Posts Tagged ‘Rolling Stone’

Turning The Tables On Vicious Rolling Stone Leftist Attack Piece On Michelle Palin (Among Other Things, They Plagiarized).

June 24, 2011

There was a particularly vicious leftwing assault by leftwing rag The Rolling Stone. The only time I ever hear anything about Rolling Stone Magazine is when they do something particularly vile, because on their best day they are still vile and so why read them?  Their last infamous hit piece (on General Stanley McChrystal) was also filled with fraud.  But what can you say?  Liberals are people who swim in an ocean of lies; and why should they be troubled when the people they trust to lie to them turn out to be dishonest???

There are such lines in the Rolling Stone piece as “Bachmann is a religious zealot whose brain is a raging electrical storm of divine visions and paranoid delusions.” I don’t need to read further than that. It was a toxic, rabid hit piece by toxic, rabid secular humanist liberals.

But let us consider the “standards” of journalism that these people follow. Let us consider who the REAL religious zealots whose brains are raging electrical storms of demonic visions and paranoid delusions are. Let us consider who should have the last laugh, and who should be fired as disgraces:

Rolling Stone caught in potential plagiarism flap over Michele Bachmann profile
By Joe Pompeo & Dylan Stableford
June 24, 2011

It’s been a few months since we’ve had ourselves a good-old plagiarism incident to get riled up about. But thanks to Rolling Stone, our sleepy summer Friday just got a bit more scandalous!

The magazine is taking some heat today for lifting quotes in Matt Taibbi’s hit piece on Minnesota’s 2012 Tea Party hopeful Michele Bachmann.

In the story, posted online Wednesday, Taibbi borrows heavily from a 2006 profile of Bachmann by G.R. Anderson, a former Minneapolis City Pages reporter who now teaches journalism at the University of Minnesota. The thin sourcing, as Abe Sauer argues over at The Awl, is part of a “parade of uncredited use of material” from local blogs and reporters who “have dogged Bachmann for years now.”

But the larger issue for journalism’s ethical watchdogs concerns the several unattributed quotes Sauer spotted in Taibbi’s piece, which Rolling Stone executive editor Eric Bates explained away by saying he’d cut out the attributions due to “space concerns” and that he would “get some links included in the story online.”

At least one plagiarism “expert” doesn’t buy Bates’ logic.

“Attribution is the last thing an editor should cut!!!!” Jack Shafer, who is known to grill copy-stealers in his media column for Slate (and who used to edit two alt-weeklies similar to City Pages), told The Cutline via email. “How big was the art hole on that piece? Huge, I’ll bet.”

Shafer added: “If an editor deletes attribution, can the writer be called a plagiarist? I don’t think so. Is that what happened? If Taibbi approved the deletions, it’s another question.”

We emailed Taibbi, who is no stranger to press controversies, with a request for comment and will update this if we hear back.

UPDATE 4 p.m. “I did in fact refer to the City Pages piece in the draft I submitted,” Taibbi told The Cutline. “I did not see that those attributions had been removed. I grew up in alternative newspapers and have been in the position the City Pages reporter is in, so I’m sympathetic. They did good work in that piece and deserve to be credited. But you should know also that this isn’t plagiarism–it’s not even an allegation of plagiarism. It’s an attribution issue.”

In the meantime, Anderson is giving Rolling Stone the benefit of the doubt, although he didn’t let them off the hook entirely.

“I would not consider what the Rolling Stone [piece] contained in it to be plagiarism,” Anderson told City Pages. “What I will say, as a graduate of the Columbia J-School, and an adjunct at the University of Minnesota J-School, I do know that if a student handed in a story with that particular lack of sourcing, not only would I give it an ‘F,’ I would probably put that student on academic fraud.”

You can check out a side-by-side comparison of the two Bachmann profiles over at The Awl.

What is particularly ironic is the use of an image of Michelle Bachmann as holy warrior, gripping the Bible in one hand and a sword dripping in blood in the other as a bloody slaughter continues unabated in the background. It’s an image that is intended to summon the most grisly spectre of the Crusades, of course.

Accompanying the Rolling Stone article on Bachmann:

At the worst of the Crusades, the “Christian warriors” were given Absolution for their sins for taking part in the Holy War. You could literally get away with murder. And too many did just that (at least until they found out the hard way that the Pope’s absolution didn’t give them absolution from a just and holy God).

Now, let us consider the irony of the “Absolution” given by the left. Women are sacred cows (now watch me get attacked as calling women “cows”) in liberalism. You do not DARE attack women. Unless they are conservative women like Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann. And then liberals are given total Absolution to attack them as women, as wives, as mothers, as sexual beings, as anything that smears them and degrades them. And they have absolution to do it; no women’s group will come after them. Their sins are pardoned.

Call it a leftwing Crusade; better yet, call it a leftwing jihad.  “Kill thee all the enemies of liberalism.  Nullus Dues lo volt! [No God wills it!].  Thous hast absolution to murder thine opponents by any means necessary!”  And off these “journalists” (or JournoLists) go to do their demonic bidding.

A similar case of such liberal Absolution just occurred with Jon Stewart, who mocked black conservative Herman Cain in an obviously racial and racist manner using his Amos and Andy voice. It’s fine; a Jon Stewart liberal can openly racially mock a black man, provided that black man is a conservative. It’s no different than the most cynical criticism of Pope Pius in the Crusades, who said it was okay to murder as long as you were murdering a Muslim.

We see their “objective” work when they flood to Alaska to search through tens of thousands of Sarah Palin emails and even enlist their readers to help them dig for dirt.  They never would have DREAMED of subpeoning Barak Obama’s emails.  We see their “objective” work when they trip all over themselves to buy a story about a bogus lesbian Muslim heroine (i.e. more liberal fraud) just because she was lesbian and Muslim, and that’s exactly what they wanted to see.

I would love nothing more than to have all the Western “journalists” who have played these games grabbed up and taken to a country governed by Islam and watch the look on their formerly smug faces as they were tortured and killed one after another. Until that day, they will continue to serve as useful idiots for communism and terrorism and pretty much every other “ism” that is eroding Western Culture from within.

Add that abject hypocrisy of the left to the fact that for a writer anything resembling plagiarism is the greatest sin imaginable, and you get to see just how utterly vile these people are. They have no honor, no integrity, no decency. Period.

And then we compare the sheer number of plagiarism cases at leftwing papers such as the New York Times (I’ll just drop a couple of names like Jayson Blair and Maureen Dowd and Zachery Kouwe) to conservative papers like the Wall Street Journal, and you see which side simply has no honor, integrity, or decency at all.  But what should we expect from such a rabid little bunch of Goebbels?  Honesty?

It is also interesting to add that the Crusaders were in fact responding to CENTURIES of Muslim aggression. While many of the monstrous acts that occurred on both sides could never be justified, “the Crusades” themselves were quite justifiable. I make mention of this because the left continues to do to the Crusades what they are doing even today; take the side of the aggressive vicious murderers against Western Culture. And when you look at a major rundown of major plagiarism cases in journalism, it’s the leftwing names like the Washington Post and the Boston Globe and ESPN rather than Fox News.

When America is sufficiently toxic and ripe for judgment, it listens to lies and the bad people who tell those lies and votes for Democrats.  That’s basically where we seem to be now.

Oh, by the way, Barack Obama is a documented plagiarist, too.  That’s part of the reason liberal journalists love him so much; he’s truly one of them.

‘Transparency’ In Action: Obama Blocks Media To Conceal Failures

July 8, 2010

Let’s see.  Hope?  No freaking way.  Change?  Yes, but it’s really, really BAD change.  Even die hard and hard-core liberals like Robert Reich and Paul Krugman are predicting that Obamanomics are leading us into a double-dip recession IF we’re lucky enough to avoid a depression. Transparency?

Ooh, boy.

Afghan violence is soaring.  Obama’s own handpicked general is saying that the president is overwhelmed and unprepared, and that his civilian leadership team is a bunch of incompetent clowns.  All the evidence indicates that Obama is massively failing in Iraq.

What should he do?

Well, he should do the same thing in Afghanistan that he’s going to do about all his calamitous failures in the Gulf of Mexico.

He’s going to make sure that the media doesn’t have a chance to report the truth about what a failure he is at everything he touches.

Obama is going to clamp down on senior military commanders’ access to the media.  Oh, that directive has NOTHING to do with the McChrystal fiasco, just as my writing this article on Obama banning the media has nothing whatsoever to do with the new media ban policy.

From the Wall Street Journal:

WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Friday issued a directive to all senior Pentagon military and civilian officials saying their dealing with the media “has grown lax” in recent months and ordering them to get approval for all engagements with the press through his office.

The directive, a two-page memo signed by Mr. Gates, comes just days after Gen. Stanley McChrystal was fired as commander in Afghanistan for intemperate remarks made to Rolling Stone magazine. The existence of the directive was reported by the New York Times and a copy was obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

Despite the timing, Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said it had been in the works for months before Gen. McChrystal’s firing. “This memo was written well before that,” Mr. Morrell said. “He thinks the department has been much too cavalier with its handling of the press.”

Now, you’d THINK they’d just admit the obvious and say, “That McChrystal thing was a real disaster, and we need to try to prevent something that disgraceful from happening again.”  But this is the most pathologically dishonest administration in history.  It’s like they have a perfect record on lying, and they’re not going to break it by telling the truth now.

This just goes back to Rahm Emanuel’s “Never let a crisis go to waste” mindset.

This is an administration that is so hostile to actual transparency that it has actually closed workshops on government openness to the public and blocked the press from attending transparency and accountability board meetings.

On front after front, this is the most opaque administration ever.  They block themselves off from media accountability even as they pat themselves on the back for their transparency.

This is the kind of administration that claims that it is advancing the will of the people when they are cynically defying and misrepresenting the will of the people.

It’s a constant pattern.  Just today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that Obama has utterly failed at transparency regarding the massive porkulus boondoggleWhat a shock.

In Afghanistan, Obama prevents the military from open access to the press, which means that the military can’t tell us how shockingly incompetent Obama is as commander-in-chief.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Obama would deal with his failure in the
Gulf of Mexico the same way he’s handled everything else.  He has been so pathetically incompetent that there’s a pretty damn good argument that he is stopping the cleanup efforts on purpose.

White House Enacts Rules Inhibiting Media From Covering Oil Spill
By Noel Sheppard
Created 07/03/2010 – 11:28

The White House Thursday enacted stronger rules to prevent the media from showing what’s happening with the oil spill in the Gulf Coast.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper reported that evening, “The Coast Guard today announced new rules keeping photographers and reporters and anyone else from coming within 65 feet of any response vessel or booms out on the water or on beaches — 65 feet.”

He elaborated, “Now, in order to get closer, you have to get direct permission from the Coast Guard captain of the Port of New Orleans. You have to call up the guy. What this means is that oil-soaked birds on islands surrounded by boom, you can’t get close enough to take that picture.”

You’ve got CNN and Anderson Cooper – both of whom lean reliably to the left – having this to say about Obama’s “transparency”:

“This time, however, we’re not talking about BP. We’re talking about the government, a new a rule announced today backed by the force of law and the threat of fines and felony charges, a rule that will prevent reporters and photographers and anyone else from getting anywhere close to booms and oil-soaked wildlife and just about any place we need to be.”

[...]

We’re not the enemy here. Those of us down here trying to accurately show what’s happening, we are not the enemy. I have not heard about any journalist who has disrupted relief efforts. No journalist wants to be seen as having slowed down the cleanup or made things worse. If a Coast Guard official asked me to move, I would move.

But to create a blanket rule that everyone has to stay 65 feet away boom and boats, that doesn’t sound like transparency. Frankly, it’s a lot like in Katrina when they tried to make it impossible to see recovery efforts of people who died in their homes.

If we can’t show what is happening, warts and all, no one will see what’s happening. And that makes it very easy to hide failure and hide incompetence and makes it very hard to highlight the hard work of cleanup crews and the Coast Guard. We are not the enemy here.

We found out today two public broadcasting journalists reporting on health issues say they have been blocked again and again from visiting a federal mobile medical unit in Venice, a trailer where cleanup workers are being treated. It’s known locally as the BP compound. And these two reporters say everyone they have talked to, from BP to the Coast Guard, to Health and Human Services in Washington has been giving them the runaround.

We’re not talking about a CIA station here. We’re talking about a medical trailer that falls under the authority of, guess who, Thad Allen, the same Thad Allen who promised transparency all those weeks ago.

We are not the enemy here.

Everybody who cares about reality, and everybody who cares about truth, is Obama’s enemy, Anderson.

Obama has a lot to hide.  He’s got a lot to be ashamed of.  He’s failing on so many levels at the same time that no one can even keep track of them all.  The Gulf spill – already the worst in history – could be such a disaster that we might literally be in a “You can’t handle the truth!” moment.  Obama is now the worst president in American history even according to the standards the Democrats used against Bush in 2004.  And all he can do on the economy is keep blaming Bush and keep telling the same failed lie he’s been telling since the American people were stupid enough to hand him the keys to the White House.

All I can do about the Fascist-in-Chief is say those four words: I told you so.

Rolling Stone Broke Journalistic Ethics In Publishing McChrystal Remarks

June 27, 2010

It’s ironic.  Barack Obama said that Gen. Stan McChrystal showed “poor judgment” in his comments to Rolling Stone.

I can’t disagree.  But I would hasten to add that he showed even worse judgment in his vote for president.

And now Obama is firing probably the only senior general in the US military who had the terrible judgment to vote for him.

We can breathe easy.  Now that the pro-Obama general is gone, we have Bush’s general running the war to go along with Bush’s Secretary of State running the military.

It appears that we have – in the case of Rolling Stone devouring Gen. McChrystal – yet another case of liberals eating one of their own.

And we have yet another case demonstrating that liberals and legitimate journalism simply do not mix.

That said, let’s see what integrity Rolling Stone threw away in order to have its “gotcha! moment”:

Rolling Stone broke rules over Stanley McChrystal interview
By Toby Harnden World Last updated: June 26th, 2010

So now we know. It is mind-bogglingly inexplicable why this is only emerging now (though I have one theory on that – see below) but it turns out that Rolling Stone did not run all its quotations past McChrystal’s staff as their editor said they did. The general’s staff now say that all the offensive quotations were clearly off the record. So far from this being “terrific journalism” as my colleague Harry Mount put it, the Rolling Stone piece now looks much more like a disgrace to the profession.

I say mind-boggling because if McChrystal’s staff had come out with this in the first few hours of the furore on Tuesday morning then the entire narrative of the week would have changed and the general might very well still be in his job today.

My hunch as to why it didn’t come out earlier? Basically, because McChrystal is an honourable man who thought it would be unseemly to quibble about the details. There could have been a tactical element to that, certainly – perhaps he or his staff calculated that trying to wriggle out of things would not be viewed kindly by Obama and that it could have fuelled a row with Rolling Stone that might have made things worse (if so, how wrong they were).

Politico has a list of the 30 fact-checking questions submitted. The most interesting one is number 30 in which Rolling STone asks whether McChrystal did indeed vote for Obama. The reponse – irony of ironies – was this:

IMPORTANT — PLEASE DO NOT INCLUDE THIS — THIS IS PERSONAL AND PRIVATE INFORMATION AND UNREALTED TO HIS JOB. IT WOULD BE INAPPROPRIATE TO SHARE. MY REASON FOR THIS IS IT WOULD PRESENT AN UNDUE COMMAND INFLLUENCE ON JUNIOR OFFICERS OR SOLDIERS WHO SHOULD MAKE THEIR OWN POLITICAL DECISIONS. THERE ARE VERY STRICT RULES IN THE MILITARY ON SEPARATING CHURCH AND STATE ON THIS SORT OF STUFF – HAVE TO KEEP OUT OF POLITICAL PREFERENCE AND PERSONAL CHOICE.

But, of course, they left it in. It’s difficult to escape the conclusion that Rolling Stone did not care a hoot about the agreed journalistic ground rules or about McChrystal. They were out to get him and get him they did.

This is sadly all history now and nothing can change Obama’s decision. But it would be interesting to know if anyone in the White House even inquired into whether the profane and juvenile quotations about civilian officials were really on the record or if they just took Rolling Stone’s word for it.

If they didn’t, think about what this means: the Obama administration accepts the word of a counter-culture magazine and doesn’t even bother to check with the four-star general commanding 100,000 troops in wartime whose career the magazine is seeking to destroy.

We can endlessly speculate whether the Fool-in-Chief was right in canning his record-setting second general.  We can’t know for sure whether Obama canned McChrystal because he is at heart a vain, arrogant, petty, thin-skinned, vindictive man – as I listed as the reasons in predicting that Obama would fire McChrystal – or rather because there truly was some better reason.

What we DO know is that when one actually reads the Rolling Stone article, there really wasn’t a whole lot of “there” there.  The very worse thing McChrystal’s staff did was to reveal that Obama’s civilian leadership team in Afghanistan were in complete chaos.  It does seem that nothing can be worse in the Obama administration than telling the truth.  But that’s where we are.

Liberals in the mainstream media hailed the firing of Stanley McChrystal as though it were the most brilliant and courageous act of presidential leadership in world history.  It wasn’t.  It was a sad and tragic situation – even if Obama did the right thing.

The best thing that will come from this change is likely this: that General David Petraeus will change General McChrystal’s godawful rules of engagement and actually give the soldiers and Marines under his command the ability to carry the fight to the enemy.

What Do McChrystal And BP Have In Common – Aside From Fact That Both Were Democrat Supporters?

June 26, 2010

The following article by Mark Steyn is brilliant.  My title isn’t an accurate summary of Steyn’s point (but maybe it got you to read an article you otherwise wouldn’t have read!).

It is certainly beyond hilarious that pro-Obama Democrat Stanley McChrystal and pro-Obama BP are now on the outs in a cloud of self-destruction, while George Bush’s Secretary of Defense and George Bush’s general have been called upon to save the day.

But the real meat of the article gets to the heart of one issue: Barack Obama is an empty suit who stands for nothing beyond self-promoting Barack Obama.

Published: June 25, 2010
Updated: 10:57 a.m.
Learning the rules of an unengaged president
By MARK STEYN
Syndicated columnist

What do Gen. McChrystal and British Petroleum have in common? Aside from the fact that they’re both Democratic Party supporters.

Or they were. Stanley McChrystal is a liberal who voted for Obama and banned Fox News from his HQ TV. Which may at least partly explain how he became the first U.S. general to be lost in combat while giving an interview to Rolling Stone: They’ll be studying that one in war colleges around the world for decades. The management of BP were unable to vote for Obama, being, as we now know, the most sinister duplicitous bunch of shifty Brits to pitch up offshore since the War of 1812. But, in their “Beyond Petroleum” marketing and beyond, they signed on to every modish nostrum of the eco-Left. Their recently retired chairman, Lord Browne, was one of the most prominent promoters of cap-and-trade. BP was the Democrats’ favorite oil company. They were to Obama what Total Fina Elf was to Saddam.

But what do McChrystal’s and BP’s defenestration tell us about the president of the United States? Barack Obama is a thin-skinned man and, according to Britain’s Daily Telegraph, White House aides indicated that what angered the president most about the Rolling Stone piece was “a McChrystal aide saying that McChrystal had thought that Obama was not engaged when they first met last year.” If finding Obama “not engaged” is now a firing offense, who among us is safe?

Only the other day, Florida Sen. George Lemieux attempted to rouse the president to jump-start America’s overpaid, overmanned and oversleeping federal bureaucracy and get it to do something on the oil debacle. There are 2,000 oil skimmers in the United States: Weeks after the spill, only 20 of them are off the coast of Florida. Seventeen friendly nations with great expertise in the field have offered their own skimmers; the Dutch volunteered their “super-skimmers”: Obama turned them all down. Raising the problem, Sen. Lemieux found the president unengaged, and uninformed. “He doesn’t seem to know the situation about foreign skimmers and domestic skimmers,” reported the senator.

He doesn’t seem to know, and he doesn’t seem to care that he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t seem to care that he doesn’t care. “It can seem that at the heart of Barack Obama’s foreign policy is no heart at all,” wrote Richard Cohen in The Washington Post last week. “For instance, it’s not clear that Obama is appalled by China’s appalling human-rights record. He seems hardly stirred about continued repression in Russia.

The president seems to stand foursquare for nothing much.

“This, of course, is the Obama enigma: Who is this guy? What are his core beliefs?”

Gee, if only your newspaper had thought to ask those fascinating questions oh, say, a month before the Iowa caucuses.

And even today Cohen is still giving President Whoisthisguy a pass.

After all, whatever he feels about “China’s appalling human-rights record” or “continued repression in Russia,” Obama is not directly responsible for it. Whereas the U.S. and allied deaths in Afghanistan are happening on his watch – and the border villagers killed by unmanned drones are being killed at his behest. Cohen calls the president “above all, a pragmatist,” but with the best will in the world you can’t stretch the definition of “pragmatism” to mean “lack of interest.”

“The ugly truth,” wrote Thomas Friedman in The New York Times, “is that no one in the Obama White House wanted this Afghan surge. The only reason they proceeded was because no one knew how to get out of it.”

Well, that’s certainly ugly, but is it the truth? Afghanistan, you’ll recall, was supposed to be the Democrats’ war, the one they allegedly supported, the one the neocons’ Iraq adventure was an unnecessary distraction from. Granted the Dems’ usual shell game – to avoid looking soft on national security, it helps to be in favor of some war other than the one you’re opposing – Candidate Obama was an especially ripe promoter. In one of the livelier moments of his campaign, he chugged down half a bottle of Geopolitical Viagra and claimed he was hot for invading Pakistan.

Then he found himself in the Oval Office, and the dime-store opportunism was no longer helpful. But, as Friedman puts it, “no one knew how to get out of it.” The “pragmatist” settled for “nuance”: He announced a semisurge plus a date for withdrawal of troops to begin. It’s not “victory,” it’s not “defeat,” but rather a more sophisticated mélange of these two outmoded absolutes: If you need a word, “quagmire” would seem to cover it.

Hamid Karzai, the Taliban and the Pakistanis, on the one hand, and Britain and the other American allies heading for the check-out, on the other, all seem to have grasped the essentials of the message, even if Friedman and the other media Obammyboppers never quite did. Karzai is now talking to Islamabad about an accommodation that would see the most viscerally anti-American elements of the Taliban back in Kabul as part of a power-sharing regime. At the height of the shrillest shrieking about the Iraqi “quagmire,” was there ever any talk of hard-core Saddamite Baathists returning to government in Baghdad?

To return to Cohen’s question: “Who is this guy? What are his core beliefs?” Well, he’s a guy who was wafted ever upward – from the Harvard Law Review to state legislator to United States senator – without ever lingering long enough to accomplish anything. “Who is this guy?” Well, when a guy becomes a credible presidential candidate by his mid-40s with no accomplishments other than a couple of memoirs, he evidently has an extraordinary talent for self-promotion, if nothing else. “What are his core beliefs?” It would seem likely that his core belief is in himself. It’s the “nothing else” that the likes of Cohen are belatedly noticing.

Wasn’t he kind of unengaged by the health care debate? That’s why, for all his speeches, he could never quite articulate a rationale for it. In the end, he was happy to leave it to the Democratic Congress and, when his powers of persuasion failed, let them ram it down the throats of the American people through sheer parliamentary muscle.

Likewise, on Afghanistan, his attitude seems to be “I don’t want to hear about it.” Unmanned drones take care of a lot of that, for a while. So do his courtiers in the media: Did all those hopeychangers realize that Obama’s war would be run by Bush’s defense secretary and Bush’s general?

Hey, never mind: the Moveon.org folks have quietly removed their celebrated “General Betray-us” ad from their website. Cindy Sheehan, the supposed conscience of the nation when she was railing against Bush from the front pages, is an irrelevant kook unworthy of coverage when she protests Obama. Why, a cynic might almost think the “anti-war” movement was really an anti-Bush movement, and that they really don’t care about dead foreigners after all. Plus ça change you can believe in, plus c’est la même chose.

Except in one respect. There is a big hole where our strategy should be.

It’s hard to fight a war without war aims, and, in the end, they can only come from the top. It took the oil spill to alert Americans to the unengaged president. From Moscow to Tehran to the caves of Waziristan, our enemies got the message a lot earlier – and long ago figured out the rules of unengagement.

Too bad we elected a president who has a narcissism complex where his conscience should be and a vacuum where his soul should be.

Obama Vs. McChrystal: Whether Obama Fires His General Or Not, He’s Still Weak And No Longer In Control

June 23, 2010

This article from the official unofficial newspaper of the military hits a few nails on the head:

McChrystal forces Obama into a no-win situation
By Leo Shane III
Stars and Stripes
Published: June 22, 2010

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama faces two grim choices on Wednesday: Fire Gen. Stanley McChrystal and risk looking like he’s lost control of the war in Afghanistan. Or keep him and risk looking like he’s lost control of his generals.

Even before McChrystal’s very public slap at his boss surfaced on Monday night, the White House was already bristling at the perception that the war in Afghanistan was becoming unwinnable.

The decisive military offensive to clear the strategic town of Marjah has foundered. Another, bigger offensive to drive the Taliban from its home turf in Kandahar has been delayed. U.S. casualties are rising in a war that ranks as America’s longest, surpassing the grim milestone of 1,000 dead earlier this month. Corrupt warlords and Taliban militants are pocketing tens of millions in U.S. aid.

Now Obama must add a new crisis to that daunting list
: The commander he handpicked to win the Afghanistan war allowed a reporter for Rolling Stone to embed with him and his closest staff for a month, offering up a series of incendiary and embarrassing comments about the president and his war cabinet.

If he fires McChrystal, Obama will enjoy the dubious distinction of being the only president in modern U.S. history to sack two wartime commanders in a little more than a year. Last May, Gen. David McKiernan was relieved of post commanding the Afghan war effort after the White House and Defense Secretary Robert Gates said “fresh eyes” were needed to find a more successful path forward.

On Capitol Hill, where last week key lawmakers from both parties peppered Gates and Central Command chief Gen. David Petraeus with probing questions about the course of the Afghan war, leaders praised McChrystal’s work but simultaneously blasted his decision to speak with Rolling Stone.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and other key Senate Armed Services members issued a statement calling McChrystal’s comments “inappropriate and inconsistent with the traditional relationship between Commander-in-Chief and the military.”

Retired Navy vice admiral Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., said that military officers have a responsibility to speak bluntly, but “you say that privately and keep it behind closed doors.”

But Rep. David Obey, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and a key liberal voice in the House, called McChrystal’s comments “contemptuous of his civilian superiors” and demanded his resignation. CBS News later reported that McChrystal had offered a letter of resignation.

“His comments, and those of his subordinates, dismissing the President, the Vice-President, Gen. (James) Jones, Ambassador (Karl) Eikenberry, and Richard Holbrooke suggests that Gen. McChrystal is locked into an ‘everybody is wrong but me’ approach to the world,” Obey said.

Still, most congressmen stopped short of calling for McChrystal’s dismissal, saying instead that the tone and sincerity of his apology after Wednesday’s meeting with Obama would determine his future role.

Daniel Goure, vice president of the conservative Lexington Institute, said the reason for that is simple.

“To put anyone else in charge right now would be a disaster,” Goure said.

Goure said the Rolling Stone article doesn’t quite amount to a Truman/MacArthur moment, when Gen. Douglas MacArthur was sacked over his public opposition to President Harry Truman’s strategy in the Korean War. The most damning comments in the article come from McChrystal’s advisers, Goure noted, and at least one of those staffers has already been fired for his involvement with the piece.

Regardless, Goure said, no other American figure has the clout with Afghan president Hamid Karzai or the knowledge of the counterinsurgency strategy to succeed in Afghanistan.

But the liberal group VoteVets.org said McChrystal must be fired for disrespecting the chain of command.

Brian Katulis, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, said the article could easily be used as Taliban propaganda, revealing infighting among U.S. leaders and a lack of real concern for the Afghan people.

“He’s supposed to be leading efforts to win the hearts and minds over there,” Katulis said. “This article doesn’t help.”

Obama already is suffering from dwindling support for the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. A Gallup poll released earlier this year showed that more than a third of voters believe it was a mistake to send U.S. troops into Afghanistan. A Pew Research Center poll released earlier this month showed a drop in confidence in Obama’s foreign policy decisions, both among Americans (down 9 percent) and in European and Middle East countries
.

Will Obama fire McChrystal?  No info yet as I type these words.  I feel he probably will – not because it’s the right or even the best thing to do, but simply because Obama is a vain, arrogant, petty, thin-skinned, vindictive man.  Would such a man tend to keep or replace a man who had offended him, irregardless of how necessary that man is to the war effort?

Obama might possibly realize that he will look a lot worse in the long run if his war in Afghanistan tanks and even more American-flag-draped caskets start coming home, and that keeping McChrystal in the job is in his own best interests.  But the money’s got to be on the most thin-skinned president in history setting the record for sacking the most generals in modern history.

If Obama doesn’t fire McChrystal – who is widely viewed in the establishment as the best general to carry out the war in Afghanistan – it will amount to the first time Obama ever put anything else above his image.  I would applaud him for such a milestone, but after a year and a half, well, come ON.

Rep. David Obey characterizes McChrystal’s view as suggesting “that Gen. McChrystal is locked into an ‘everybody is wrong but me’ approach to the world.”  Untrue.  It’s merely an “everybody in the Obama administration is wrong but me” approach.  And that doesn’t seem to be such an unrealistic mindset, given the fact that Obama has been so utterly wrong in absolutely every single sphere he’s acted in.

Did Reuters Ever Capture John McCain With A Golden Halo?

February 17, 2010

World War II apparently wasn’t a complete waste.  It allowed American media liberals to learn how to do propaganda right from Joseph Goebbels’ example.

Another Subtle Obama Photo From Reuters That’s Not An Accident

Reuters has a habit of doing this..This photo was taken today at the IBEW in Maryland

photo via weaselzippers, Notice ‘attitude, skill, knowledge’ is perfectly in line with the edge

This is the IBEW seal that Obama was photographed in…

U.S. President Barack Obama tours a training center at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 26 Headquarters in Lanham, Maryland, February 16, 2010.REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

2 weeks ago, it was Reuters capturing Obama with a halo

Drudge Tonight

Posted by HotAirPundit at 10:19 PM

I don’t begrudge political campaigns from photographing their candidates in a favorable light (although the halo thing is kind of spooky – and, yes, Bush’s handlers gave him a halo on at least one occasion).  But when journalists who are supposed to be objective do it – and do it repeatedly – you cross a line into true propaganda.

This was something that was done repeatedly with Obama Messiah:

Mind you, John McCain benefitted from some visual propaganda, too.  Here’s a shot taken by photographer Jill Greenberg, who had been hired by The Atlantic:

Some might argue that Obama’s propaganda treatment was more favorable than McCain’s.  But that’s a judgment call.

Outright propaganda and the political left have always gone hand in hand.  From Stalin to Hitler to Mao to Castro and Che Guevara, we have always seen the media glorify their chosen leaders in pictures and print.

The media used propaganda to influence stupid peoples’ votes in so many ways.  Unfortunately, there are an awful lot of stupid people in this country.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 516 other followers