Subdivision Tips, South Australia (C: +61431138537), https://www.facebook.com/RealEstateSA5000/

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Taliban claim killing of 20 coalition troops

Despite UAVs, the Taliban are winning!

In Vietnam the Americans killed 3 million people using all types of sophisticated weapons. At the end, US savages had to leave clinging to their helicopters.
Using American-supplied cluster and phosphorus bombs, all types of F-s warplanes and thousands of missiles the Israelis were unable to reach the Litani river and had to leave Lebanon in August 2006 licking their wounds.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban have refused the Americans call for negotiation. No power on earth can defeat people when they

Like many Jews who were on this forum before, Raging bull must have gone on a failed MOSSAD mission. Iraq became the graveyard for Israeli agents venturing south of the Kurdish-controlled North of the country. Or he may have been wounded after landing on the Turkish Freedom Flotila!
Recently, Rahm Emanuel, Obama Chief of Staff, was called to Israel as his unit was put on alert. Mr Emanuel is a reserve IDF officer who served in Israel during the first Gulf war on Iraq in 1991.


Iran has already started to flex its muscle. With sophisticated weapons in Kandahar, Lebanon and Syria the USraeli soldiers and their allies will enjoy the wrath of Arabs and Muslims if they ever dared to attack Iran. Iran is not a disarmed Iraq.

Adnan Darwash, Iraq Occupation Times



Updated at: 1420 PST, Wednesday, June 30, 2010

JALALABAD: Foreign troops repulsed a commando style-attack on Wednesday by Taliban insurgents against an airfield in eastern Afghanistan, officials claimed, however, Taliban claimed killing of 20 coalition troops.

The blast wounded an Afghan soldier and a foreigner, while a group of other militants equipped with rocket propelled grenades and small arms clashed with Afghan and foreign forces.

"The airfield's perimeter was not breached and several insurgent were killed during the attack," the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.

A Taliban spokesman said six-suicide commandos were involved in the attack, which he said killed more than 20foreign and Afghan forces.

Since being overthrown in 2001 the Taliban have gone from strength to strength and are engaged daily in clashes with Afghan security forces and around 150,000 foreign troops.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Latest developments G8, G20






View from Toronto
(Canadian Press)

* Blog: G20 Street Level
* Map: Toronto security zones
* G20 summit flyover (requires Google Earth)

The G8 leaders meet this morning in Huntsville, Ont., to discuss two of the world's nuclear trouble spots, Iran and North Korea, along with global economic issues.

Canada has pledged $1.1 billion to its global initiative on maternal and child health for developing countries, announcing the money on the first day of the G8 summit near Huntsville, Ont.

Meanwhile, police forces in charge of security for the G20 in Toronto have been granted special powers for the duration of that summit. Under the new regulations, anyone who comes within five metres of the security fence is obliged to give police their name and state the purpose of their visit.

The first sizable protest during the G20 summit began Friday afternoon, with at least 2,000 people gathering at a park east of downtown Toronto before taking to the streets. A few hundred people later set up tents at the same park, where they said they will camp for the weekend.

A judge has dismissed a motion that sought to ban police use of so-called sound cannons to control crowds during the G20 summit in Toronto. While Friday's decision allows police to use the devices, it also places limits on how they can use them.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/05/26/f-g8-huntsville-g20-toronto.html#ixzz0rxteED7p



----



Police arrest more than 500 at Toronto summit
AP



----

A protester kicks a burnt-out car as a police vehicle burns in the background during an anti-G20 demonstration Saturday, June 26, 2010 in Toronto. (AP AP – A protester kicks a burnt-out car as a police vehicle burns in the background during an anti-G20 demonstration …

* G-20 Summit Protests Slideshow:G-20 Summit Protests

By ROB GILLIES, Associated Press Writer Rob Gillies, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 16 mins ago

TORONTO – Police conducted a large raid and rounded up more protesters Sunday in an effort to quell further violence at the global economic summit after black-clad youths rampaged through the city, smashing windows and torching police cruisers.

Police said they have arrested more than 500 demonstrators, many of whom were hauled away in plastic handcuffs and taken to a temporary holding center constructed for the summit.

Thousands of police in riot gear formed cordons to prevent radical anti-globalization demonstrations from breaching the steel and concrete security fence surrounding the Group of 20 summit site.

Toronto Police Sgt. Tim Burrows said police made at least 50 arrests in a Sunday morning raid on a building on the campus of the University of Toronto, where they seized a cache of "street-type weaponry" such as bricks, sticks and rocks.

"We think we put a dent in their numbers with this and with the arrests that happened overnight," Burrows said.

The disorder and vandalism occurred just blocks from where U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders were meeting and staying.

"What we saw yesterday is a bunch of thugs that pretend to have a difference of opinion with policies and instead choose violence to express those so-called differences of opinion," Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief spokesman Dimitri Soudas said Sunday.

The streets of downtown Toronto were quiet at daylight, but protesters gathered Sunday morning at a park near the detention center — about 2.5 miles (four kilometers) east of where the leaders are meeting.

Police went into the crowd and made some arrests, adopting a more aggressive strategy than the previous day when they stood back as protesters torched four police cars and broke store windows.

Thee protest outside the temporary holding facility was quickly broken up by riot police, who set off a warning device that created a cloud of smoke before they chased the group down the street.

About 100 demonstrators chanted, "The whole world is watching! The whole world is watching!'"

Burrows said many of those involved in the violent protests were Canadian. He added that authorities had known of their plans for some time.

"We're not sure we have the leaders, but we have a large proportion of those people and the people who decided they wanted to be influenced by these violent protesters and join with their cause," Burrows said. "A lot of them were home grown. There's a lot of Canadian talent in the group."

Two security guards at a downtown department store witnessed two men emerging from a manhole around 1:30 a.m. more than four blocks north of the security perimeter. The windows of the Hudson's Bay Company store had been damaged earlier during the protests.

"I noticed the manhole cover pop up off the ground and I saw two guys pop up," security guard Peter Panagopoulos said. "My partner saw the police, waved them down. ... In about two minutes there were about 30 to 40 police officers here and they just were all over the boys."

Panagopoulous said he was "freaked out."

"You never know what the hell is going down — there could be bombs. Who knows what is down there."

Police later welded the manhole cover.

Thousands of police headed to Toronto to reinforce security there after the smaller Group of Eight summit ended Saturday in Huntsville, Ontario, about 140 miles (225 kilometers) away. Security was being provided by an estimated 19,000 law enforcement officers drawn from across Canada, and security costs were estimated at more than US$900 million.

Saturday's protests began with a peaceful march, sponsored by labor unions and dubbed family friendly, that was the largest demonstration planned during the summit weekend. Its organizers had hoped to draw a crowd of 10,000, but only about half that number turned out on a rainy day.

Police in riot gear and riding bikes formed a blockade, keeping protesters from approaching the security fence a few blocks south of the march route. Police closed a stretch of Toronto's subway system along the protest route and the largest shopping mall downtown closed after the protest took a turn for the worse.

The black-clad demonstrators broke off from the larger crowd of peaceful protesters and began torching police cars and smashing shop windows.

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said the goal of the militant protesters was to draw police away from the security perimeter of the summit so that fellow protesters could attempt to disrupt the meeting.

Some police officers were struck by rocks and bottles and assaulted, but none was injured badly enough to stop working, Blair said.

"We have never seen that level of wanton criminality and vandalism and destruction on our streets," Blair said.

Previous global summit protests have turned violent. In 1999, 50,000 protesters shut down World Trade Organization sessions in Seattle as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets. There were some 600 arrests and $3 million in property damage. One man died after clashes with police at a G-20 meeting held in London in April 2009.

At the September G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, police fired canisters of pepper spray and smoke and rubber bullets at marchers.

____

Associated Press Writers Ian Harrison and Charmaine Noronha contributed to this report.


---




Toronto police fire tear gas on G20 protesters
Reuters

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Activists march during a protest ahead of the G20 Summit in downtown Toronto Reuters – Activists march during a protest ahead of the G20 Summit in downtown Toronto, June 25, 2010. About 2,000 …
By Cameron French and Pav Jordan Cameron French And Pav Jordan – 1 hr 45 mins ago

TORONTO (Reuters) – Police in Toronto fired tear gas on protesters for a second straight day on Sunday as new violence surrounding the G20 summit erupted and the arrest tally climbed above 500.

The latest clashes occurred as several hundred protesters marched on a temporary detention center for demonstrators arrested in riots on Saturday during which police used tear gas against the public for the first time ever in Canada's most populous city.

A police spokeswoman confirmed that officers on Sunday fired what are known as muzzle blasts, or "individual applications of tear gas" that are used typically against individuals at close range.

A Reuters witness in front of a former film studio in Toronto's port area where police are detaining protesters said he heard a loud "thunk" and saw clouds of smoke billow before police charged, scattering the crowd.

The weekend violence started on Saturday afternoon after groups of masked anarchists broke away from a larger, peaceful demonstration against the Group of 20 summit of rich and emerging economies, which ends on Sunday.

Protesters, many dressed in black gear, smashed windows of downtown stores and banks and torched police cars in a protest that police finally brought under control with tear gas and mass arrests.

"What we're prepared for today is more of what we saw yesterday," a police spokesman said. "We'd like to see demonstrations remain peaceful."

'BUNCH OF THUGS'

After a day when police admitted losing control of a violent and fast-moving crowd, the arrests came fast on Sunday.

Among those detained, for charges ranging from mischief to assaulting police, were four people who climbed through the sewer system and emerged near the lock-down area where world leaders were attending the summit. Police said they were urgently sealing sewer access near the zone.

A "large number" of people were detained in a raid at the University of Toronto's downtown campus, and police said they seized weapons, including bricks, rocks and sticks.

"What we saw yesterday ... is a bunch of thugs that pretend to have a difference of opinion with policies and instead choose violence in order to express those so-called differences of opinion," Dimitri Soudas, spokesman for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, told a news conference.

Anti-G20 groups started demonstrating in Toronto before the summit, which followed a smaller meeting of Group of Eight industrial nations in a resort town north of Toronto. The security bill is set to come in at about $1 billion.

Such international meetings have been the target of protest groups for years, including demonstrations that disrupted trade talks in Seattle in 1999.

(Additional reporting by David Ljunggren and Claire Sibonney; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Democratic US Military Coup In Iraq

By hook or crook the Americans want their man in Iraq, Dr Azad Allaw, to take over the country. By his admittance, Dr Allawi has been working for years as an agent for MI-6 and CIA. The CIA has established an Iraqi inteligence agency headed by Dr Allawi which has been carrying out dirty works on CIA behalf. In all his current negotiations to form a government Dr Allawi insisted on having the security and defence ministries under his control. If things do not go the American way, Dr Allawi is expected to take over the country supported by US-paid mercenaries.Right now, his house in Baghdad is protected by double high-concrete walls and guarded by US marines.

The problem is how to place the electrodes before losing your balls. I wish they US military show you what we see on the ground in Iraq. The poor US soldiers body parts had to be collected in Jalawala recently. The Americans have been paying dearly for marching on Baghdad to Israeli drums. Keep going and repeat the same on Tehran. The USraeli bubble is about to burst when they attack Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza. The American soldiers will be mauled in Iraq and in Afghanistan, because of Obama support for Israeli designs. I wrote it will be a hot summer. Try to study carefully what I have wrote.
Adnan Darwash, Iraq Occupation Times

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Toronto New York Shook by earthquake before G20

USGS: Low to mid 5's magnitude earthquake in Ontario, Canada/US border region. More info will be posted within mins on site

Magnitude 5.5 - ONTARIO-QUEBEC BORDER REGION, CANADA
2010 June 23 17:41:41 UTC


5.5-magnitude earthquake at 1.41 p.m. local time - USGS says. Quebec/Ontario region

ReutersSmallBiz‎: USGS reports 5.5 mag earthquake hits Toronto

http://bit.ly/dmhSRM

Magnitude 5.5
Date-Time

* Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 17:41:41 UTC
* Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 01:41:41 PM at epicenter
* Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 45.866°N, 75.457°W
Depth 15.7 km (9.8 miles) set by location program
Region ONTARIO-QUEBEC BORDER REGION, CANADA
Distances

* 39 km (24 miles) N (356°) from Cumberland, Ontario, Canada
* 45 km (28 miles) NNE (21°) from Gatineau, Qu�bec, Canada
* 52 km (32 miles) NNE (26°) from Hull, Qu�bec, Canada
* 53 km (33 miles) NNE (21°) from OTTAWA, Ontario, Canada

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 2.3 km (1.4 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST=283, Nph=283, Dmin=149 km, Rmss=0.91 sec, Gp= 25°,
M-type=body wave magnitude (Mb), Version=7
Source

* USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)

Event ID us2010xwa7


---

Tectonic Summary

EARTHQUAKES IN THE WESTERN QUEBEC SEISMIC ZONE
Western Quebec Seismic Zone People in the large Western Quebec seismic zone have felt small earthquakes and suffered damage from larger ones for three centuries. The two largest damaging earthquakes occurred in 1935 (magnitude 6.1) at the northwestern end of the seismic zone, and in 1732 (magnitude 6.2) 450 km (280 mi) away at the southeastern end of the zone where it caused significant damage in Montreal. Earthquakes cause damage in the zone about once a decade. Smaller earthquakes are felt three or four times a year.

Earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains, although less frequent than in the west, are typically felt over a much broader region. East of the Rockies, an earthquake can be felt over an area as much as ten times larger than a similar magnitude earthquake on the west coast. A magnitude 4.0 eastern earthquake typically can be felt at many places as far as 100 km (60 mi) from where it occurred, and it infrequently causes damage near its source. A magnitude 5.5 eastern earthquake usually can be felt as far as 500 km (300 mi) from where it occurred, and sometimes causes damage as far away as 40 km (25 mi).

FAULTS
Earthquakes everywhere occur on faults within bedrock, usually miles deep. Most of the bedrock in the Western Quebec seismic zone was formed as several generations of mountains rose and were eroded down again over the last billion or so years.

At well-studied plate boundaries like the San Andreas fault system in California, often scientists can determine the name of the specific fault that is responsible for an earthquake. In contrast, east of the Rocky Mountains this is rarely the case. The Western Quebec seismic zone is far from the nearest plate boundaries, which are in the center of the Atlantic Ocean and in the Caribbean Sea. The seismic zone is laced with known faults but numerous smaller or deeply buried faults remain undetected. Even the known faults are poorly located at earthquake depths. Accordingly, few, if any, earthquakes in the seismic zone can be linked to named faults. It is difficult to determine if a known fault is still active and could slip and cause an earthquake. As in most other areas east of the Rockies, the best guide to earthquake hazards in the Western Quebec seismic zone is the earthquakes themselves.

Earthquake Information for Canada


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1.

anishinaboy‎: Would we get an aftershock? #earthquake #ottawa
Twitter - seconds ago
2.

gkygrl‎: #earthquake - we felt a huge, long rumble in Malta, NY. Shaked chairs and tables. Not used to it!
Twitter - seconds ago
3.

los_ziegler‎: They say the #earthquake said "Sorry" after shaking half province, in a very mild, canadian way. We couldn't expect less!
Twitter - seconds ago
4.

littlejennywren‎: soooooo....anyone get any free candy out of a vending machine? #earthquake #upside
Twitter - seconds ago
5.

freevtyakker‎: @CPierceVT Bill Nye the Science Guy does an #earthquake song? Who knew? Carol King, eat your heart out...
Twitter - seconds ago
6.

freeMurphy‎: 100 RTs and running on that #earthquake line. Intoxicating- need another quake. #mywaterloo
Twitter - seconds ago
7.

inquarters14‎: RT @sharonhayes: Montreal radio is reporting is was 5.7 with epicenter in Thunder Bay, Ontario #earthquake
Twitter - seconds ago
8.

UptownGirl‎: @Nabweekly People are hilarious esp since since this #earthquake wasn't damaging...
Twitter - seconds ago
9.

peterzestrong‎: felt #earthquake here in Kitchener @ harry&co office . Anyone know where it was centred?
Twitter - seconds ago
10.

scilib‎: Wikinews: Earthquake hits Ottawa, Canada bit.ly/bJ6vyF #quakeott #earthquake
Twitter - seconds ago
11.

idhToronto‎: @chrisvanvliet well we will raise your tornado and throw in a G20 protest as well as our #earthquake
Twitter - 1 minute ago
12.

MattPadanyi‎: Alright... bored with #earthquake now.. gonna play some PS3 hahaha.
Twitter - 1 minute ago
13.

tgambee‎: What happens when @tgambee goes to Canada? #earthquake
Twitter - 1 minute ago
14.

ChristieLea‎: The tremors were so strong in Ottawa, Stephen Harper's hair moved. #earthquake
Twitter - 1 minute ago
15.

cwsjd99‎: Didn't feel the #earthquake from Ottawa here at the home office...
Twitter - 1 minute ago
16.

kjikaqawej‎: didn't feel the #earthquake here. just nervousness sometimes that goes away
Twitter - 1 minute ago
17.

magicalmudge‎: RT @desjardins: Seismometer at Univ of WIsconsin-Milwaukee, about 1000 km away from the epicenter #earthquake
twitpic.com
Twitter - 1 minute ago
18.

travelbea‎: RT @brucepoontip: Maybe it was people in the States jumping up and down because the won the game at the #worldcup! #earthquake!
Twitter - 1 minute ago
19.

Ruthie66‎: I saw PA too RT @artcity:Looks like @MikeTobinFox in Toronto was the first to tweet the #earthquake with tweets coming in from NY Ohio Wis.
Twitter - 2 minutes ago
20.

1LOVETO‎: Correction - 5.0 #earthquake at Ontario/Quebec border...Toronto and surrounding areas felt it! Stay tuned to @cp24 for updates...
Twitter - 2 minutes ago
21.

ginakay‎: @dogwalkblog shocks have come and gone... waiting for 2nd/3rd/4th #earthquake lol
Twitter - 2 minutes ago
22.

DrDeborahBarry‎: #earthquake Val des Bois, phones are down, Hwy 307 closed. Some Ottawa structure damage. People stuck in elevators, Chimneys down, windows
Twitter - 2 minutes ago
23.

terriko‎: @seeteegee Me too! I thought it was an octranspo bus gone horribly wrong for a second, but it wasn't loud enough. #earthquake
Twitter - 2 minutes ago
24.

ParentClub‎: What about hiding in the liquor cabinet? RT @bweikle: Use a doorway for shelter only if in close proximity to you #earthquake
Twitter - 2 minutes ago
25.

hayleyvfuller‎: It all makes so much sense now! RT @mhp RT @philippec: Quebec is finally separating! #earthquake
Twitter - 2 minutes ago
26.

Fairlady4‎: The U.S.G.S. is just reporting that they have downgraded the earthquake magnitude from 5.5 to 5.0 #earthquake
Magnitude 5.5 - ONTARIO-QUEBEC BORDER REGION, CANADA‎ - usgs.gov
Twitter - 3 minutes ago
27.

DrDeborahBarry‎: Val des Bois, a Quebec village 50 km from Ottawa, was the centre of the 5.5 #earthquake felt as far as Ohio.
Twitter - 3 minutes ago
28.

VioletMarcell‎: Did anyone else feel the #earthquake today?
Twitter - 3 minutes ago
29.

lptacek‎: @Jeremy_Reed Did anyone check? Is Quebec still attached to Canada after the #earthquake?
Twitter - 3 minutes ago
30.

nanaspaces‎: OMG where? RT @Ineedmyfix: They are saying the #Earthquake was 5.5 not 5.0 magnitude
Twitter - 4 minutes ago
31.

nickcharney‎: .@alexsirota Confirmed fishyness; far more tweets coming in under #earthquake than Richter Scale or Southern Ontario
Twitter - 4 minutes ago
32.

cfhorgan‎: @agalbraith won't someone think of the fish?! #earthquake
Twitter - 13 minutes ago
33.

ENBdavies‎: RT @lloydalter #earthquake humour "Widespread disappointment across 2 at news that it was not, in fact, the epicentre of the quake."
Twitter - 13 minutes ago
34.

bplay‎: Did you feel the #earthquake? Head over to Bplay for earth shattering deals! www.bplay.com
Twitter - 13 minutes ago
35.

durabilite‎: oh man, some of you #earthquake people are so funny
Twitter - 13 minutes ago
36.

valeriewindsor‎: Big news, #earthquake! LOL! Downtown Montreal Rumbled.
Twitter - 13 minutes ago
37.

drivetraffic‎: paranoid now... UPS truck going down street felt like aftershock #ottawa #earthquake
Twitter - 13 minutes ago
38.

DonaldEclipse‎: Quebec, once again, tried to leave Canada. This time, literally. #earthquake
Twitter - 13 minutes ago
39.

kellabyte‎: News is reporting people in Boston felt it #earthquake
Twitter - 13 minutes ago
40.

kathyrun‎: Floor shook. Walls shook. Thought the shelving was about 2 topple. #earthquake
Twitter - 14 minutes ago
41.

TabishB‎: @stminfo can the tunnels withstand this #earthquake?
Twitter - 14 minutes ago
42.

nothingtosay‎: so the #earthquake is dropped down to a 5.0 (originally 5.5). Huh.
Twitter - 14 minutes ago
43.

Nigel_Hay‎: Region of Waterloo Offices closed in Cambridge, #Earthquake not letting anyone in!
Twitter - 14 minutes ago
44.

BasiaV‎: RT @janetlo: RT @OttawaCitizen: The #Ottawa courthouse shut down and prisoners taken out and brought to Elgin police station #earthquake
Twitter - 14 minutes ago
45.

theealchemyst‎: Whoa. 5.5 scale #earthquake in Toronto, Ontario, just at about 1:45pm.
Twitter - 14 minutes ago
46.

AudreyPrenzel‎: Just got a call from a former army client in Ottawa who kept his cool during his job interview as the #earthquake hit. #Army guys rock.
Twitter - 14 minutes ago
47.

OwnAnAgency‎: we just had a nice little #earthquake in Farmington Hills, Michigan
Twitter - 15 minutes ago
48.

eyevee_soh‎: RT @zchamu: Ottawa Fire Dept overwhelmed with calls about ppl trapped in elevators and leaving cooking unattended. #earthquake #canthelp ...
Twitter - 15 minutes ago
49.

wolfewylie‎: @TonyClement_MP has the best tweet-response to the #earthquake yet. Just blame #Bieber.
Twitter - 15 minutes ago
50.

sluedee‎: @melgallant his reaction is epic! #earthquake
Twitter - 15 minutes ago
51.

jill380‎: Me too now. Thanks Alan. RT @asawyer: Carole King's song will be stuck in my head all day now #earthquake
Twitter - 15 minutes ago
52.

WJAC_Weather‎: RT @Dave_BondyWPXI: Top floors of the Mull Center Building in Wheeling, WV evacuated after a tremor went through the building. #Earthquake
Twitter - 15 minutes ago
53.

greggtilston‎: haha via @Torontoist Now that it looks like everyone's safe RT @philippec Quebec is finally separating! #earthquake
Twitter - 15 minutes ago
54.

DarrylRMSG‎: OK, now that we've all settled down after the #earthquake, let's get back to work....What's the score between Ghana and Germany?
Twitter - 15 minutes ago
55.

natnewswatch‎: After Fraser's audit, it might be the occupants RT @ryhicks RCMP checking integrity of all parliament hill buildings #ottawa #earthquake
Twitter - 15 minutes ago
56.

Nink‎: The #earthquake safety test is now complete. Building & infrastructure still intact. World leaders it's safe to visit #Toronto now!
Twitter - 15 minutes ago
57.

Aquinian‎: RT @CdnPress_News: U.S. Geological Survey says #earthquake was magnitude 5.5 tremor centred 60 km north of Ottawa, in western Que.
Twitter - 15 minutes ago
58.

Clepetar‎: RT @Joiedevivre66: Quebec is finally separating! #earthquake rt @philippec
Twitter - 15 minutes ago
59.

asawyer‎: Carole King's song will be stuck in my head all day now #earthquake
Twitter - 16 minutes ago
60.

aegrange‎: Cell phone networks and news sites were overloaded with traffic about the #earthquake, but Twitter barely shuddered? Really no fail whale?
Twitter - 16 minutes ago
61.

charisegarcia‎: The ex is convinced it was a sign that we were together when the #earthquake occurred... #hmmm
Twitter - 16 minutes ago
62.

Ms_CL‎: Telus or Rogers is down as I can't reach home or cell. Tweet me, hubs! #earthquake
Twitter - 16 minutes ago
63.

KellyMullaney‎: Ok, that's too much love for me, LOL! RT @ConHake: @KellyMullaney Hey, the Bay Area wants to spread the love! #earthquake
Twitter - 16 minutes ago
64.

halseanderson‎: I wonder if the #earthquake (then pending) is why my dog has been out of sorts most of the day.
Twitter - 16 minutes ago
65.

poweredbysearch‎: Can the news stop asking people how they 'feel' about this #earthquake and predict if it'll happen again? #earthquakeTO
Twitter - 16 minutes ago
66.

ellenfweber‎: RT @andreakremer: RT @HOBBoston: Earthquake! Did anyone feel that?! #earthquake Yes it hit Fairport NY
Twitter - 16 minutes ago
67.

marie_gibbons‎: Great! Now that the local tweeps are done talking about the #earthquake the news tweeps won't shut up about it!
Twitter - 17 minutes ago
68.

pascallaliberte‎: Impressed by @OttawaCitizen's coverage of the #earthquake on twitter
Twitter - 17 minutes ago
69.

robyndowsett‎: I felt the #earthquake ! Was in parked car in Belleville, it rocked for a few seconds.
Twitter - 17 minutes ago
70.

amy_m_young‎: Disappointment across Toronto at news that it was not, in fact, epicentre of #earthquake. (via @krusk)
Twitter - 17 minutes ago
71.

ryhicks‎: RCMP checking integrity of all parliament hill buildings #ottawa #earthquake
Twitter - 17 minutes ago
72.

digitalkvan‎: Quebec is finally separating! #earthquake
Twitter - 17 minutes ago
73.

elliotross‎: #earthquake #ottawa any body else having landline phone issues? getting circuit errors trying to call home
Twitter - 17 minutes ago
74.

that_angela‎: Hee hee ... OH: The #earthquake is Quebec finally trying to separate.
Twitter - 18 minutes ago
75.

fishtron‎: wonder when Vancouver will get it... #earthquake
Twitter - 18 minutes ago
76.

Lissansky‎: RT @srjbridge Here's the official #earthquake report from USGS #earthquake #Ottawa
Magnitude 5.5 - ONTARIO-QUEBEC BORDER REGION, CANADA‎ - usgs.gov
Twitter - 18 minutes ago
77.

ravipjoshi‎: strangely, the #earthquake itself left Twitter untouched. The tsunami of tweets however broke it!
Twitter - 30 minutes ago
78.

00mb‎: So with the G20 about to start in Toronto Sylvia thought the #earthquake might have been a big bomb.
Twitter - 30 minutes ago
79.

ryhicks‎: Apparently we'll get more info in 30 mins about parliament hill evacuation #earthquake #ottawa
Twitter - 30 minutes ago
80.

sarahpetrescu‎: . @caitlinlh What's in your #earthquake kit? Thinking of making one myself... like nowish
Twitter - 30 minutes ago
81.

lindsayfg‎: Ontario Quebec border region center of earthquake. Is the Bloc trying to break free? #earthquake
Twitter - 31 minutes ago
82.

CoalitionEnt‎: anyone know how long we have to be cautious of aftershocks?? how long are we at risk? #earthquake
Twitter - 31 minutes ago
83.

B_Kienapple‎: RT @DarrinSearancke: In New Zealand we use 6-7 magnitude earthquakes to stir our coffee ... #Toronto #earthquake.
Twitter - 31 minutes ago
84.

JamesRivers‎: @YourLoneStar Felt the #earthquake here in London. It was about 30 min ago now we felt it.
Twitter - 31 minutes ago
85.

mvandertol‎: US Geological Center - #earthquake .
Magnitude 5.5 - ONTARIO-QUEBEC BORDER REGION, CANADA‎ - usgs.gov
Twitter - 31 minutes ago
86.

DoggieDog‎: Did you feel it? #earthquake #USGS
Did You Feel It?‎ - usgs.gov
Twitter - 31 minutes ago
87.

mooneyontheatre‎: RT @Adam_Giambrone: TTC engineering is on top of the small #earthquake & TTC tunnels are secure & built to withstand earthquakes. It is safe
Twitter - 31 minutes ago
88.

shortsreport‎: Hilarious! RT @D_Fildebrandt: On the 20th anniversary of Meech, Quebec separates via #earthquake .
Twitter - 31 minutes ago
89.

isfan‎: RT @randallh: #earthquake wondering if the Tweeti-centre coincident with seismological epicentre?
Twitter - 32 minutes ago
90.

sherrirossi‎: Yup! DD felt it and questioned me actually! RT @kidscbc: Did any of our Kids' CBC families feel the earthquake? #earthquake
Twitter - 32 minutes ago
91.

that_angela‎: Waiting ... patiently ... for @kevmac_5 to tell me the girls are safe. #earthquake
Twitter - 32 minutes ago
92.

Travisboisvenue‎: Best #earthquake post yet:@Wassim Earthquake! People in streets! Ottawa!
Twitter - 32 minutes ago
93.

KMPhotographer‎: RT @reneritchie: Scattered reports. #Earthquake was 5.5 or 5.7, epicenter either Buckingham, Quebec or Thuderbay, Ontario? Um, experts p ...
Twitter - 32 minutes ago
94.

TabishB‎: LOL You guys need to follow #Earthquake tag!
Twitter - 32 minutes ago
95.

meredithmartin‎: @meredithmarsh Facts are sometimes not appreciated during a time of crisis. #earthquake
Twitter - 32 minutes ago
96.

skydaddy‎: Felt the #earthquake here in Lake County OH, east of Cleveland. Gentle swaying.
Twitter - 32 minutes ago
97.

dandelionweb‎: Didn't feel the #earthquake but a WordPress 3 upgrade at the time failed to ftp all files... hmm wonder if there was a connection
Twitter - 32 minutes ago
98.

DrArunPillai‎: Earthquake shook rooftops in neighborhoods just west of the Ottawa for about 20 seconds; sounded fighterplanes rumbling overhead.#earthquake
Twitter - 32 minutes ago
99.

jpuopolo‎: @unbrelievable LOL this #Earthquake was so 30 minutes ago !
Twitter - 32 minutes ago
100.

scrawledinwax‎: Lost amidst the #earthquake is the news that a 7hr tennis match at Wimbledon is at 47-46 in the fifth.
Wimbledon 2010 live blog: 23 June | Xan Brooks | Sport | guardian ...‎ - guardian.co.uk
Twitter - 32 minutes ago
101.

DaniGirl‎: RT @zchamu: Ottawa Fire Dept overwhelmed with calls about ppl trapped in elevators and leaving cooking unattended. #earthquake #canthelp ...
Twitter - 33 minutes ago
102.

mollycormier‎: Anyone from #Fredericton in Ottawa or Toronto for the #earthquake ?
Twitter - 33 minutes ago
103.

rmassingham‎: RT @melle: Dear California: You do that regularly? DUDE. #earthquake
Twitter - 33 minutes ago
104.

kashicat‎: @patdryburgh Californians probably feel the same about us in earthquake as we feel about them with snowfall #earthquake #TOearthquake
Twitter - 33 minutes ago
105.

oodja‎: Wishing safe thoughts to my Tweeps in the Toronto area! #earthquake
Twitter - 33 minutes ago
106.

natedogreimer‎: maybe it was caused by everyone cheering for US #worldcup #earthquake
Twitter - 33 minutes ago
107.

BOREDmommy‎: Didn't feel a thing here. #Earthquake
Twitter - 33 minutes ago
108.

mfratto‎: Well, that was exciting. Back to work now. #Earthquake
Twitter - 33 minutes ago
109.

kyigit‎: RT @RobboMills: well - this calls for a beer #earthquake
Twitter - 33 minutes ago
110.

patdryburgh‎: That wasn't an #earthquake. Just ask California. #amiright
Twitter - 33 minutes ago
111.

MarkBrosens‎: RT @spaikin: gotta hand it to our guests. none of them missed a beat. the show must go on. #earthquake
Twitter - 34 minutes ago
112.

ginakay‎: @Jennison no actual #earthquake in Ohio
Twitter - 34 minutes ago
113.

coldacid‎: Also no sign of #earthquake in south-central Pickering. Near the mall, felt nothing despite basement apt & doing dishes.
Twitter - 34 minutes ago
114.

isfan‎: #earthquake was 5.5 and north of Ottawa by about 50km.
Magnitude 5.5 - ONTARIO-QUEBEC BORDER REGION, CANADA‎ - usgs.gov
Twitter - 34 minutes ago
115.

npsport‎: The #earthquake in Ontario and Quebec has not deterred John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, who are still going, now 45-44. #Wimbledon
Twitter - 34 minutes ago
116.

50PlusPortal‎: Yes, it was an earthquake... RT @CCapitalist USGS reports a 5.5 #earthquake centered near Ottawa.
Earthquake List for Map of N America Region‎ - usgs.gov
Twitter - 34 minutes ago
117.

tagreen17‎: Enough #earthquake talk...lets Go Ghana!
Twitter - 34 minutes ago
118.

syracusedotcom‎: Who else felt the #earthquake in #CNY?
Twitter - 35 minutes ago
119.

0402sgrl‎: @1MysteryGirl #earthquake centered in Ontario... initial reports of 5.5.... felt from Michigan to CT in the US.... dayum.
Twitter - 35 minutes ago
120.

NickCTwits‎: @trentvanegas it orignated in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada...ironic? #earthquake
Twitter - 35 minutes ago
121.

CharlatanLive‎: #Earthquake rocks Carleton campus, measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale, according to US geological survey. Campus buildings evacuated.
Twitter - 35 minutes ago
122.

OntAg‎: Did anyone else feel the earthquake? It shook me in my office chair in London and had the light fixture swaying. #earthquake
Twitter - 35 minutes ago
123.

MooseheadLager‎: The safest place to being during an #earthquake is outside. Preferably on a patio.
Twitter - 35 minutes ago
124.

laurapasquini‎: Wow. The Ontario, et. al. #earthquake was a 5.5
Magnitude 5.5 - ONTARIO-QUEBEC BORDER REGION, CANADA‎ - usgs.gov
Twitter - 35 minutes ago
125.

ginakay‎: @Jennison There was an #earthquake in Ottawa and shocks went quite a distance:
Earthquakes‎ - usgs.gov
Twitter - 35 minutes ago
126.

LakelandHealth‎: Anybody feel it here? RT @GiftofLifeMich #earthquake was 5.5 based in Ottawa. Nice that news streams have caught up with the Twitterverse!
Twitter - 35 minutes ago
127.

mvandertol‎: US Geological Center - #earthquake
Magnitude 5.5 - ONTARIO-QUEBEC BORDER REGION, CANADA‎ - usgs.gov
Twitter - 35 minutes ago
128.

alilimorocco‎: 5.5 magnitude earthquake shakes Toronto. Buildings evacuated, cell service overwhelmed. Felt in Rochester, NY. #earthquake #TO
Twitter - 35 minutes ago
129.

pascallaliberte‎: Wondering how our data center's hard drives are doing right about now #earthquake #uottawa
Twitter - 35 minutes ago
130.

GiftofLifeMich‎: @wholebraingroup None of our employees noticed the #earthquake at our #AnnArbor office, either. It's finally making mainstream news, tho.
Twitter - 36 minutes ago
131.

Travisboisvenue‎: Was having lunch on the human rights monument. The columns were swaying. Freaky. #earthquake #quakeott
Twitter - 36 minutes ago
132.

iangordon‎: I just saw the @CP24 news streaming Twitter to report the #earthquake. That always cracks me up.
Twitter - 36 minutes ago
133.

thornley‎: @get_prepared - what is your advice for those of us who just experienced the Ottawa #earthquake?
Twitter - 36 minutes ago
134.

rszekely‎: Used to live in Japan, so the #earthquake was a familiar feeling.
Twitter - 36 minutes ago
135.

amymengel‎: Apparently @colinrmathews and I leave a wake of destruction when we skip town. #earthquake
Twitter - 36 minutes ago
136.

wjjordan‎: Western Quebec seismic zone suffered a 6.1 #earthquake in 1935, and 6.2 in 1732. It usually produces 3-4 felt quakes per year (from USGS).
Twitter - 36 minutes ago
137.

melgallant‎: @thornley we did the hide under desk thing or in door frame for #earthquake drills in school (grew up on westcoast)
Twitter - 36 minutes ago
138.

ronakgee‎: now that the #earthquake is over feeling oddly privileged for finding it exciting when quakes cause so mass devastation all over the world
Twitter - 36 minutes ago
139.

syhum‎: Surprised that Eastern Canada was hit by such a strong #earthquake. Vancouver is located in the quake zone yet, quake here
Twitter - 36 minutes ago
140.

njdotcom‎: Somebody felt #earthquake tremors in Madison but Sayreville, Toms River and Union County folks felt nothing
Twitter - 36 minutes ago
141.

EnviroEd‎: RT @HuffingtonPost: Canada #Earthquake: 5.5 quake shakes Toronto, Ottawa... felt as far away as Chicago, Cleveland
Canada Earthquake? Toronto, Ottawa Report Ground Shaking‎ - huffingtonpost.com
Twitter - 37 minutes ago
142.

TabishB‎: I'm throwing the First Annual Canadian Earthquake Day Party tonight at 10:00 PM #earthquake
Twitter - 44 minutes ago
143.

kcarnduff‎: Well they're closing down the office for the rest of the day. Hope everyone out there is ok! #earthquake
Twitter - 44 minutes ago
144.

Kardboard‎: RT @salvationarmy: The #earthquake in central Canada moments ago is a great reminder to remember our friends in #Haiti
Twitter - 44 minutes ago
145.

russellmcormond‎: RT @jdebeer: So what comes next after the #earthquake? Do we just tweet about it, or what?
Twitter - 44 minutes ago
146.

namtrok‎: How long till #earthquake out trends #worldcup ?
Twitter - 44 minutes ago
147.

Weekendpictures‎: The #earthquake hit just as a live CBC-TV interview I was helping out with (via Skype) ended. Never a dull moment!
Twitter - 44 minutes ago
148.

CONFRONTMag‎: @CoalitionEnt Wouldn't think so... not in our lifetime for sure #earthquake
Twitter - 44 minutes ago
149.

getdowntown‎: Didn't feel the #earthquake over at the getDowntown Office (518 E. Washington, downtown).
Twitter - 45 minutes ago
150.

quic‎: Nor did we RT @QueensTV QTV did not feel the #earthquake, once again proving that the Bomb Shelter in the JDUC is the place to be at Queen's
Twitter - 45 minutes ago
151.

masslivenews‎: USGS online map shows 5.5 magnitude #earthquake (not 2.8 as we previously retweeted)
Twitter - 45 minutes ago
152.

bengardnernyc‎: Also Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati - wow #earthquake
Twitter - 45 minutes ago
153.

chrisjschmitt‎: @isfan egads, what about lazer eye surgery? #earthquake
Twitter - 45 minutes ago
154.

grevory‎: RT: @philippec Quebec is finally separating! #earthquake via @jwpeddle
Twitter - 45 minutes ago
155.

rogercullman‎: RT @Adam_Giambrone: TTC engineering is on top of the small #earthquake & TTC tunnels are secure & built to withstand earthquakes. It is safe
Twitter - 45 minutes ago
156.

jonezy‎: RT @bradbuset: Thank goodness the Liberty Village ice cream truck survived! #earthquake
Twitter - 45 minutes ago
157.

krahntology‎: @paulstickney you're such a hater! Haha #earthquake
Twitter - 45 minutes ago
158.

mjecclestone‎: Standing outside with my library student who is haitian. she's shaking. #earthquake
Twitter - 45 minutes ago
159.

jfk00ca‎: Earthquake shook our office her in Gormley. #earthquake
Twitter - 45 minutes ago
160.

sidhartha_b‎: Tomas Plekanec trended quicker than #Earthquake 2010
Twitter - 45 minutes ago
161.

laurenkgray‎: all these tweets about the #earthquake and the #worldcup! woa.
Twitter - 46 minutes ago
162.

hmvcanada‎: So did hmv! RT: @MaplePictures: Maple Pictures Toronto Office felt the shake #earthquake
Twitter - 46 minutes ago
163.

carlosrizo‎: Very funny RT philippec: Quebec is finally separating! #earthquake
Twitter - 46 minutes ago
164.

jpuopolo‎: Is it too early for Rita McNeil Jokes regarding the #Earthquake ?
Twitter - 46 minutes ago
165.

sidhartha_b‎: Tomas Plekanec trended quicker that #Earthquake 2010
Twitter - 46 minutes ago
166.

MaplePictures‎: Maple Pictures Toronto Office felt the shake #earthquake
Twitter - 46 minutes ago
167.

Nigel_Hay‎: Al-qeda have been found in a tunnel on the Ontario Quebec border #Earthquake
Twitter - 46 minutes ago
168.

Jeremy_Reed‎: Now we get to see what news source comes up with the coolest #earthquake visual map to show where it was felt.
Twitter - 47 minutes ago
169.

raerica‎: I didn't feel the #earthquake but a coworker did. Holy insane
Twitter - 47 minutes ago
170.

D_Fildebrandt‎: On the 20th anniversary of Meech, Quebec separates via #earthquake .
Twitter - 47 minutes ago
171.

shinraisei‎: So, uh, to everyone who experienced the #earthquake here in Eastern Canada, it was felt in the US too. Wonder where the epicentre was...
Twitter - 47 minutes ago
172.

AMorningOttawa‎: RT @OttawaCitizen: Reader in Milwalkee says they felt #earthquake #quakeott
Twitter - 47 minutes ago
173.

mfratto‎: .@georgevhulme My pop-culture reference is Buffy The Vampire Slayer and the closing of the Hellmouth in Sunnydale. #earthquake
Twitter - 47 minutes ago
174.

lbyrne74‎: Any1 hurt in #ontario #earthquake? In-laws live in Hamilton. Just called hubby know but if he calls he may not get thru. Pls RT? Tnx x
Twitter - 47 minutes ago
175.

lostudio‎: @ceebee308 ya know they felt that #earthquake in NY, Boston and Chicago too!
Twitter - 47 minutes ago
176.

LD10‎: was that @chrisbosh announcing that Toronto isn't actually the greatest city in the world? or just a run of the mill #earthquake
Twitter - 47 minutes ago
177.

gregcons‎: somebody got the link to the xkcd with the speed of the earthquake waves vs the tweets about it? #earthquake
Twitter - 47 minutes ago
178.

Kardboard‎: RT @brodiedavid: Minor #earthquake causes sites, cell phones go down in places. Shows how badly prepared most orgs are for a large one
Twitter - 47 minutes ago
179.

reneeswilliams‎: Friend at Ministry of Transportation says they were evacuated because of #earthquake.
Twitter - 47 minutes ago
180.

reneritchie‎: (Insert your best #earthquake "Quebec is separating for June 24" jokes here)
Twitter - 48 minutes ago
181.

BonnieAdamson‎: CNN finally acknowledging #earthquake in Canada. Took over half an hour?
Twitter - 48 minutes ago
182.

metroottawa‎: Epicentre of #earthquake reportedly was north of Ottawa. Can anyone offer more details?
Twitter - 48 minutes ago
183.

dominionpundit‎: RT @philippec: People at the G20 summit must be freaking out #earthquake
Twitter - 48 minutes ago
184.

Clippopotamus‎: Any word on potential aftershocks in Toronto area? #earthquake
Twitter - 48 minutes ago
185.

ShawnByfield‎: Ok, so don't ever ride an elevator during a Toronto #earthquake. Especially with 6 other residents who panic! That's is all.
Twitter - 48 minutes ago
186.

katemichetti‎: LOL! RT @giacasale RT @kylemcinnes: Ottawa government buildings evacuated. Productivity unaffected. #earthquake
Twitter - 48 minutes ago
187.

_VeloCite‎: Montreal felt the #earthquake and some parts of Vermont too...
Twitter - 48 minutes ago
188.

DeanTester‎: Everybody is a comedian after an #Earthquake
Twitter - 48 minutes ago
189.

thornley‎: After the #earthquake - What's the safest thing to do? Stay inside a downtown office building? Or stand outside of a 20 story building?
Twitter - 48 minutes ago
190.

footose‎: Quebec is finally separating! #earthquake
Twitter - 49 minutes ago
191.

patfrank‎: RT @wholebraingroup: Apparently there was an #earthquake centered in Ontario that was felt here in Ann Arbor at 1:45pm. None of our empl ...
Twitter - 49 minutes ago
192.

CoalitionEnt‎: @cp24 what can we expect from an #earthquake on this scale? aftershocks? more to come?
Twitter - 49 minutes ago
193.

MACBookstore‎: No, that wasn't us causing havoc with our store renovations - it really was an #earthquake. No books were harmed, though.
Twitter - 49 minutes ago
194.

taralconley‎: Wait, was there really just an #earthquake in Cleveland?
Twitter - 49 minutes ago
195.

pnherdz‎: @rachelesterline Crazy, how far away we could feel it. It's been felt in Michigan, New York, Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin. #earthquake
Twitter - 49 minutes ago
196.

bar2cci‎: Was it an #earthquake or just the girl from Precious passing gas? @Fearless_Fred
Twitter - 49 minutes ago
197.

CJPAC‎: Clearly the Ottawa people evacuating their offices just wanted to hit up ribfest. #earthquake
Twitter - 49 minutes ago
198.

hannahh‎: We are one funny bunch of #earthquake surviving Canadians. RT @DevineOne: Quebec separating on the eve of St-Jean mebbe? #earthquake
Twitter - 49 minutes ago
199.

briancsmith‎: @briancsmith Folks going overboard here. Hope all in Ottawa is ok. #earthquake
Twitter - 49 minutes ago
200.

ellachou‎: twitter is very good at #earthquake reporting...
Twitter - 49 minutes ago
201.

ElizabethMay‎: Back inside, too much work to do! Hope my workoholic instincts are not over-riding survival instincts. #earthquake
Twitter - 50 minutes ago
202.

MountainLifeMag‎: Just felt the #earthquake here in Collingwood...
Twitter - 50 minutes ago
203.

coffeewithjulie‎: My DD is either going to come home absolutely thrilled or a sobbing mess. Not sure which reaction to #earthquake
Twitter - 50 minutes ago
204.

megbutton‎: @yelptoronto wow! Where abouts are you? #earthquake
Twitter - 50 minutes ago
205.

johnsonWilliam‎: Ha, had to RT @philippec Quebec is finally separating! #earthquake
Twitter - 50 minutes ago
206.

B_Kienapple‎: RT @SheetalJaitly: US Geological Survey says #Earthquake was 5.5 and the epicenture was 58 km's north of Hull, Quebec
Twitter - 50 minutes ago
207.

Uranowski‎: No one will ever ask John Baird to use his "outside voice" ever again. #cdnpoli #EarthQuake
Twitter - 50 minutes ago
208.

go2girls‎: @SoCalVA oh wow, we were JUST watching a show on earthquakes last night...weird. eek. #earthquake
Twitter - 50 minutes ago
209.

sforzley‎: So we have an #earthquake, everyone is tweeting, and still can get on twitter's trending topics list. Even the Vuvuzela is up there......
Twitter - 50 minutes ago
210.

RayS‎: News is coming in: 5.7, epicentre in buckingham quebec #earthquake
Twitter - 51 minutes ago
211.

GiaLilibeth‎: Earthquake just happened and now Environment Canada is warning of possible tornados in this area. Great. #earthquake
Twitter - 51 minutes ago
212.

ryhicks‎: Apparently theres a big crack on the wall in senator pepin's office #ottawa #earthquake
Twitter - 51 minutes ago
213.

CityYearMKE‎: Felt the #Earthquake in downtown Milwaukee!
Twitter - 51 minutes ago
214.

WorkCabin‎: @talktojenny Thanks for latest on #earthquake
Twitter - 51 minutes ago
215.

pewpewpew‎: Man, looks like Ottawa got the worst of it. RT @OttawaCitizen Power is out in parts of downtown core #quakeott #earthquake
Twitter - 51 minutes ago
216.

TabishB‎: Even God laughs at Russell Peters jokes! #earthquake
Twitter - 51 minutes ago
217.

thelostagency‎: the latest #earthquake is now showing on
Latest Earthquakes in the USA - Last 7 days‎ - usgs.gov
Twitter - 51 minutes ago
218.

bengardnernyc‎: Lake Ontario #earthquake felt in Hartford, Vermont, Albany, Montreal, Buffalo, Toronto, Cleveland
Twitter - 51 minutes ago
219.

LorineMS‎: #earthquake said to be border Quebec/Ontario 5.5 magnitude. Sure felt it here n. of Barrie Ontario
Twitter - 52 minutes ago
220.

xinit0‎: RT @DuaneStorey: maybe what everyone felt was the G20 leaders talking about how much debt they were going to pile on this year? #earthquake
Twitter - 52 minutes ago
221.

ranti‎: Off with this #earthquake thingy. Will attend a farewell party for one of my colleagues. Hopefully no more shakyshaky.
Twitter - 52 minutes ago
222.

rweait‎: What? Not an #earthquake ? Just a gravitational change from the shifting egos at G8?
Twitter - 52 minutes ago
223.

Margin_Notes‎: unconfirmed report that the #earthquake was centred in Buckingham, QC -- yikes, that's about 30 km from Ottawa.
Twitter - 52 minutes ago
224.

vandy_pants‎: felt pretty well in mtl @justinsb: US Geological Survey reporting 5.5 near the Ont/Que border. #Earthquake
Twitter - 52 minutes ago
225.

CSSE‎: We felt the earthquake here at the CSSE office today. #earthquake
Twitter - 52 minutes ago
226.

DeanTester‎: RT @scottgow: Early reports have some Torontonians peeved at not being regarded as epi-"Centre of the Universe" #earthquake
Twitter - 52 minutes ago
227.

frugalis‎: Hope everyone is okay! #earthquake
Twitter - 52 minutes ago
228.

kelkord‎: Heard house creak, but didn't feel a thing. #earthquake
Twitter - 52 minutes ago
229.

C_Vanderlinden‎: RT @WorkCabin: Apparentlty it was a 5.5 magnitude earthquake, according to media reports #earthquake
Twitter - 52 minutes ago
230.

FamilyBites‎: RT @TasteTO: Aww, y'all... that was just a wee one. Although our building made a cool rumbling noise. #earthquake
Twitter - 52 minutes ago
231.

bornk‎: The Ottawa Valley lies atop a fault zone. The epicenter was at Buckingham, QC near Ottawa at 1:45 pm. Magnitude 5.7. #earthquake
Twitter - 53 minutes ago
232.

PhilHarrison‎: RT @globeandmail: So far, we've gotten reports from #earthquake being felt from Cleveland to Montreal to Ottawa
Twitter - 53 minutes ago
233.

briancsmith‎: @briancsmith No offense, to anyone. #earthquake
Twitter - 53 minutes ago
234.

eileencan‎: RT @SharonHayes: Montreal radio is reporting is was 5.7 with epicenter in Thunder Bay, Ontario #earthquake
Twitter - 53 minutes ago
235.

borgcustom‎: RT @philippec: Quebec is finally separating! #earthquake
Twitter - 53 minutes ago
236.

hawkbaseball‎: @jinkeys26 I didn't feel a thing. I'm in Goffstown. #earthquake
Twitter - 53 minutes ago
237.

Laroquod‎: @KateSherrod LOL was mid-wrestle with Google Reader website (still RSS app-less). At first I thought, 'Wow I must be stressed!' #earthquake
Twitter - 53 minutes ago
238.

CherylHeppard‎: @chefmichigan We felt it in SE Michigan also #earthquake
Twitter - 53 minutes ago
239.

siva89‎: People are talking about an earthquake over here. I thought it was that burrito I had for lunch. #earthquake #gassy
Twitter - 53 minutes ago
240.

fabes‎: #earthquake in #buffalo?! Awesome!
Twitter - 53 minutes ago
241.

jevihax‎: how did no one is my class feel the #earthquake? some mcmaster buildings must be earthquake proof! hahaha!
Twitter - 53 minutes ago
242.

BabySnooks‎: You got that, Steve? LOL RT @AntoniaZ: It's not nice to screw with Mother Nature @PMHarper. #Earthquake #G20 #Climate #Green #G20report
Twitter - 53 minutes ago
243.

fyang‎: RT @andreat76: Someone tweeted this relevant comic with the #earthquake hashtag. So true, so awesome.
xkcd.com
Twitter - 53 minutes ago
244.

eddiethief‎: It's important to be full if you're trapped under rubble from an #earthquake. That way you don't resort to cannibalism so quickly.
Twitter - 53 minutes ago

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wrong time for Gen McChrystal to spill the beans!

General McChrystal to retire from U.S. Army-official
28 Jun 2010 22:07:43 GMT
Source: Reuters
WASHINGTON, June 28 (Reuters) - General Stanley McChrystal, who President Barack Obama fired last week over inflammatory comments that enraged the White House, informed the U.S. Army on Monday that he plans to retire, an official said.

"McChrystal informed the Army today that he intends to retire," an Army spokesman said.

McChrystal, who commanded U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan for a year before his dismissal, had been widely expected to retire after he and his top aides were quoted in Rolling Stone magazine mocking Obama and his civilian advisers. (Reporting by Adam Entous; editing by Jackie Frank)


During an interview with Rolling Stone magazine this week (June 22, 2010) the highest military commander in Afghanistan, Gen Stanley McChrystal ridiculed the roles played by the civilians: Obama, Biden, Holbrook and the US ambassador in the war on the Taleban. As a result he was summoned to Washington at the time when additional 9 NATO soldiers, mostly Americans, died in a single day. Afraid of retaliation from the Taleban thousands of Afghanis stopped collaborating with the US military in their projected attack on Kandahar.

That followed the discovery of close cooperation between the ‘US-friendly’ Pakistan intelligence services, the notorious ISI, and the Taleban enemy. To add insult to injury, it turned out that the CIA was paying larger sums of money to Taleban associates in order to ensure a safe passage of US supply convoys. Like in Vietnam, the Pentagon wants to direct US foreign policy, increasing the defence budgets and expanding wars disregarding the Whitehouse; where Obama is considered as weak and a novice. In reality the US foreign policy is formulated by the CIA and the Zionist-infested Pentagon. The presence of the former CIA chief, Robert Gates, at the Pentagon offers a good opportunity to continue G.W. Bush anti-Islamic and pro-Jewish wars. It is no wonder that US warships are currently on their way, not to lift the Israeli siege of Gaza, but to the Persian Gulf in order to punish Iran. The heat of summer 2010 started to burn, not only the inhabitants of Basrah in Iraq but all those involved with USraeli wars on Islam.

Benjamin Ben Eliezer (hebr. ‏בנימין בן אליעזר‎, was born as Fouad; on 12. February 1936 in Basra, Iraq). He immigrated to Israel in 1959 and took part along with Ariel Sharon in most of Israeli wars against Arabs including the invasion of Lebanon in 1982. In otherwords, he is a Safardeem and looked down upon by the Ashkinasi, the likes of Shimon Peres.

Voice of resistance to Jewish Nazi occupation
It is 60 years ago since De Gaulle called on the French to resist the German Nazi occupation of France. The British allowed De Gaulle to broadcast his message and Sarkozi himself went to the BBC studios few days ago to commemorate the event. Similarly, Hamas and Hezbullah have the right to resist Israeli Nazi occupation.

Adnan Darwash, Iraq Occupation Times


---------


SCENARIOS-Possible next moves in the McChrystal controversy
Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:55pm EDT

By Adam Entous

WASHINGTON, June 22 (Reuters) - The White House made clear on Tuesday that President Barack Obama could fire the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, for remarks mocking senior Obama aides that were reported by Rolling Stone magazine. But officials say damage control efforts by McChrystal could still save his job.

Here is a look at what might happen next:

MCCHRYSTAL MAY LEAVE

Ousting McChrystal is an option but it is unclear whether Obama would do this because of the larger implications for the war effort.

McChrystal has been working the phones, calling Obama's top advisers singled out in the Rolling Stone magazine article, in an attempt to mend fences.

McChrystal's departure would add to already growing uncertainty about the course of the nine-year-war just one year after his predecessor, General David McKiernan, was pushed out of the same job.

The White House spokesman used unusually blunt language to criticize the general, saying Obama was "angry" and, asked whether McChrystal would be fired, saying only, "I would say all options are on the table."

That could spur McChrystal to offer his resignation when he meets with Obama on Wednesday. The big question is whether Obama would accept it.

Some Pentagon officials remained guardedly optimistic that McChrystal would emerge chastened but with his job intact.

McChrystal's backers said the scornful remarks included in the Rolling Stone piece, while highly embarrassing, did not directly challenge Obama's policy decisions.

That distinction could save McChrystal.

While the powerful chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Democrat Carl Levin, criticized McChrystal's "uncharacteristic lack of discipline" in this case, he said it was "very significant that, while the reported comments reflect personality differences, they do not reflect differences in policy on prosecuting the war."

POSSIBLE SUCCESSORS

McChrystal is the architect of the Obama administration's counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy.

It calls for securing major population centers in Afghanistan, a process that is going more slowly than expected, increasing doubts in Congress about the chances of success anytime soon.

To win over Afghan civilians, McChrystal has put a focus on safeguarding civilians rather than killing militants.

Still, defense officials say they have confidence a suitable replacement can be found for McChrystal in the event that he is pushed out.

Possible successors include Lieutenant-General William Caldwell, who is credited with improving NATO's training mission for Afghan forces. Another option is Lieutenant-General David Rodriguez, who now serves as McChrystal's No. 2 with day-to-day command of combat operations in Afghanistan.

MCCHRYSTAL MAY STAY BUT BE WEAKENED

If McChrystal survives, he is likely to emerge in a weakened state. One official said he would have to be "more deferential and accommodating" in his dealings with Obama's top advisers, some of whom have criticized his counterinsurgency strategy.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates sharply criticized McChrystal in a statement, but said what was important was working together in Afghanistan in greater unity.

"Our troops and coalition partners are making extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our security, and our singular focus must be on supporting them and succeeding in Afghanistan without such distractions," Gates wrote.

One senior media adviser to McChrystal, Duncan Boothby, has already resigned over the Rolling Stones flap and other departures are expected, officials said.

Whether McChrystal goes or not, his massive public relations bureau in Kabul is likely to be restructured to prevent another lapse, officials said. (Reporting by Adam Entous; editing by Patricia Wilson and David Storey)


-----



FACTBOX-Reaction to Gen. McChrystal controversy
Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:43pm EDT

June 22 (Reuters) - General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, is under fire because of comments in a Rolling Stone magazine profile in which he and aides mocked top administration officials, including Vice President Joe Biden.

McChrystal apologized but has been summoned to the White House to explain, leading to speculation that his job is in jeopardy.

Following are key quotes reacting to the flap:

DEFENSE SECRETARY ROBERT GATES:

"I read with concern the profile piece on General Stanley McChrystal in the upcoming edition of Rolling Stone magazine. I believe that Gen. McChrystal made a significant mistake and exercised poor judgment in this case.

"Going forward, we must pursue this mission with a unity of purpose ... General McChrystal has apologized to me and is similarly reaching out to others named in this article to apologize to them as well. I have recalled General McChrystal to Washington to discuss this in person."

SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN JOHN KERRY:

"I have enormous respect for General McChrystal. I think he's a terrific soldier and this is a critical moment in Afghanistan. As far as I am concerned personally the top priority is our mission in Afghanistan and our ability to proceed forward competently. It will be up to the president of the United States as commander in chief to make the decision as to whether he and his national security staff feel that they can do that but my impression is that all of us would be best served by just backing off and staying cool and calm and not succumbing to the normal Washington twitter about this for the next 24 hours."

REPUBLICAN SENATORS JOHN MCCAIN AND LINDSEY GRAHAM AND INDEPENDENT JOE LIEBERMAN:

"We have the highest respect for General McChrystal and honor his brave service and sacrifice to our nation. General McChrystal's comments, as reported in Rolling Stone, are inappropriate and inconsistent with the traditional relationship between commander-in-chief and the military. The decision concerning General McChrystal's future is a decision to be made by the president of the United States."

REPRESENTATIVE HOWARD MCKEON, SENIOR REPUBLICAN ON HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE:

"This is unfortunate but it should not detract us from our real goal of working together to defeat al-Qaeda and the Taliban. We are in the midst of a tough fight during a critical time in our Afghanistan campaign and have a duty to provide our troops with the time and resources they need to achieve the mission. It was appropriate that General McChrystal issued an apology."

HOUSE REPUBLICAN WHIP ERIC CANTOR:

"Obviously a general and his top brass don't make these kind of statements without being frustrated. So I hope that the president's meeting with the general will include a frank discussion about what is happening on the ground and whether the resources and the plan are there to defeat terrorists and accomplish our mission in Afghanistan. Without question, the article in Rolling Stone raises a lot of concerns and our top priority must be to ensure that our forces in Afghanistan have what they need in order to successfully execute their mission and win the war there."

CHRISTOPHER PREBLE, DIRECTOR OF FOREIGN POLICY STUDIES, CATO INSTITUTE:

"There is an established chain of command in the U.S. military, and General McChrystal and his aides exercised very poor judgment by speaking so candidly to a journalist writing for Rolling Stone. It should not surprise us that there are differences from time to time between military and civilian leaders. But in our country, civilian leaders make decisions and military leaders carry them out.

"Civilian control of the military should not become a partisan issue. If Republicans claim President Obama is undercutting General McChrystal, the leader on the ground, no one should take these remarks seriously. They should be reminded of a similar situation in 2006, when generals voiced opinions that dissented from the White House, and some GOP leaders dismissed their comments an act of insubordination of Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush."

(Compiled by Tabassum Zakaria and Susan Cornwell; Editing by Bill Trott)


----


Is Obama dropping "no drama" style with U.S. general?
Matt Spetalnick
WASHINGTON
Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:59pm EDT
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks in the East Room of the White House, following a meeting with health insurers and state insurance commissioners, in Washington, June 22, 2010. REUTERS/Jason Reed

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks in the East Room of the White House, following a meeting with health insurers and state insurance commissioners, in Washington, June 22, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed


----

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Forget No-drama Obama.

Politics | Barack Obama

An infuriated U.S. president is hauling his top general in Afghanistan to the White House, job hanging in the balance, to explain "what in the world he was thinking" when he and his aides mocked their commander-in-chief and his team.

After reading General Stanley McChrystal's complaints in a Rolling Stone magazine article entitled "The Runaway General," Obama departed from his calm, deliberative style. He wasted little time in ordering him to fly halfway around the world to face the music on Wednesday.

Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs, speaking more bluntly and emphatically than usual at his daily briefing on Tuesday, said "the magnitude and greatness of the mistake here are profound" and repeatedly declined to say McChrystal's job was safe.

"All options are on the table," he told reporters.

Gibbs said he gave Obama a copy of the article on Monday night and the president twice left the White House residence and went to the Oval Office to confer with his advisers.

"He was angry," Gibbs said.

How so? a reporter asked. "You would know it if you saw it," Gibbs said tersely.(Brief and to the point; effectively concise: a terse one-word answer.)

The public talk of presidential pique raises strong questions whether McChrystal will be able to save his job.

Obama risks looking weak on insubordination if he lets McChrystal stay, especially with some leading lawmakers calling for the general's head.

But Obama also could be accused of undermining his own Afghan war strategy -- already facing steep obstacles -- if at such a pivotal moment he cuts loose the commander he appointed to implement it. Success or failure in Afghanistan will be a major part of Obama's foreign policy legacy.

"The purpose for calling him here is to see what in the world he was thinking," Gibbs said of McChrystal. He pointedly insisted, however, that the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan was "bigger than one person."

LOOKING FOR MORE "ASS TO KICK?"

The McChrystal controversy is the last thing Obama needs as he struggles with a devastating BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico while dealing with high unemployment and a stuttering economy that threaten his fellow Democrats in November's pivotal congressional elections.

It is also another test of the "No-drama Obama" style he cultivated during the presidential campaign and has instilled as his presidential demeanor.

Obama has been widely criticized for not showing enough anger and emotion over the oil spill, the worst ecological disaster in U.S. history. But he won praise for his uncharacteristic comment that he was looking for an "ass to kick."

McChrystal has apologized for the Rolling Stone article, which quotes
his aides calling one top Obama official a "clown" and another a "wounded animal."
The general himself made belittling remarks in the article about Vice President Joe Biden and the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke.

The article also quoted a McChrystal adviser dismissing an early meeting with Obama as a "10-minute photo op."

"Obama clearly didn't know anything about him, who he was," the adviser told the magazine. "Here's the guy who's going to run his (expletive) war but he didn't seem very engaged. The boss was pretty disappointed."

Gibbs, asked about whether Obama was in fact disengaged, said McChrystal would have Obama's "undivided attention" on Wednesday.

(Additional reporting by Jeff Mason, Patricia Zengerle and Alister Bull; Editing by Bill Trott)


----




The Runaway General


Stanley McChrystal, Obama's top commander in Afghanistan, has seized control of the war by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House

Wimp:
A timid or unadventurous person:

By Michael Hastings
Jun 22, 2010 10:00 AM EDT

This article appears in RS 1108/1109 from July 8-22, 2010, on newsstands Friday, June 25.

'How'd I get screwed into going to this dinner?" demands Gen. Stanley McChrystal. It's a Thursday night in mid-April, and the commander of all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan is sitting in a four-star suite at the Hôtel Westminster in Paris. He's in France to sell his new war strategy to our NATO allies – to keep up the fiction, in essence, that we actually have allies. Since McChrystal took over a year ago, the Afghan war has become the exclusive property of the United States. Opposition to the war has already toppled the Dutch government, forced the resignation of Germany's president and sparked both Canada and the Netherlands to announce the withdrawal of their 4,500 troops. McChrystal is in Paris to keep the French, who have lost more than 40 soldiers in Afghanistan, from going all wobbly(unsteady) on him.

"The dinner comes with the position, sir," says his chief of staff, Col. Charlie Flynn.

McChrystal turns sharply in his chair.

"Hey, Charlie," he asks, "does this come with the position?"

McChrystal gives him the middle finger.

On the ground with the Runaway General: Photos of Stanley McChrystal at work.

The general stands and looks around the suite that his traveling staff of 10 has converted into a full-scale operations center. The tables are crowded with silver Panasonic Toughbooks, and blue cables crisscross the hotel's thick carpet, hooked up to satellite dishes to provide encrypted phone and e-mail communications. Dressed in off-the-rack civilian casual – blue tie, button-down shirt, dress slacks – McChrystal is way out of his comfort zone. Paris, as one of his advisers says, is the "most anti-McChrystal city you can imagine." The general hates fancy restaurants, rejecting any place with candles on the tables as too "Gucci." He prefers Bud Light Lime (his favorite beer) to Bordeaux,
Talladega Nights

(his favorite movie) to Jean-Luc Godard. Besides, the public eye has never been a place where McChrystal felt comfortable: Before President Obama put him in charge of the war in Afghanistan, he spent five years running the Pentagon's most secretive black ops.

The Spill, The Scandal and the President: How Obama let BP get away with murder.

"What's the update on the Kandahar bombing?" McChrystal asks Flynn. The city has been rocked by two massive car bombs in the past day alone, calling into question the general's assurances that he can wrest it from the Taliban.

"We have two KIAs, but that hasn't been confirmed," Flynn says.

McChrystal takes a final look around the suite. At 55, he is gaunt and lean, not unlike an older version of Christian Bale in Rescue Dawn. His slate-blue eyes have the unsettling ability to drill down when they lock on you. If you've fucked up or disappointed him, they can destroy your soul without the need for him to raise his voice.

Looting Main Street: Matt Taibbi on how the nation's biggest banks are ripping off American cities.

"I'd rather have my ass kicked by a roomful of people than go out to this dinner," McChrystal says.

He pauses a beat.

"Unfortunately," he adds, "no one in this room could do it."

With that, he's out the door.

"Who's he going to dinner with?" I ask one of his aides.

"Some French minister," the aide tells me. "It's fucking gay."



The next morning, McChrystal and his team gather to prepare for a speech he is giving at the École Militaire, a French military academy. The general prides himself on being sharper and ballsier than anyone else, but his brashness comes with a price: Although McChrystal has been in charge of the war for only a year, in that short time he has managed to piss off almost everyone with a stake in the conflict. Last fall, during the question-and-answer session following a speech he gave in London, McChrystal dismissed the counterterrorism strategy being advocated by Vice President Joe Biden as "shortsighted," saying it would lead to a state of "Chaos-istan." The remarks earned him a smackdown from the president himself, who summoned the general to a terse private meeting aboard Air Force One. The message to McChrystal seemed clear: Shut the fuck up, and keep a lower profile

Now, flipping through printout cards of his speech in Paris, McChrystal wonders aloud what Biden question he might get today, and how he should respond. "I never know what's going to pop out until I'm up there, that's the problem," he says. Then, unable to help themselves, he and his staff imagine the general dismissing the vice president with a good one-liner.

"Are you asking about Vice President Biden?" McChrystal says with a laugh. "Who's that?"

"Biden?" suggests a top adviser.
"Did you say: Bite Me?"


When Barack Obama entered the Oval Office, he immediately set out to deliver on his most important campaign promise on foreign policy: to refocus the war in Afghanistan on what led us to invade in the first place. "I want the American people to understand," he announced in March 2009. "We have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan." He ordered another 21,000 troops to Kabul, the largest increase since the war began in 2001. Taking the advice of both the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he also fired Gen. David McKiernan – then the U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan – and replaced him with a man he didn't know and had met only briefly: Gen. Stanley McChrystal. It was the first time a top general had been relieved from duty during wartime in more than 50 years, since Harry Truman fired Gen. Douglas MacArthur at the height of the Korean War.

Even though he had voted for Obama, McChrystal and his new commander in chief failed from the outset to connect. The general first encountered Obama a week after he took office, when the president met with a dozen senior military officials in a room at the Pentagon known as the Tank. According to sources familiar with the meeting, McChrystal thought Obama looked "uncomfortable and intimidated" by the roomful of military brass. Their first one-on-one meeting took place in the Oval Office four months later, after McChrystal got the Afghanistan job, and it didn't go much better. "It was a 10-minute photo op," says an adviser to McChrystal. "Obama clearly didn't know anything about him, who he was. Here's the guy who's going to run his fucking war, but he didn't seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed."



------------



From the start, McChrystal was determined to place his personal stamp on Afghanistan, to use it as a laboratory for a controversial military strategy known as counterinsurgency. COIN, as the theory is known, is the new gospel of the Pentagon brass, a doctrine that attempts to square the military's preference for high-tech violence with the demands of fighting protracted wars in failed states. COIN calls for sending huge numbers of ground troops to not only destroy the enemy, but to live among the civilian population and slowly rebuild, or build from scratch, another nation's government – a process that even its staunchest advocates admit requires years, if not decades, to achieve. The theory essentially rebrands the military, expanding its authority (and its funding) to encompass the diplomatic and political sides of warfare: Think the Green Berets as an armed Peace Corps. In 2006, after Gen. David Petraeus beta-tested the theory during his "surge" in Iraq, it quickly gained a hardcore following of think-tankers, journalists, military officers and civilian officials. Nicknamed "COINdinistas" for their cultish zeal, this influential cadre believed the doctrine would be the perfect solution for Afghanistan. All they needed was a general with enough charisma and political savvy to implement it.

As McChrystal leaned on Obama to ramp up the war, he did it with the same fearlessness he used to track down terrorists in Iraq: Figure out how your enemy operates, be faster and more ruthless than everybody else, then take the fuckers out. After arriving in Afghanistan last June, the general conducted his own policy review, ordered up by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The now-infamous report was leaked to the press, and its conclusion was dire: If we didn't send another 40,000 troops – swelling the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan by nearly half – we were in danger of "mission failure." The White House was furious. McChrystal, they felt, was trying to bully Obama, opening him up to charges of being weak on national security unless he did what the general wanted. It was Obama versus the Pentagon, and the Pentagon was determined to kick the president's ass.

Official White House photo by Pete Souza

Last fall, with his top general calling for more troops, Obama launched a three-month review to re-evaluate the strategy in Afghanistan. "I found that time painful," McChrystal tells me in one of several lengthy interviews. "I was selling an unsellable position." For the general, it was a crash course in Beltway politics – a battle that pitted him against experienced Washington insiders like Vice President Biden, who argued that a prolonged counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan would plunge America into a military quagmire without weakening international terrorist networks. "The entire COIN strategy is a fraud perpetuated on the American people," says Douglas Macgregor, a retired colonel and leading critic of counterinsurgency who attended West Point with McChrystal. "The idea that we are going to spend a trillion dollars to reshape the culture of the Islamic world is utter nonsense.

In the end, however, McChrystal got almost exactly what he wanted. On December 1st, in a speech at West Point, the president laid out all the reasons why fighting the war in Afghanistan is a bad idea: It's expensive; we're in an economic crisis; a decade-long commitment would sap American power; Al Qaeda has shifted its base of operations to Pakistan. Then, without ever using the words "victory" or "win," Obama announced that he would send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, almost as many as McChrystal had requested. The president had thrown his weight, however hesitantly, behind the counterinsurgency crowd.

Today, as McChrystal gears up for an offensive in southern Afghanistan, the prospects for any kind of success look bleak. In June, the death toll for U.S. troops passed 1,000, and the number of IEDs has doubled. Spending hundreds of billions of dollars on the fifth-poorest country on earth has failed to win over the civilian population, whose attitude toward U.S. troops ranges from intensely wary to openly hostile. The biggest military operation of the year – a ferocious offensive that began in February to retake the southern town of Marja – continues to drag on, prompting McChrystal himself to refer to it as a "bleeding ulcer." >In June, Afghanistan officially outpaced Vietnam as the longest war in American history – and Obama has quietly begun to back away from the deadline he set for withdrawing U.S. troops in July of next year. The president finds himself stuck in something even more insane than a quagmire: a quagmire he knowingly walked into, even though it's precisely the kind of gigantic, mind-numbing, multigenerational nation-building project he explicitly said he didn't want.

Even those who support McChrystal and his strategy of counterinsurgency know that whatever the general manages to accomplish in Afghanistan, it's going to look more like Vietnam than Desert Storm. "It's not going to look like a win, smell like a win or taste like a win," says Maj. Gen. Bill Mayville, who serves as chief of operations for McChrystal. "This is going to end in an argument."




The night after his speech in Paris, McChrystal and his staff head to Kitty O'Shea's, an Irish pub catering to tourists, around the corner from the hotel. His wife, Annie, has joined him for a rare visit: Since the Iraq War began in 2003, she has seen her husband less than 30 days a year. Though it is his and Annie's 33rd wedding anniversary, McChrystal has invited his inner circle along for dinner and drinks at the "least Gucci" place his staff could find. His wife isn't surprised. "He once took me to a Jack in the Box when I was dressed in formalwear," she says with a laugh.

The general's staff is a handpicked collection of killers, spies, geniuses, patriots, political operators and outright maniacs. There's a former head of British Special Forces, two Navy Seals, an Afghan Special Forces commando, a lawyer, two fighter pilots and at least two dozen combat veterans and counterinsurgency experts. They jokingly refer to themselves as Team America, taking the name from the South Park-esque sendup of military cluelessness, and they pride themselves on their can-do attitude and their disdain for authority. After arriving in Kabul last summer, Team America set about changing the culture of the International Security Assistance Force, as the NATO-led mission is known. (U.S. soldiers had taken to deriding ISAF as short for "I Suck at Fighting" or "In Sandals and Flip-Flops.") McChrystal banned alcohol on base, kicked out Burger King and other symbols of American excess, expanded the morning briefing to include thousands of officers and refashioned the command center into a Situational Awareness Room, a free-flowing information hub modeled after Mayor Mike Bloomberg's offices in New York. He also set a manic pace for his staff, becoming legendary for sleeping four hours a night, running seven miles each morning, and eating one meal a day. (In the month I spend around the general, I witness him eating only once.) It's a kind of superhuman narrative that has built up around him, a staple in almost every media profile, as if the ability to go without sleep and food translates into the possibility of a man single-handedly winning the war.

By midnight at Kitty O'Shea's, much of Team America is completely shitfaced. Two officers do an Irish jig mixed with steps from a traditional Afghan wedding dance, while McChrystal's top advisers lock arms and sing a slurred song of their own invention. "Afghanistan!" they bellow. "Afghanistan!" They call it their Afghanistan song.

McChrystal steps away from the circle, observing his team. "All these men," he tells me. "I'd die for them. And they'd die for me."




--------

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, works on board a Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft between Battlefield Circulation missions.
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Mark O’Donald/NATO
By Michael Hastings
Jun 22, 2010 10:00 AM EDT

This article appears in RS 1108/1109 from July 8-22, 2010, on newsstands Friday, June 25.


'How'd I get screwed into going to this dinner?" demands Gen. Stanley McChrystal. It's a Thursday night in mid-April, and the commander of all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan is sitting in a four-star suite at the Hôtel Westminster in Paris. He's in France to sell his new war strategy to our NATO allies – to keep up the fiction, in essence, that we actually have allies. Since McChrystal took over a year ago, the Afghan war has become the exclusive property of the United States. Opposition to the war has already toppled the Dutch government, forced the resignation of Germany's president and sparked both Canada and the Netherlands to announce the withdrawal of their 4,500 troops. McChrystal is in Paris to keep the French, who have lost more than 40 soldiers in Afghanistan, from going all wobbly on him.

"The dinner comes with the position, sir," says his chief of staff, Col. Charlie Flynn.

McChrystal turns sharply in his chair.

"Hey, Charlie," he asks, "does this come with the position?"

McChrystal gives him the middle finger.

More on General McChrystal


The general stands and looks around the suite that his traveling staff of 10 has converted into a full-scale operations center. The tables are crowded with silver Panasonic Toughbooks, and blue cables crisscross the hotel's thick carpet, hooked up to satellite dishes to provide encrypted phone and e-mail communications. Dressed in off-the-rack civilian casual – blue tie, button-down shirt, dress slacks – McChrystal is way out of his comfort zone. Paris, as one of his advisers says, is the "most anti-McChrystal city you can imagine." The general hates fancy restaurants, rejecting any place with candles on the tables as too "Gucci." He prefers Bud Light Lime (his favorite beer) to Bordeaux, Talladega Nights (his favorite movie) to Jean-Luc Godard. Besides, the public eye has never been a place where McChrystal felt comfortable: Before President Obama put him in charge of the war in Afghanistan, he spent five years running the Pentagon's most secretive black ops.

"What's the update on the Kandahar bombing?" McChrystal asks Flynn. The city has been rocked by two massive car bombs in the past day alone, calling into question the general's assurances that he can wrest it from the Taliban.

"We have two KIAs, but that hasn't been confirmed," Flynn says.

McChrystal takes a final look around the suite. At 55, he is gaunt and lean, not unlike an older version of Christian Bale in Rescue Dawn. His slate-blue eyes have the unsettling ability to drill down when they lock on you. If you've fucked up or disappointed him, they can destroy your soul without the need for him to raise his voice.

"I'd rather have my ass kicked by a roomful of people than go out to this dinner," McChrystal says.

He pauses a beat.

"Unfortunately," he adds, "no one in this room could do it."

With that, he's out the door.

"Who's he going to dinner with?" I ask one of his aides.

"Some French minister," the aide tells me. "It's fucking gay."

The next morning, McChrystal and his team gather to prepare for a speech he is giving at the École Militaire, a French military academy. The general prides himself on being sharper and ballsier than anyone else, but his brashness comes with a price: Although McChrystal has been in charge of the war for only a year, in that short time he has managed to piss off almost everyone with a stake in the conflict. Last fall, during the question-and-answer session following a speech he gave in London, McChrystal dismissed the counterterrorism strategy being advocated by Vice President Joe Biden as "shortsighted," saying it would lead to a state of "Chaos-istan." The remarks earned him a smackdown from the president himself, who summoned the general to a terse private meeting aboard Air Force One. The message to McChrystal seemed clear: Shut the fuck up, and keep a lower profile

Now, flipping through printout cards of his speech in Paris, McChrystal wonders aloud what Biden question he might get today, and how he should respond. "I never know what's going to pop out until I'm up there, that's the problem," he says. Then, unable to help themselves, he and his staff imagine the general dismissing the vice president with a good one-liner.

"Are you asking about Vice President Biden?" McChrystal says with a laugh. "Who's that?"

"Biden?" suggests a top adviser. "Did you say: Bite Me?"

When Barack Obama entered the Oval Office, he immediately set out to deliver on his most important campaign promise on foreign policy: to refocus the war in Afghanistan on what led us to invade in the first place. "I want the American people to understand," he announced in March 2009. "We have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan." He ordered another 21,000 troops to Kabul, the largest increase since the war began in 2001. Taking the advice of both the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he also fired Gen. David McKiernan – then the U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan – and replaced him with a man he didn't know and had met only briefly: Gen. Stanley McChrystal. It was the first time a top general had been relieved from duty during wartime in more than 50 years, since Harry Truman fired Gen. Douglas MacArthur at the height of the Korean War.

Even though he had voted for Obama, McChrystal and his new commander in chief failed from the outset to connect. The general first encountered Obama a week after he took office, when the president met with a dozen senior military officials in a room at the Pentagon known as the Tank. According to sources familiar with the meeting, McChrystal thought Obama looked "uncomfortable and intimidated" by the roomful of military brass. Their first one-on-one meeting took place in the Oval Office four months later, after McChrystal got the Afghanistan job, and it didn't go much better. "It was a 10-minute photo op," says an adviser to McChrystal. "Obama clearly didn't know anything about him, who he was. Here's the guy who's going to run his fucking war, but he didn't seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed."

From the start, McChrystal was determined to place his personal stamp on Afghanistan, to use it as a laboratory for a controversial military strategy known as counterinsurgency. COIN, as the theory is known, is the new gospel of the Pentagon brass, a doctrine that attempts to square the military's preference for high-tech violence with the demands of fighting protracted wars in failed states. COIN calls for sending huge numbers of ground troops to not only destroy the enemy, but to live among the civilian population and slowly rebuild, or build from scratch, another nation's government – a process that even its staunchest advocates admit requires years, if not decades, to achieve. The theory essentially rebrands the military, expanding its authority (and its funding) to encompass the diplomatic and political sides of warfare: Think the Green Berets as an armed Peace Corps. In 2006, after Gen. David Petraeus beta-tested the theory during his "surge" in Iraq, it quickly gained a hardcore following of think-tankers, journalists, military officers and civilian officials. Nicknamed "COINdinistas" for their cultish zeal, this influential cadre believed the doctrine would be the perfect solution for Afghanistan. All they needed was a general with enough charisma and political savvy to implement it.

As McChrystal leaned on Obama to ramp up the war, he did it with the same fearlessness he used to track down terrorists in Iraq: Figure out how your enemy operates, be faster and more ruthless than everybody else, then take the fuckers out. After arriving in Afghanistan last June, the general conducted his own policy review, ordered up by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The now-infamous report was leaked to the press, and its conclusion was dire: If we didn't send another 40,000 troops – swelling the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan by nearly half – we were in danger of "mission failure." The White House was furious. McChrystal, they felt, was trying to bully Obama, opening him up to charges of being weak on national security unless he did what the general wanted. It was Obama versus the Pentagon, and the Pentagon was determined to kick the president's ass.

Official White House photo by Pete Souza

Last fall, with his top general calling for more troops, Obama launched a three-month review to re-evaluate the strategy in Afghanistan. "I found that time painful," McChrystal tells me in one of several lengthy interviews. "I was selling an unsellable position." For the general, it was a crash course in Beltway politics – a battle that pitted him against experienced Washington insiders like Vice President Biden, who argued that a prolonged counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan would plunge America into a military quagmire without weakening international terrorist networks. "The entire COIN strategy is a fraud perpetuated on the American people," says Douglas Macgregor, a retired colonel and leading critic of counterinsurgency who attended West Point with McChrystal. "The idea that we are going to spend a trillion dollars to reshape the culture of the Islamic world is utter nonsense.

In the end, however, McChrystal got almost exactly what he wanted. On December 1st, in a speech at West Point, the president laid out all the reasons why fighting the war in Afghanistan is a bad idea: It's expensive; we're in an economic crisis; a decade-long commitment would sap American power; Al Qaeda has shifted its base of operations to Pakistan. Then, without ever using the words "victory" or "win," Obama announced that he would send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, almost as many as McChrystal had requested. The president had thrown his weight, however hesitantly, behind the counterinsurgency crowd.

Today, as McChrystal gears up for an offensive in southern Afghanistan, the prospects for any kind of success look bleak. In June, the death toll for U.S. troops passed 1,000, and the number of IEDs has doubled. Spending hundreds of billions of dollars on the fifth-poorest country on earth has failed to win over the civilian population, whose attitude toward U.S. troops ranges from intensely wary to openly hostile. The biggest military operation of the year – a ferocious offensive that began in February to retake the southern town of Marja – continues to drag on, prompting McChrystal himself to refer to it as a "bleeding ulcer." In June, Afghanistan officially outpaced Vietnam as the longest war in American history – and Obama has quietly begun to back away from the deadline he set for withdrawing U.S. troops in July of next year. The president finds himself stuck in something even more insane than a quagmire: a quagmire he knowingly walked into, even though it's precisely the kind of gigantic, mind-numbing, multigenerational nation-building project he explicitly said he didn't want.

Even those who support McChrystal and his strategy of counterinsurgency know that whatever the general manages to accomplish in Afghanistan, it's going to look more like Vietnam than Desert Storm. "It's not going to look like a win, smell like a win or taste like a win," says Maj. Gen. Bill Mayville, who serves as chief of operations for McChrystal. "This is going to end in an argument."



The night after his speech in Paris, McChrystal and his staff head to Kitty O'Shea's, an Irish pub catering to tourists, around the corner from the hotel. His wife, Annie, has joined him for a rare visit: Since the Iraq War began in 2003, she has seen her husband less than 30 days a year. Though it is his and Annie's 33rd wedding anniversary, McChrystal has invited his inner circle along for dinner and drinks at the "least Gucci" place his staff could find. His wife isn't surprised. "He once took me to a Jack in the Box when I was dressed in formalwear," she says with a laugh.

The general's staff is a handpicked collection of killers, spies, geniuses, patriots, political operators and outright maniacs. There's a former head of British Special Forces, two Navy Seals, an Afghan Special Forces commando, a lawyer, two fighter pilots and at least two dozen combat veterans and counterinsurgency experts. They jokingly refer to themselves as Team America, taking the name from the South Park-esque sendup of military cluelessness, and they pride themselves on their can-do attitude and their disdain for authority. After arriving in Kabul last summer, Team America set about changing the culture of the International Security Assistance Force, as the NATO-led mission is known. (U.S. soldiers had taken to deriding ISAF as short for "I Suck at Fighting" or "In Sandals and Flip-Flops.") McChrystal banned alcohol on base, kicked out Burger King and other symbols of American excess, expanded the morning briefing to include thousands of officers and refashioned the command center into a Situational Awareness Room, a free-flowing information hub modeled after Mayor Mike Bloomberg's offices in New York. He also set a manic pace for his staff, becoming legendary for sleeping four hours a night, running seven miles each morning, and eating one meal a day. (In the month I spend around the general, I witness him eating only once.) It's a kind of superhuman narrative that has built up around him, a staple in almost every media profile, as if the ability to go without sleep and food translates into the possibility of a man single-handedly winning the war.

By midnight at Kitty O'Shea's, much of Team America is completely shitfaced. Two officers do an Irish jig mixed with steps from a traditional Afghan wedding dance, while McChrystal's top advisers lock arms and sing a slurred song of their own invention. "Afghanistan!" they bellow. "Afghanistan!" They call it their Afghanistan song.

McChrystal steps away from the circle, observing his team. "All these men," he tells me. "I'd die for them. And they'd die for me."

The assembled men may look and sound like a bunch of combat veterans letting off steam, but in fact this tight-knit group represents the most powerful force shaping U.S. policy in Afghanistan. While McChrystal and his men are in indisputable command of all military aspects of the war, there is no equivalent position on the diplomatic or political side. Instead, an assortment of administration players compete over the Afghan portfolio: U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, Special Representative to Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke, National Security Advisor Jim Jones and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, not to mention 40 or so other coalition ambassadors and a host of talking heads who try to insert themselves into the mess, from John Kerry to John McCain. This diplomatic incoherence has effectively allowed McChrystal's team to call the shots and hampered efforts to build a stable and credible government in Afghanistan. "It jeopardizes the mission," says Stephen Biddle, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who supports McChrystal.
"The military cannot by itself create governance reform."


Part of the problem is structural: The Defense Department budget exceeds $600 billion a year, while the State Department receives only $50 billion. But part of the problem is personal: In private, Team McChrystal likes to talk shit about many of Obama's top people on the diplomatic side. One aide calls Jim Jones, a retired four-star general and veteran of the Cold War, a "clown" who remains "stuck in 1985." Politicians like McCain and Kerry, says another aide, "turn up, have a meeting with Karzai, criticize him at the airport press conference, then get back for the Sunday talk shows. Frankly, it's not very helpful." Only Hillary Clinton receives good reviews from McChrystal's inner circle. "Hillary had Stan's back during the strategic review," says an adviser. "She said, 'If Stan wants it, give him what he needs.' "

McChrystal reserves special skepticism for Holbrooke,
the official in charge of reintegrating the Taliban. "The Boss says he's like a wounded animal," says a member of the general's team. "Holbrooke keeps hearing rumors that he's going to get fired, so that makes him dangerous. He's a brilliant guy, but he just comes in, pulls on a lever, whatever he can grasp onto. But this is COIN, and you can't just have someone yanking on shit."


Michael Hastings at the ISAF base in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Photograph by Mikhail Galustov for RollingStone/Redux

At one point on his trip to Paris, McChrystal checks his BlackBerry. "Oh, not another e-mail from Holbrooke," he groans. "I don't even want to open it." He clicks on the message and reads the salutation out loud, then stuffs the BlackBerry back in his pocket, not bothering to conceal his annoyance.

"Make sure you don't get any of that on your leg," an aide jokes, referring to the e-mail.

By far the most crucial – and strained – relationship is between McChrystal and Eikenberry, the U.S. ambassador. According to those close to the two men, Eikenberry – a retired three-star general who served in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2005 – can't stand that his former subordinate is now calling the shots. He's also furious that McChrystal, backed by NATO's allies, refused to put Eikenberry in the pivotal role of viceroy in Afghanistan, which would have made him the diplomatic equivalent of the general. The job instead went to British Ambassador Mark Sedwill – a move that effectively increased McChrystal's influence over diplomacy by shutting out a powerful rival. "In reality, that position needs to be filled by an American for it to have weight," says a U.S. official familiar with the negotiations.

The relationship was further strained in January, when a classified cable that Eikenberry wrote was leaked to The New York Times. The cable was as scathing as it was prescient. The ambassador offered a brutal critique of McChrystal's strategy, dismissed President Hamid Karzai as "not an adequate strategic partner," and cast doubt on whether the counterinsurgency plan would be "sufficient" to deal with Al Qaeda. "We will become more deeply engaged here with no way to extricate ourselves," Eikenberry warned, "short of allowing the country to descend again into lawlessness and chaos."

McChrystal and his team were blindsided by the cable. "I like Karl, I've known him for years, but they'd never said anything like that to us before," says McChrystal, who adds that he felt "betrayed" by the leak. "Here's one that covers his flank for the history books. Now if we fail, they can say, 'I told you so.' "

The most striking example of McChrystal's usurpation of diplomatic policy is his handling of Karzai. It is McChrystal, not diplomats like Eikenberry or Holbrooke, who enjoys the best relationship with the man America is relying on to lead Afghanistan. The doctrine of counterinsurgency requires a credible government, and since Karzai is not considered credible by his own people, McChrystal has worked hard to make him so. Over the past few months, he has accompanied the president on more than 10 trips around the country, standing beside him at political meetings, or shuras, in Kandahar. In February, the day before the doomed offensive in Marja, McChrystal even drove over to the president's palace to get him to sign off on what would be the largest military operation of the year. Karzai's staff, however, insisted that the president was sleeping off a cold and could not be disturbed. After several hours of haggling, McChrystal finally enlisted the aid of Afghanistan's defense minister, who persuaded Karzai's people to wake the president from his nap.



This is one of the central flaws with McChrystal's counterinsurgency strategy: The need to build a credible government puts us at the mercy of whatever tin-pot leader we've backed – a danger that Eikenberry explicitly warned about in his cable. Even Team McChrystal privately acknowledges that Karzai is a less-than-ideal partner. "He's been locked up in his palace the past year," laments one of the general's top advisers. At times, Karzai himself has actively undermined McChrystal's desire to put him in charge. During a recent visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Karzai met three U.S. soldiers who had been wounded in Uruzgan province. "General," he called out to McChrystal, "I didn't even know we were fighting in Uruzgan!"

Growing up as a military brat, McChrystal exhibited the mixture of brilliance and cockiness that would follow him throughout his career. His father fought in Korea and Vietnam, retiring as a two-star general, and his four brothers all joined the armed services. Moving around to different bases, McChrystal took solace in baseball, a sport in which he made no pretense of hiding his superiority: In Little League, he would call out strikes to the crowd before whipping a fastball down the middle.

McChrystal entered West Point in 1972, when the U.S. military was close to its all-time low in popularity. His class was the last to graduate before the academy started to admit women. The "Prison on the Hudson," as it was known then, was a potent mix of testosterone, hooliganism and reactionary patriotism. Cadets repeatedly trashed the mess hall in food fights, and birthdays were celebrated with a tradition called "rat fucking," which often left the birthday boy outside in the snow or mud, covered in shaving cream. "It was pretty out of control," says Lt. Gen. David Barno, a classmate who went on to serve as the top commander in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2005. The class, filled with what Barno calls "huge talent" and "wild-eyed teenagers with a strong sense of idealism," also produced Gen. Ray Odierno, the current commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.

The son of a general, McChrystal was also a ringleader of the campus dissidents – a dual role that taught him how to thrive in a rigid, top-down environment while thumbing his nose at authority every chance he got. He accumulated more than 100 hours of demerits for drinking, partying and insubordination – a record that his classmates boasted made him a "century man." One classmate, who asked not to be named, recalls finding McChrystal passed out in the shower after downing a case of beer he had hidden under the sink. The troublemaking almost got him kicked out, and he spent hours subjected to forced marches in the Area, a paved courtyard where unruly cadets were disciplined.
"I'd come visit, and I'd end up spending most of my time in the library, while Stan was in the Area," recalls Annie, who began dating McChrystal in 1973.


McChrystal wound up ranking 298 out of a class of 855, a serious underachievement for a man widely regarded as brilliant. His most compelling work was extracurricular: As managing editor of The Pointer, the West Point literary magazine, McChrystal wrote seven short stories that eerily foreshadow many of the issues he would confront in his career. In one tale, a fictional officer complains about the difficulty of training foreign troops to fight; in another, a 19-year-old soldier kills a boy he mistakes for a terrorist. In "Brinkman's Note," a piece of suspense fiction, the unnamed narrator appears to be trying to stop a plot to assassinate the president. It turns out, however, that the narrator himself is the assassin, and he's able to infiltrate the White House: "The President strode in smiling. From the right coat pocket of the raincoat I carried, I slowly drew forth my 32-caliber pistol. In Brinkman's failure, I had succeeded."

After graduation, 2nd Lt. Stanley McChrystal entered an Army that was all but broken in the wake of Vietnam. "We really felt we were a peacetime generation," he recalls. "There was the Gulf War, but even that didn't feel like that big of a deal." So McChrystal spent his career where the action was: He enrolled in Special Forces school and became a regimental commander of the 3rd Ranger Battalion in 1986. It was a dangerous position, even in peacetime – nearly two dozen Rangers were killed in training accidents during the Eighties. It was also an unorthodox career path: Most soldiers who want to climb the ranks to general don't go into the Rangers. Displaying a penchant for transforming systems he considers outdated, McChrystal set out to revolutionize the training regime for the Rangers. He introduced mixed martial arts, required every soldier to qualify with night-vision goggles on the rifle range and forced troops to build up their endurance with weekly marches involving heavy backpacks.

In the late 1990s, McChrystal shrewdly improved his inside game, spending a year at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and then at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he co-authored a treatise on the merits and drawbacks of humanitarian interventionism. But as he moved up through the ranks, McChrystal relied on the skills he had learned as a troublemaking kid at West Point: knowing precisely how far he could go in a rigid military hierarchy without getting tossed out. Being a highly intelligent badass, he discovered, could take you far – especially in the political chaos that followed September 11th. "He was very focused," says Annie. "Even as a young officer he seemed to know what he wanted to do. I don't think his personality has changed in all these years."


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By some accounts, McChrystal's career should have been over at least two times by now. As Pentagon spokesman during the invasion of Iraq, the general seemed more like a White House mouthpiece than an up-and-coming commander with a reputation for speaking his mind. When Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made his infamous "stuff happens" remark during the looting of Baghdad, McChrystal backed him up. A few days later, he echoed the president's Mission Accomplished gaffe by insisting that major combat operations in Iraq were over. But it was during his next stint – overseeing the military's most elite units, including the Rangers, Navy Seals and Delta Force – that McChrystal took part in a cover-up that would have destroyed the career of a lesser man.

After Cpl. Pat Tillman, the former-NFL-star-turned-Ranger, was accidentally killed by his own troops in Afghanistan in April 2004, McChrystal took an active role in creating the impression that Tillman had died at the hands of Taliban fighters. He signed off on a falsified recommendation for a Silver Star that suggested Tillman had been killed by enemy fire. (McChrystal would later claim he didn't read the recommendation closely enough – a strange excuse for a commander known for his laserlike attention to minute details.) A week later, McChrystal sent a memo up the chain of command, specifically warning that President Bush should avoid mentioning the cause of Tillman's death. "If the circumstances of Corporal Tillman's death become public," he wrote, it could cause "public embarrassment" for the president.

"The false narrative, which McChrystal clearly helped construct, diminished Pat's true actions," wrote Tillman's mother, Mary, in her book Boots on the Ground by Dusk. McChrystal got away with it, she added, because he was the "golden boy" of Rumsfeld and Bush, who loved his willingness to get things done, even if it included bending the rules or skipping the chain of command. Nine days after Tillman's death, McChrystal was promoted to major general.

Two years later, in 2006, McChrystal was tainted by a scandal involving detainee abuse and torture at Camp Nama in Iraq. According to a report by Human Rights Watch, prisoners at the camp were subjected to a now-familiar litany of abuse: stress positions, being dragged naked through the mud. McChrystal was not disciplined in the scandal, even though an interrogator at the camp reported seeing him inspect the prison multiple times. But the experience was so unsettling to McChrystal that he tried to prevent detainee operations from being placed under his command in Afghanistan, viewing them as a "political swamp," according to a U.S. official. In May 2009, as McChrystal prepared for his confirmation hearings, his staff prepared him for hard questions about Camp Nama and the Tillman cover-up. But the scandals barely made a ripple in Congress, and McChrystal was soon on his way back to Kabul to run the war in Afghanistan.

The media, to a large extent, have also given McChrystal a pass on both controversies. Where Gen. Petraeus is kind of a dweeb (A person regarded as socially inept or foolish, often on account of being overly studious), a teacher's pet with a Ranger's tab, McChrystal is a snake-eating rebel, a "Jedi" commander, as Newsweek called him. He didn't care when his teenage son came home with blue hair and a mohawk. He speaks his mind with a candor rare for a high-ranking official. He asks for opinions, and seems genuinely interested in the response. He gets briefings on his iPod and listens to books on tape. He carries a custom-made set of nunchucks in his convoy engraved with his name and four stars, and his itinerary often bears a
fresh quote from Bruce Lee. ("There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.")
He went out on dozens of nighttime raids during his time in Iraq, unprecedented for a top commander, and turned up on missions unannounced, with almost no entourage.
"The fucking lads (young) love Stan McChrystal," says a British officer who serves in Kabul. "You'd be out in Somewhere, Iraq, and someone would take a knee beside you, and a corporal would be like 'Who the fuck is that?' And it's fucking Stan McChrystal."


It doesn't hurt that McChrystal was also extremely successful as head of the Joint Special Operations Command, the elite forces that carry out the government's darkest ops. During the Iraq surge, his team killed and captured thousands of insurgents, including Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. "JSOC was a killing machine," says Maj. Gen. Mayville, his chief of operations. McChrystal was also open to new ways of killing. He systematically mapped out terrorist networks, targeting specific insurgents and hunting them down – often with the help of cyberfreaks traditionally shunned by the military. "The Boss would find the 24-year-old kid with a nose ring, with some fucking brilliant degree from MIT, sitting in the corner with 16 computer monitors humming," says a Special Forces commando who worked with McChrystal in Iraq and now serves on his staff in Kabul. "He'd say, 'Hey – you fucking muscleheads (a stupid man; a man who has muscle where there should be brains. (Also a rude term of address.) Look, musclehead, do exactly what I tell you!) couldn't find lunch without help. You got to work together with these guys.' "

Even in his new role as America's leading evangelist for counterinsurgency, McChrystal retains the deep-seated instincts of a terrorist hunter. To put pressure on the Taliban, he has upped the number of Special Forces units in Afghanistan from four to 19.
"You better be out there hitting four or five targets tonight,"
McChrystal will tell a Navy Seal he sees in the hallway at headquarters. Then he'll add, "I'm going to have to scold you in the morning for it, though." In fact, the general frequently finds himself apologizing for the disastrous consequences of counterinsurgency. In the first four months of this year, NATO forces killed some 90 civilians, up 76 percent from the same period in 2009 – a record that has created tremendous resentment among the very population that COIN theory is intent on winning over. In February, a Special Forces night raid ended in the deaths of two pregnant Afghan women and allegations of a cover-up, and in April, protests erupted in Kandahar after U.S. forces accidentally shot up a bus, killing five Afghans. "We've shot an amazing number of people," McChrystal recently conceded.

Despite the tragedies and miscues (A stroke in billiards that misses or just brushes the ball because of a slip of the cue.),
McChrystal has issued some of the strictest directives to avoid civilian casualties that the U.S. military has ever encountered in a war zone. It's "insurgent math," as he calls it – for every innocent person you kill, you create 10 new enemies. He has ordered convoys to curtail their reckless driving, put restrictions on the use of air power and severely limited night raids.
He regularly apologizes to Hamid Karzai when civilians are killed, and berates commanders responsible for civilian deaths. "For a while," says one U.S. official, "the most dangerous place to be in Afghanistan was in front of McChrystal after a 'civ cas' incident." The ISAF command has even discussed ways to make not killing into something you can win an award for: There's talk of creating a new medal for "courageous restraint," a buzzword that's unlikely to gain much traction in the gung-ho culture (Extremely enthusiastic and dedicated) of the U.S. military.

But however strategic they may be, McChrystal's new marching orders have caused an intense backlash among his own troops. Being told to hold their fire, soldiers complain, puts them in greater danger.
"Bottom line?" says a former Special Forces operator who has spent years in Iraq and Afghanistan. "I would love to kick McChrystal in the nuts. His rules of engagement put soldiers' lives in even greater danger. Every real soldier will tell you the same thing."


In March, McChrystal traveled to Combat Outpost JFM – a small encampment on the outskirts of Kandahar – to confront such accusations from the troops directly. It was a typically bold move by the general. Only two days earlier, he had received an e-mail from Israel Arroyo, a 25-year-old staff sergeant who asked McChrystal to go on a mission with his unit. "I am writing because it was said you don't care about the troops and have made it harder to defend ourselves," Arroyo wrote.

Within hours, McChrystal responded personally: "I'm saddened by the accusation that I don't care about soldiers, as it is something I suspect any soldier takes both personally and professionally – at least I do. But I know perceptions depend upon your perspective at the time, and I respect that every soldier's view is his own." Then he showed up at Arroyo's outpost and went on a foot patrol with the troops – not some bullshit photo-op stroll through a market, but a real live operation in a dangerous war zone.

Six weeks later, just before McChrystal returned from Paris, the general received another e-mail from Arroyo. A 23-year-old corporal named Michael Ingram – one of the soldiers McChrystal had gone on patrol with – had been killed by an IED a day earlier. It was the third man the 25-member platoon had lost in a year, and Arroyo was writing to see if the general would attend Ingram's memorial service. "He started to look up to you," Arroyo wrote. McChrystal said he would try to make it down to pay his respects as soon as possible.

The night before the general is scheduled to visit Sgt. Arroyo's platoon for the memorial, I arrive at Combat Outpost JFM to speak with the soldiers he had gone on patrol with. JFM is a small encampment, ringed by high blast walls and guard towers. Almost all of the soldiers here have been on repeated combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and have seen some of the worst fighting of both wars. But they are especially angered by Ingram's death. His commanders had repeatedly requested permission to tear down the house where Ingram was killed, noting that it was often used as a combat position by the Taliban. But due to McChrystal's new restrictions to avoid upsetting civilians, the request had been denied. "These were abandoned houses," fumes Staff Sgt. Kennith Hicks. "Nobody was coming back to live in them."



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One soldier shows me the list of new regulations the platoon was given.
"Patrol only in areas that you are reasonably certain that you will not have to defend yourselves with lethal force,"
the laminated card reads. For a soldier who has traveled halfway around the world to fight, that's like telling a cop he should only patrol in areas where he knows he won't have to make arrests.
"Does that make any fucking sense?" asks Pfc. Jared Pautsch. "We should just drop a fucking bomb on this place. You sit and ask yourself: What are we doing here?"


The rules handed out here are not what McChrystal intended – they've been distorted as they passed through the chain of command – but knowing that does nothing to lessen the anger of troops on the ground.
"Fuck, when I came over here and heard that McChrystal was in charge, I thought we would get our fucking gun on," says Hicks, who has served three tours of combat. "
I get COIN. I get all that. McChrystal comes here, explains it, it makes sense. But then he goes away on his bird, and by the time his directives get passed down to us through Big Army,
they're all fucked up – either because somebody is trying to cover their ass, or because they just don't understand it themselves. But we're fucking losing this thing."


McChrystal and his team show up the next day. Underneath a tent, the general has a 45-minute discussion with some two dozen soldiers. The atmosphere is tense. "I ask you what's going on in your world, and I think it's important for you all to understand the big picture as well," McChrystal begins.
"How's the company doing? You guys feeling sorry for yourselves? Anybody? Anybody feel like you're losing?" McChrystal says.

"Sir, some of the guys here, sir, think we're losing, sir," says Hicks.


McChrystal nods. "Strength is leading when you just don't want to lead," he tells the men. "You're leading by example. That's what we do. Particularly when it's really, really hard, and it hurts inside." Then he spends 20 minutes talking about counterinsurgency, diagramming his concepts and principles on a whiteboard. He makes COIN seem like common sense, but he's careful not to bullshit the men. "We are knee-deep in the decisive year," he tells them.
The Taliban, he insists, no longer has the initiative – "but I don't think we do, either." It's similar to the talk he gave in Paris, but it's not winning any hearts and minds among the soldiers. "This is the philosophical part that works with think tanks," McChrystal tries to joke. "But it doesn't get the same reception from infantry companies."


During the question-and-answer period, the frustration boils over. The soldiers complain about not being allowed to use lethal force, about watching insurgents they detain be freed for lack of evidence. They want to be able to fight – like they did in Iraq, like they had in Afghanistan before McChrystal. "We aren't putting fear into the Taliban," one soldier says.

"Winning hearts and minds in COIN is a coldblooded thing," McChrystal says, citing an oft-repeated maxim that you can't kill your way out of Afghanistan. "The Russians killed 1 million Afghans, and that didn't work."

"I'm not saying go out and kill everybody, sir," the soldier persists. "You say we've stopped the momentum of the insurgency. I don't believe that's true in this area. The more we pull back, the more we restrain ourselves, the stronger it's getting."

"I agree with you," McChrystal says. "In this area, we've not made progress, probably. You have to show strength here, you have to use fire. What I'm telling you is, fire costs you. What do you want to do? You want to wipe the population out here and resettle it?"

A soldier complains that under the rules, any insurgent who doesn't have a weapon is immediately assumed to be a civilian. "That's the way this game is," McChrystal says. "It's complex. I can't just decide: It's shirts and skins, and we'll kill all the shirts."

As the discussion ends, McChrystal seems to sense that he hasn't succeeded at easing the men's anger. He makes one last-ditch effort to reach them, acknowledging the death of Cpl. Ingram. "There's no way I can make that easier," he tells them. "No way I can pretend it won't hurt. No way I can tell you not to feel that. . . . I will tell you, you're doing a great job. Don't let the frustration get to you." The session ends with no clapping, and no real resolution. McChrystal may have sold President Obama on counterinsurgency, but many of his own men aren't buying it.


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When it comes to Afghanistan, history is not on McChrystal's side. The only foreign invader to have any success here was Genghis Khan – and he wasn't hampered by things like human rights, economic development and press scrutiny. The COIN doctrine, bizarrely, draws inspiration from some of the biggest Western military embarrassments in recent memory:

France's nasty war in Algeria (lost in 1962) and
the American misadventure in Vietnam (lost in 1975).

McChrystal, like other advocates of COIN, readily acknowledges that counterinsurgency campaigns are inherently messy, expensive and easy to lose. "Even Afghans are confused by Afghanistan," he says. But even if he somehow manages to succeed, after years of bloody fighting with Afghan kids who pose no threat to the U.S. homeland, the war will do little to shut down Al Qaeda, which has shifted its operations to Pakistan. Dispatching 150,000 troops to build new schools, roads, mosques and water-treatment facilities around Kandahar is like trying to stop the drug war in Mexico by occupying Arkansas and building Baptist churches in Little Rock.
"It's all very cynical, politically," says Marc Sageman, a former CIA case officer who has extensive experience in the region. "Afghanistan is not in our vital interest – there's nothing for us there."


In mid-May, two weeks after visiting the troops in Kandahar, McChrystal travels to the White House for a high-level visit by Hamid Karzai. It is a triumphant moment for the general, one that demonstrates he is very much in command – both in Kabul and in Washington. In the East Room, which is packed with journalists and dignitaries, President Obama sings the praises of Karzai. The two leaders talk about how great their relationship is, about the pain they feel over civilian casualties. They mention the word "progress" 16 times in under an hour. But there is no mention of victory. Still, the session represents the most forceful commitment that Obama has made to McChrystal's strategy in months. "There is no denying the progress that the Afghan people have made in recent years – in education, in health care and economic development," the president says. "As I saw in the lights across Kabul when I landed – lights that would not have been visible just a few years earlier."

It is a disconcerting observation for Obama to make. During the worst years in Iraq, when the Bush administration had no real progress to point to, officials used to offer up the exact same evidence of success. "It was one of our first impressions," one GOP official said in 2006, after landing in Baghdad at the height of the sectarian violence. "So many lights shining brightly." So it is to the language of the Iraq War that the Obama administration has turned – talk of progress, of city lights, of metrics like health care and education. Rhetoric that just a few years ago they would have mocked. "They are trying to manipulate perceptions because there is no definition of victory – because victory is not even defined or recognizable," says Celeste Ward, a senior defense analyst at the RAND Corporation who served as a political adviser to U.S. commanders in Iraq in 2006. "That's the game we're in right now. What we need, for strategic purposes, is to create the perception that we didn't get run off. The facts on the ground are not great, and are not going to become great in the near future."

But facts on the ground, as history has proven, offer little deterrent to a military determined to stay the course. Even those closest to McChrystal know that the rising anti-war sentiment at home doesn't begin to reflect how deeply fucked up things are in Afghanistan. "If Americans pulled back and started paying attention to this war, it would become even less popular," a senior adviser to McChrystal says. Such realism, however, doesn't prevent advocates of counterinsurgency from dreaming big: Instead of beginning to withdraw troops next year, as Obama promised, the military hopes to ramp up its counterinsurgency campaign even further. "There's a possibility we could ask for another surge of U.S. forces next summer if we see success here," a senior military official in Kabul tells me.

Back in Afghanistan, less than a month after the White House meeting with Karzai and all the talk of "progress," McChrystal is hit by the biggest blow to his vision of counterinsurgency. Since last year, the Pentagon had been planning to launch a major military operation this summer in Kandahar, the country's second-largest city and the Taliban's original home base. It was supposed to be a decisive turning point in the war – the primary reason for the troop surge that McChrystal wrested from Obama late last year. But on June 10th, acknowledging that the military still needs to lay more groundwork, the general announced that he is postponing the offensive until the fall. Rather than one big battle, like Fallujah or Ramadi, U.S. troops will implement what McChrystal calls a "rising tide of security." The Afghan police and army will enter Kandahar to attempt to seize control of neighborhoods, while the U.S. pours $90 million of aid into the city to win over the civilian population.

Even proponents of counterinsurgency are hard-pressed to explain the new plan. "This isn't a classic operation," says a U.S. military official. "It's not going to be Black Hawk Down. There aren't going to be doors kicked in." Other U.S. officials insist that doors are going to be kicked in, but that it's going to be a kinder, gentler offensive than the disaster in Marja. "The Taliban have a jackboot on the city," says a military official. "We have to remove them, but we have to do it in a way that doesn't alienate the population." When Vice President Biden was briefed on the new plan in the Oval Office, insiders say he was shocked to see how much it mirrored the more gradual plan of counterterrorism that he advocated last fall. "This looks like CT-plus!" he said, according to U.S. officials familiar with the meeting.

Whatever the nature of the new plan, the delay underscores the fundamental flaws of counterinsurgency. After nine years of war, the Taliban simply remains too strongly entrenched for the U.S. military to openly attack. The very people that COIN seeks to win over – the Afghan people – do not want us there. Our supposed ally, President Karzai, used his influence to delay the offensive, and the massive influx of aid championed by McChrystal is likely only to make things worse. "Throwing money at the problem exacerbates the problem," says Andrew Wilder, an expert at Tufts University who has studied the effect of aid in southern Afghanistan. "A tsunami of cash fuels corruption, delegitimizes the government and creates an environment where we're picking winners and losers" – a process that fuels resentment and hostility among the civilian population. So far, counterinsurgency has succeeded only in creating a never-ending demand for the primary product supplied by the military: perpetual war. There is a reason that President Obama studiously avoids using the word "victory" when he talks about Afghanistan. Winning, it would seem, is not really possible. Not even with Stanley McChrystal in charge.

This article appears in in RS 1108/1109 from July 8-22, 2010, on newsstands Friday, June 25.





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Gen McChrystal and the myth of macho

From custom-made nunchucks to 'bite me!' jokes, McChrystal's embrace of he-manly behaviour played a big role in his downfall

o Sady Doyle
o guardian.co.uk, Friday 25 June 2010 16.00 BST
o Article history

The Rolling Stone article that ended McChrystal’s distinguished military career The Rolling Stone article that ended McChrystal's distinguished military career. Photograph: AP

The ouster of General Stanley McChrystal from his seat of command in Afghanistan, following his massively ill-advised decision to badmouth the Obama administration while in the vicinity and on the record of Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings, is many things. A testament to the power of bad PR; a case for mandatory media training; a necessary show of presidential toughness in the face of insubordination, according to some, and a "real tragedy" befalling "an extraordinary man, with the perfect skill set necessary for the mission in Afghanistan," according to others. But for someone like me – someone who is, admittedly, predisposed to look at most things through the lens of gender – it's also something else: an illustration of the shortfalls of a very specific variety of machismo.

The many and varied quirks of McChrystal, and his hand-picked staff (they call themselves "Team America", which should be your first sign that things are not going to turn out well with this group) are detailed lovingly in the profile. The general is averse to certain things: France, wine, following orders, diplomacy ("fucking gay", in the words of a McChrystal aide), restaurants with candles in them. The general is in favour of other things: Bud Light Lime, lesser Will Ferrell comedies, taking his wife to Jack-in-the-Box on dates, snappy one-liners which end in "bite me" or giving someone the finger, hiring people who will not only call things "fucking gay" but will do so on the record, and – for some reason, this is the detail that I can't get out of my mind – "a custom-made set of nunchucks in his convoy".(A pair of hardwood sticks joined by a chain or cord and used as a weapon. Often used in the plural.)

I have known people who own and treasure their sets of nunchucks: they have, almost invariably, been weird, uncomfortable-making men in their teens or early 20s, who believed themselves to be great warriors trapped in the bodies of computer maintenance professionals. Or, alternately, eight-year-old boys. In these cases, the nunchucks were plastic. But one gets the sense that McChrystal and his set – people so resolutely opposed to any atmosphere but that of the small-town frat house that they have to locate an Irish pub in the middle of Paris, people un-self-aware enough to invite a reporter along to that Irish pub so that he can watch them get wasted and make up songs about Afghanistan, the lyrics of which are "Afghanistan Afghanistan Afghanistan" – are precisely those weird, uncomfortable-making men. Or those eight-year-old boys. They just so happen to be in the position to kill a whole lot of people. By the end of the profile, you don't just doubt whether these men are mature and responsible enough to engage in modern warcraft; you doubt whether they are mature or responsible enough to play the game World of Warcraft.

But it's the military; the fact that it rewards macho, he-manly behaviour isn't exactly news. What is interesting is that participating a little too fervently in that behaviour – buying the hype around masculinity, essentially – would seem to have contributed, in some large part, to McChrystal's downfall.

McChrystal, Hastings makes clear, fashioned himself a "bad-ass" early on in life. At the military academy he attended, he cultivated the art of insubordination, and was rewarded for it: when he got 100 hours of demerits, his classmates applauded him as a "century man". In the Bush administration, his willingness to go rogue in the name of accomplishing his objectives, and his commitment to ignoring niceties like the chain of command, the truth (he was accused of involvement in the cover-up of a friendly fire incident) or the rules of engagement (he was connected to a prisoner-abuse scandal) were likewise rewarded. He was not disciplined; he was given Afghanistan. And when he had Afghanistan, and found that the new president didn't agree unreservedly with his ideas about what to do there, well: it was time to be insubordinate again. Time to go rogue in the name of the mission. Time to leak reports and twist the president's arm publicly; time to badmouth the administration to the press; time to be a bad-ass. One imagines that McChrystal saw himself as something akin to the heroes of the military-suspense potboilers he wrote at school; he was Harrison Ford in the climactic scene where he confronts the weak and quivering president and tells him that this! Is what has! To be done!

But the president is apparently neither weak nor quivering enough to entrust a war to someone who refuses to demonstrate basic respect for his administration. And McChrystal, sad to say, is no Harrison Ford. The myth of macho is the myth of the rugged individualist, the man who is tougher and braver and smarter than everyone and therefore not obligated to respect or obey anyone. Nobody – not even, despite his valiant, restaurant-candle-avoiding efforts, Stanley McChrystal – is that man. Pretending to be that man doesn't typically work out all that well for computer maintenance professionals, in whom the attitude is merely annoying; it's an even greater flaw in a man tasked with carrying out his country's agenda in an extremely complicated, difficult, and potentially unwinnable war. There are, no doubt, plenty of admirable things about Stanley McChrystal. You don't get to be a four-star general without being smart, or skilled. But one can't help thinking that McChrystal would have done better, in the long run, if he weren't so very worried about being a pushover.
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Obama to guarantee McChrystal a 4-star pension
29 Jun 2010 23:24:51 GMT
Source: Reuters
* Obama fired McChrystal over Rolling Stone article

* Could earn $12,475 per month, according to Pentagon

WASHINGTON, June 29 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama will guarantee former Afghanistan commander General Stanley McChrystal a four-star pension despite firing him last week over comments disparaging civilian leaders.

McChrystal was sacked about a year after receiving his fourth star -- half the time normally necessary to qualify for a four-star general's retirement income of $12,475 per month, before taxes, according to Pentagon estimates based on his 34 years of service.

"We will do whatever is necessary to ensure that he, somebody who has served the country as ably as he has, can retire at a four-star level," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.

It was unclear whether Obama might need to issue a waiver.

McChrystal informed the Army of his planned retirement on Monday, a widely expected move after he and his aides enraged the White House by mocking the president and top civilian advisers in an article in Rolling Stone magazine.

In the piece, McChrystal himself made belittling remarks about Vice President Joe Biden and the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke. His aides were quoted calling White House national security adviser Jim Jones a "clown."

Had Obama not been willing to assist McChrystal, he would have retired on a three star general's salary of $11,736 per month, before taxes, according to Pentagon estimates, taking into consideration McChrystal's time in the military.

Obama named General David Petraeus to replace McChrystal. During his confirmation hearing before a Senate committee on Tuesday, Petraeus played down hopes for a swift turnaround after nine years of war. [ID:N29140610]

(Editing by Cynthia Osterman)