uncool, you need to read the current issue of Rolling Stone to get the full flavor of men in uniform dissing the Popular Guy, aka Commander-in-Chief.
Mean boys! The “Runaway General” Stanley McChrystal mocks Vice President Biden, derides “wimps” in the White House, and thinks dinner at a good restaurant in Paris with a French minister is “(bleeping) gay” in the words of an aide. The General prefers Bud Light Lime at the Parisian Irish tourist bar with his band ‘o’ buddies. Say no more.
The General’s behavior reminded me of no character quite so much as Jack in Lord of the Flies, a fitting contrast to President Obama’s Ralph. Every high school graduate knows the story — Ralph, elected by the majority of the lost boys, tries to maintain hope and civilization while Jack becomes the increasingly violent warrior/hunter. Both Ralph and Jack and their boys eventually descend into chaos, madness and full-blown murderous destruction. William Golding, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature, devoted his literary career to dissecting the human tendency toward evil, not as a characteristic of primitive people, but as a central theme of some of the most civilized human beings on earth.
Should General McChrystal resign or be fired? This is one of the more delicious debates in Washington today, a city easily bored by the endlessly hopeless video of oil spewing from an unstoppable well, wars raging in desolate deserts, CEOs nursing their ego wounds on yachts racing into the sunset. Now comes a four star general, a West Point grad, an intimidating warrior — and he let Rolling Stone trail him around and record his comments?
Truly, the War in Afghanistan got inside his head, like it has ruined so many others with more obvious wounds. If the General can’t defeat the enemy, why not criticize the boss in public?
Maybe instead of the evil Jack, he more reminds me of that character played by Jamie Farr on M*A*S*H who pretended to be gay in a desperate effort to get sent home from the war. A ploy to be relieved of duties didn’t work in fiction, and it shouldn’t work in reality.
I, for one, think that McChrystal should not be fired, nor should he resign. For his punishment he should have to go back to Kandahar. He should work to restore his honor and reputation by overseeing the end of the American engagement in Afghanistan. Rather than insisting on his strategy, which appears to be failing, he should submit to the directions of his superiors — the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, the President of the United States — and accept orders.
And, he should take the vow of silence, along with renewing his vow of obedience.
Listen up, Men of Washington: get a grip! The last thing this sad season needs is a bunch of men who have lost their way acting like mean boys.
We have Albert Haynesworth and the Redskins for that.
What do you think? Should General McChrystal be fired or resign? Weigh in with your comment below….
Visit my blog “On Success” at the washingtonpost.com
Follow me on Twitter @TrinityPrez