While professing admiration for McChrystal, Obama said that the general’s trash-talking of the chain of command “does not meet the standard that should be met by a commanding general.”
McChrystal’s resignation had been expected after his blatant show of disloyalty in mocking the civilian leadership in a Rolling Stone magazine article.
But the appointment of Petraeus, McChrystal’s mentor and biggest cheerleader, to lead U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan was stunning. It indicated that Obama was wary of the political backlash from showing McChrystal the door.
At a closed Oval Office sitdown, McChrystal lost the highest-profile command in the military, and his stellar Army career, in a 30-minute faceoff with Obama.
In an earlier final show of bravado, McChrystal stepped lively, as always, from a black limo that pulled up to Pentagon, where he got a preliminary dressing down from Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
McChrystal, smartly decked out in Army dress greens, shrugged off a shouted question on whether he had submitted resignation papers in advance. “C’mon, you know better than that. No,” McChrystal said.
McChrystal, accompanied by three paper-shuffling aides, went directly from the Pentagon to the White House, this time in a green SUV that remained in the side driveway between the White House and the Executive Office Building.
After the meeting, the poker-faced McChrystal, now jobless, hustled back into the SUV which drove off to parts unknown.
He would not return, as originally scheduled, for the White House meeting in the Situation Room on the progress of the Afghan war, where he would have faced several of the civilian leaders he dissed in the Rolling Stone article.
McChrystal’s SUV had to pause briefly before driving off. A sweaty middle-aged guy in a white shirt and tie, his suitcoat draped over his left shoulder in the muggy 95-degree heat of a D.C. June, trudged wearily past the front bumper dragging a roller suitcase, oblivious to the high drama going on behind him.
In Afghanistan, where at least three more U.S. troops were killed today, the reaction to McChrystal’s sacking was brutal and telling from some of the young troops he commanded, even before the announcement was official.
The Stars and Stripes reported that a young officer in a combat outpost shouted in glee that “Hey, McChrystal might get fired.”
Other officers joked and cheered over the demise of the the commander they blamed for getting buddies killed through restrictive “Rules of Engagement” on how they could fight, the newspaper said.
When told that McChrystal might be gone, one soldier said “Good. That man and his (Rules) have got to go.” Another soldier lit a cigar to celebrate.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai was among the few left in McChrystal’s corner after the stunning article in which the general and his adoring aides, who called themselves “Team America,” mocked just about everyone in the administration’s senior strategy team for Afghanistan.
Karzai spokesman Waheed Omar said “We hope there is not a change of leadership of the international forces here in Afghanistan and that we continue to partner with Gen. McChrystal.”
The president already ordered the general to the White House to explain.
But this does present Obama with a challenge not unlike the one President Truman faced with Gen. Douglas MacArthur. If Obama fires him, it would be an unpopular move. McChrystal is a good, tough general. If he doesn’t fire him, he will look weak.
Consider, too, that McChrystal is trying to fight a war under difficult conditions, including a deadline the president has imposed to pull out by July 2011.
What should he do?
Me? I would fire him. We have a civilian government and generals have to be loyal to the commander, especially during war-time.
General Stanley McChrystal was born on August 14th, 1954 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_McChrystal
8 + 14 +2+0+0+9 = 33 = his personal year (from August 14th, 2009 to August 13th, 2010) = Courage. Bravery. Valor. Loyalty.
33 year + 6 (June) = 39 = his personal month (from June 14th, 2010 to July 13th, 2010)
39 month + 23 (23rd of the month on Wednesday June 23rd, 2010) = 62 = his personal day = Doing what’s unpopular.
Barack Obama was born on August 4th, 1961 at 7:24 p.m. in Honolulu, Hawaii
August 4th, 1961
8 + 4 +1+9+6+1 = 29 = his life lesson = what he is here to learn = Cooperation. Teamwork.