The gaffe from America's top military commander in Afghanistan and his staffer’s “Biden?-Did-you-say-Bite-Me?” comment is biting back. Hours after news broke that Gen. Stanley McChrystal was recalled to Washington amid his controversial remarks about colleagues in an explosive Rolling Stone magazine article, calls for the firing of the general have surfaced.
The Atlantic magazine’s national correspondent wrote that McChrystal has violated the chain of command and should be sacked for disrespect and insubordination.
"… first is for the civilian Commander in Chief to act in accordance with Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution and demonstrate that there are consequences for showing open disrespect for the chain of command."
A Talking Points Memo columnist points out that this isn’t the first time McChrystal has gone on a scathing tirade about those who are “not in their groove on strategy.” Not firing McChrystal will only hurt President Obama’s standing as commander in chief, he argues.
"Obama needs to fire him. If he doesn't, McChrystal's brand will be validated and the environment of insubordination and unprofessional conduct will be reinforced. If McChrystal survives his White House encounter, then Obama will be diminished. That is what this has come to."
Calling the general’s comments in Rolling Stone “near-suicidal," The Daily Telegraph’s U.S. editor thinks keeping McChrystal, on the contrary, might bode well for Obama’s administration.
"If Obama still believes that success in Afghanistan is possible then the ultimate display of genuine toughness, self-confidence and courage on the President’s part could be to stick with the man he chose to get the job done, despite the general’s reckless and insulting words."
TIME magazine’s Joe Klein writes about the McChrystal he’s known, calling him an “extraordinary man” with a thorough set of skills necessary for the mission in Afghanistan.
"But there is another side to McChrystal: he is so focused on his real job that he hasn't spent sufficient time learning how to play the public relations game. He speaks his mind; in private conversations, I've found, he is incapable of fudging the truth. This leads to a certain myopia, an innocence regarding the not-so-brave new world of the media."
Klein goes on to say that while McChrystal may have to go, firing the “irreplaceable” man will be a great “setback” and “tragedy.”
Afghan President Harmid Karzai doesn’t seem too concerned by McChrystal’s remarks and clearly wants him on the ground. The president’s spokesman, Waheed Omer, told Reuters:
“The President strongly supports General McChrystal and his strategy in Afghanistan and believes he is the best commander the United States has sent to Afghanistan over the last nine years."