By Andy McCarthy, NRO — The Corner
Why would General Stanley McChrystal give that kind of access to a lefty rock-n-roll magazine? Maybe because he’s a kindred spirit who felt the need to assure Rolling Stone’s Michael Hastings that he voted for Obama — even against McCain, a military legend who shares McChrystal’s transnational progressive outlook.
“Now it can be told,” elaborates Marc Ambinder at the Atlantic “The story about [McChrystal] voting for Obama is not contrived. He is a political liberal. He is a social liberal. He banned Fox News from the television sets in his headquarters. Yes, really.”
Yes, really. The revealing Rolling Stone profile also tells us that the general “banned alcohol on base [and] kicked out Burger King and other symbols of American excess.” (Recall the very similar Obama edict that American forces not fly the Stars and Stripes at their base during their humanitarian mission in Haiti — a self-loathing trend that has also taken hold on college campuses.) Even McChrystal’s undoing here — ironically, by Rolling Stone, not Fox News — is, as VDH suggested yesterday, attributable to a disturbing contempt for authority and decorum that McChrystal and his top aides made little effort to conceal from Hastings. (Byron has more on that, here.)
I got in some hot water here last year for arguing that Gen. McChrystal, for all his undeniable valor, is a progressive big-thinker who has been conducting a sociology experiment in Islamic nation-building. It’s a flawed experiment that assumes Afghan Muslims will side with us — i.e., the Westerners their clerical authorities tell them are infidel invaders and occupiers — against their fellow Afghan Muslims.
Nothing in the ensuing months changes my mind. To the contrary, what I’ve seen lately indicates that, while our troops are imperiled under strait-jacketing rules of engagement imposed by Gen. McChrystal to avoid offending Afghans, Christian missionaries have been suspended for preaching (proselytism for any belief-system other than Islam is illegal in Afghanistan). I’ve seen Asia News’s report that Afghan converts to Christianity have been sentenced to death for apostasy. All this, moreover, is happening under the new constitution we helped write, which (as the State Department bragged in 2004) enshrines sharia as Afghanistan’s fundamental law. That is, the Afghan Muslim population our troops are fighting and dying to protect has institutionalized the persecution of other populations (when the said Muslims are not otherwise busy killing each other).
In the Examiner, Byron points to Rolling Stone’s account of a frustrated American soldier, lamenting the death of a fellow soldier killed because of the rules of engagement. “You sit and ask yourself,” says the soldier, “What are we doing here?” I don’t know, but whatever it is, it is not what Americans thought they were sending our military to Afghanistan to do.