Obama right to sack blathering general

Following President Barack Obama’s firing on Wednesday of four-star Army General Stanley McChrystal, many pundits, including on Capitol Hill, were quick to praise the officer’s career and performance in Afghanistan, where he was the top NATO commander, and his prior service in Iraq.  The fact is, McChrystal displayed grossly poor judgment in his remarks to Rolling Stone magazine that led to his firing from the Afghanistan command.  Indeed, beyond the serious lapse in judgment represented by McChrystal even granting such a series of interviews in the first place, the controversy raises legitimate questions of why our military leaders are going around blathering to the media.

Military policy is to be set by our civilian leaders — the president, the secretary of defense, and others in an administration.  That includes defending and explaining those policies to the media and to others.  These are not responsibilities to be exercised by military officers themselves; they do so at their own peril, as McChrystal found out this week. 

The question is, why are top military officers even getting themselves into these jams in the first place?  Are officers granting  interviews and extended media access to their activities simply to burnish their own image or chances for promotion; or to ingratiate themselves to particular congressional leaders?  Are they being impliedly or quietly urged to do so by administration officials who are themselves uncomfortable with or unsuccessful at defending their own muddled policies, such as those underlying U.S. operations in Afghanistan?  If so, military leaders ought to resist such overtures, even if it means risk to their own careers.  If they are granting interviews for more mundane purposes such as ego or self-promotion, shame on them; and for such character flaws, they ought to be disciplined if not fired.

The bottom line here is that the president did the right thing in relieving McChrystal of his command based on the stupid remarks he made in a series of interviews that should never have been granted and which itself reflected poorly on his judgment.  But the broader questions of how and why our military leaders are delving into policy discussions with the media in the first place, ought to be the subject of some hard questions levelled at our military and civilian leaders by the Congress.

90 comments Add your comment

JB

June 24th, 2010
6:54 am

Bob, I think you are wrong here. First I think McChrystal has been doing the media not for his ego, but because he is trying to wage a media war against the Obama Administration. As a military officer his job is to push what is best for our men and women in military uniform and battle. McChrystal has been trying to drum up popular support for his views to persuade the Obama Administration to go along with it, this isnt the first time he has done it (remember McChrystal releasing the comments on troop levels right before Obama was set to give a decision about afghanistan troop levels? Besides yesterday was a perfect example of Obama’s people ignoring the decisions of the people with the most knowledge about a situation to push their own agenda, when that information wasnt public (the court decision on the offshore drilling ban, where the judge pointed out that the administration move was NOT supported by the scientists they had claimed it was)

The other fact is that in historical war, the military heads were the ones who, once it was decided who and where the enemy was, that made the decisions, mostly because our civilians dont have the knowledge and training for it. When civilians make all the decisions we get disasters like Vietnam. (Or for another example the Nazi war machine, which was horribly hamstrung by Hitler’s decisions). Perhaps McChrystal shouldnt have gone to the public with it, and it certainly was at his own peril, but he felt, and somewhat rightly so, that he needed to wage a war in the court of public opinion to get his way.

TheOne&Only

June 24th, 2010
7:01 am

This is a huge mistake on Obama’s part. I’m no fan of McChystal’s Pax Americana viewpoint or affilliation with the CFR, but how do you think the troops will react? At least Gen. McChrystal was honest and effective (except for Pat Tillman, a huge thorn in my side). Gen. Patreas? No disrespect, but are you kidding me? Isn’t he the one who F’ed things up before? Hey, what do I know? What will he do to target *specifically* the terrorists? Nation build? Why aren’t you folks (in D.C.) looking at Pakistan, and the Afghan hotbeds? Stop promoting endless war, or the the Anerican people are going to come back and bite you.

While I’m here, I might add that the border is being left wide open, for those who care about national security. Stop the illegal invasion (and deport illegals) or else you are being derilect in your duty to uphold protecting our national security and sovereignty, and We The People will hold YOU responsible for that.

neo-Carlinist

June 24th, 2010
7:07 am

is there any reason my comment did not post?

neo-Carlinist

June 24th, 2010
7:20 am

let’s try again. assuming you believe we should still be in Afghanistan, which seems contrary to Obama’s big picture agenda, and assuming you believe McChrystal was hired (essentially by Obama) because of his military record and not his ego; sacking a general for off the (battle)field behavior reflects “poor judgment” on the part of the POTUS. First off, read the article. Most of the criticisms and unflattering comments were made by younger members of McChrystals team, and not the general himself. Secondly, the “civlians” working in the White House and State Depart, and the President himself, are not “civlians”. You and I are civilians. There is little difference between a political operative and a special ops operative in 2010, and even if there is some sort of DC protocol distinction, most of the memebers of McChrystal’s team (most vocal in the article) are “civilians” as well (as are many of the “criticized” members of Obama’s “team). We have to ask ourselves, why was McChrystal hired in the first place? Was he hired to lead forces in AfPak because of his track record of hunting and killing terrorists, or as part of some politically brokered deal between Obama and the hawks? Seems to me to hire him for any reason other than “national security” and to fire him for any reason other than “national security” (on the job performance) would be greater threats to national security and freedom than the loose lips of a non-traditional/outside the box thinking general and his rogues gallery of “shooters”. And finally, does the First Amendment not apply to civil servants? Robert Gibbs and the President himself are quick to chime in when they believe a member of Congress, or the military “exercises poor judgment” but it is wrong for others to speak their minds about the President’s “judgment”. The specific language (very important in DC) is not the point. Is not Obama the President who campaigned on a platform of “transparency” in DC? Maybe this is why he lives in a White House and not a glass house.

TheOne&Only

June 24th, 2010
7:34 am

Hi, neo-Carlinist,

I see that the brigade has made it here in double-time fashion. Let me make it clear to you very fast, Americans will not accept your vision of a Communist world take-over. Sorry to break that to you. Not gonna happen.

Get ready for November, and you might ought to check with your backers to make sure I’m telling you the truth. I told you klowns, the sleeping giant is raising its weary head. We want our America back, and we will fight for it.

Corey

June 24th, 2010
7:38 am

As a retired Air Force officer I urge all you to read the UCMJ(Uniform Code of Military Justice), especially the section which addresses disparraging civillian leadership, then post your comments based on what is clearly stated there. I was commissioned by Mr. Reagan. Although I did not particularly agree with all of his policies, I never came close to disparraging him while in the company of my closest military friends. To this day I will not disparrage him.

Tropunlim

June 24th, 2010
7:41 am

Some posting here conveniently seem to forget that military policy is made by the President, NOT the public.

Some posting here conveniently seem to forget that the military’s job is to carry out the orders of the President, NOT to question them.

FOXNews reminds us of this every day. How come so many of their followers are all of a sudden having a fit with Obama firing a general who was subverting the image of the United States?

I know why. And it has to do with issues completely unrelated to this.

neo-Carlinist

June 24th, 2010
7:42 am

One&Only, I think everyone, including the “communists” accept the Communism is just a brand (as is Capitalism). The U.S. and the world is run by oligarchies that combine 1/4 ideology, 1/theology and 1/2 naked greed. I don’t know that it is possible to get “America back” because I don’t know that we (the People) ever had it. So maybe “the fight” is to “disolve the political bands” which have put (most) Americans under the thumb of special interest.

TheOne&Only

June 24th, 2010
7:53 am

Corey, I respect your service, but I will disparrage the President of the United Staetes of America, or any Senator, or any House member, when they do not follow the best wishes of their constituencies. Do you know why? It is because, as constituents, we (the constituents) are the boss.

Corey – “I was commissioned by Mr. Reagan. Although I did not particularly agree with all of his policies, I never came close to disparraging him while in the company of my closest military friends. To this day I will not disparrage him.”

Well, color me different, but I’m going to hold the President that I voted for up to standards. No exception.

neo-Carlinist

June 24th, 2010
7:55 am

Corey and Tropunlim, and as the saying goes; “how’s that working out for you?” I know many current and retired military officers and enlisted men and they are VERY vocal when it comes to their disdain for ALL politicians and certain members of the media. It’s the American way, folks. My point is, McChrystal or any other solider should be “judged” by his actions AFTER he laces up his boots and switches his M-4 from “safety” to “full auto”, as opposed to something he or one of his colleague may have said at a birthday party in a Paris pub. Obama, Rahm Emanuel and the rest of the DC crowd (from both sides of the aisle) put on their make-up and play their roles just like McChrystal and his non-convential warriors. The difference is; they put their mortal lives on the line (for a mission I feel is unjust), as opposed to the thin-skinned gadflies in DC who put their political lives on the line, usually using other peoples’ lives as collateral. I know people who have served under McChrystal, and I knew people who died on 9/11. AfPak has more to do with Obama’s job security (and Bush before him) than national security.

TheOne&Only

June 24th, 2010
7:59 am

Tropunlim: “Some posting here conveniently seem to forget that the military’s job is to carry out the orders of the President, NOT to question them.”

True, if you live in Nazi Germany. I hated Dubya in this regard, and don’t make me carry this on to hate Obama. Please.

Learn what the UCMJ and the Nuremburg trials are all about.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

June 24th, 2010
8:04 am

Good morning all, I respectfully partially-disagree with the essay of our host. The president has the unilateral right to hire and fire his associates, for good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all. Thus I supported President Bush when he disposed of a half dozen US Attorneys he deemed mediocre, and thus I support President Obama in his “deselection” of Gen. McChrystal.

Having reaffirmed the executive authority, I think I would have decided differently – or at least on different grounds – than did Chauncey. McChrystal is both a rocket scientist and a rock star in the narrow world of guerrilla warfare, and even bringing in the similarly-talented Petraeus is, at best, a push.

As other bloggers have correctly noted, there really was nothing inflammatory (to a normal ego) in the Rolling Stone hit piece. Thus the bottom line, this is simply another mindless thin-skin reaction to an increasingly hostile press, or perhaps another effort to distract from similar regular failures by this administration. Having only half-supported the military requests by McChrystal, one perceives this change is mere window-dressing by the administration, anticipating the collapse of the war effort that will certainly follow the 2011 withdrawal of forces, and manufacturing a deceptive “we did everything we could” excuse.

TheOne&Only

June 24th, 2010
8:08 am

Here, Let me help you guys out…

I voted for Obama, and did more to get him elected than probaly he even knows. Don’t come at me with your philosophical fantasies of how I should be more of a liberal.

President Obama has made mistakes, and I am not ashamed to point them out. Afterall, I/we am/are his boss. Do you get that?

Make him a better President. It’s up to you.

neo-Carlinist

June 24th, 2010
8:10 am

I got edited again.

neo-Carlinist

June 24th, 2010
8:11 am

here’s the reader’s digest version, where is the Uniform Code of Political Justice?

Ragnar Danneskjöld

June 24th, 2010
8:12 am

Dear neo @ 8:10, I suffer that problem regularly on Kyle’s site. I wish they would publish the filter rules. I know I had a long, and I thought well-written, post that bounced for use of the word “c*cktail,” in a reference to social drinking.

Vince

June 24th, 2010
8:19 am

@Corey, at this level it isn’t a whatever UCMJ problem. McChrystal “offered” his resignation after the quick nervous and bilious(as usual concerning its image) reaction from Obama, his staff and followers. Obama accepted(no UCMJ involved isn’t it?).
Wesley Clark, was fired(not even given the ability to resign) from NATO, by NATO because he was a total politician S.B.(the legal concepts were more “polite”). McChrystal resigned because of political S.B. . Anyway, there are more important priorities in the world, in the US, than a stupid article in a retard, antiwar, teen age paper like Rolling Stone(but very important to Obama and his followers obviously…) even if it stated that McChrystal preferred Bud to Bordeaux(French are also so schoked! oh la la: joking).

neo-Carlinist

June 24th, 2010
8:21 am

RD, yep, but Kyle’s site is for neo-con Kool-Aid drinkers. I expect it over there. But BB is an anti-big brother libertarian, I hold his filter to a higher standard. back to message, I don’t remember if it was Kyle or Bookman, but I posted my feelings on the Petraeus move in line with the Hillary for SecState move (”keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”). Just the other night, I was discussing the McChrystal debacle with some right-leaning friends, and they were salivating at the prospect of a Petraeus run in 2012. Maybe Obama is playing Michael Corleone and taking Petraeus out of the game? Just a hunch.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

June 24th, 2010
8:27 am

Dear Neo @ 8:21, I think your hunch is on-target. I can conceive of no more potent potential-Repub candidate than Petraeus.

Scout

June 24th, 2010
8:27 am

Yep ………. any general (or admiral) that openly admits they voted for Obama ought to be cashiered !

No questions asked.

Richard

June 24th, 2010
8:29 am

Why is this a debate at all? An employee publicly humiliated his boss, and his boss fried him. It’s that simple. If any of us did that to our boss, we’d have been shown the door as well. I was only shocked that Obama gave him the time of day after hearing about the article. I’d have fired him by proxy.

neo-Carlinist

June 24th, 2010
8:31 am

Vince, I do not support the war (AfPak), but I support the warrior (McChrystal). That said, I believe McChrystal stated he prefers Bud Light Lime to Bordeaux. So, if Obama fired him for favoring a “chick beer” to real Bud, I find no fault with the move. I never served, but I am sure the UCMJ addresses “light beers” (conduct unbecoming). Seriously, remember the movie “The Untouchables”. Remember when Jimmy Malone (Sean Connery) tells Ness (Costner) about “…how to get Capone, the Chicago way…” And remember he repeats the line, “…what are you prepared to do?” As he dies in Ness’s arms, having been gunned down by a Capone goon? Is it not an ironic life immidating art moment, that Obama, who cut his political teeth in the windy city, has bailed on “the Chicago way” when it comes to fighting terrorists? Like RD, it makes me think the whole thing (hiring McChrystal, the AfPak surge, and increased Predator strikes) were shrewd political moves, with little concern for “getting Capone”.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

June 24th, 2010
8:32 am

Dear Richard @ 8:29, it is a “debate” because, to borrow the words of Gertrude Stein, “there’s no there there.” There was no “humiliation” in the Rolling Stone article, and certainly no inflammatory words by any adult standard.

nelsonhoward

June 24th, 2010
8:33 am

The interview of General McChristal was conducted by Michael Hastings for Rolling Stone magazine.
Writing can have its rewards and this is one of them. What I have not gotten a spin on this article is what John McHugh says about it, he is Secretary of the Army. I think there is something systemic about the General’s views, they may very well be shared down the line of command. Military tactics and political tactics are obviously on different wave lengths. A military commander thinks in terms of winning the war, politicians think in terms of what can I do to get reelected. I do not see political/military conflict going away anytime soon. General Patraeus collapsed when being questioned by the Congressional committee, he claimed he was not hydrated. If a military sees his job as appeasing the political leaders he will be ineffective. Look at General McCarthur, he wanted to widen the war and go into China, President Truman sacked him, decades latter the U.S. is still in Korea and a crisis pops up there with regularity.

TheOne&Only

June 24th, 2010
8:35 am

neo-Carlinist: “here’s the reader’s digest version, where is the Uniform Code of Political Justice?”

I’m not one for Political Correctness (it’s quite the fault of mine), but perhaps “Political Justice” is overdue. As to how that will play out, my guess is good as yours.

I abhor racism, and I will fight that tooth and nail, but that also includes La Raza and others who would openly threaten the sovereignty of the United States of America. Doubt me not.

Also, while I have your attention, I will not except an America that would choose cheap overseas labor to that of the American people. Stop free trade. Learn what a VAT (value added tax) is, and why it is important to compete with other nations. Don’t listen to the SEIU, as they are one-world communists. Fu(k them.

DD776USN

June 24th, 2010
8:37 am

Folks, let’s have some perspective here. First of all, one learns early on in basic training, (and presumably in ROTC, OCS, and the military acadamies), that the Bill of Rights does not necessarily apply when in the uniform of the armed services. For example, there are regulations which forbid personnel from attending demonstrations while in uniform. If a service member wishes to attend a protest calling for gun control or for the unlimited right to own an AK-47, he must do so in civilian attire. To do so in uniform risks a court martial.

Second, it is not the job of the generals and admirals to set policy, or to decide strategy. It is their job to carry out the policies and strategies as laid out by the President, whether or not they agree. The President is the Commander in Chief, and the responsibility is his alone. Abraham Lincoln was right to sack his generals who did not follow his orders, and who sought only to make a name for themselves. Harry Truman was right to sack general MacArthur when MacArthur wanted to invade China suring the Korean Conflict.

Imagine if John Kennedy had followed Curtis LeMay’s advice during the Cuban Missile Crisis. LeMay wanted to nuke Havana. This would likely have led to all out war with the USSR, and perhaps the end to civilization as we know it.

Yes, a President should listen to the advice of his commanders. That doesn’t mean that he has to follow that advice. And there’s no way that a President should stand for the kind of insubordination and poor judgement, (in the general’s own words), we saw in that Rolling Stone article. In some respects, the poor judgement is more serious. A general who shows poor judgement in PR, is just as likely to show poor judgement in other, perhaps more serious, circumstances.

neo-Carlinist

June 24th, 2010
8:39 am

Richard, And you believe this because the White House and the Department of Defense are corporations, with HR policies and sensitivity training seminars. You ever listen to Rahm Emmanuel, or his predecessor Karl Rove? This isn’t some office where if the staff performs they get to wear Hawaiian shirts on Friday and leave at 4:30 instead of 5:00. Obama is President of the United States. He “owns” a $trillion/year war budget and his “policies” concern the lives and deaths of over 100,000 Americans and their families. When he hired McChrystal (and ironically, when he fired him) he spoke of McChrystal’s “service in uniform” and the fact that he was very good at what he does (killing bad guys).

Ragnar Danneskjöld

June 24th, 2010
8:45 am

Dear DD776USN @ 8:37, I agree with your first paragraph – all facts – I demur on your analysis in the second, I disagree with the straw man hypothetical in the third, and I think you conclude with an untrue syllogism in the fourth, “A general who shows poor judgement in PR, is just as likely to show poor judgement in other, perhaps more serious, circumstances.” Thus anyone who ever makes a minor mistake is untrustworthy on a big project? Totally unsound thesis, leads to micro-management which is the opposite of sound management.

Scout

June 24th, 2010
8:49 am

I think the military should have a new “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for any general officer who would be goofy enough to admit they voted for Obama. That’s just not good for one’s career !

Morrus

June 24th, 2010
8:52 am

Curiously, in a supposed anti-incumbent year, most of the departing are not retiring but seeking higher office. We may recycle more than we replace. The bad news is that a frustrating 114 seats still have but one contestant. Two of them aren’t even incumbents, meaning they will affect state policy without being vetted by voters. And I have to think that we’d be better off if many had run instead for the Legislature — and cut down on the number running unopposed. Georgia’s problems are numerous. They aren’t going away. There’s too much stale thinking at the Capitol, on both sides of the aisle. New voices would be welcome.

jconservative

June 24th, 2010
8:53 am

Couple of comments. The Constitution says the following:

Article 2, Section 2, Clause 1: “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;”

If you prefer to put unelected generals in charge of when & where we send troops into harms way, please amend the Constitution. If you want to let the people elect the generals, please amend the Constitution. Until then, we will do it this way: soldiers take orders and do what they are told.

See the Uniform Code of Military Justice:

“888. ART. 88. CONTEMPT TOWARD OFFICIALS
Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
889. ART. 89 DISRESPECT TOWARD SUPERIOR COMMISSIONED OFFICER
Any person subject to this chapter who behaves with disrespect toward his superior commissioned officer shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

The question is not should McChrystal have been removed from command; the question is why was Court Marshall proceedings not started against him?

The commanding officer is responsible for, and accountable for, the conduct of the personnel under his command.

neo-Carlinist

June 24th, 2010
8:56 am

DD776USN, I’ll try to respond one at a time. Maybe it is time to re-think the UCMJ – and as I pointed out, consider a Uniform Code of Justice (behavior) for politicians? I am aware that a soldier is held to a different standard than John Q. Public, but the idea that politicians enjoy certain protections, which soldiers do not is insane in my book. As I said, transparency is transparency. And let’s be honest, what JFK or LeMay did or wanted to do 50 years ago is all speculation. The cynic in me thinks a nuclear exchange in 1960 would have essentially ended the Cold War, which would have likely saved us trillions, but that’s just me – I was prepared to “duck and cover” (actually, I was an infant). My point today and yesterday is; it’s not 1865 (Lincoln), 1950 (Truman) or 1960 (JFK). The “wars” are different and the approach to war must be different.

TheOne&Only

June 24th, 2010
8:56 am

Richard: “Why is this a debate at all? An employee publicly humiliated his boss, and his boss fried him. It’s that simple”

Umm, I didn’t see where McChrystal humiliated President Obama. I read the entire article, and the best (or worst) that I got out of it was that the President wasn’t that engaged to speak with him (McChrystral), and that he pointed out some inconsistantsies within the heirarchy. Hardly a reason to be fired.

But you communists (that is what you are) tell yourselves whatever you wish to make you feel better. Let’s all hold hands and be happy.

Anyways, I am the boss. That’s right, my voting backside is the boss, along with every other American. It IS that simple.

neo-Carlinist

June 24th, 2010
9:04 am

Scout, You appear to be joking, but I believe DADT is a perfect example of the double standard between civilian politicians and the DoD. I am sure there are openly gay members of Obama’s staff or serving in the State Department, Department of Homeland Security, etc. The fact that McChrystal is a married heterosexual who claims to have voted for Obama had no bearing on his (team’s) ability to find al Zaqwari and kill him. These things had no bearing on his feelings about the number of troops required to accomplish the mission in AfPak (assigned to him by “civilians”).

joan

June 24th, 2010
9:07 am

I give McChrystal credit for being smart enough to know what he and his staff were doing. They knew they were falling on their sword in hopes that they could inform the American public of the futility of the efforts in the mid-east. They are there. They know the enemy. They know that staying there for 30 years isn’t going to change this enemy nor reform this country. They know it is a losing battle. Maybe they would rather be “retired” than to stay in a frustrating and useless job and ultimately get blamed for not “winning” this hopeless so called “war” (a war where they aren’t allowed to shoot!, and have to stand around trying to figure out who the enemy is and whether that old lady is a suicide bomber. I would say get me out of here too.

Jaleel

June 24th, 2010
9:14 am

If that hole in the Gulf leaking all that oil was on Larry Sinclair, you better believe President Obama would find a way to plug it.

TheOne&Only

June 24th, 2010
9:22 am

joan,

I don’t know about falling on their swords as that is not what American warriors do, but nobody wants an endless war. An endless war is insanity, but let’s contemplate, shall we..

Why were the hotbeds in Afghan being ignored? Why are the terrorists in Paki being ignored? Why are our borders being ignored?

If you can answer those questions, then I salute you.

Cynthia Mother Tucker

June 24th, 2010
9:51 am

Enter your comments here

DWTOO

June 24th, 2010
9:52 am

Often find it scary when I agree with Mr. Barr. However, depsite our differences think we are both big on civil liberties of inviduals. In this case the general made the mistake of disparaging his bosses in print. Just like Truman had to relieve the other Mac in Korea.

The General should have made his points in private conversations with the President and Sec Def. Everyone has the right to disagree, but, use the correct forum.

Cynthia Mother Tucker

June 24th, 2010
9:54 am

I”ll be darned. I thought it might be a site-wide ban.

Before posting “long”, “well-written” posts, do this. CTL-A CTL-C. Save you some frustration.

USA goin’ down, DOWN DOWN DOWN!. Expatriate B4 it’s too late!.

neo-Carlinist

June 24th, 2010
9:59 am

because I am not a civilian member of the WH staff, nor active duty military, let me shoot up this flair. I am sure everyone (including the President) saw the press reports of vast precious metal reserves in Central Asia/Afghanistan; specifically lithium. Any of you using a laptop, Blackberry or hand held device, or any of you who own a hybrid automobile know that lithium is a major component in the batteries used in these products. So, we have a POTUS urging us to seek alternative energy sources and “go green” – well in the green world, lithium is the new petroleum. of course this presents a bit of conflict for any dutiful American consumer – myself included, but I would much rather see XYZ Corporation hire Blackwater to secure the resources, and pass the cost on to me, as opposed to Washington DC, Inc. waging a war, and sending us the tab, only to have XYZ mine and “refine” the lithium, and pass the cost on to consumers anyway (accounting for their profits, of course – “after all, we’re not communists” – Barzini, from “The Godfather”).

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

June 24th, 2010
10:01 am

@joan: I think you’re wrong, actually. What’s not being widely reported in American analysis of the article is that the reporter was only supposed to have two days with McChrystal (in France). Thanks to Iceland’s volcanic disruption of travel, the reporter had almost a MONTH of unfettered access. McChrystal didn’t intend to have his feature come across as insubordination (which is what it was).

Another clue that McChrystal didn’t intend it: the piece was highly critical of his counterinsurgency strategy.

To those who say “aw, it ain’t that bad, it’s just his underlings…” It was his underlings, talking to the press, with him present. Sorry, if he didn’t correct them, it’s like he said it himself.

Finally, all of you who see him as “bravely standing up to the Obama incompetence,” read the article. There’s nothing brave in there; there’s just cowardly mocking. And I think the general realized that what he did was wrong.

This personnel change is something conservatives and liberals alike can agree was necessary. Let’s get back to discussing the war that we shouldn’t be in, in the first place.

uncommon sense

June 24th, 2010
10:02 am

Some of the comments here are retarded. So for all of you that are supporting a commanding general publically calling out his boss, I suggest you do the same at your job. Once you do, post your company’s name here so that others will know where the recently created job openings are. Even McCrystal didn’t defend his actions. If one of McCrystal’s troops had said the same thing about him, they would be out of the military in a New York minute. War doesn’t work like a Sunday morning talk show. If you show dissent in war, people can and do get killed.

TheOne&Only

June 24th, 2010
10:05 am

neo-Carlinist: “I believe McChrystal stated he prefers Bud Light Lime to Bordeaux. So, if Obama fired him for favoring a “chick beer” to real Bud, I find no fault with the move.”

That’s funny. I’m sure that Gen. McChrystal would drink a “chick beer” at your request, and then you could show him how manly you are. But seriously, let’s stop the invasion from our *American* borders, and actually target the terrorists (in afgan, paki, and NOW mexi hotbeds). Before people get angry.

Scout

June 24th, 2010
10:07 am

neo-Carlinist :

………. or as I just read, “Obama is fishing for rainbow clout” ………….. :o

Scout

June 24th, 2010
10:08 am

Mr. Barr:

Why are our posts on the Central Time Zone ?

Navy Brat

June 24th, 2010
10:12 am

“Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

The military has rules. I don’t care if you agree with our president and his policies or not, McChrystal was WRONG and probably should have received a harsher punishment. Note that McChrystal’s statements were not a private conversation nor made during the course of a political discussion. They were made to a written publication, an aggravating element. So the bottomline is that what McChrystal did is not called insubordination. It is contempt, and it is a court martial offense.

neo-Carlinist

June 24th, 2010
10:16 am

DWTOO, I won’t speak for McChrystal, and yeah, maybe he should have shared his thoughts with Obama, Gates, Patraeus (his “bosses”) before sharing them with Rolling Stone, but my guess is, he already had. And as has been noted, the bulk of the criticism was offered by his team, and we all know generals do not “report” to the VP, ambassadors or special envoys/czars. I have read extensively on the special ops community, and I know many “non-conventional” warriors. They don’t “operate” like Gomer Pyle or Colin Powell, or even George Patton. Again, I am not speaking for anyone, but perhaps McChrystal refused to fall on his sword, and perhaps he saw that he was getting set up for a fall, and perhaps he used the media (Rolling Stone) in the same manner a CIA agent recruits and employs an unwitting asset. Again, just a hunch, but I keep hearing “…never let a crisis go to waste…” and maybe McChrystal simply created a crisis because the chain of command wasn’t getting the mission accomplished.

hotlanta

June 24th, 2010
10:16 am

I would have loved to see him try to look at the President when he said explain yourself. He talking all of that smack in the magazine but couldn’t tell him to his face. He had become a Chicken General. If we are doing bad it is his fault since he was the one in charge to see things through. He wasn’t doing his job. Fox News has a desk for him by 5:00pm this afternoon. He is filling out his tax forms now.

neo-Carlinist

June 24th, 2010
10:22 am

and one more thing, these non-conventional warriors tend to encourage free thinking. in the field orders are orders and chain of command is chanin of command, but many times there is no “chain of command” in the field. were McChrystal to discourage dialogue (salty and critical as it may be), he would be doing a disservice to the members of his highly specialized team. I know it sounds cliche’, but this is “outside the Beltway” thinking and in 2008 it was then candidate Obama’s mantra for “change”.