This Is Not a Big Deal

President Obama fired Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal today.

This is not a big deal because Obama Says Afghan Policy Won’t Change. The policy is a big deal. The identity of the General implementing it isn't (much).

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10 Responses to This Is Not a Big Deal

  1. Vic says:

    Spoken like one who has never been, or been under, under a commmanding officer.

    From the individual soldier’s and Marine’s point of view, the officer who’s in charge is the entire deal. That person determines how those men will fight or not fight, how much they will care about any of it, and how they will follow.

    It may be that the CO doesn’t determine the policy to be implemented, but it is just plain wrong to say that they don’t really matter because they don’t. Only one who has never served would even remotely think that’s true. McCrystal was well liked by his men precisely for various qualities that eventually got him relieved (rightly or wrongly). It may be that Petreus (whom the Left seems to have “rehabilitated” from a year ago) can step up and do what needs to be done, but he is not McCrystal and he will still have to earn the trust of the men who will fight for him. Nothing’s changed? Yeah…right.

    Go read about Chesty Puller some time.

  2. michael says:

    My point was that we are still in Vietnam, I mean Afghanistan.

  3. Vic says:

    Agreed, and McCrystal was fired for calling attention to that in his own way. And like Vietnam, the middle way that we are on is the fool’s way.

    No one can be allowed to tarnish Obama’s ego.

    Meanwhile, the oil still flows and virtually nothing is being done to protect the environment while it does. Now Florida’s NW beaches are covered in oil, and we are still refusing help from other countries and prohibitting most self-help.

    Firing a general is a perfect distraction when you are feckless.

  4. Just me says:

    McCrystal was fired because insubordination (or even the appearance of insubordination) is unacceptable. In fact, the higher up the chain of command the apparently insubordinate officer is, the less that insubordination can be tolerated.

    Vic, you said it yourself, “[f]rom the individual soldier’s and Marine’s point of view, the officer who’s in charge is the entire deal. That person determines how those men will fight or not fight, how much they will care about any of it, and how they will follow.” You can’t let the officer in charge (the one who is “the entire deal”) even have a hint of insubordination to him or discipline and morale are wiped out in the blink of an eye.

    Also, this had NOTHING to do with the oil spill.

  5. Vic says:

    Well, he wasn’t (according to the man that fired him) fired for insubordination. Obama pointed out that: “Stan McChrystal has always shown great courtesy and carried out my orders faithfully.”

    I guess we could accuse Obama of lying about it, but then in fact you’d be hard pressed to find anything insubordinate in the RS article (did you actually read it?). In fact, the bad parts, if we’ll call them that, were quotes from others. In fact, this was a RS reporter reporting on what military men say all the time in a sort gallows humor in certain moments (as a former Marine officer, I can tell you that this sort of thing happens all the time – and worse – but means nothing).

    These are rough men that we hire to do rough things. To expect them to act like it’s a Washington tea party 24/7 is a bit unrealistic. The fact that the RS reporter didn’t have the discipline or maturity not to turn what every reporter hears from Military leaders and politicians all the time, into personal gain, is the real story. If every reporter reported like this, nobody would ever give them access to anything – and you can bet that RS has just been scrubbed off a few access lists.

    The reality is that this was no bog deal – unless one wants to make it a big deal. Obama needed to distract from his own fecklessness and appear to be a man of action. So firing the general was a convenient aide. He knew the chattering classes would agree with it and it would make him look tough in that way that intellectuals who’ve never even seen a rifle in person, think is tough.

    The real question, and the one that Obama supporters seem to ignore far too much, is why we are even there? What the hell are we doing? Do we HAVE a mission? If we have commanders on the ground, on orders from Washington, instructing their troops to avoid going into areas where there are bad guys and to avoid combat (as the RS article claims), then why are we there at all? All this was is doing, when that’s the game, is killing our men. Obama said he would pull us out – yet there we still are. Doing nothing.

    Meanwhile the oil and blood flows as strong as ever.

  6. Just me says:

    Vic, here are some excerpts from the article itself:

    “Stanley McChrystal, Obama’s top commander in Afghanistan, has seized control of the war by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House.”

    “Last fall, during the question-and-answer session following a speech he gave in London, McChrystal dismissed the counterterrorism strategy being advocated by Vice President Joe Biden as “shortsighted,” saying it would lead to a state of “Chaos-istan.” The remarks earned him a smackdown from the president himself, who summoned the general to a terse private meeting aboard Air Force One. The message to McChrystal seemed clear: Shut the fuck up, and keep a lower profile”

    “Then, unable to help themselves, he and his staff imagine the general dismissing the vice president with a good one-liner. “

    When the President says that “Stan McChrystal has always shown great courtesy and carried out my orders faithfully,” he is just being nice to a guy he just sent packing.

    The fact is a general cannot go around dismissing the Vice President. Period. End of story. Even if the Gen. didn’t talk crap himself, he certainly let his staff run their yaps in his presence and in the presence of reporters. Wrong! You can’t run a war (or even a military at peace) like that. We are not talking about enlisted men or junior officers. We are talking about a four star general here.

    Anyways, I continue to miss the connection between McChrystal being fired and the oil spill. Then again, I also believe that the Apollo Missions landed a man on the moon, that LBJ did not have a hand in the assassination of JFK, and that the 9/11 attacks were not orchestrated by the US government, so maybe I am naive.

  7. Chuck says:

    “Iraq and Afganistan are not like Vietnam.
    Iraq and Afganistan are a dry heat.”
    – Daniel Elsberg ( Author of The Pentagon Papers )

  8. Vic says:

    “Anyways, I continue to miss the connection between McChrystal being fired and the oil spill. Then again, I also believe that the Apollo Missions landed a man on the moon, that LBJ did not have a hand in the assassination of JFK, and that the 9/11 attacks were not orchestrated by the US government, so maybe I am naive.”

    First, it’s probably good that you believe those things – since they are true. But since implying your interlocutor is a wacko is the usual Leftist argument…

    As for Biden, as we all know, he turned out to be completely wrong in his assessment of the Iraq war (as with most things he spouts off publically about). And keep in mind that the “last fall” context of this is that Biden was completely wrong, as we now know to be true, and even Biden has changed his tune. I believe he’s even said he was wrong then.

    Even so, I’m not sure how much I care about a “news” article that is filled with gratuitous F-bombs that are not quotes, but inserted by the author, presumably, to appeal to 20 year olds. Trust me, I’m no prude, as a former Marine, I can tell you uses for that word that have never occured to you in your wildest dreams, but it just tells me that the author has nothing serious to say here. The story was largely fluff, but it was enough to fire up the nattering few. I’d care more about what was actually said if some actual Commander-in-Chiefing were actually going on.

    And note: I never said they were connected events. You put that interpretation of my words forward. I simply said that it seems somewhat inconsistant for Obama to take a hardline on the general, while he is a complete indecisive wimp on the oil spill – which flows on unabated, with no single person apparently in charge, though a few claim to be, foreign and domestic help blocked by the feds and no plan in sight. For all of his big mouth and poor judgment (and no, I don’t defend what was said), at least he took charge of what he was in charge of. A huge part of the damage that we will all be paying for in the Gulf was caused by Federal inaction and Federal misactions. So long as there are oil skimmers being kept away by the feds, while the locals beg for them, Obama carries the responsibility.

    I never thought I’d live to see the day where the Left defends such behavior leading to such dire environmental circumstances. You know if this were a Republican President in charge, that all the Cindy Sheehans of the environmental movement would be on TV 24/7 screaming about it. Though, I guess I really should be all that surprised…

    Meanwhile, our boys keep falling for nothing and the oil keeps gushing for ego, and for some reason, some seem to feel that’s OK with them.

    (Michael, while you are looking up Chesty Puller, you might also look up Galipoli.)

  9. Just me says:

    Hi Micheal. You haven’t posted anything in a while and Vic and I are getting bored of argueing about the same thing. We appear to be about a day short of calling eachother fat and stupid, and then responding “I know what you are but what am I.”

    Please don’t make me go back to the south florida lawyers blog and “shummie time” for my breaks.

  10. Vic says:

    Yeah Michael – stop starting these halfway decent threads and then leaving them to die on the vine.

    But if you do: I am in fact rubber, and Just me is in fact glue…

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