I happen to disagree with your Dec. 11 editorial “Fog of war,” but you have every right to oppose President Obama’s decision to send U.S. combat troops to Afghanistan. There are valid arguments for and against our policy there, some of which you cite. However, your statement demeaning General Stanley McChrystal – “He is a general: Generals want soldiers to command. If you’re a hammer, everything you see is a nail” – is simplistic, superficial, and unworthy, a disservice both to a respected and dedicated military leader and to those readers who expect well reasoned discussion of a serious subject in a responsible community newspaper.
What your quoted statement reflects is your own ignorance of, and typical liberal disdain for, the military. Contrary to your cartoonish view, generals, especially those with combat experience, are not frivolously eager to risk the lives of their troops and do not see war as a game to be played out for personal power. Perhaps you have been watching too many clichÃ©-laden, morally pretentious, America-bashing Hollywood movies. Such generals as George Washington, Dwight D. Eisenhower, George Marshall, and Yitzhak Rabin were not mere control freaks. Have there been venal, mediocre, dishonest generals? Certainly, but every profession and human endeavor (even journalism) produces some rotten apples.
Your ad hominem personal jibe at Gen. McChrystal is merely amateurish caricature, not an argument.