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US' top Afghan commander 'derides' Biden

June 22, 2010 19:50 IST

America's top commander in Afghanistan, Gen Stanley A McChrystal, and his advisors have reportedly ridiculed United States Vice President Joe Biden, President Barack Obama's Special Envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard C Holbrooke and the US Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry.

Criticizing the civilian overlook of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation-led war against the Taliban and the Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, the Rolling Stone magazine, said General McChrystal and his staff frequently derided top civilian leaders.

General McChrystal is reported as visibly exasperated by e-mails he receives from Holbrooke, appointed by Obama to oversee developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"Oh, not another e-mail from Holbrooke," the article quotes General McChrystal, as saying after receiving one message. "I don''t even want to open it."

McChrystal criticizes Eikenberry for writing a classified cable that critiqued the war strategy and was later leaked, saying he felt "betrayed" by the episode and that Eikenberry was trying to protect himself.

"Here's one that covers his flank for the history books," the magazine quotes McChrystal as saying.

"Now if we fail, they can say, 'I told you so.'"

The criticism of Biden may prove the most troublesome for McChrystal. The article's author, Michael Hastings, says that McChrystal and his staff, while preparing for a question-and-answer session in Paris, imagined ways of "dismissing the vice president with a good one liner."

"Are you asking about Vice President Biden?" General McChrystal says, according to the article, trying out a possible answer. "Who''s that?"

An aide then is reported as saying, "Biden? Did you say: Bite me?"

The quotations leave unclear exactly what McChrystal meant to say.

According to the Los Angeles Times, one anonymous aide calls White House National Security Advisor James Jones a "clown."

The article says that only Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton received good reviews from McChrystal's inner circle.

President Obama later dressed down McChrystal for his comments and for the implied criticism of Biden.

The Rolling Stone report does not specify whether McChrystal is again criticising Biden or possibly poking fun at his own difficulties last year.

Image: Gen Stanley A McChrystal
Photograph: Reuters

Source: ANI