You can go ahead and fault Gen. Stanley McChrystal for insubordination, but you have to give him credit for his impeccable timing.
Everyone is wondering why on Earth a smart guy like McChrystal would allow such intimate access to a reporter from Rolling Stone, of all places. Was he crazy? Maybe like a fox. Here’s a theory, admittedly far-fetched but plausible:
If you’re going to torpedo your own career, it’s best to do it now just as the situation in Afghanistan is really beginning to go south. That way, you may be written off as a frat-boy who couldn’t control his mouth, but your war-fighting prowess will never be called into question. Walking away in the middle of battle marks you as a quitter. You must be forced to leave.
To put a modern twist on Douglas MacArthur’s famous aphorism, “Old soldiers never die; they just end up on TV news as in-house military analysts.”
With the new cred McChrystal has just acquired by holding Obama and his team in open contempt, he’s a shoo-in to be Fox News’ next celebrity battlefield poo-bah. For all we know, Roger Ailes was already on the horn asking Big Mac to simply name his price before Obama had even finished his speech announcing his dismissal.
Meanwhile, the ever-dutiful and heroic General Petraeus, answering his commander-in-chief’s call, will preside over a degenerating mishmash involving military and civilian brass who don’t get along, locals who simply want us out so they can return to their feudal ways, and a corrupt puppet in Hamid Karzai whose only saving grace is his snazzy wardrobe.
It is Petraeus who will be tarred with the way things turn out. If, by some miracle, our final exit isn’t a debacle, then good for him.
Does anyone have a better explanation?