Obama Plays Politics With McChrystal's Dismissal

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: Jun 23, 2010 1:52 PM
Obama gave a long, dramatic speech when announcing that he had fired Stanley McChrystal. At every point in the speech, Obama made sure to frame the issue to his advantage. Here are a few key quotes from our Commander in Chief.
“This is the right decision for our national security.”
No, it's the right decision for Obama's personal authority. I wouldn't argue for keeping McChrystal around, but I would argue that national security is not what's at stake -- it's military order. Order is important, but McChrystal was doing a great job, to the point that even Karzai wanted him to stick around. Keeping McChrystal in his post wouldn't have jeopardized national security.
"It is my duty to make sure that no diversion complicates the greater mission that they are carrying out."
If we're talking about diversions, how about the issue that came up in the Rolling Stone interview in the first place -- i.e., Obama's total lack of seriousness when it came to dealing with the high brass at all? It seems that the only time Obama can take his job as Commander in Chief seriously is when he's capitalizing on a PR move like this.
"I welcome debate among my team but I won’t tolerate division."
The fact that debate between a seasoned, talented military professional and the wholly unexperienced Commander in Chief degraded into division is unsurprising.
"We have to renew our sense of guiding person and renew our responsibility to our guiding purpose."
No, we have to renew our sense that Obama really has nothing under control when it comes to the handling of two major wars in the Middle East.
'General David Petreus is serving a patriotic duty by assuming this post."
He is. But he also didn't have any other choice.