EDITORIAL: McChrystal Deserved the Boot

President's decision was the correct one


He Deserved the Boot


Written by Jessica Kerlin based on the deliberations of a Media Milwaukee editorial board


America may have been surprised when President Obama relieved General Stanley McChrystal of his military command in Afghanistan, but the General’s dishonorable behavior presented in Rolling Stone magazine is even more difficult to grasp. The President was right to give him the boot.


Opinion is a right that all Americans are entitled to. The First Amendment to the Constitution grants all citizens the right to free speech. Our personal views, however, each have an appropriate time and place to be expressed.


We all have a general understanding that mocking our boss in a public manner is asking to be reprimanded. Rolling Stone magazine is just not the place to express personal views of one’s superior. General McChrystal’s insulting comments regarding the Obama administration were simply out of line and out of place.


America’s war policy must be in agreement between those who are issuing it and those who are executing it. If the opinions of the president and his military commander are not in agreement, it must be dealt with discreetly and kept away from the eyes of the public.


The government must be united in its war policy. It depends on public support to keep the war going. There has to be a certain level of trust between the president, the military, and the American people. If there is any difference of opinion between the administration and the military branch, it would spark dissent in the American public. A divided nation cannot fight a just war.


It seems that the only time criticizing comments regarding the presidential administration would be appropriate is if the war policy itself began to shy away from the Constitution. Acts of injustice, such as genocide, would allow for comments against the administration to be made. If the president allows for military operations to fall out of control, something must be said before too much damage is done.


In General McChrystal’s case, making derogatory statements regarding the Obama administration because of his own personal dislike for the war policy and the President is clearly not appropriate. He had no valid evidence to suggest that the war policy was in any way wrong. If Obama had let the comments slide, it would have undermined his own authority as a national leader. Do we really want a president running this country who can’t even control his military commander’s loose lips?


Personal opinions do not make it okay for a military leader to publicly criticize a president. McChrystal’s comments attacking the administration should have been dealt with between the President and himself, not in Rolling Stone magazine.


Yes, we are entitled to our opinions. Despite this, we know when to speak up and when not to. This is no difference when it comes to the government and the military. Certain things should be kept private versus public. Because General McChrystal violated this social custom, President Obama was right to relieve him of his command. America cannot have a military commander executing a war when he doesn’t even agree with its tactics.


Obama needed to set an example, and giving McChrystal the boot

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