One is a four-star Army general, the other is a community organizer-turned-junior senator-turned-victory averse Commander in Chief. One is currently waging a war halfway across the world, the other is shamelessly trying to avoid a political conflagration among his own base here at home.
And when it comes to the health and safety of the courageous men and women fighting for America overseas, the first man, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, believes that more personnel are needed to stop the bleeding and foment victory. According the London Telegraph the other man, President Barack Obama, is angry that the general even brought up the issue.
An adviser to the administration said: “People aren’t sure whether McChrystal is being naïve or an upstart. To my mind he doesn’t seem ready for this Washington hard-ball and is just speaking his mind too plainly.”
Ed Morrissey over at HotAir.com nails it in one sentence: McChrystal may not know the ways of Washington, but that’s not his battleground.
And, golly gee, wasn’t it the president and the National Security Adviser Gen. Jim Jones who said that the White House wouldn’t politicize the decision to allot more troops? If they’re not politicizing it, what’s the difference if Stan McCrystal is better acquainted with belt-fed ammunition than Beltway positioning?
On the McChrystal affair, something else really bothered me, and this was in the New York Times piece about Gen. David Petraeus cited here at America’s Right earlier today. Because the article discusses Petraeus’ shrinking role in this administration, I couldn’t find a way to work into the previous piece the way it specifically addressed McChrystal’s comments in London:
If anything, General McChrystal’s public comments may prove that General Petraeus might be prudent to take a back seat during the debate. On Sunday, when CNN’s John King asked Gen. James L. Jones, the national security adviser, if it was appropriate for a man in uniform to appear to campaign so openly for more troops, General Jones replied, “Ideally, it’s better for military advice to come up through the chain of command.”
I understand where Gen. Jones is coming from, but this president specifically noted that he wanted to listen to commanders on the ground. McChrystal is the commander on the ground in Afghanistan, and yet we’ve heard that until last week the president had only spoken with him once in a span of 70 days.
The troops currently serving in Afghanistan, currently spilling their blood in an effort being handcuffed by their own leadership, either need the reinforcements necessary to win with honor, or they need to be sent home. Plain and simple. This president has waffled over the decision, preferring to take into consideration the possibility of political fallout from his kook base, rather than the actual needs of the men and women fighting with an American flag patch on their shoulder. Yes, military advice should come up through the chain of command, but if nobody was listening to McChrystal, he was absolutely right to speak out wherever he could.