White House summons US General to explain himself

US summoned top military Commander in Afghan for controversial remarks about aides of Prez Obama.

Updated: Jun 23, 2010, 00:01 AM IST

Washington: The top US military Commander
in Afghanistan was summoned to Washington after making
controversial comments about key aides of President Barack
Obama, spilling into public view the tensions between the
White House and the General.

"McChrystal was summoned to attend a meeting on
Afghanistan and Pakistan in person rather than by video
conference," CNN reported, quoting a senior administration
official.
In an extraordinary article carried by the current
issue of the Rolling Stone magazine, depicting McChrystal as a
`runaway general,` the top US commander was quoted as
denouncing the US envoy in Kabul while his aides dismissed
President Obama and mocked his deputies.

Though the General apologised for the magazine
profile, the White House apparently took a serious view of his
conduct.

"I extend my sincerest apology for this profile," Mc
Chrystal said in a statement, issued hours after the article
was released yesterday.

"It was a mistake reflecting poor judgement and should
never have happened," the General said.

In his comments, McChrystal referring to Vice
President Joseph Biden, known as the sceptic of the war
strategy, jokes sarcastically about "dismissing the Vice
President with a good one liner".
The General also told the magazine that he felt
"betrayed" by the US Ambassador to Kabul Karl Eikenberry, in a
White House debate over war strategy last year.

An unnamed McChrystal aide claimed that the General
came unimpressed after meeting Obama in the Oval office a year
ago.

The friction between the top field commander and Obama
aides comes at a time when US and NATO forces are preparing
for a major offensive in and around the key Kandahar province,
the spiritual home of the Taliban.

PTI