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'Fire McChrystal' Camp Grows Steadily

5 years ago
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As the country waits to hear what kind of dressing down Gen. Stanley McChrystal will get when he meets with President Obama tomorrow, the calls for his resignation -- or termination -- are growing. Here's a sampling of the "Fire McChrystal" camp, and their reasons for being there.

1. Military code demands his resignation.
Writing for Newsweek, Jonathan Alter says that this is McChrystal's second time getting in hot water for insubordination -- the first time being last fall when he was asked if he would support Vice President Biden's plan for fewer troops in Afghanistan with more drone attacks. McChrystal said "no" -- meaning if that was the policy the President chose to go with, the commanding general would not be behind it.

"Having been burned once by Stanley McChrystal, the president is not likely to allow himself to be burned again. The military code -- and American democratic traditions -- all but demand that he accept the general's resignation of his command."

2. His direct bosses should have canned him already.
Joe Scarborough said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that he has to be fired by the end of the day.

"Gates and Petraeus have to come out and fire McChrystal," Scarborough said. "They should have already done it - Petreaus and Gates should have already fired McChrystal."

3. Obama needs to set a precedent.
James Fallows, writing for The Atlantic, says that if McChrystal and his staff did in fact say the things the article says they did, then it's up to Obama to fire McChrystal because of historical imperative and to set a precedent for future presidents.

"The second step is what this means for US strategy in Afghanistan, the future of COIN, etc. But the first is for the civilian Commander in Chief to act in accordance with Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution and demonstrate that there are consequences for showing open disrespect for the chain of command."

4. McChrystal should resign on his own.
Jonathan Capehart, writing for the Washington Post, says that McChrystal should resign when he meets with the President tomorrow, and the President should accept his resignation.

"Some might argue that Obama shouldn't do so because there's a war on. But with this journalistic IED, McChrystal has stripped himself of the confidence Obama needs to have in him to trust that the Afghanistan war policy is being carried out faithfully."

5. Insubordination must be punished.

Andrea Mitchell said on MSNBC this morning that McChrystal's comments constitute insubordination, but whether or not he could be fired is a practical matter based on the state of the war in Afghanistan.

"I think it crosses the line of insubordination and it crosses the line of the military code of justice. He has challenged the commander-in-chief and legally, morally, ethically, professionally he ought to be canned."

6. The "United" needs to be put back in "United States."
Eugene Robinson, an editor and columnist at the Washington Post, said on "Morning Joe" today that McChrystal is out of chances. "I just don't think you can have your commander in the field out there saying these kinds of things and behaving in this kind of way when this is supposed to be a high-stakes, united effort on the part of the United States, you just can't have it this way."

7. Focusing on McChrystal is focusing on the wrong thing.
Michael Muskal writes for the LA Times that it doesn't matter so much if McChrystal is fired or if he stays on but where the war goes from here.

"The Obama administration has increased the U.S. presence in the Afghanistan war but also has insisted that there is a July 2011 timeline for the beginning of disengagement. The military, particularly McChrystal, has been uncomfortable with the idea of the deadline and have questions about how realistic the political goal is given the military situation on the ground and the political confusion of the Hamid Karzai government."

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This general will not be the first to be pilloried by politicians. The war in Afghansistan is a no win war; our Afghan "allies" are corrupt beyond reason and unlike our brave soldiers, the Taliban has a cause to fight for and has proven its ability to win in the form of the Mujahideen. The North Vietnamese had one too and soundly thrashed two large western powers to prove it. McChrystal appears to be a good general but one who is obviously frustrated by politics. In Vietnam, our politicians crucified our military commanders as they did in Korea.
The current administration has very few war veterans in its ranks; Obama is between a rock and a hard place, wanting to end both wars and yet politically unable to do so. It is a pity one of our top generals has to pay a price for this; his only sin I can see is failing to keep his opinions to himself like any veteran soldier learns to do.

June 23 2010 at 9:39 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to beemerboxer's comment

For those who will see, will see that unless you agree with and follow through with the political banter of the day, you will suffer consequence and the wrath of those who follow blindly with no original thoughts of their own, doing the zombie shuffle. This is how the powers that be, keep the powers that be, the powers that be. "Step out of line and the man will come and take you away"! The truth you speak falls on the deaf ears of cowards and bigots who willingly hide behind the banners they wave for the warlords they so blindly serve. Like vietnam though, or any war or action, if you asked those who fight and die why they fight and die, their only lame response will be because I am obligated to serve my lord and his political agenda.
Comprehend this! All government, all religion is corrupt. These same folks, given different circumstances, such as a natural disaster, would be first in line to help those they now line up to mindlessly kill. We are the pawns on this great chessboard, do as you are told, don't question authority, or step out of line, keep in the lockstep cadence, and don't expect for the rest of your life, to be cared for when you are injured as part of collateral damage, as you were there doing a JOB! This war torn world is swirling down a vortex likened to a toilet bowl, and we are nothing more than the turds in the toilet bowl, fighting others battles under their banners or colors. TO WHAT END? Carolyn Herring

June 25 2010 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


June 22 2010 at 10:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Of course his resignation should be accepted. This was an incredibly foolish gaffe by a senior military officer. I'm a retired officer, and I can tell you (aside from General McChrystal's mistake) that military generals are held in much too-high an esteem by the public. Probably 99% of them are certifiable babbling idiots, who, somehow, managed to get enough tickets punched over the years to finally float to the top. I served under the senior general who is universally considered to be the tactical genius who commanded all operations during Operation Desert Storm. Our quick victory there, was due to the general's plan being scrapped and replaced by a plan submitted by a retired Air Force fighter pilot expert. Had we gone with the general's original plan, we'd probably have been butchered. The antics of this guy, during peacetime, were comedic. If you think that the general officers our country has today (99% of them anyway) are on the level of Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton, or Marshall, you are seriously deluding yourself. The majority of our officers really don't have "a plan;" they're just hanging out hoping that things work out, and that the combat time gets posted to their personnel records.

June 22 2010 at 8:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Generals should be allowed to make the military decisions. Presidents should listen to them. Wven though McCrystal is subordinate to Obama as Commander in Chief he is still entitled to disagree and to voice his disagreement. Obama can fire this General or ask for his resignation and like all his decisions it wil be make for the Obama ego and not for the good of the United States. We need him to be a one term president, for that to happen he needs to get rid of General McCrystal.

June 22 2010 at 7:03 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply

As Per General McChrystal's comments are an Assessment of his relationship and this Administration and its war policy, he will be fired but the Generals
assessment is correct.

Like the one gentleman put those in Washington have a dont win policy that started at the end of world war two.

You see it everyday, example Mr.Arie Flascher former spokesman for the Bush Administration advocated the Republicans try not to win both house of Congress
back this fall

As General Patton would say the Losers are in charge

June 22 2010 at 6:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

After being nominated to lead U.S. forces in Afghanistan by President Obama, the Senate confirmed McChrystal for his new duty on June 10, 2009, and he was promoted to the rank of general.

I agree whole heartedly fire Obama immediately!

June 22 2010 at 6:13 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Unfortunately, the President and his administration have no plan to win this war, or even to conclude it well without victory. A general should not make political statements - Truman fired MacCarther for the same thing. But at least Truman had succcessful war time leadership experience of the highest order and the respect of the armed forces. Let's hear from the "Fire Obama instead camp". By the way, it is not a violation of the "military code" (whatever that is - the UCMJ?) to disagree with a superior officer. Does not mean you can disobey an order, but there are hypothetical circumstances where one is probably bound to speak his/her view on military matters. Certainly answering a hypothetical question about an event that never occurred is not a violation of the UCMJ - and no one would want it to be. This is not Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan. Maybe McCrhystal is simply speaking up for the 20 year old kids we send over there to go in harm's way for reasons that few can remember.

June 22 2010 at 6:12 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

we have been on a dont win war policy ever since the end of ww2 example being KOREA' VIETNAM,IRAQ, and now AFGANISTAN. we have spent billions of dollars on all kinds of weapons and never use them it is time for politicians whom have no experience fighting a war and a president whom has no experiance at anything now being comander in chief of the armed forces. TIME TO LET THE MILITARY FIGHT THE WAR. what we need is another TEDDY ROOSEVELT, DOUGLAS MACARTHUR AND GEORGE PATTON

June 22 2010 at 5:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not only should McChrystal be fired, he should also be reduced in rank to that previously held prior to assuming command of the Afghanistan war. The person that recommended him for promotion to this position should also be fired. McChrystal is a liar (remember the Pat Tilmon story). Anyone that has every known a liar know that they can't be trusted in any sense of the word.

June 22 2010 at 5:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

He can always get a job with Fox News

June 22 2010 at 5:33 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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