Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It Isn't Easy Being Obama

Some remarks on the latest nonsense coming out ot the pundit class, both MSM and on the Blogs, concerning he situation with General Stanley McChrystal and his insubordinate remarks made in an ill considered expose in Rolling Stone. Being a vet, and for all the vets out there, it is an easy call to state that this General not only crossed over the line, but turned around and spat on it. The chain of command in the military is like reverence to Jesus, and when you break that vow of disrespecting those who outrank you, especially at the level of POTUS and top field commanders, then something must be done

It goes to the heart of our separation of military from our civilian political leadership that is crucial to separate us from military juntas and the like. The constitution is clear that the military is subordinate to the whims and orders of the POTUS. No exceptions, ever. Historically, when commanders disagree to such a degree they cannot carry out POTUS commands or feel they need to criticize them publically, they resign, and then exercise their free speech rights as a civilian. These things cannot be tolerated in this society. The most famous example of this sort of breach of our constitution, was Harry Truman sacking General MaCarthur over Korea.

Obama does not have to remove, or accept McChrystal's resignation, but the general must submit it, and Obama will have to weigh the need, or relative critical need to maintain operational momentum in the Afghanistan theater of war we are currently bogged down in, and how the general's departure would effect that, and to troop morale.

But of course this is not the first time this general has pulled such a stunt, running his mouth in public concerning the Obama Administration and individuals in it. There is a pattern, and also McChrystal apparent role in the Pat Tillman cover up of the army putting out lies concerning the nature of Tillman's death in Afghanistan. For me, this should have kept him from ever being put in such a high command position  in the first place.

But on to Obama's no win decision in this problem, and his eternal political trap that has even military personnel matters polarized politically. On the one hand, he has a liberal activist base, mostly on the internet that hates us still being in Afghanistan, and many who thought we should have never gone, being reactionary and demanding McChrystal's sacking, mostly as a matter for objection to the war itself, and getting a scalp to further their cause. Then there are the wingnuts and neocons, who adore this particular general as being some kind of military wunderkind that can do no wrong. And if Obama cans the general, will cry that Obama and liberals hate the military, and it's mission. The cable teevee pundits will flop back and forth and stoke the controvery between these political tribes, all the while fanning the flames of partisan warfare for the drama that attract viewers.

I do not have enough info on the decision Obama has to make, but my instinct is that this guy needs to go. There is a principle here, that outweighs all the other considerations pro and con. And that is the sanctity of the military doing the bidding of our civilian leadership. There is pattern that has developed with Gen. McChrystal, and he has had his second chance, and maybe a third.

1 comment:

  1. Jonathan Alter was interesting on Countdown tonight regarding this subject. I grew up in the military, all my relatives were lifers in the Army as was my dad. Therefore I'm an expert! (JUST KIDDING) I read he was drinking heavily on a bus with several staff members and the reporter. That was a mistake right there. The guy has always felt like a loose cannon to me. Christ every day Obama has one Morton's Fork after another, and getting trashed thoroughly all the time.