Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June 23: Commander In Chief Shows Grace Under Fire

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Gen. Stanley McChrystal had not shown grace under fire.

In firing him today, President Barack Obama did.

McChrystal, a graduate of West Point and the leader of United States military efforts in Afghanistan, likely had enough schooling about military insubordination to know that you don't diss your commander in chief and other top decision makers in Rolling Stone magazine. That didn't stop him from doing so.

After that, there was only one recourse left for both McChrystal and Obama.

Afghanistan was one of the headaches Obama inherited from President George W. Bush - a war that should have been put to bed long ago but wasn't, because of Bush's decision to invade Iraq.

Obama has set a timetable for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, but things have not been going well recently. McChrystal had to answer to that, as well as to what he said in the Rolling Stone interview.

Other than a reference to the article, Obama had nothing but praise for McChrystal in making the decision. He is also actively discouraging anyone in his administration from gloating about McChrystal's departure.

Obama has never served in the military. But today, he acted the way a commander in chief should act.

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