Tuesday, June 22, 2010

You're Fired

Time for a Donald Trump moment. Gen. Stanley McChrystal is a crybaby and a whiner who was given the Afghanistan strategy of his choice and was stupid enough to allow Rolling Stone to follow him around and quote both himself and his aides while he was present saying disparaging remarks about those above them in command, as in civilian command, as in the President, Vice President, etc. The only person who seems to like McChrystal is corrupt Afghan President Karzai, end of story.

Per Juan Cole, this is Obama's Truman-MacArthur moment:

Obama has largely misunderstood the historical moment in the US. He appears to have thought that we wanted a broker, someone who could get everyone together and pull off a compromise that led to a deal among the parties. We don’t want that. We want Harry Truman. We want someone who will give them hell. We don’t want him to say one day that Wall Street is making obscene profits when the rest of the country suffers, then the next day say that the brokers deserve their bonuses. We don’t want him to mollify Big Oil one day then bash it the next. More consistent giving of hell, please.

If Obama doesn’t fire McChrystal, he will never be respected by anybody in the chain of command that leads to his desk. Moreover, moving McChrystal out now would be a perfect opportunity to pull the plug on the impractical counter-insurgency campaign that the latter has been pursuing, which probably has only a 10% chance of success. (A RAND study found that where a government that claimed to be a democracy actually was not, and where it faced an insurgency, it prevailed only 10% of the time. Sounds like President Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan to me.)

Sure, there's more in the article more scandalous than the comments, i.e. the problems with McChrystal before all this, as well as what appears to be a bad war in Afghanistan. This isn't the first time McChrystal has spoken with insubordination in his voice. And there are replacements in the wings.

A large part of what we want in a President is a strong, solid sheriff. Yep, time for Obama to man up, as he appeared to do with BP last week. It's time for him to defend his turf -- the U.S. Constitution -- and fire Stanley in a clear and unmistakable way.

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