Tuesday, June 22, 2010

General McChrystal Does It Again!

General Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, made headlines last year for openly criticizing the president, his superior officer.  "Waiting does not prolong a favorable outcome," said McChrystal.  "This effort will not remain winnable indefinitely."  He also insulted a strategy supported by Vice President Joe Biden claiming it would lead to "Chaos-istan."  McChrystal was quickly condemned by the administration, including Republican Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

Gates wished the advice had come "candidly, but privately," while former Marine General and National Security Adviser Jim Jones stated that McChrystal was out of line by not following the chain of command.  The rest of the GOP seemed to welcome McChrystal's comments because any criticism of Barack Obama is a good criticism, even if it involves dying soldiers.

McChrystal didn't really apologize for his comments, stating that it was one big "misunderstanding."  He failed to acknowledge what he had done wrong, but things were different under President George W. Bush - the former president had "fired more generals and admirals than any other head of state since Adolf Hitler in Germany" and nobody said a word.

Not learning from his previous error, McChrytal had made a similar mistake in a recent interview with Rolling Stone pissing off the Gates and Obama.
In the article, McChrystal complains that Obama handed him "an unsellable position" on the war, back when the commander was pressing for more troops than the administration was then prepared to send. "I found that time painful," he said.

McChrystal also said he was "betrayed" by Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, the man the White House chose to be his diplomatic partner in Afghanistan. He accused Eikenberry of raising doubts about the reliability of Afghan President Hamid Karzai only to give himself cover in case the U.S. effort failed.

"Here's one that covers his flank for the history books," McChrystal told the magazine. "Now, if we fail, they can say 'I told you so.'"
It's interesting that McChrystal would insult Karzai considering the Afghan president seems to love him, calling him the "best commander" of the war.

Obama has seemed to play it coolly, requesting McChrystal's presence to explain himself, but I think the time for explanations is gone.  Given the situation - McChrystal is heading U.S. war efforts - McChrystal has consistently defied the president openly instead of going through the appropriate channels, putting the United States' military in jeopardy, and has showed little remorse for his actions.  Like with the GOP obstruction in Congress, Obama has shown too much empathy with his critics.

Had this been a different administration, McChrystal would have been gone last year.  Just ask the top brass that were forced into early retirement by previous president.  According to CNN, McChrystal offered up his resignation.  Obama should accept.

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