Joe Klein’s Double Fantasy

Joe Klein has crafted an extremely transparent and sloppy white-washing of the tension between Barack Obama and Gen. Stanley McChrystal. Klein calls it all “smoke and puffery” and explains,

the controversy was all about a comment McChrystal made during the question-and-answer session, when he said a switch from counterinsurgency to a counterterrorism strategy, in which American troops are withdrawn and the war against al-Qaeda is fought mostly with drones and special forces, would be “shortsighted.” A week later, the President said essentially the same thing at a meeting of congressional leaders.

Doubly false. Klein misrepresents both McChrystal’s words and Obama’s and then proceeds to build a Time magazine article out of the double fiction. Here is what McChrystal actually said:

A strategy that does not leave Afghanistan in a stable position is probably a short-sighted strategy.

Not a word about drones and special forces. It’s true that McChrystal was responding to a question that alluded to drone strikes and such in Pakistan. However, in answering the question he moved on to a related but larger point; namely, the one that appears above. Afghanistan must be left in a stable position.

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Joe Klein’s Double Fantasy

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