Fired Marine is 'Bringing Accountability' to US Leaders Over Afghan Chaos, Warns of 'Revolution'
07:35 GMT 29.08.2021 (Updated: 13:10 GMT 29.08.2021)
© Blogger photo Facebook/@Stuart Scheller/screenshot videoStuart Scheller to the American leadership
Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller was removed from command on Friday, less than a day after he posted a viral clip demanding “accountability” from US leaders over the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, which recently saw a deadly attack at Kabul Airport.
A US Marine, who lost his job this week after criticising the American military leadership over the hectic Afghanistan pullout, has repeated his demands for his superiors to accept responsibility for the chaos and be held accountable, saying “If we don’t get it, I’m bringing it”.
Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller made a public plea to “the American leadership” this week, criticising senior US leaders for not admitting that “We completely messed up” in Afghanistan in a video that soon went viral across Facebook. About 18 hours later, Scheller was relieved of duty “based on a lack of trust and confidence”.
The Marine battalion commander previously said he wouldn’t be making any statements until he leaves the Marine Corps, but gave a brief comment to the New York Post on Saturday, quoting President Thomas Jefferson's words: “Every generation needs a revolution”.
“The baby boomer's turn is over”, Scheller told the Post. “I demand accountability, at all levels. If we don't get it, I'm bringing it”.
On Thursday, the Marine commander made an unprecedented move to speak up against US military and political leaders, just few hours after 13 US service members and over a hundred civilians were killed near Kabul Airport.
In the video, which has now been shared over 55,000 times just on Facebook, Scheller said that it was possible that all of those who fought in Afghanistan “died in vain” as the US continues its botched withdrawal from the country after nearly two decades of military presence.
"I'm not saying we need to be in Afghanistan forever, but I am saying, did any of you throw your rank on the table and say, ‘Hey, it’s a bad idea to evacuate Bagram Airfield, a strategic airbase, before we evacuate everyone’? Did anyone do that?” he asked. “And when you didn’t think to do that, did anyone raise their hand and say, ‘We completely messed this up’?"
Scheller, a father of three and a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, said he was ready to risk his 17-year-long career in the USMC Infantry to share his thoughts. According to Scheller, the US military doesn’t “have senior leaders who own up and raise their hands and say, ‘We did not do this well in the end’”.
“Without that, we keep repeating the same mistakes”, the Marine added.
He later wrote on Facebook that he was not surprised at his removal from duty: “My chain of command is doing exactly what I would do… if I were in their shoes”.
Scheller’s video quickly received thousands of messages of support, including from people who served under him, saying that they were “proud” of their commander for saying what has been on everyone’s mind and thus potentially sacrificing his career.
“It takes real courage to do what he did and that was Stu all the way”, Juan Chavez, who served under Scheller from 2011 to 2014, told the Post. “He was a magnificent leader, a breath of fresh air, who was always going to do what’s right, even if it goes against the grain”.
The Marine’s father, Stuart Scheller Sr., also supported his son’s impassioned address:
“He’s still on the battlefield protecting his men and women”, Scheller Sr. told the Post. “It’s interesting that no one (in the military) has answered his call for accountability. Their answer was to fire him I guess. It’s a sad day for America”.
Joe Biden said on Thursday that the US will try its best to get American forces, civilians, and Afghan allies out of Kabul by the 31 August deadline, described by the Taliban* leadership as a “red line” for the Western withdrawal.
On Friday, the US launched a drone strike in eastern Afghanistan to target Daesh-Khorasan* militants, who claimed responsibility for the deadly Kabul explosions. Washington says the threat of a new terrorist attack on Kabul Airport remains “highly likely” in the next 24-36 hours.
* Taliban is a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.