June 22nd, 2010

How to get Obama’s attention: insult him

Funny thing, isn’t it, how quickly McChrystal was summoned for a White House audience for his insubordination, whereas back when the president was mulling over the Afghanistan troop request, McChrystal could barely get a word with his commander-in-chief?

The following is from a report in September of 2009 (note, also, the contrast with Bush):

General McChrystal has not spoken with Mr. Obama since submitting his grim assessment of the war a month ago and has spoken with him only once in the 100 days since he took command of all American and NATO forces in Afghanistan. The lack of direct communication has generated criticism and fueled suspicions of strains between the White House and Kabul.

Mr. Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, made a point of speaking with his Iraq commander roughly once a week at the height of the war there, a habit that forged a close working relationship between them even if it effectively bypassed the normal chain of command. Mr. Obama’s aides said he relied on General McChrystal’s advice but did not feel the need to duplicate Mr. Bush’s personal engagement with battlefield generals.

The imperious presidency. Whatever happened to “dialogue?” I guess that’s just for enemies.

[ADDENDUM: Stars and Stripes reminds us that McChrystal was Obama’s “hand-picked” general.]

29 Responses to “How to get Obama’s attention: insult him”

  1. vanderleun Says:

    I try hard to insult him every day, but I have yet to get so much as a free beer out of the deal.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    vanderleun: you gotta try harder.

  3. Artfldgr Says:

    Same way you get a pretty woman to notice you and give you time to play her.

    look up PUA and “the diss”, where you ignore the pretty lady and give her a diss to get her interested… (there are evolutionary psychology reasons it works, but who cares?)

    by the way… anyone else besides me realize that when a general does something AFTER knowing the history of truman and korea and the generals then…

    that means he had a tactical and strategic reason.

    ultimately, many many factions are now moving

    and generals are a faction all their own.

    study history… in many cases they have taken control, and then rescinded it… (and in many cases not rescinded it)

    Honduras being a recent point
    Indonesia being another historical point
    there are others….

    this is why the core left is testy to him….
    he did not move fast enough in their eyes
    vicious enough, nor did he foment enough

    he probably thought they meant viscous, when they said be bold, be vicious… you know how illiterate he is

    however, given Thomas Sowells new piece, he sees much the same breaking of things that i see.

  4. Adrian Day Says:

    This is precisely why I found it hard to generate much sympathy for the President, despite knowing as you said earlier that the general’s on the recrod criticisms were out of line. I’m sick of Obama’s thin skin. He must be unbearable at home.

  5. addison Says:

    “He must be unbearable at home.”

    Keep in mind he’s surrounded by worshipers at home. If anything, that should be a veritable recharge station for his narcissism and self-conviction.

    Recall during the campaign how Mrs. Obama would prattle on about Barack being the smartest and most capable person who would ever demean himself by getting into politics.

    [One cannot blame the children for being led astray by their parents.]

  6. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    vanderleun, you have to act stupidly.

  7. Bob from Virginia Says:

    I wonder if McChrystal did vote for the Messiah, if so I would not trust the guy with delivering a Pizza.
    Frankly it sounds far-fetched, a professional military man would have been the first to see through Obama.

    Whatever the truth the military is not trained in management by telepathy, therefore it would have been hard on McChrystal under any circumstances.

  8. Rose Says:

    Has Anyone — Including McChrystal — Actually Read The Rolling Stone Article? legalinsurrection calls it exactly right.

  9. Sgt. Mom Says:

    I’m thinking that McChrystal did this deliberately, seeing the writing on the wall. Afghanistan and his command was being deliberately set up for failure on a grand scale by this current administration – a failure that if played out will cost the lives of American military serving there.
    I don’t claim any particular insight into the workings of command at the higher levels, mind you – but I firmly believe that the disastrous example of Vietnam haunted the military and the higher command for decades afterward. Every NCO and officer who could remember Vietnam, or who served later with people who did – recall that the higher command levels did know that Vietnam was being bungled … and swallowed their private doubts and public criticisms. It was often suggested that the one effective way that the military establishment could have indicated their unhappiness with McNamera and Johnson’s conduct of the war was to have had the various Joint Chiefs publicly tender their resignations. I believe that McChrystal is doing what various critics thought that more Vietnam-era high officers should have done – and making a heck of a splash on the way out – an even bigger splash than Colonel David Hackworth.
    Remember him, anybody?

  10. expat Says:

    I just read somewhere that McCain says Obama needs to look at Eikenberry and the whole team, not just at McChrystal. I agree. It sound like Obama is playing Team of Rivals again. I guess that could work if the President himself had a clear policy, but there is no evidence that Obama wants anything more than flattering headlines.

  11. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Recall Gen. Singlaub, top commander in Korea.
    Jimmy The Idiot Carter was planning to remove US troops from Korea. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
    I mentioned the difficulty of going back to Korea to my idiot congresscritter who replied we have paratroopers.
    I told him that with his pull, he could probably get himself a parachute and a seat on the first assault transport.
    Anyway, Singlaub went public with his misgivings which stopped Carter’s idiocy, but Carter had to fire him, which doubtless Singlaub anticipated.
    But the troops stayed, no thanks to the party of surrender and their feckless, brainless leader.

  12. betsybounds Says:

    Well if this weren’t so bloody significant on its own, I’d think Obama and his wizards were playing it up for distraction value, to take attention away from the awful situation in the Gulf of Mexico. Of course, there were those of us who thought that if the Gulf of Mexico situation weren’t so bloody significant on its own, Obama and his wizards would have been playing it up for distraction value from the awful situation in the economy or in the Middle East or something else, there’re many possibilities from which to choose. The truth is, many things go into bringing about the fall of a nation, and Obama and his wizards are playing them all off against both each other and us.

    I had an interesting, and very unsettling, moment one afternoon late last week. I was reading something in The New Criterion about Claudia Rosett’s recent UN investigations of expenditures in Haiti, and the general corruption of that august body. It occurred to me that there are those who heretofore have been trying to act as goads and calls to action, awakening the populace to what is happening and urging resistance, even battle. Tea Parties, Rosett, Mark Steyn, Rush, Beck, the NRO gang, Glenn Reynolds, Wretchard, Neo–all have been doing yeoman’s work in trying to rouse the nation. But it hit me that they’re–we’re–no longer really working to rouse resistance. Now, the work is being done to chronicle the fall of the United States of American in particular, and of Western Civilization in general. The job now is to record how it happened, the job of the historian, of the witness. I hate thinking that, because of course it means that we won’t win–perhaps even that we can’t win. But the truth is, we in the United States are no longer a self-governing people. That’s been taken from us, with our own not-inconsiderable help and acquiescence over years. These people do not govern, they rule. They are not our servants, they are our masters. And they are determined that so it must remain.

    It took a long time to get to this point, but having reached this point, the rest is not going to take long at all.

  13. rickl Says:

    Sgt. Mom Says:
    June 22nd, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    I’m thinking that McChrystal did this deliberately, seeing the writing on the wall. Afghanistan and his command was being deliberately set up for failure on a grand scale by this current administration – a failure that if played out will cost the lives of American military serving there.

    I have no idea whether McChrystal did it deliberately, but I totally agree with the rest of your comment that I quoted. I would not want to have a loved one in Afghanistan right now. I think the leftist, anti-American, Muslim-supporting Obama is setting a trap for them. Many of their supply lines are controlled by people who are sketchy if not outright enemies of America. Afghanistan has the potential to become a catastrophe for America, with great loss of life, and I don’t trust the political leadership as far as I can throw them.

  14. LibertyAtStake Says:

    Jeff Kuhner has it right – they should BOTH resign. What a damned circus.

    [For a light hearted take on our present peril]

  15. Curtis Says:

    If so Betsybounds, then it is our duty to mitigate and preserve as much as possible. The Way is the Way and there’s an End. (From Pilgrim’s Regress, by C.S. Lewis, I believe.)

  16. betsybounds Says:


    Indeed it is, sir.

    I don’t want to be right, mind. Since this whole thing started, I’ve thought ill of it and not wanted to be right.

    But there you are.

  17. neo-neocon Says:

    betsybounds: I think (and hope) that you are being premature here. I think that November of 2010 could be a chance to begin the undoing of some of the damage that has been done (not that Republicans can’t mess up in their own way—but still—-)

  18. betsybounds Says:

    Neo, I hope you are right, I truly do. I must say I question Republican cods–if they merely win, what will it profit? It will depend on to a large extent on how far Tea Partiers and their like can go in co-opting the RINO establishment. By that I mean that it won’t be enough for them (us) to win the elections. They will have to be willing to go on from there and fight the battle (which implies recognizing the stakes–something they’ve never yet done). Control of Congress isn’t the only thing at issue. Numerous repeals may be necessary, and I hope (with you) that their blood will be up for those numerous repeals.

    Everything worth having will be at stake.

  19. Oblio Says:

    Awkward spot for Obama.

    Awkward to sack McChrystal and then have his “good war” go bad.

    Awkward to keep McChrystal, having his authority undermined. If McChrystal wins the war, Obama is discredited. If McChrystal loses the war, Obama is discredited.

    Obama has a losing hand. So McChrystal has to go, if Obama loses anyway. The only question is how else Obama will try to cut his losses.

    I know: he’ll blame Bush. What else?

    What will happen if Iraq de-stabilizes?

  20. Thomass Says:

    I said back in the election that his glass jaw seemed to be his weak spot.

    He can not take criticism (and that’s all this General did, all the really bad things said were by lower level staff). Also see his reaction to talk radio… and/or over reaction…

  21. rickl Says:

    I’m Beginning to Believe This Obama Fellow Is Unequal to the Task

    by T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII
    Intellectual Conservative At-Large

  22. expat Says:


    Thanks for my first belly laugh of the day. Believe me, with The Won’s incomptence, I need every laugh I can get. How does Iowahawk manage to get the tone right every time?

  23. expat Says:

    I just saw on German Yahoo News that the German Defence Minister is supporting McChrystal, as is Karzai. We’ll have to see whether other NATO ministers speak up. I’m pretty sure they all know that Obama doesn’t have a clue. It would be fun to see an international uprising. That would be good for our standing in the world.

  24. Baklava Says:

    I’ve been too busy at work lately. Bleh!

    But I wanted to insult Obama to see if he would summon me to the White House.

    Dear ∅bama,

    You lack experience and it shows. I could do the job better than you. My daughters could both do the job better than you.



  25. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    Betsybounds, I also hope you are wrong, but as soon as I read your comment, I recognised that I have seen the same subtle shift.

  26. Tom Says:

    The firing of McChrystal is an enormous coup for the Leftist media.

    The entire story in Rolling Stone is being treated like Gospel, which few have read: See, they called Joe “Bite-me”, AP says so right here. So ? What did McC actually, really say? Well, Rolling Stone says he said something, or his aides said something, so IT MUST BE TRUE.

    C’mon, Neo!

  27. Curtis Says:

    An enemy engages in psychological warfare when he knows he is not strong enough on the battlefield. I think of this when I ponder Betsybound’s observation that we are no longer working to arouse resistance. We have become Jeremiah who tells the King to submit.

    Not true and not so. Wait a bit for the ebb and flow will show another picture.

    The enemy is attempting to get us to surrender before we really even fight; the truth is, we have even yet begun to fight.

  28. Artfldgr Says:

    It took a long time to get to this point, but having reached this point, the rest is not going to take long at all.

    yeah… and all the reasonable people like hux, and others going back 40 years plus… they were the cold honey you had to wade through that prevented easy action before such action is a problem in and of itself.

    Even now we are not willing to divest ourselves of their organizations and so forth. (we love our cancers, having had them so long, we aren’t even willing to accept that that is what they are, were, and always were intended to be by the people who wrote about doing that).

    Neo to betsybounds: I think (and hope) that you are being premature here. I think that November of 2010 could be a chance to begin the undoing of some of the damage that has been done (not that Republicans can’t mess up in their own way—but still—-)

    I will give you one scenario

    Obama through EO, grants full amnesty to the immigrants here. A week later the courts take it away.

    what do the Mexicans do? la Raza? how about immigrant para military gangs? what do the immigrants themselves do? and lastly, what do the agitprop professionals do to move things along?

    would the immigrants let us have elections if they cant vote?

    and of course it has a built in dodge doesnt it?
    i meant well…

  29. Bob From Virginia Says:

    Did anyone not notice how Obama gave us all a patronizing lecture on civilian-military relations when he fired McChrystal; attack of the drama queen, as usual it was all about him being Mr. Leadership. I, the great wise one, because I understand the importance of blah blah blah; how did we ever manage without him?

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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