Taking time out of my busy vacation schedule to watch the World Cup and the latest shenanigans from the Obama Administration, I watched General Stanley McChrystal get replaced (fired is a better word) today as the top war commander in Afghanistan by his Commander in Chief, Barack Obama.
Here in the Midwest with the heat index over 100 degrees, I just had to find a cool air-conditioned spot to let off some steam about the latest move by Obama.
In my opinion, it was a terrible move to fire McChrystal and one that will set back the war effort in Afghanistan by a year or more. There seems to be some discontent in our ranks from the lowest enlisted person to the highest Generals with our country’s current leaders in regards to a plan for Afghanistan.
Obama has named General David Petraeus to succeed McChrystal. During his speech announcing the replacement, I waited for the part where Obama would say, “This is all George Bush’s fault” but it did not happen. McCrystal was Obama’s man and his man alone.
General Petraeus did not faint, either, which is a good sign.
One thing I got from Obama’s announcement was that if you are in the military you had dammed-well better respect Joe (bite me) Biden and Barack and our (inept) civilians in charge of the military plus those ambassadors in Iraq and Afghanistan or your butts will be out quicker than Obama can say “fore” on a golf course. In other words, you will be “McChrystalled”
This is the second war-time General that President Obama has fired. Some may remember that McCrystal replaced David McKiernan who was fired from the same job. One would have to go all the way back the Truman years to find a time when a General, who was in charge of a war, was fired.
With this being so rare, one must wonder if Barack Obama really knows what the hell he is doing in Afghanistan or even if he knows how to be the Commander in Chief.
One must also surmise that this Administration is the weakest one we’ve had in decades running our military.
I read the article in Rolling Stone called, “The Runaway General” and you can read it here. I enjoyed the article and thought the General should get away with a slap of his hand and maybe some of his aides should be fired for their comments. But Obama has a major problem filling the role of Commander and Chief and with this second canning of a General, he has drawn the line in the sand that says you will respect me and my people or you will be gone.
Unfortunately, the military is a little weak in the dugout of relief three or four-star Generals with the war-time experience. After Petraeus, the bench is thin.
Being one who has actually served in the military (unlike most folks in Obama’s Administration) we are taught to honor and respect the civilian folks who control our careers, purse strings, not to mention our promotions, even when those civilian leaders are anti-military and buffoons. Letting off a little steam over drinks is not a major offense. But the aide who allowed the reporter to tag along almost everywhere used bad judgment to say the least.
McChrystal went over the line according to Obama and instead of slapping his hand and keeping the effort in Afghanistan going forward, Obama decided to take a step back and start over for the second time in two years.
What was also interesting was that most in the GOP were basically behind the President on this move. One would think that at least one Republican who was also a veteran might tell the President that this “ain’t no big deal” and to let it go, but they decided to pile on for the good of the cause like Senators McCain and Graham did later in the day.
It’s a sad way for a good General to end his career. Hopefully we can get the rest of the story in the near future. Then, we may just see how inept the Obama Administration really is when it comes to dealing with our armed forces.