Reality Check: Reader Responses

Mr. Campion,

Another in an impressive collection of your very serious and probing insights into the United States endless post-9/11 war plans, much of which has led, as you astutely point out, into a kind of boredom, or a sense that, with the banality of constancy, there will be someone to lash out, such as General Stanley McChrystal. (G.I. JOKE – Issue: 6/30)

I am specifically intrigued by the prospect that long before the piece hit the stands, there was a backlash. No one had even read the article or put it into perspective, maybe considering the context in which the general made his remarks. You must have had an advanced copy or did your research to come to your conclusions, because of all the commentary on the issue, yours had it right. Once I read the Rolling Stone article, it did more than imply that there was an overall morass to the entire military campaign in Afghanistan, pushing the McChrystal insubordination into the realm of a complete U.S. Army meltdown.

Ultimately the fallout was all about McChrystal vs. Obama, much like Truman vs. MacArthur, but it is a deeper problem of how our military and the Pentagon now operates; in an apparent vacuum of utter chaos.

—Enrique Reyes

Interesting article, I just wanted to point out that Afghanistan went fine for Alexander the Great. He met his wife there. It went so well for the Greeks that they later founded the Bactrian Empire that lasted for hundreds of years and influenced Buddhist artwork and philosophy deep into the heart of India.

The Mongols were also somewhat successful in Afghanistan, some ended up settling there and are known today as the Hazara. The Hazara are a minority ethnic group that has worked closely with the U.S. This is not uncommon for the nearly half of Afghans who aren’t Pashtun and don’t want to see the Taliban return to power. Also, the U.S. military is a huge institution, there’s not much in the way of Chaos right now. Heck, the Army and Marine Corps are so over quota that they are giving people early discharges.

One of the most ironic bits of news to be sussed out in this whole mess is that McChrystal is a Democrat who voted for Obama and banned Fox News from his Headquarters.

Did he really feel like he wasn’t seen as the enemy by Rolling Stone and Michael Hastings? He was taken out in a well placed hit, similar in spirit to the hundreds of well-placed hits he made on terrorists while JSOC commander.

I know my response is disjointed, so I’ll just say that your article is interesting but wrong in some key areas. We’ll get out of Afghanistan once we find incontrovertible evidence that Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri have died. If the Taliban would hand him over to us, like we wanted them to in 2001, we would already be out of the Pashtun areas. We’ll win this war, one of the only “necessary” wars in the last 60 years. Meeting our objectives will be tough with all the people here in the U.S. working against us.


Aloha JC,

One thing you got really right: “WENNER’S WORLD” and the Corporate Controlled New York MASS News Media visa AIPAC cabals! How does that song go: “When the goings get’s ruff, the tuff get goin’…?”

—Hapa 1234

Man, you have balls. I defy anyone, anywhere, in any level of media, alternative, mass, corporate or otherwise to present the kind of stuff that comes out of this column on a weekly basis. I honestly cannot believe it, much less process it. This is beyond a doubt the most un-politically correct, maybe borderline immoral commentary known to modern journalism. I don’t know whether to praise this or spat on it.

I choose to let the above rest as simply an observation.

—JB Golas

We need more sports reporting from Campion. (LEBRON JAMES PLAYS BASKETBALL – Issue: 7/14/10) This is tough-minded and fair. LeBron James is indeed just a basketball player and since we hold that in the highest regard and there are so few with his type of talent, maybe we must take notice. Right or wrong, there is something increasingly fascinating by young superstars in self-destruct public relations mode. And, as you rightly point out, it is all about the money. Isn’t that the mantra of the TEA Party goofballs? And I have to admit, I agree with every goofball that chooses money over the greater good.


Holy crap, sir. This LeBron James fellow is a megalomaniac and his pillow talk with Disney and ESPN speaks to the sad nature of a country that celebrates the greedy narcissists, while the rest of the nation suffers to recover from economic meltdown. The self-centered, selfish monsters of our celebrity machine are what distract us from the horrors of our plight, and for that they should be thanked.

So thanks LeBron for being a super jerk-off and helping us to find the kind of villain we need for these troubled times.

—K. Upshaw

I’m glad he did what he did! Piss on everyone, indeed. As an interested sports fan, but not a connoisseur of the game, I couldn’t wait for 9:00, not for anything about sports, but simply to witness this spectacle made more stupid by the press, but ultimately “our” reaction to it. I will say it again and again, it’s all about power, and few of us want to see other people have too much of it. I think he showed great courage to grab the most that he could. Few of us really have the balls to do that; we’re too busy worrying about everybody else.

As Elton John said, “this full blooded city boy is now a full blooded city man.” Full blooded, indeed! Did you see the commercial of him and Dwayne Wade? That chemistry of power should not be denied so that “Cleveland” doesn’t feel cheated. I’m so sick of people with all their judgmental bullshit. If any of us had the opportunity, we would have, or should have done exactly the same thing.

—Laura Debona

The biggest, most pressing LeBron James question of all: With everything that is happening in the world that REALLY matters, who gives a s _ _t?


Yup, yup, yup and hell motherfuckin’ yeah. Amidst the prattle that passes for pabulum in that way-lame broadcast vector known as “sports commentary,” it might as well have been TMZ gabbing about what the most famous celebrity this week was seen wearing.

I applaud the man for depth-charging his brand into the American psyche, and for conning the would-be panderers. I marvel that two of the top—if not *the* top two basketball players in the NBA skipped college. Kobe was the 13th overall draft pick in the 1996 NBA draft; LeBron was the #1 draft pick in 2003. In what would otherwise be an embarrassing footnote, yet another man stepped forward to claim fatherhood. I rate LeBron’s success after having no father figure as extraordinarily American. I’m not that much into the hoops, but I admire the man. Thanks for helping me to file it under capitalism.

—Brad Morrison

James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of Deep Tank Jersey, Fear No Art, Trailing Jesus and Midnight For Cinderella.