Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Green Beret Love

[cross-posted at Corrente]

On Monday's ME, Tom Bowman and Renee Montagne assess the Obama War switch of commanders in Afghanistan from General McKiernan to General McChrystal and - boy - is Bowman juiced by McChrystal's Green Beret credentials.

"Well he's known, of course, for being a Green Beret - those are highly skilled soldiers that are adept at working with local forces and governments going after insurgents. He spent a lot of time in Afghanistan and Iraq as head of what's called the Joint Special Operations Command - that's a secretive and elite counterterrorism force. They were helpful in getting Saddam Hussein and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi....but he also has somewhat of a blemish on his record, too. He was involved in the case involving army ranger, Pat Tilman..."

Yes, indeed those Green Berets (and other US special forces) do have a history of being "adept at working with local forces and governments"! Green Berets involved in torture - what does that have to do with McChrystal and Afghanistan? Actually, quite a lot as Andrew Sullivan has noticed. As the Kaplan "Obama War" link above notes McChrystal's special force command included providing personnel to the US torture operations at Camp Nama in Iraq.

Bowman's not done putting the shine on the state terror that special operations are so special at. He tells us that
"McKiernan too conventional not really adept at this counterinsurgency warfare...he really wasn't focused on, they said, on protecting the population, which is the key thing in insurgencies like this."
Whew, I bet all those Afghans are so relieved that McChrystal will be helping to protect them, especially now that he will be "getting the added troops and civilian experts that they need to help rebuild the country..." Is that special, or what?


Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

McChrystal is described some places as an "ascetic."

Who lied to cover up the "friendly fire" assassination of Pat Tillman.

I'd bet real money Mikey Weinstein's MRFF's got sumpin on the guy.

WarOnWarOff said...

Reminds me, I need to put John Wayne's "The Green Berets" in my NetFlix queu. Could really use a laugh these days.

Porter Melmoth said...

At least Duke Wayne was pretty darn good at comedy. Despite the then nightmare of Vietnam, I remember seeing 'Berets' when it came out, and my pals and I considered it a parody. We howled, especially when that Viet Cong prisoner gets airlifted out of the jungle in James Bond style. Though he later regretted being associated with it, the great Miklos Rozsa delivered an excellent score. It ain't no 'Apocalypse Now', but 'Berets' is a historical curiosity. Bowman wouldn't even have rated playing an extra in it. The Duke would've canned him.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the Special whatevers whatevers Joint Command accused by Hersh as being Cheney's hit squad?


pdoege said...

I heard this report this morning. Apparently McChrystal follows Petraeus's mold, and is expected to deliver the same success that Petraeus delivered in Iraq. As far as I can tell, this means buying off the warlords to suppress the peasants, allowing areas to be cleansed of undesirables, not actually ending the conflict, and generally kicking the can down the road. Phooie on that!

I got the feeling that the old general actually wanted a old-school permanent winning solution, and that the politicos in the Obama administration thought that it would take too long.

Hopefully they'll declare success and then pull our boys out.

gopol said...

I think these special forces ought to get on the special bus and attend the special reeducation camp for a little mellowing out time. Some quiet time with their consciences and maybe some women and children who will accept small kindnesses in exchange for forgiveness and reconciliation. Do you suppose NPR would have me on to suggest these things?

Anonymous said...

NPR parrots Nancy Pelosi:

Nancy Pelosi: Pelosi Says CIA Misled Her On Waterboarding UsePoor Nancy.

She's been in Washington so long she can't tell the difference between reality and "reality".

Pelosi is either a total fool or herself a total liar.

Six of one, a half dozen o fthe other.
This is what she says now:
"To the contrary ... we were told explicitly that waterboarding was not being used,"

and here's what she said a few weeks ago (in late April):

"We were not — I repeat, were not — told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used,"

Which is it Nancy?

Were you "explicitly" told that water-boarding was not used?

Or were you not told that it was used?

There is a big difference.

It's really rather pathetic that this is the best the Democrats can do for "leadership" in the House.

Anonymous said...

The CIA compromised all of these apologists by bringing them into the circle. Pelosi and Rockefellow were thus knowledgeable of crimes (torture) and thus complicit.