UPDATE: OK, so Obama has left me wiping egg off my face, but we still don’t know for sure if he “ousted” McChrystal as some news sources are saying, or if McChrystal resigned. Either way, I think Obama screwed up and stand by my following prediction for the fallout.
I’ve gotta write this fast before Obama makes an announcement and you think I’m Monday morning quarterbacking, but no, I don’t think Obama will fire Stanley McChrystal or ask for his resignation. He’ll settle for some private ass-kicking and public humiliation, and then send McChrystal back to Afghanistan. That’s punishment enough.
What other choice does Obama have? McChrystal’s already his second general in Afghanistan. Going to a third one will just make Obama look like he’s flailing.
And he can’t let Rolling Stone bring down one of his top generals.
This situation reminds me of the infamous soldier-slapping incident that brought down General George S. Patton. One thoughtless misstep and suddenly Washington thinks the whole man is no good.
It’s our national obsession with form over substance rearing its ugly head again.
Besides, McChrystal wasn’t the only one who talked trash. I can’t blame him or his senior officers, who have all spent plenty of time in Afghanistan, to have some disdain for Obama and every other clueless suit in Congress and the Pentagon who has let this fiasco churn for 9 years.
And if Obama fires McChrystal, you can just hear Sarah Palin and her Republican cronies:
“How’s that ‘No Drama’ thing workin’ out for ya? I guess now you know how it feels when the lamestream media gets its claws into ya. If you can’t stand the heat, shut off the toaster!”
And McChrystal’s got Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other Afghan officials watching his back. Karzai called him the “best commander” of the war, which really isn’t saying much, since Karzai’s a tool, but he’s all Obama has to work with.
And since Obama claims we’re on the verge of pulling out anyway, is it really worth breaking in a new general over there?
So, I predict Obama won’t repeat the mistake Truman made with MacArthur, and Ike made with Patton, and waste another perfectly good general.