Janesville74°

The McChrystal saga: Just call it epic stupidity

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Rick Horowitz
June 25, 2010

Stanley McChrystal,


As hot as a pistol,


As tough as old leather—


As dumb as a post.





He opened his mouth


With a journalist list'ning,


And squandered the job


That he wanted the most.





Stan had worked Black Ops,


He'd traveled the dark side,


A warrior's warrior,


Brave and unsung,


He chased down the bad guys,


He snickered at danger—


Until he was felled by


His very own tongue.





Stan had a coterie,


Brothers in uniform,


Saw the world his way:


So khaki, so proud.


As sentiment? Noble.


As politics? Stupid.


Especially speaking their


Minds right out loud.





Ragging on diplomats,


Ripping on foreigners,


Dissing the allies,


Insulting the suits.


This one they called "Bite Me,"


That one was a "clown"—


It would have been foolish


For brand-new recruits!





Indiscreet? Worse than that.


Should have kept quiet,


Experienced soldiers,


They knew it was wrong,


But war made them chatty,


And drink made them careless,


And Stan was right there


And he dished right along.





Sitting among them,


And writing down everything,


Man from the magazine


Knew he'd struck gold,


It's not ev'ry day


That a four-star goes flammable:


Stories of Icarus


Never grow old.





Word got to Washington's


Innermost circles:


Your chain of command


Has a few damaged links.


The president simmered,


Then made his decision,


Stood tall and stood somber


And said, "Hey, this stinks!"





Stanley McChrystal,


So cocky, so confident,


Sure in his rectitude,


Clear in his aims,


The stars on his shoulders


Were not magic powers,


He thought he could fly—


And he went down in flames.


Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at rickhoro@execpc.com.

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