If Obama doesn’t boot McChrystal out on his can, the President will look appallingly weak. But there are other good reasons to get rid of him.
Obama’s got to fire General Stanley McChrystal, pronto.
The general chopped his own legs off in the new Rolling Stone interview.
His condescending comments about the President, and his adolescent references to the Vice President, leave him nothing to stand on—at least if you believe in the chain of command and civilian control of the military.
If Obama doesn’t boot McChrystal out on his can, the President will look appallingly weak.
But there are other reasons to show McChrystal the door.
Number one, he’s a gonzo Bush-Cheney guy. As head of the Joint Special Operations Command during much of the Bush era, McChrystal, according to Seymour Hersh, was in charge of secret assassinations. And those under him may have engaged in torture in Iraq.
Number two, he was engaged in the cover-up of Pat Tillman’s death.
And number three, and most important, he’s not on the same page as Obama as far as the Afghanistan war goes.
McChrystal wanted more troops than Obama.
McChrystal didn’t like the timeline that Obama drew up, especially about beginning the withdrawal of troops 12 months from now.
And McChrystal is likely to press for postponing that withdrawal and prolonging this unwinnable war. As it is, General David Petraeus and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have already been backpedaling on withdrawal.
If Obama is serious about getting out of Afghanistan, he should appoint a successor who recognizes the imperative of withdrawal. It would be a shame to replace McChrystal with another gonzo, gung-ho general.
Obama needs his own man in Afghanistan, not Cheney’s.
And he needs him now.
Matthew Rothschild is the editor of The Progressive magazine. If you like this article, check out “Call it Angstghanistan.”
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter