Wednesday, June 23, 2010

This G.I. Gets A Stitching...

I wondered (and I suppose many of you wondered too) when the Prez would get angry. I mean, enough has been said and done to him that any reasonable person might have blown his top by now. I blow my top everyday at least once over things that aren't nearly half as bad as what President Obama must go through. I imagine when he's out of range of probing mikes and prying eyes (like in the bathroom or something), he has probably kicked a trashcan (or two) or punched a stall room door. Oh, okay... that's only me, right?

The future of the top U.S. General in Afghanistan hung in the balance yesterday as the White House summoned him back to Washington to explain remarks he made that were critical of Obama administration officials. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Gen. Stanley McChrystal had "made a significant mistake and exercised poor judgment" after an article in Rolling Stone recently, in which aides called one top Obama official a "clown", another a "wounded animal", and the general himself made disparaging remarks about officials.

This certainly appears to have gotten President Obama's dander up. Didn't Gen. McChrystal know that the President reads Rolling Stone and possibly Vibe Magazine too? Somebody should have told him. Gen. McChrystal was quoted as saying he was "betrayed" by Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, his diplomatic partner in Afghanistan. He accused Eikenberry of raising doubts about the reliability of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, only to give himself cover in case the U.S. effort failed.

I'm a retired military man myself and I served under Presidents Reagan, Bush (Sr.), Clinton, and George W. Now, you know what side of the political spectrum I fall under right? I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said that most of my commanders were a little closer to the right (hell, a LOT closer to the right) than I'll ever be. I never heard one officer EVER criticize the Commander in Chief (President of the United States) or his administration... and certainly not in public or in the media.

Now, we all snickered about President Bill Clinton's escapades in private amongst us G.I.'s, but nobody would dare say anything to the media critical of him because he was still our leader. So, for this guy to say something in Rolling Stone like he is accused of saying is a revelation to me.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates offered no clue as to whether Gen. McChrystal, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, would stay in his job. "Gen. McChrystal has apologized to me and is similarly reaching out to others named in this article to apologize to them as well", Gates said in a statement. President Obama's press secretary, Robert Gibbs, pointedly declined to say Gen. McChrystal's job was safe.

The first victim in the controversy was the Pentagon's PR official who set up the interview with Gen. McChrystal. NBC reported that Duncan Boothby, a civilian member of the general's public relations team, was "asked to resign." According to administration officials, Gen. McChrystal was ordered to attend the monthly White House meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan in person today rather than over a secure video teleconference.

Gen McChrystal is expected to explain his comments to President Obama and top Pentagon officials. The president was described as being "furious" about the remarks while the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, told Gen. McChrystal of his "deep disappointment" in a conversation late Monday, a spokesman said.

All I can say is, I'm sure glad I'm not in THIS guy's shoes!


Arlene said...

I don't think President Obama can do anything without being roundly criticized. I know the chain of command in the military frowns on talking "out of school" but I think the atmosphere in the US says anyone can say anything about this president - becuase he is black - even if military protocal says otherwise. Why don't Americans think? Can we be so innured that we choose what is wrong based soley on the race of an individual?

And now that a federal judge has overridden the ban on off-shore drilling, who will be responsible for the next catastrophe? Big Oil? Small government? Libertarians? No just us, the "small people" who let the wool be pulled over our eyes too many times.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Arlene. He is taking a shitload of this and that. Why can he be GREAT????

Arlene said...

Hey Keith, I just read that Gen. McChrystal has been replaced with Gen. Petraeus. I hope Petraeus doesn't pass out with the news. Good for Pres. Obama. We/He must demand respect. I really don't care whether or not the general agrees with the president or not. He should have kept his thoughts to himself and commanded his troops to do the same. So I hope the entire leadership staff gets the "boot" too as an example of what behavior is acceptable.

Mizrepresent said...

Another attack on the President and done with so much disrespect. I don't things are gonna get better but i do pray that our President stands his grounds and let those who chose to rebel that they will be dealt with fairly and yet quickly. Thus hey-hey-hey Goodbye McC.


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