The dope – the real silly – is an officer (7)
I believe the answer is:
Here is my best explanation:
'an officer' is the definition.
(general is a kind of officer)
'the dope the real silly' is the wordplay.
'the dope' becomes 'gen' (I've seen this in other clues).
'silly' indicates an anagram.
'real' with letters rearranged gives 'eral'.
'is' acts as a link.
(Other definitions for general that I've seen before include "Enlarge for senior army officer", "Not partial, local or particular like army chief", "Common - soldier", "Concerning all or most", "Applying to all or most of a group", "Unspecific", "High-ranking officer", "Senior army officer", "Catholic" and "Army officer".)