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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Filed under: Military • Security Brief
soundoff (520 Responses)
  1. Mills

    McChrystal has dishonored and disrespected our President and Vice President. He must go. The President must not let this stand against him. The General is an a–hole, not fit to represent our Country even one more day.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jessica

    Im willing to bet McChrystal did this intentionally to be fired. There is no "victory" in Afghanistan, and since McChrystal was touted as the guy to be successful, he probably does not want to bear the responsibility of the inevitable failure. He should have had more class than this, but its easier to be remembered as the guy who dissed his commanders, than the guy who couldnt deliver Afghanistan.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. neil

    War is reality, politics is not, thats why going half way to war may be politically correct but soldiers die to serve good politics and thats what Obama is all about.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Moondoggie

    Fire Obama, keep McChrystal!!!

    June 22, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Butch

    In other words, Obama wants to be surrounded by "YES" men!
    If the truth hurts, so be it!

    June 22, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carl Wayne

      Who cares about Obama? Here is a 55 yr old man, a general no less that has no clue when to close his mouth. He spills his guts to a reporter... "oh this person is this, that person is that"
      About the maturity level of a 12 year old...

      June 22, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. RM

    While I agree 101% with MCrystal's comments (and could add quite a few negatives about the Obama administration on my own), he is guilty of insubordination. As such, he must go.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. DB

    As a member of the USAF I am appalled by the General's display of disrespect to our CINC. He should be FIRED immediately. There are lots of other generals out there who can do a much better job and quicker. He is a joke and a fool! His comments sicken me and I am ashamed of his behavior as a military officer. If this was any other country, China, Saudi Arabia or Russia, he would be killed for his disrespectful mouth!

    June 22, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JANE

    he not only hurt OBAMA he hurt the troops who are risking their lives daily, and the millitary but for his inabillity to understand the chain of command and is a coward for going to the media instead. but he won't have to worry cause his job is OVER, as it should be, he will be lucky if they don't take his military pension, which they should do. Jane

    June 22, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |


    June 22, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mills

      UN cool, boy.
      Presdient Obama is the best President in my lifetime and I've lived through many.

      June 22, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Beverly Witt

    Everyone else speaks out. Just because he is a General doesn't mean that he should be fired. Let him keep his job and maybe we can stop all these wars sooner. You put a new person in and everything starts over while the new person learns what is going on.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jeff

    Get the book "A Patriot's History of the United States".

    It is truly amazing to me to watch progressives drag George W. Bush through the mud in the context of this topic. I think good 'ole dubbya is probably chilling out in Texas right now and has nothing to do with today's controversy.

    For how many years will you progressives attempt to blame everything on Bush? Even when Bush was the POTUS your arguments were poorly constructed and assisted by the socialists who control what was once "mainstream" media.

    I don't know what political magic Obama is capable of–perhaps he does get reelected in 2012; but I won't vote for him.

    I am glad the general did what he did–he should probably be fired–but I am happy this occurred.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mills

      There is too much brainwashing of people who do not bother to think for themselves. It really doesn't take a lot of effort to repeat words heard from the LImbaugh's, Becks, and Hannity's of the public airwaves. They are masters of demagogary.

      June 22, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. metmo

    He needs to take a lesson from Colin Powell on how a military man should handle himself in the political realm.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cathy

      Boy I can't tell you how I wish that Colin Powell had been our first black president. What a class act. I think both the general and the president should take lessons from him...

      June 22, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      @mwtmo...hmmm is that the same Colin Powell who was duped by Cheney and went to the floor of the UN and sold us a bill of goods that took us to Iraq? I was a big Powell fan. He should have told the American people the truth when he resigned. Very disappointing.

      June 22, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ScipioRising

    Hell no, Obama should get the axe. This man has been doing a good job up to this point. He is career officer and has seen politicians come and politicians go. All that he need do is wait a couple more years and there will be a different moron in the WH with a whole different group of boot licking sycophants.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Gary D.

    Yes, he should be axed for violating the chain of command, and public insubordination. That is a MAJOR cardinal rule for the military and the government in general.

    On the other hand, will he be axed? If Obama is a strong enough leader, he will give McChrystal a swift kick in the a55, a demotion, and send him back out to the field to keep his job. Being an effective leader sometimes means keeping people around you who may not always agree with you.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. R N Gurin

    Once again, the military has proved its inability to perform without foot dragging, plain stupidity and, at the worst possible time, running its mouth off. He should offer apologies to all the service people he so grandly commanded and humbly resign his undeserved commission.

    It is not time for more idiocy like we see in the Senate -

    Get rid of him! No equivication. If the general cannot follow orders then how can the boots on the ground.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
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