June 22nd, 2010
01:17 PM ET

McChrystal apologizes, media ask: Should he be axed?

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."

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soundoff (520 Responses)
  1. Vic

    About Billy

    Wow- my dad did 31 years in the Army, went to Naval War College, and chose to be buried at the National Cometary, San Antonio....where the Colonels and the corporals lie down together.. He often said "they gave the same thing-everything they had."

    And he despised Bill Clinton for what he saw as abuse of his office-personally and politically (Monica and liberalism) but he never questioned Bill Clinton, President of the United States and Commander in Chief. He believed that civilian leadership oft our military was a critical part of the American Dream.

    I am a Texas Aggie, and I have political views, and I am an American. I, like my father, believe that our military must serve civilian authority...not agree....serve as appointed. That is a sacred trust that can never be violated. Disagree in private...the President of the United States and our heads of State are, without debate, have been chosen to represent us.

    Fights are in the family. This isn't. This is my president, my Commander in Chief.. On day-to day issues, I am sometimes part of "the loyal opposition, but this is my country and II will follow the lead of the Commander-the President of the United States of America.,

    Wow, Billy, what were you smoking?


    June 22, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JRJ2084

    Hurray for General McChrystal!! What do you idiotic liberal morons on this board expect? The General has an incompetent socialist, community organizer bafoon as his commander in chief. Do you moronic liberals really think that he would have any respect for the jack### bafoon that's in charge of the military? Come on.

    June 22, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Donna Gillespie

    President Obama should fire General McChrystal as President Truman fired General McArthur. General McChrystal is no General McArthur!

    June 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bob in GA

    The President must ask himself some questions before he makes a decision about General McChrystal. He must ask himself why his commanders do not respect him as a leader, question his judgement, and chose to mock him both openly and in private, as well as why many, many normal troops agree. Yes, when you are in the military, you are supposed to obey the civilians over you, even when those appointed over you have no concept of what it means to be a military leader in a combat zone. However, the general should be applauded for taking a stand against what he sees as ineffective leadership in Washington.

    June 22, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. John Kerns


    June 22, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dennis Watts

    General McCrystal should be chastised, not removed from his command. He has already apologized, fired one of his staff, and is coming home to answer personally to the President. I don't agree with every decision he has made, but I
    certainly respect him for his service to the nation in two unpopular wars. This is not a general advocating we drop 5 atomic bombs on Afganistan; this a man trying to maintain a balancing act between the military, Washington, and the civilians of Afganistan.

    June 22, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Matt in Orlando

    I'm not an Obamaniac, BUT, the general gots to go!! This cannot be tolerated. We have plenty of honorable men and women in uniform that can handle the job. He is showing poor judgement, something we despertely cannot afford.

    June 22, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Paul in Silicon Valley

    McChrystal should be fired. The military is a formal hierarchy and must be to properly operate. McChrystal and his advisors are stupid to give an interview like that.

    June 22, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. geen

    incompetent obama(Johnson/Nixon), pursuing a genocidal, illegal war on a soveirgn nation (afghanistan/vietanam), directed by pro war secy's of defense (mcNamara/Laird/Gates), conducted by idiot, incompetent generals (Westmoreland/McChrystal)for the sole reason supporting, with american blood, corrupt regimes (Key/Theiu/Karzai),I could care less what happens to mchristal....

    June 22, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. SdJ

    Shinseki was pushed out by the Bush administration for voicing concern re: strategy in Iraq – a legitimate role for a General, and a prophesy that ultimately came true. He was forced out because of it! Now, GOP defenders are backing up McCrystal saying he wasn't wrong for saying what he said? Please. I don't know if he deserves to be removed, but can we be honest about the double standard, first?

    June 22, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. John Kerns

    CO-urt Mar-shall

    June 22, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. cwj

    You people are all naive.
    The plan we are using is McChrystal's not Obama's. I't not going well so McChrystal found a way to bail in time not to catch the blame.
    What a jerk.

    June 22, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. John Kerns

    Could he be hung for treason? just asking.

    June 22, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JPF

    This war would probably be over by now if the generals had been allowed to say how it was going to be fought. Instead, the politicians get in the middle of it and we have another no-win situaltion. These remarks probably come from the frustration that has grown out of this situation. Yes, the general should either resign or be punished according to the UCMJ. Now, what are we going to do with all the soldiers that have been trained to fight and kill, if necessary, but are now told they will be given a medal if they don't kill anyone. I think there are a lot more wreckless things going on than a general speaking his mind. Most of those start at the very top.

    June 22, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. rob

    can him

    June 22, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
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