The other side of the story

Something happened in the Middle East that put Michael Yon at odds with a lot of the milbloggers.  I have no idea if there’s a right or a wrong in this dispute, or if there’s just a lot of muddy middle, with some well-meaning people kind of trapped there.  I mention this because, a week or two ago, I directed your attention to the position some milboggers were taking regarding the dispute.  I’d now like to give you some more information about Yon’s position from the other side.

As it is, my suspicion is that, to the extent Yon had a dispute with General McChrystal, the latter’s departure from the scene should smooth things out a great deal.

McChrystal sank in my estimation for being foolish enough to get into Rolling Stones’ clutches.  He should have known that anything they did would be a hit piece and, knowing that, he should have conducted himself with the most rigid propriety, and ordered his staff to do the same.  The fact that he did not — even though what he said wasn’t as bad as is being bandied about — reflects poorly on his judgment.

That judgment failure would be bad enough, but I just learned that McChrystal is a Dem!  As a former Dem myself, someone who wallowed in the Kool-Aid for way too long, I find it hard to understand why someone in his position would support a party that wishes him ill, both specifically as to his role in Afghanistan and generally as a member of the military.

All of which is to say that, while not knowing the details of the Yon/McChrystal fight, McChrystal is not smelling good right now.

Be Sociable, Share!

    All this is very strange.  It will be interesting to see what comes out over the next few years as staff members find themselves in a position to talk.  As for McC the Dem.  That in itself seem to be more of a comment on his judgment than his Rolling Stone comments.  Still, I have a few friends who while still well to my Left are something which can be vaguely defined as old JFK-Scoop Jackson-HHH Democrats.  They are well aware of what the current Democrats are, but fondly remember the old days, and firmly believe they are doing their part to bring back a more rational party.  Perhaps that is how the good general sees himself.

  • suek

    “McChrystal sank in my estimation for being foolish enough to get into Rolling Stones’ clutches.”
    I read somewhere someone else’s question about this, and the possibility that perhaps he permitted the embed as a result of pressure from within the Administration.  Considering the apparent antagonistic relationship between McC and the State department representatives there…maybe they were the source of a smear set-up?  On the other hand, I also read that McC was able to preview and approve the article…did he do this himself?  or was there someone in his staff that set him up?
    “I find it hard to understand why someone in his position would support a party that wishes him ill…”
    Remember the explanation Dick Morris gave?  “I was a moderate Democrat.  There is no such thing as a moderate Democrat any more.  You’re either a Leftist or you’re a Republican”.  If McC hasn’t been a political animal, he may just have inherited his party and didn’t realize there was a reason to change it – wasn’t aware of the changes that have occurred over the last 10 years or so.  He should have – but maybe he didn’t.  He may have thought they were just extremists – but the majority of the party was still as Tregonsee says … “old JFK-Scoop Jackson-HHH Democrats”

  • Ymarsakar

    McChrystal’s been involved in Black Ops and SF operations for almost his entire career. This is somebody that avoids the media light and actively seeks not to involve himself.
    That combined with his desire to see a successful Dem President means he took too many things on faith. It only impacts his military judgment if he allowed his judgment of Obama to affect his military planning.
    Yon’s a cult of personality. So he’ll say we need more troops in Iraq and that it is a Civil War when the Dems are saying it, cause it is popular. Then he’ll say the Surge is working, if it is popular on the ground.
    But he predicts none of it himself. He has no access to “inside info” that makes him special. Yet the superficiality of Yon’s devotion to failure means that it’s not hard for him to self-justify himself.
    However, now he is on the “success” story because of Petraeus. Yon will have to keep his comments positive and structured as propaganda to boost Petraeus’ chances, in Yon’s eyes. But that just means you can’t trust him to tell the bad story, just as you couldn’t trust him to tell the good story under McChrystal. Yon has gone off the deep end, if you listened to his paranoid ranting that I posted with my blog. That means Yon will not be able to handle any problems should Petraeus or somebody Petraeus relies upon, gets on Yon’s bad side.
    War is not something designed to maintain illusions. And Yon’s illusions may look real or true or convincing to many, but I know first hand the power and limitations of illusions. They won’t be enough to win you any wars by themselves.

  • Ymarsakar

    “I thought, Who is this guy? I was not bothered to be corrected; I don’t know all the military terms, and phone conversations always need editing because they rarely read well.  In the process of editing, the editor (me) might get some things wrong.  No problem.  But Michael was not only helping me get everything right; he was trying hard to do so in a way that cushioned any possible blow to my ego.  Then, he helped me promote the piece through his social networks, saying, “Timothy Dalrymple has written responsibly and excellently here.”  Wow.

    Okay, so, what’s the point?

    These are not the actions of a megalomaniac.  These are not the actions of a narcissist.”
    Somebody failed propaganda and psychological warfare 101 here. Megalomaniacs are charismatic as hell. So are malignant narcissists. It is only when you get on their bad side that things start looking bad for you.
    Do people think Yon got as many allies as he did up until this point because he was a putsch? Did Obama? People believe whatever they want to believe. And when it benefits them personally or professionally, they’ll believe it even more. There’s no immunity. Just cause you saw Obama for what he is, does not make you immune to illusion, propaganda, or cons. It is simply foolishness to think so. foolish to think that because somebody else got fooled over Obama, that this makes you superior or innately better. Nemesis is always around for those people who believe in their own press and greatness too much. And the best way to convince somebody that you are on their side is to butter their ego up. It’s why, who will believe the worst about Obama at the drop of a hat because of my own personal assessment, is twice as vigilant against believing other things people tell me using my bias against Obama. Nobody’s going to use my bias for their own purposes, not when I’m still consciousness.
    As Michael himself knows, surely even Michael Yon can be wrong.
    Did Yon say that? Or is some guy with stars in his eyes thinking Yon knows that, just because he likes Yon. Don’t get the wrong impression here. Some people need to go back and read their Russian disinformation KGB manuals.
    The Left has taught me much about watching my back against verbal backstabs. So have narcissists. I owe them much. I also owe them their own defeat and arse kicking, as well.
    To the author of Patheos, I would say this.
    “I may be wrong.”

    The thing is, you don’t know why you could be wrong. Since if you did, you could have avoided making erroneous judgments in the first place.

    “All I can say is this.  I trust more than Michael’s judgment.  I trust his character.”

    This is predicated entirely upon your ability to analyze people’s character. That’s going to be based upon intelligence, education, and experience.

    You can get some of that from here.