Since when does the President of the United States conduct war policy based on a magazine article? Yet that is exactly what President Obama did last week with the sacking of Gen. Stanley McChrystal after comments the general and his staff made to Rolling Stone magazine.
Less than a year ago and after much agonizing, Obama bought into McChrystal’s plan for Afghanistan. McChrystal should be the one to implement it.
It is telling that while nearly every politician says McChrystal should go, the soldiers on the ground say he should stay.The troops love McChrystal
The war is running away from Obama because it hasn’t been a focus of his and he doesn’t understand it. Obama should have harshly scolded McChrystal, but told him that he is in charge of the war effort because he is the best man for the job.
Obama’s decision to remove McChrystal was based on politics, image and arrogance. This is war not a public relations battle. The field general should not be in charge of the message to the public. McChrystal should have known better than to make such public statements, but political correctness has no place in the sands of Afghanistan against terrorists who won’t quit.
Now Obama is turning the war over to ol’ faithful, Gen. David Petreaus, putting a great military in charge of the longest war in U.S. history. But unless Petreaus is given more troops, more time and better and more lax rules of engagement to fight the enemy, then we will be leaving Afghanistan in 2011 as losers. And that will be spun by the administration as McChrystal’s fault, a general who was in over his head and not steadfast under the pressure.
A real leader would have recognized McChrystal’s error and said, "I believed in your war policy then and still do now. Just keep your damn mouth shut."
McChyrstal’s comments hurt Obama so much because they were true. It is a sad state of affairs when a nut-jub journalist writes a hit-job in a rock-and-roll magazine and it dictates not only our foreign policy, but brings the White House to a screeching halt.
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