U.S. Army Major General Peter Fuller was fired following an interview where he criticized Harmid Karzai for saying Afghanistan would side with Pakistan in a war against the U.S. Why firing a general for telling the truth may have been the right call.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks at a news conference in Kabul / Reuters
Last Thursday, U.S. Army Major General Peter Fuller gave a lively interview to Politico, where he said some impolitic things about the Afghan government.
The two-star general flashed irritation when he brought up [Afghan President Hamid] Karzai's recent remarks that Afghanistan would side with Pakistan in a war against the U.S., blasting the president's comments as "erratic," and adding, "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'?"
Gen. Fuller's comments caused a bit of a stir, and on Friday General John Allen, the commander of ISAF forces in Afghanistan, fired him. In the five days since, a debate has erupted over whether Gen. Allen was correct in doing so, and whether Gen. Fuller is, in a sense, being punished for, as his supporters say, "telling the truth."
One of the strongest voices criticizing Gen. Fuller's firing is defense writer Carl Prine.
The man charged with arming and training hundreds of thousands of Afghan security forces told a representative of the free press, asking a question crucial to our democracy's public debate about the war, that Afghan leaders are corrupt and incompetent; they fail to understand their own ability to sustain their armed forces; they don't see the economic problems roiling the U.S. and our European allies; and the kleptocracy of jug-eared thief Hamid Karzai shows no thanks for the ongoing sacrifice of our troops and taxpayers on their behalf.
Prine continues, and his post is worth reading in full. His argument, that ISAF would "punish the truth-teller and then add insult with a few dollops of lies on top," is taking root in some quarters of the Army. General Fuller's firing is, in Prine's argument, "Hypocrisy a la mode, if you will."