Friday, June 25, 2010
Don't Knock It Until You've Tried It
With all this hoopla about Michael Hastings' Rolling Stone article, "The Runaway General," leading to the firing of General Stanley McChrystal as top commander in Afghanistan, I can't help but feel that all of the pundits and comedians who are playing this up (cue eyeroll and sarcastic incredulity as they say "Roe-ling STOOONE") are missing a few key points. First, it's not like RS sent the writer assigned to Lady Gaga to Afghanistan; Hastings is a journalist experienced in reporting from both Iraq and Afghanistan. Second, the magazine has been covering the War on Terror on all its fronts consistently over the past nine years. And finally, you'd think the commentators would use this opportunity to question why other print and broadcast media outlets have not had a direct impact on the war and defense decisions like, ahem, Roe-ling STOOONE has. In the end, however, though the article did prompt the firing of McChrystal, his quick replacement by General Petraeus of Iraq fame reinforces that fact that Obama's policy is essentially to stay the course laid by George W. Bush. I even heard one NPR commentator refer to the General's appointment as "a nod to Dick Cheney" and the success of his surge plan. We're coming up on nine years and counting here, people. At least RS is paying attention.