I know that this particular blog is not for politics. It's not for ranting and it's not for preaching, but I honestly have something to say.
Never before has national news effected me personally. Even now, it doesn't affect me personally, but it's the first time that I understand what is really going on and what the implications are. I am, of course, speaking of the situation involving General McChrystal and the Rolling Stone article that's brought around the effective end of his career.
I am, in absolutely no way, excusing the behavior of General McChrystal or his entourage. On the contrary, I believe that the General has spent his entire career pushing the limit of what is acceptable and right for a United States Officer. It was only a matter of time before he pushed it too far and he absolutely deserved the punishment that he has finally received.
It was a mistake, from the very beginning, to allow this kind of access to one of our highest-ranking military officials by Rolling Stone Magazine. Anyone with half a brain knows what sort of reporting Rolling Stone does. Even if permission had been granted by the highest authorities, the General and his staff absolutely should have known better than to speak so frankly in front of a reporter who was obviously looking for a sensational story. One has to wonder at the complete arrogance it takes to assume that one is above reproach when one is being insubordinate.
As countless other people have stated, if I had spoken in a public arena about my boss the way that McChrystal and his staff spoke about their civilian superiors, I would have been fired on the spot. Any soldier in the armed forces knows that the vows they take are binding and their Code of Conduct, sacrosanct. Any private who chose to speak about an officer in such a way would have faced court martial and been dishonorably discharged.
However, I believe that Hastings participates in one of the lowest forms of journalism known to media. His sensationalist rhetoric (much like mine right now) has an air of "tattle-tale" and "I-told-you-so." I find it disingenuous at best, downright dishonest at worst, that he claims not to have understood the consequences of his article. To say that he didn't think the General would be fired for quite blatantly disparaging his superiors and allowing his staff to do the same is ignorant folly. If he didn't know, he has no business being in journalism. If he did, he still has no business being in journalism.
I understand that War is war. Our troops are under an incredible amount of stress and, of course, they sometimes have to blow off steam. To turn that into the basis for your self-righteous diatribe against the war effort, to use it to undermine the stability of our armed forces is shameful. Shame on you, Mr. Hastings. I do not for one second believe that you didn't know what you were doing, that you didn't understand the consequences. It's laughable, in fact, that you could be an active member of the media and not understand how the world works. Congratulations on your new-found fame. It will, undoubtedly, bring you all the riches and glories that you dreamed of. I only hope that you, yourself, are someday subjected to the same things you've subjected others to.