Obama Administration Fires General For Calling Karzai “Erratic” and “Divorced From Reality”

Reporters and columnists often wait until Friday for the White House to do things that it does not want covered extensively in the press. This Friday’s news dump was the firing of Maj. Gen. Peter Fuller for saying what most everyone is saying about our ally, Afghan President Hamid Karzai — he is nuts. Remarkably, Fuller said if much more nicely, expressing concern whether Karzai is “isolated from reality.” My own disappointment is that Fuller did not add that Karzai’s family is little more than a criminal enterprise fostering corruption and drug trafficking.

Fuller was deputy commander of the NATO training mission in Afghanistan and was reacting to the same story that we discussed where Karzai said that he was prepared to fight the United States if Pakistan goes to war with us. Karzai previously announced that he wished that he had supported the Taliban over the United States. Even with billions of dollars disappearing (including huge sums reportedly seized by the Karzai family).

Calling Karzai’s statements “erratic,” Fuller asked “Why don’t you just poke me in the eye with a needle! You’ve got to be kidding me … I’m sorry, we just gave you $11.6 billion and now you’re telling me, ‘I don’t really care’?”

Good question, but it is a question the Obama Administration (like the Bush Administration) does not want asked. They are okay, of course, with sticking Fuller with any size stick or needle. However, President Obama has kept the country in Afghanistan at the cost of billions of dollars and untold lives.

Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), stated the Administration’s position that “These unfortunate comments are neither indicative of our current solid relationship with the government of Afghanistan, its leadership, or our joint commitment to prevail here in Afghanistan. The Afghan people are an honorable people, and comments such as these will not keep us from accomplishing our most critical and shared mission-bringing about a stable, peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan.”

Of course it is “not indicative of our current solid relationship.” That relationship is built on our continuing to funnel billions of dollars to Karzai — including billions stolen by his government — while he denounces us and praises those who would kill our soldiers (who are busy protecting his life).

Fuller clearly had reached his limit over demands by Karzai and his aides: “You can teach a man how to fish, or you can give them a fish,. We’re giving them fish while they’re learning, and they want more fish! [They say,] ‘I like swordfish, how come you’re giving me cod?’ Guess what? Cod’s on the menu today.”

I understand that no president can have military leaders making public comments in opposition to policies and political figures. However, the real problem is that Fuller was right. I have spoken with people who have interviewed Karzai and watched him in Afghanistan. They uniformly view him as unbalanced and delusional. Moreover, the Administration (with the help of allies in Congress) is dampening down stories about the billions lost in Afghanistan and the massive private wealth collected by the Karzai family and top aides.

Karzai has become like our crazy Uncle Hamid, who we are not allowed to mention is a nut case. Of course, this crazy uncle is talking about killing us and stealing much of what comes before him. That does not matter. We are expected only to refer to our “solid relationship” with Uncle Karzai and his government. I don’t blame Obama for firing Fuller. I believe Fuller decided to speak out for many others in the military — at the cost of his own career. Rather, I blame Obama for continuing this war and this relationship to preserve the fallacy that we are winning the hearts and minds of Afghans.

Source: New York Times

43 thoughts on “Obama Administration Fires General For Calling Karzai “Erratic” and “Divorced From Reality””

  1. Angryman,

    If Patton had not come from a privileged life he too would have been fired…

    1. Isn’t that true? It is a very frustrating thing. Mac Arthur was fired for expressing an opinion in opposition to Truman. Of course he, as Patton was reccomending the attack of a major adversary. General Fuller was just commenting on the charater and views of Karzai. In either case, the government acted in defence of their own official lies and treated the officers in question dishonorably. If the officer could be determined to be lying to undermine our position or destroy the relationship between our two countries, I might understand this action but now The President ahs just made himself look a fool. Like the Emperor with his new clothes. Well it’s about time somebody stood up and yelled. Hey! That chap is naked. That’s what General Fuller did. Told the truth. What a shocker huh? The US Government punishing someone for telling the truth.

  2. As far as General Fuller goes, I know many people will say that Obama had to fire him for his comments but aren’t we really being ridiculous at this point. The Generals comments were a surprize to no one. Americans are quite aware of the nature of Karzai’s feelings towrd us. By firing the general the government is just wasting a good commander in order to perpetuate the lies they tell us everyday. I say; let the General speak his mind. At least it lets the people know that our military don’t believe the official lie. And it might just show the public the truth about that war. Ooops. That’s just what the government is trying to avoid. The American people knowing the truth…………………….about anything.

  3. Ok, someone slips big dollars to the right hands and poof AK47s gone How hard do you think that is in a nation where the most stable part of the country is the temporary revolutionary committee. If there was so much concern about the disposition of the nation’s arms; why were they not secured by Nato forces? Oh that’s right. No ground forces. Well i can’t say i would approve any further involvement so there you go. Nothing to be done. With the number of American arms and other Ak47’s floating around, I hardly think it’s worth getting too worked up about.

  4. If you take the military as a corporation….then they have no right to disparage the on going corporation….they CEO’s actions are reflective of the Board President….and they can be fired for this type of conduct…..

    If you take the position that both are duty bound to honor the Constitution…Then acts outside of this document are Ultra Vires and not protected…..

    It all depends on how you look at it….

  5. Lottakatz,

    I will think about what you wrote.

    I hope your friend’s sick kitties are now healthy cats!

  6. Jill, you’re right that their oath is to defend the Constitution and I’d like to see more people that take that oath take it seriously. I’m just of the school that thinks you can’t serve two masters and for certain, highly placed people to blow the whistle while carrying out the orders is hypocrisy, why trust either work product?

    “I’ll take the protests, the leaks, the resignations, the statements, anything non-violent to confront all the killing.”

    I can’t actually argue with that because I’ll take what I can get and be grateful for it. It’s not the ideal I’d like because my way the government is also deprived of the expertise of the officer. It doesn’t matter if you disagree if you do the job and do it well, it just makes you feel better about yourself later IMO. The world has had too much of ‘good soldiers’.

  7. lottakatz,

    I disagree with you on this. I’m really glad he said this.
    I’m certain he knew it would have repercussions. Perhaps he believed getting fired would make his statement more public than a resignation. I don’t know.

    The orders of the military are to defend the Constitution. They are to refuse unlawful orders. The US govt. is committing war crimes in Afghanistan. There is no lawful order given by this govt. to obey.

    I think of this statement like the past intelligence chiefs in Israel who are thought to have leaked information about the two nation BFFs trying really hard for Armageddon.

    None of these people are choir boys, but I’m glad they are ringing the bells! I think people are really desperate right now. Those in charge are clearly insane. People are trying hard to stop the madness. Whether its confronting Scott Walker in the ballroom, or Obama in the WH or war crimes all over the world, I see people trying to stop what is wrong.

    He didn’t commit violence. He spoke the truth. I’ll take the protests, the leaks, the resignations, the statements, anything non-violent to confront all the killing.

  8. IMO he should have kept his mouth shut, his job IS to keep his mouth shut publicly and follow orders. The Administration should likewise not make the brass propagandist’s for whatever cause they’re pushing at the time. The military should be depoliticized.

    The way it’s done, with honor, is to resign in protest and then start making statements. That goes for both the military and civilian political staff. Opinions shared by grousing and leak is no more than anonymous propagandising.

    I’d like to see A LOT more resignations in protest and hear the rationale, but if you want the job then you should keep quiet. The military doesn’t get to set the nations agenda with leaks, news releases or interviews.

  9. Yeah, we need military ‘discipline’, but when the civilian ‘leaders’ are misleading the country and acting as robots of the “1%” isn’t it a bit picky to expect that the military should be purer than the driven snow and function as if we lived in a rational world?

    Great statement Don S. Agreed. How are we ever going to stop these endless wars when the munitions lobbyists own our government?

    As for Obama, yea, he could have reassigned the General. He should not have been shit canned for telling the truth. Why would anyone want to protect the feelings of a mad man at this point? Stuff like this makes me furious.

    Karzai should know he needs to reform or there will be consequences that will directly affect him, that is the only way to treat a man like this. Of the carrot and the stick, Karzai obviously needs much more stick.

  10. @junctionshamus

    I’ll defer to you, I certainly have no experience or knowledge.


    AM or PM?

  11. It’s run up and down the chain of command, staffed, researched and studied, all implications weighed (but not necessarily thought out), but the final decision, or court of last resort, will be the CinC.

    MG Fuller could have been re-assigned, transferred, squirreled away, given a “special projects officer” designation within the command, but complete and utter shit-canning is within the purview of the CinC, who, IMHO, should get his, about this time next year. But that’s just me.

  12. @junctionshamus

    Including reprimands, demotions, and firings?

    I am not saying that Obama was not appraised of the situation, but are you saying the 4 Star General head of ISAF can’t do anything about the 2 Star generals who work for him unless Obama moves first?

  13. @anon – As the Commander-in-Chief, nothing happens to a flag officer without the president’s approval. Congress may giveth, but the CinC taketh away.

  14. Yeah, we need military ‘discipline’, but when the civilian ‘leaders’ are misleading the country and acting as robots of the “1%” isn’t it a bit picky to expect that the military should be purer than the driven snow and function as if we lived in a rational world?

    (Full disclosure: I favor reducing military expenditure by, oh say, 80 %)

  15. I must have read a different NY Times article than the rest of you.

    The one I read, the one linked in Professor Turley’s story, says ABSOLUTELY nothing about Obama or the Administration being behind this. Obama may be behind this, but the article does not support that in any way.

    Obama is mentioned once, only in terms of the McChrystal firing, who was fired not for talking shit about Karzai but for talking shit about Obama — very different.

    And just when I thought Rafflaw’s meds were dialed in, he says this: “His job is to follow orders and do his job.”

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