Four-stars no match for Obama's four-star ego
In a world of sound-bites, when perception trumps reality, how else was an image sensitive White House supposed to respond to the Rolling Stone byline, "Stanley McChrystal, Obama's top commander in Afghanistan, has seized control of the war by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House."
It's your fault, General, that you believed your experience was more important than Obama's ego. Les Gelb, of the Council on Foreign Relations said of Obama, "He is so self-confident that he believes he can make decisions on the most complicated of issues after only hours of discussion." Hours of discussion vs. real-life warfare experience. It's clear, General, who should be making national security decisions. Four-stars can hardly stand up to the experience of community organizing and bowing to foreign dignitaries.
It's your fault, General, that you believed Obama might whole-heartedly support your role in ridding Afghanistan of the Taliban. With his heel on their throat, ready to kick some BP ass, one could easily see how you would expect Obama to support you in your role. But didn't you get Brennan's memo? Jihad is really just a "holy struggle, a legitimate tenant of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one's community." Perhaps your biggest mistake was not asking for 40,000 yoga mats for the jihadists "purifying" Afghanistan.
It's your fault, General, to think that Obama could handle any criticism from you. Did you fail to understand how fragile his emotions already were? Sarkozy called him an insane, madman. Putin publicly scorned his vision of a world without nukes. Zuckerman labeled him as incompetent and amateur in U.S. News & World Report. Then you come along and have the audacity to say that Obama looked "uncomfortable and intimidated by the roomful of military brass." There's only so much one man can take.
Your "scathing" remarks most assuredly did "undermine the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system and erode the needed trust on the president's war team." Suddenly our democratic system is important. It's your fault, General, that you assumed Obama didn't give a damn about the democratic system after he pushed through Obamacare.
Americans will sleep better tonight knowing that a four-star General, who has his own opinion about a community-organizer-turned-president's rank in a room full of military brass, has been removed.
Perhaps you will sleep better too, General, knowing that Obama's decision was made "with considerable regret." And once you have time for reflection, you will most likely agree with his reasoning that the job in Afghanistan could not be completed under your leadership since your critical remarks displayed "conduct that doesn't live up to the necessary standards for a command-level officer."
Start playing more golf, General. That's the kind of right stuff that real command-level leaders are made of.
Camie Davis can be followed on Facebook at Wake Up and Smell the Falafel.