McChrystal, Petraeus Replacement Hurts US-Muslim Relations?
The UK’s Guardian has said that General Stanley McChrystal’s ouster from leading NATO forces in Afghanistan has dealt a blow to a long and slow improvement in US-Muslim relations. The article summed it up this way:
McChrystal’s strategy in Afghanistan also had major implications for US relations with the world’s 1.4bn Muslims. McChrystal’s message was simple: we respect you. We honor you. We are here to protect you. You have a great religion and a great culture, and we will help you preserve it and secure a future for your children.
The article calls the choice of General Petraeus to replace McChrystal “solid,” which has been the general feeling in the public (Petraeus was approved unanimously in the Senate). Ironically, however, while McChrystal apparently sported friendly credentials with the local Muslim populations, Petraeus has been accused of being a fundamentalist Christian predator, at least by one person:
General Petraeus has, by his own hand, become a quintessential poster child of this fundamentalist Christian religious predation, via his unadulterated and shocking public endorsement of a book touting both Christian supremacy and exceptionalism.
As recently as last January Petraeus was still named in Michael Weinstein’s now-defunct lawsuit against the Department of Defense, which Weinstein has made an unfulfilled promise to appeal. Weinstein also made the threateningly vague demand that Petraeus “preserve his records,” though he has apparently done nothing to follow through.
The coup de grace, however, was this MRFF press release by Weinstein after accusing Petraeus of causing a national security risk:
Petraeus’s immediate dismissal and trial by General Courts-Martial under Article 134 is not merely warranted but demanded!
If Michael Weinstein had gotten his way, the man who is largely credited for “saving” the US effort in Iraq, has now been handpicked by the President to do the same in Afghanistan, and is a virtual American hero would have been drummed out of the military just as the “surge” was showing results in Iraq. Talk about hitching your cart to the wrong horse.
Of course, all of this is coming from a man whose organization also said James Dobson is secretly running a shadow American government with Dick Cheney.
Despite his vitriolic attack in 2008, Weinstein and his MRFF have said nothing about the replacement of the Muslim-relation-improving McChrystal with the ‘Christian supremacist’ Petraeus. MRFF’s silence on their Petraeus issue — which has not changed since the original complaint — is likely a conscious choice of self-preservation. Weinstein likely chooses his battles for public relations (and fundraising) impact; Petraeus is hugely politically popular right now, and Weinstein would gain nothing by vilifying him in the press — despite the fact he already has.
Interestingly, Weinstein is not the only one whose public treatment of Petraeus has reportedly changed.