The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan says something in London that would get you denounced on Fox News:

…a few days ago, just before we left to travel here, a bus south of Kandahar struck an improvised explosive device (IED) killing 30 Afghan civilians.  That is tragic. 

On the one hand, you might say that the Afghan people would recoil against the Taliban who left  that IED.  To a degree, they do, but we must also understand that they recoil against us because they might think that, if we were not there, neither would be the IED.  Therefore, we indirectly
caused the IED to be there.  Second, we said that we would protect them, but we did not.
  Sometimes, then, the most horrific events caused by the insurgents continue to reinforce in the minds of the Afghan people a mindset that coalition forces are either ineffective, or at least that their presence in Afghanistan is not in their interest.  That does not happen all of the time.  There are times when they feel differently, but you have to put things in that context to understand what we must do. 

Sniff the Patchouli. There are those who think the behavior of the U.S. in Afghanistan from 2002 to 200… say, 8 amounts to near-criminal negligence. Guess what? The commanding general is one of them. Similarly, there are those who doubt McChrystal’s sincerity when it comes to population protection. This is going way far out into blunt rhetorical territory. And McChrystal is 100 percent fucking right. If the objective is the perspective of the Afghan civilian concerned about getting blown up by an IED, it’s that civilian whose assessment of blame for the IED matters, and military and civilian leadership ignores that at their peril. McChrystal is serving notice that he won’t ignore it.

My fellow progressives can find reasons to criticize McChrystal, and I have no doubt they will. I will also find reason to criticize McChrystal. But it should be placed on the balance sheet that no serving military commander has ever gone this far, rhetorically and actually, to emphasize the protection of the Afghan people from harm. It’s precisely that focus that’s causing the more mouth-breathing factions of the right to press an assault from a different direction. McChrystal is not myopic and he’s also not insubordinate. On the Obama strategy review, he said in London, "The process of going through a very detailed, policy-level debate, is incredibly important and incredibly healthy. The president led that very effectively, and so I think this is a very necessary process to go through so we come to a clear decision and then move forward." Disagree with what he says and what he advocates, by all means, but let’s have a thorough presentation of what that actually is.

Update: McChrystal on Iran:

Iran, of course, being, you know, in such proximity to Afghanistan and having significant influence inside Afghanistan, is a big player. They, in my view, they have a lot of very positive influence inside Afghanistan, some of it cultural, some of it financial, just things that any neighbor would have to try to build the stability. I think that if Iran takes a very mature look at a stable Afghanistan and support the government of Afghanistan, then we’ll be — we’ll be in good shape. If they were to choose not to do that, and they were to choose to support insurgents, I think that would be a significant miscalculation.