McChrystal Out, Patraeus In, Obama Wins

>> Wednesday, June 23, 2010

McChrystal did the right thing by tendering his resignation from his post.

Obama was right in accepting his resignation.

But Obama also made a great choice in enlisting Gen. Patraeus to take over the post.

The questions now are, will Obama continue to dither and mismanage the Afghan War? And will the senate who castigated and impugned Patreaus' honor during his first confirmation receive the same this time around, or, because he is OBAMA's choice receive swift confirmation?

9 comments:

Marshall Art June 23, 2010 at 11:31 PM  

It is remarkable that "Be-tray-us" is getting the gig. It's too bad it's a step down. I wonder what becomes of the post he held. Who will take it over, or will he handle both? I had heard a story about Lincoln from a Doris Kearns bio of him, that McClellan was a totally disrespectful cretin. He stood up Lincoln on more than one occasion and spoke of him as a "gorilla". But Lincoln responded, when asked why he puts up with it, "I would hold his horse for him as long as he brings me victory."

McChrystal is, by all accounts, more than suitable for the job. I'm wondering if he came to feel that he was put in a position where success is impossible based on the terms of engagement, as well as problem of the corrupt Karzai gov't. Can Petraeus, as good as HE seems to be, fare any better?

Marshall Art June 23, 2010 at 11:35 PM  

I also heard a suggestion that some would like to see Petraeus run for POTUS and that now no such campaign could take place. I don't know if there's anything to it.

A greater concern is that with REAL military people so constrained, that their "failure" would allow Obama to put in replacements that are mere YesMen and thus, the future would be darker. Frankly, I have absolutely no clue as to what Obama has in mind for the MidEast. He's either totally stupid, a very real possibility based on his record so far, or he's got a plan that no self-respecting American president would ever get behind.

Edwin Drood June 25, 2010 at 9:12 AM  

This Failure of a President has no idea what he wants to do. Last year he hated Petraeus. When he was a failure of a Senator he hated Petraeus, now he wants to put him in command.

ELAshley June 25, 2010 at 11:39 AM  

You're right, but now Obama has no choice but to support his general. If we lose in Afghanistan it will be HIS leadership that brought us defeat. He's now committed, whether he realizes it or not; none of this can now be blamed on Bush. He either has to knuckle down and actively seek victory or, like president Carter, be labeled a military failure.

To all... please don't misconstrue my intent in labeling Obama a 'winner.' What he won was the appearance of being 'commanding.' He was within his right as commander in chief to relieve McChrystal from his command, and I don't blame Obama for doing so. McChrystal was clearly insubordinate-- never mind the fact that Obama's dithering last fall contributed to McChrystal's incomprehensible behavior. Obama won by being pragmatic enough to appoint General Petraeus to take over DESPITE the apparent hypocrisy he exposes himself to in doing so, as well as the ire he no doubt raises from his base for appointing Bush's general.

However, it still remains to be seen whether or not Obama wins anything as commander in chief. Petraeus will earn another ribbon for his dress-greens, and McChrystal will end his upward climb. He won't lose his pension, and not likely his rank. But he will either be cashiered out or suffer a few years more in quiet ignomy before retirement. But don't anyone assume I've lost any respect for the man; he told the truth. Unfortunately, he was not in a position to speak as much outside the chain of command. This doesn't make him a disgraced general, but it will make him a pariah in some circles.

But Obama wins only THIS skirmish.

Any amateur can, by sheer luck, win a victory. But one lucky victory (lucky, as in: Obama had to do nothing but be incompetent in the prosecution of the war in Afghanistan) doesn't ensure overall victory. It remains to be seen what the commander in chief will do now. Already he has reneged on the July 11, 2011 promise to begin bringing troops home from Afghanistan-- add another feather to his cap for that one. And he's losing his base because of it.

Each day that passes encourages and solidifies my belief that Obama will be a one-term president. While that may give some people comfort, what DOESN'T comfort me is the realization of just how much damage he's done in 17 months. Imagine what he could do in the remaining 28 if we do not take at least ONE house this November.

Marshall Art June 25, 2010 at 1:51 PM  

I can't help but think that this November might mean the most important mid-term election in our nation's history, and I don't mind seeming hyperbolic on the point. It does have that feel.

As to any victory Obama may has sustained, it's of the most Pyrrhic kind to be sure. Frankly, I don't see one. Oh sure, if one doesn't pay attention to details and is an Obama worshipper, this might seem like another example of him taking charge and being a leader, much like the "kick ass" statement.

But to those actually watching what's going on, this is nothing once again. I haven't read the Rolling Stone piece yet, but exerpts broadcast by Medved don't exactly show any real wrongdoing. Comments made by McChrystal are quite innocuous. Even those by his aides could only ruffle the feathers of the most sensitive bird. Wait...OK...that would be Obama and his minions. But here we see that this exposes them for the weak-kneed wussies of a leadership team that they are.

As to McChrystal himself, as I said, I've heard nothing but good things about him as a military man and I see no victory in replacing such a guy rather than replacing the game plan, which seems to suck. Imagine if a sports team's owner or GM impemented a poor game plan and then fired the coach for not making it work. How much of the plan in place is constructed with "humanitarian" considerations that handcuff the ability of the military to succeed? How much is dependent on working with an Afghan gov't that is corrupt, and an Afghan military and police force that has lagged behind the learning curve of their Iraqi counterparts? At some point it seems that one must rethink how to achieve the goals.

Instead, we have a CIC who dumps his general on for minor insults and pretends it's a strategy change.

We are in this war whether it was a good idea or not. To leave without a victory is a victory for the 7th century scumbags who will be emboldened by our departure. To succeed on two fronts, Iraq AND Afghanistan, would a major blow to radical Muslim morale. It seems our best plan, considering who's in charge, is to perservere as best we can with the fewest American and allied losses as possible until a real Commander-In-Chief can be elected in 2012.

I believe that radical Islam is indeed a major threat to the world. If we can't get the Islamic world to change it's beliefs about Islam, then we need to change their beliefs about whether or not the West is weak enough to challenge.

Jim June 26, 2010 at 10:42 AM  

Instead, we have a CIC who dumps his general on for minor insults and pretends it's a strategy change.

Proving that it is YOU who does not read or listen to the news since the President has NOT EVEN pretended that it's a strategy change. He said it's a change in leadership, not policy.

Mark June 26, 2010 at 11:20 AM  

"He said it's a change in leadership, not policy."

And, of course, if our liar-in-chief says it, it must be true, right, Jim?

Jim June 27, 2010 at 1:40 PM  

And, of course, if our liar-in-chief says it, it must be true, right, Jim?

More nonsense. There is NO evidence whatsoever that there is a change in policy regardless of whether or not you think the President is lying.

Marshall Art June 27, 2010 at 5:59 PM  

Kudos to you, Jim, for your extremely minor victory. It isn't a strategy change Obama was trying to fake, though one could accurately state that changing the guy calling the shots is indeed a strategic change, but a display of leadership. He's no leader. A strong leader wouldn't whine over innocuous comments of one of his generals, especially if the leader is highly regarded within the military community (how highly regarded I won't pretend to know, but it's what I've heard).

More important is what McChrystal and/or his people said about Obama and his admin and how true it might be. To stifle the truth might be his duty as a subordinate of the CIC, but the truth remains.

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