Obama Right to Fire McChrystal
Columnist had wrong take
© Steven J. Paske, 2010
Chapman wrong on McChrystal’s canning
In a recent column for the Chicago Tribune, columnist Steve Chapman attempts to convince readers that President Obama was wrong for firing General Stanley McChrystal over comments the general made in Rolling Stone magazine. It is rationalizations like that demonstrated in this column of Chapman’s that causes me deep concern for our country’s future. President Obama made the right decision, the only decision he could make.
In an otherwise stellar army career
that began as a
General McChrystal’s ill-advised
public airing of critical comments on the Obama Administration in Rolling Stone
magazine wasn’t his first lapse in judgment. McChrystal was actively involved
in covering up the death of soldier and former NFL player Pat Tillman’s death
by fratricide in
column attempts to use President Lincoln’s relationships with Generals
McClellan and Hooker as an excuse for President Obama to retain McChrystal.
What Chapman fails to mention is that
The evidence represented by the actions of two previous presidents separated by almost a century of American life would indicate to me that a timeless truth is in the making. Like McClellan, Hooker and MacArthur before him, McChrystal overstepped his commission and needed to be called to task for it.
On paper Chapman sounds like an intelligent guy, a Harvard grad like Obama along with numerous other achievements. What I don’t see in his bio, however, is anything that makes him an authority at any level on military matters. His credentials appear devoid of any training or experience that give his voice authority when discussing the constitutional role military generals play opposite the civilian Commander in Chief.
President Obama has the Joint
Chiefs of Staff to guide him in making sound decisions as they relate to
military affairs. Central Command will survive without the service of General
Petraeus, himself a West Pointer, as he heads to
The United States Military Academy at West Point states that two of the 1st Class objectives of its Professional Military Ethic Education program are 1) “Understand and demonstrate loyalty to the Constitution, the Army, the unit, superiors, subordinates, comrades, and self.” and 2) “Epitomize humility, self-awareness, respect for others and selfless service.” McChrystal grossly violated these principles not just once but in fact was beginning to exhibit a habit of violating these principles. Once the line separating right from wrong has been crossed it gets easier and easier to justify one’s actions by claiming they are legitimate. Ignoring the usurping of civilian control of the military is dangerous territory that must be defended against all incursions.
states in his column, General McChrystal may have been the right choice to
prosecute the war in
Finally, Chapman’s column didn’t reference a single source that supported the position of leaving McChrystal in command and history is clearly not on his side on this issue. McChrystal needed to go. Lincoln and Truman got it right in their day, and so, too, did Obama.