The President Versus The General
Obama and McChrystal
Who Was Right?
I have held off commenting on General McChrystal's diatribe in the Rolling Stone article that got him in hot water. I have held off because I have been placed in an uncomfortable position. I actually find myself in the position where I have to defend President Obama's decision to fire the general. McChrystal brought this all on himself. I know this will not sit well with many of my conservative co-horts. But, I can find no way to defend the general on this.
First, I want to make it clear General McChrystal was absolutely correct in stating Obama's Afghanistan strategy is fundamentally flawed. It is causing more and more U.S. troop injuries and deaths due to the rules of engagement (I am gratified to see this is being changed ). The arbitrary deadline to get out of Iraq is detrimental to the troops as well. This emboldens the terrorist insurgency. All they have to do is wait out the Americans. Once they do, they will pounce on the Afghanistan government with zeal. General McChrystal was right in saying the real enemy are the "wimps in the White House. " I applaud the general for allowing Americans to know what is going on in Afghanistan. He did so at his own peril. I don't even have a problem with his aides making derogatory remarks about the amateurs that President Obama has working for him. They all are cut from the same cloth in that they don't have a clue how to carry out a war. All they really know how to do is set deadlines to placate the left-wingers. I assure you, the Taliban can see the hand writing on the wall. They will make this war even more bloody for Americans over the next year. The general is clearly frustrated with this half-assed attempt to win a war from the Obama Administration. I understand and can appreciate his frustration. Many other generals went through this in Vietnam.
Where I must part with General McChrystal is when he criticized his Commander-in-Chief in a magazine. This is something you do behind closed doors, military meetings or in private with your aides. You don't do it publicly. You do not criticize your Commander in Chief to where it makes him appear weak (and make no mistake about it, Obama is a weak president). You have something called "chain of command ." You have a complaint, you go to the next person above you. In this case, it was the President of the United States. General McChrystal knew this. He was a four-star general. He knows the Military Code of Conduct. He also knew the ramifications of his remarks. Some will say he did it out of loyalty to his troops. There is something to be said for this. However, he could have shown even more loyalty by keeping his mouth shut, making his frustrations known to everyone in the White House and continuing on as their Commander in Afghanistan. Instead General McChrystal took the path of least resistance. He acted almost juvenile in his remarks about his civilian bosses. He has dishonored himself. He has dishonored the Office of the President of the United States.
It is apparent General McChrystal has no respect for Obama. I don't blame him. I don't have any respect for Obama either. But, I do respect his position as President of the United States. I am completely opposed to everything Obama is doing both domestically and internationally. I can't think of one thing I can agree with the President about. Well, except for one thing; we both agree that General McChrystal had to go. When I was in the U.S. Navy, one thing I detested was saluting officers. I just didn't like it. So, I told an old Chief Petty Officer about my feelings. I'll never forget what he told me. "You are not saluting the man wearing that uniform. You are saluting the uniform that man is wearing. You damn well better respect that." He was right. You respect what that uniform represents. General McChrystal should have known that also. Although the President of the United States does not wear a uniform, he does hold a position that General McChrystal should have respected. That, more than any other single thing, is what got him fired. Obama is thin-skinned as I have stated on another hub. He was not going to let that kind of criticism go without action. So, the general was fired. Basically, he was fired for insubordination. What do you think General McChrystal would have done if a subordinate had criticized him publicly? Exactly.
Save this hub for posterity's sake. I doubt you will ever see me defend the Anointed One again. Now, I feel like I need to go take a shower.
Military Not Happy with Rolling Stone
- Military Says Rolling Stone Broke Ground Rules on McChrystal Story - Political Punch
ABC News' Luis Martinez reports: A senior military official tells ABC News that Rolling Stone broke journalistic ground rules established for the magazines profile of the general by publishing comments that occurred during what McChrystals aides thou
The President Versus the General
- The President Versus The General
I have held off commenting on General McChrystal's diatribe in the Rolling Stone article that got him in hot water. I have held off because I have been placed in an uncomfortable position. I actually find...