General Stanley McChrystal was followed by a Rolling Stone reporter for a month, and the article just came out, making the White House is furious. As I write this post, McChrystal is on his way to D.C. for a scolding from President Obama. I read the article itself and am a little puzzled.
I mean, is anyone really surprised that members of the military wouldn’t take Joe Biden seriously? I think the line McChrystal used was “Joe Biden. Who’s that?” That’s funny. And are you really alarmed that McChrystal’s inner circle uses the F-word or flips one another the bird? I mean, did anyone see Band of Brothers?
The article paints a portrait of McChrystal as what I would call, the all-American soldier. He sleeps four hours a night, runs seven miles every morning, eats one meal a day, has only seen his wife 30 days a year since he took over in Afghanistan, and takes none to kindly to politicians trying to come in and save the day on a war that seems un-winnable at times. And we are offended by this? Alarmed? Put-off?
How many of you men (or women have husbands who) watch Ice Road Truckers? How about the show about the survivor guy, who goes away from civilization with a pocketknife to see if he can make it? Or what about that show Ax Men? Seriously. You can hardly even follow the conversation from those lumberjacks with so many beeps from all the profanity. Who watches these television dramas? Men, secretly longing to be REAL men, and women who are longing for REAL men.
Men in America have been feminized to the point that their hands are softer than mine. Apparently this has seeped into the highest levels of leadership. The term metrosexual is supposed to be a turn on!?! Who wants a man who gets pedicures? Not me! I want a real man. I want a man who can survive in the woods, who can change a tire, who knows how to use a shovel and gets sweaty doing it, who can tell the bad guy where to go, and who will fight for my honor (even if that’s just with the pizza guy who got my order wrong – really, it was his fault, not mine).
I don’t want some soldier in Afghanistan defending our country with words alone. I want a General who knows how to hunt down and kill terrorists. And I want him to call them ‘terrorists.’ I want a man who detests “Gucci” restaurants and prefers the Irish pub. I want the officer who can spit in someone’s face as he gives them orders if they have been disrespectful. I want a General who calls it what it is, whether it’s a “clown” in the administration, or a killer on the streets disguised as a civilian. Give me McChrystal over the metrosexual commander any day of the week.
Several years ago I read the book, Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge. It really got me thinking about the vast number of men stuck in offices and bored out of their minds. Of the little boys hooked on video games because they don’t know how to go out in the forest and have a real adventure. It made me understand why more women take the lead in their relationships and then resent their men for it.
You know, right now I have two children away at camp, one boy, one girl. On Sunday they had special events and posted pictures online for the parents to enjoy. The girls were dressed in their Sunday best, under the massive oaks, having a tea party on the grounds. They were smiling, hugging, (okay, most of them, not necessarily the Kik kid) and posing politely for the photos.
At the boys camp, there was a different scene. Over 200 pictures were online for my viewing pleasure, and I could smell those ripe guys from my mac. There was a field full of them, shirtless, sweaty, with numbers written on their chests in permanent marker, tribal necklaces, roaring and high-fiving. Testosterone overload. From ages seven to twenty-two or so, they were all just….animals. They were actually lined up to be catapaulted into the air, only to land on an overblown, enormous air mattress in the middle of the lake. Lined up, I tell you! Who does this? Boys.
All this is to say, there are real differences, and let’s not get them confused, especially in our military. We don’t want a General in charge who is filing his nails and having crumpets. Because let’s face it, Afghanistan is no tea party.