China Seizes on Stuart Scheller Firing as Evidence of U.S. Military's 'Low Morale'

Chinese state media claimed that the firing of U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller is evidence of increasingly "low morale" in the U.S. military.

Scheller posted a video online last week criticizing the decisions of top military commanders amid the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan after two decades of war. The clip quickly went viral, and on Friday Scheller posted to Facebook to say that he had been relieved of duty as a result of the public criticism. A Marine Corps spokesperson also confirmed to media outlets that Scheller had been relieved of his command.

The Global Times, an English-language tabloid published by the Chinese Communist Party, jumped on the incident in a Sunday opinion article to suggest that morale is declining among U.S. troops.

"Scheller's dismissal indicates that U.S. military leadership is unwilling to listen to any suggestions or dissatisfaction, nor willing to admit or correct any of their strategic mistakes. Instead, they spare no efforts to shun their responsibility. This will inevitably bring more disasters," the article's author Lu Xue wrote.

Stuart Scheller
In this screenshot from a video posted on Thursday, U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller calls for "accountability" from top military leaders in the wake of the August 26 attack by ISIS-K attack targeting the U.S. military and civilians at Kabul's international airport in Afghanistan. Twitter/screenshot

"It signals that senior leaders attach little significance to the safety of these lower-ranked officers and soldiers, as the latter will continue to face more threats," he continued.

Lu wrote that the "misjudgements" of top U.S. military commanders will result in troops' "low morale in carrying out the mission." The writer argued that America's "debacle in Afghanistan will make more U.S. soldiers and lower-ranked officers realize the folly of the military leadership."

Scheller's viral video was posted on Thursday after an ISIS-K attack left more than 170 dead, including 13 U.S. service members, at Kabul's international airport. The military officer wore his uniform and asserted that he was "w​​illing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders: 'I demand accountability.'"

After the news of Scheller being relieved of duty was reported, a number of prominent conservatives jumped to his defense.

"The woke generals can troll Tucker Carlson on twitter and pontificate about 'white rage' in front of Congress, but simply asking for accountability for their deadly mistakes...gets you fired," Donald Trump Jr. tweeted. "What a disgrace."

"Stuart Scheller would make a better Secretary of Defense than Lloyd Austin. We hear you," Representative Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican, wrote on Twitter. "Accountability must come."

The Global Times has repeatedly taken aim at the U.S. and President Joe Biden amid the chaos of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. An opinion article published by the tabloid's editorial board on Friday mocked Biden's "incompetence."

"Then will Biden go back to Afghanistan? He dares not, because it may bring more shame to him. It is difficult to leave, and it is even more difficult to leave gracefully," the Chinese publication wrote. "The fundamental reason lies in the incompetence of the current U.S. government, and the inability of the U.S. national strength in coping with complex situations."

Newsweek reached out to the Pentagon for comment but did not immediately receive a response.