Wednesday, June 23, 2010

McChrystal Out, Petraeus In

From the New York Times:

Mr. Obama, standing with General Petraeus and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in the White House Rose Garden to underline the continuity and solidity of his Afghan policy, said that he had accepted General McChrystal’s resignation “with considerable regret.”

Mr. Obama said he had done so not out of personal insult over a magazine article featuring contemptuous quotes from the general and his staff about senior administration officials, but because it showed the general had not met standards of behavior for a commander, which threatened to erode trust among administration and military officials, as well as undermine civilian control of the military.

“War is bigger than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general or president,” Mr. Obama said. “As difficult as it is to lose General McChrystal, I believe it is the right decision for our national security.”

“I welcome debate among my team,” he said, “but I won’t tolerate division.”

Harry Truman, take a bow.

I won’t pretend to know anything about military strategy, and as a pacifist, I’d rather we weren’t in a war at all. But if the appointment of Gen. Petraeus can hasten the end of the war and leave Afghanistan with a hope of some kind of future on their own, then I’m all for it.

And it appears that Mr. Obama flummoxed the right-wingers by appointing the man they all rallied behind in the war in Iraq, and, in canning Gen. McChrystal, proving that he is most assuredly the Commander in Chief. I’m sure that thought never occurred to anyone in the White House.