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Old 06-24-2010, 09:50 AM   #21
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The reason I said morale would improve is an article that said after McChrystal made a speech to the troops, they didn't even applaud. That's telling!
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:01 AM   #22
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The reason I said morale would improve is an article that said after McChrystal made a speech to the troops, they didn't even applaud. That's telling!
Hmmm, not sure that had anything to do with morale issue. I wasn't there but I recall many settings where applauding your boss was just inappropriate, especially when the boss was a 4 star general.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:06 AM   #23
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You mean like, be careful you don't call your boss scared and intimidated, in a magazine interview? That kind of careful? Most people have the sense to be more careful than this. All I can figure is that McChrystal wanted out. I can't imagine what else he thought might come of this.

And yes, I am more concerned that a lot of his criticisms are probably on target. But this isn't Obama having a knee jerk reaction to a minor public disagreement.
I think Obama did the right thing. He really had no other choice, so in a way he was forced to do it. The General and his staff are no less patriots. The reporter had an agenda. The General and his staff displayed a lack common sense regarding their interaction with the reporter that he is now paying the price for.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:08 AM   #24
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Perhaps this was just McChrystal's unique path and plan to ER. If so, congratualtions may be in order.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:28 AM   #25
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He really had no other choice,
Do you mean no other choice that you know about or no other choice that you agree with?

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so in a way he was forced to do it.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:28 AM   #26
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I believe he did have a choice.

Bring McChrystal in and chew his ass or have the Sec Def chew his ass in my presence
Give McChrystal a choice resign or go back fight the war and keep his mouth shut i.e. Eisenhower and Patton.
Step out to the podium with McCrystal say a few words about being on the same page, and let McCrystal do a mea culpa and sing my praise.
Bring my civilian team in and chew their ass just to make sure we are all on the same page.
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:38 PM   #27
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I believe he did have a choice.

Bring McChrystal in and chew his ass or have the Sec Def chew his ass in my presence
Give McChrystal a choice resign or go back fight the war and keep his mouth shut i.e. Eisenhower and Patton.
I initially thought Obama should ask McCrystal to submit a resignation and then refuse to accept it because continuity in the war effort is too important. But as I read the scuttlebutt in the final hours it seemed pretty clear that a lot of military, political, and pundit class talkers were speculating that then entire Pentagon would think Obama was out of control if he let McCrystal continue -- especially after his earlier remarks. The final show stopper was McCrystal's comment to an NBC reporter as he was coming into the Pentagon before the Obama meeting. Asked if he had submitted his resignation he blew the reporter off as if that would be ridiculous and ended with a flat "no." If that isn't tantamount to saying "I dare you to fire me" nothing is.

As to an ass chewing of Mr. Special Forces by a civilian with no military service? The laughs about that would have been more embarrassing than the Rolling Stone article.
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:12 PM   #28
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donheff, I don't think you understand the chain of command. It's the President and then everybody else down the list. I'm no Obama fan but we all have to realize that the military is serving the public. Not that things couldn't have been handled differently, but I think after the Rolling Stones article, the President did the right thing. The military has to understand that the President is the Commander in Chief. You serve at the pleasure of the President
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:26 PM   #29
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Some folks will criticize every move the current administration makes. Their spin is the same on every thread here.
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Old 06-24-2010, 03:32 PM   #30
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No win for Obama.

Since he accepted McChrystal's resignation, Patreaus got shafted, gets to carry out McChrystal's plan, albeit modified to his taste.

If he did not accept the resignation, Obama would have had to play by McChrystal's rules.

As CIC of course Obama had the last word, not the last laugh.

Given the withdrawal time line, the brass is still shafted, Taliban hangs loose, then moves in. Unless the time line business is done away with, then the quagmire continues. No reason for Karzai to play by US rules. His survival will require making a deal with the Taliban. Perhaps swapping out the civilian diplomats in Kabul can save the day.

As for chewing out McChrystal by Obama, laughable, to put very politely. There is a better expression for that concept but it would likely ban me for life from this board.
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Old 06-24-2010, 03:46 PM   #31
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Do you mean no other choice that you know about or no other choice that you agree with?
My response may get me in trouble for introducing politics into the thread, but I believe that is the fundamental reason the President had no choice.

I believe that if the General had made the comments regarding the Bush administration, President Bush would have brushed it off with a bit of humor, publicly and probably would have chewed his you know what privately.

IMO The there were two things that influenced President Obama's decision. The first, is that he is perceived to be weak in his support of the Military and in Military matters in general. Secondly, his own Ego/sensitivity to criticism. Not firing the General would have contributed to furthering the perception of a weak president and would have gone against his own "gut" reaction. That's why IMO he had no choice. Other choices existed but not for this President.
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:16 PM   #32
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This is an academic discussion, I have no problem with what the President did, in case Winger thinks I am trying to spin it. I was pointing out he did have an option. As to the President doing the chewing, it could just as easily been the Army Chief of Staff, Sec Def, or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:52 PM   #33
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donheff, I don't think you understand the chain of command. It's the President and then everybody else down the list. I'm no Obama fan but we all have to realize that the military is serving the public. Not that things couldn't have been handled differently, but I think after the Rolling Stones article, the President did the right thing. The military has to understand that the President is the Commander in Chief. You serve at the pleasure of the President
I wasn't communicating clearly. I was reacting to Obama's "civilian" background. He never served in the military. And McCrystal reportedly said that Obama was unengaged and intimidated by all the brass in their first meeting. In other words, a "civilian" who didn't understand the military. An ass chewing from a someone the recipient has disdain for is not likely very effective. I recognize that McCrystal may not have actually felt that way but he is perceived to in many quarters and the President is forced to operate in the environment that exists.

I know that the President is the Commander in Chief. But he serves as the Chief as the civilian head of government. And the military in the United States very publicly reports to that civilian government. In other words, the Secretary of Defense and the President are in the chain of command but they are very importantly "civilian." At least that is how I have always been led to understand our system. I am open to corrections.
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:58 PM   #34
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You are correct, but remember, the Officer's oath is to the Constitution and not to the President. Not something that is germain to this situation, but I have heard people say 'He swore an oath to the President'. Not so.
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:04 PM   #35
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You are correct, but remember, the Officer's oath is to the Constitution and not to the President. Not something that is germain to this situation, but I have heard people say 'He swore an oath to the President'. Not so.
True, but is it really completely separate? The oath is to the Constitution, and the Constitution says the president is commander in chief. Therefore upholding and defending the Constitution would be to honor and execute the orders of the president. Criticizing him and/or his strategies or policies in a very public way, a form of insubordination, would seem to run counter to how the Constitution views the relationship between the general and the president. So by not acting a way that is consistent with honoring the president's Constitutional role, is he really completely being faithful to that oath?
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:07 PM   #36
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I believe that McChrystal and Obama both did the right thing, albeit for completely different reasons.
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:17 PM   #37
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As I said, I do not believe it is germain in this situation. However, it would be if the orders of the President were in conflict with the constitution. It would also most likely be an unlawful order, and he would be obligated to not follow it.
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:39 PM   #38
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Some folks will criticize every move the current administration makes. Their spin is the same on every thread here.
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:45 PM   #39
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My response may get me in trouble for introducing politics into the thread, but I believe that is the fundamental reason the President had no choice.

I believe that if the General had made the comments regarding the Bush administration, President Bush would have brushed it off with a bit of humor, publicly and probably would have chewed his you know what privately.

IMO The there were two things that influenced President Obama's decision. The first, is that he is perceived to be weak in his support of the Military and in Military matters in general. Secondly, his own Ego/sensitivity to criticism. Not firing the General would have contributed to furthering the perception of a weak president and would have gone against his own "gut" reaction. That's why IMO he had no choice. Other choices existed but not for this President.
Interesting that we both came to a similar option - letting the remarks pass and keeping the general - but with differing perspectives on the perception. I thought Obama would have been thought of favorably - see my previous post.

Of course all these assumptions are based only on the remarks reported in Rolling Stone.
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:09 PM   #40
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Interesting that we both came to a similar option - letting the remarks pass and keeping the general - but with differing perspectives on the perception. I thought Obama would have been thought of favorably - see my previous post.

Of course all these assumptions are based only on the remarks reported in Rolling Stone.
I guess my perspective two different Presidents, two different decisions, both probably made/would have made the best decision for their situation. For Bush, IMO the decision would have been based more on his relationship/trust/confidence with the General. For President Obama, IMO it was based more on public/politcal perception and my opinion that the current President does not handle criticism well, nor should he have to when it is someone who works for him..
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