Tuesday, June 22, 2010

McChrystal Done in by Liquor and Volcanic Ash

Gen. Stanley McChrystal may resign or be fired this week because of critical comments he and his staff made about their commander in chief and his team. McChrystal was hand picked by president Obama to oversee the occupation of Afghanistan. Tomorrow he must show up at the white house and explain himself to his boss.

Michael Hastings is a freelancer assigned to cover McChrystal for Rolling Stone magazine. He was scheduled to spend two days with the general in Paris, but as luck would have it, the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano kept Hastings from leaving Europe. He asked to accompany McChrystal on a bus trip to Berlin and ended up spending ten days with him. On the bus McChrystal and his staff drank “the whole way” and “let loose.” In vino veritas. Perhaps volcanoes bring a little veritas too.

One staffer claimed that Obama was “intimidated” by military brass, others snickered at vice president Biden dubbing him “Bite Me” (can’t blame them).  Most importantly, they openly expressed doubt that the war, the longest in American history, is at all winnable.

It is easy to focus on the gossipy parts of this story only to lose sight of the most important fact. The United States has occupied Afghanistan since 2001 and killed thousands of its people, all in an effort to keep us “safer” from terrorist attacks. The occupation must end, and it makes no difference if McChrystal or someone else is in charge of this great wrong doing.

The U.S. presence in Afghanistan is just one more straw that will eventually break the back of the empire. No one knows when or how that fall will take place, but fall it will and not without taking a big chunk of humanity with it.

Resistance is not only non futile but it is necessary. It would be terrible if the U.S. faced no resistance from a subjugated population. Long live the resistance, and down with McChrystal or whoever else gets to sit in that corner office.