Skip to comments.The Prisoner of Gen. Petraeus
Posted on 06/29/2010 5:41:43 AM PDT by Kaslin
President Obama is being hailed for toughness in his firing of Gen. McChrystal and brilliance in his replacing him as Afghan field commander with Gen. David Petraeus, who managed the George W. Bush "surge" in Iraq that saved this nation from an ignominious defeat.
Herewith, a dissent.
By firing a fighting general, beloved of his troops, Obama just took upon himself full responsibility for the McChrystal Plan. The general is off the hook.
As of now, the plan is not succeeding. And given the inability of Kabul to deliver the "government in a box" to Marja, after Marines supposedly de-Talibanized the town, the McChrystal Plan is failing. The Battle of Kandahar has not yet begun, though the June D-Day has come and gone.
Should we be in this same bloody stalemate in December, Obama will be blamed for having fired his field commander who devised his battle plan, and was carrying it out, over some stupid insults from staff officers to some counterculture magazine.
More critically, Obama just made himself hostage to a savvy general who is said to dream of one day holding Obama's office.
Consider the box Obama just put himself in.
In 2009, he sacked Gen. David McKiernan and replaced him with his own man, Gen. McChrystal. Now, he has sacked McChrystal and replaced him with Petraeus.
The former community organizer and acolyte of Saul Alinsky cannot now possibly fire the most popular and successful general in the U.S. Army, who accepted a demotion to take command of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, without a firestorm that would consume his presidency.
If Obama has not noticed, the neocons, who want a "long war" in the Islamic world and a new war with Iran, are celebrating the Petraeus appointment with far greater unanimity than Obama's own staff.
Why is the War Party celebrating? Petraeus is one of them.
And the untouchable general's demands have begun to come in.
Clearly, Obama has been told he must back away from his declared deadline of July 31, 2011, for beginning withdrawals of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. And Obama is already moving to do so.
Vice President Joe Biden's statement in Jonathan Alter's "The Promise" that, "in July of 2011, you're going to see a whole lot of people moving out, bet on it," has already been challenged by Defense's Robert Gates.
No such decision has yet been made, said Gates.
Look to Obama, soon, to walk back that July 2011 date and declare that any withdrawal of U.S. troops will be "conditions-based" -- another way of saying that if we are not winning the war in July 2011, we are not coming home.
Here is the likely scenario.
At the December review of the Afghan war, Petraeus will argue that, while progress is being made, we cannot meet our goals by July 2011. Years more of combat will be required to win the war.
Petraeus will ask the president for more time, perhaps years more, and perhaps ask for more troops, 20,000 or 30,000, to complete the mission and ensure Afghanistan is not again a sanctuary for al-Qaida.
Thus, in December 2010, Obama becomes LBJ in December 1967, when Gen. William Westmoreland, with 500,000 troops in Vietnam, came to the White House to ask for 200,000 more. LBJ said no.
And as the Republican right hammered him for not bombing Hanoi and blockading Haiphong, Sens. Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy entered the primaries against him from the left.
Richard Nixon, saying five years of unsuccessful prosecution of a war called out for new leadership, was marching to the nomination of a party he had helped reunite after the Barry Goldwater disaster.
The outlook bleak, his party splintering, LBJ declared on March 31, 1968, that he would not run again.
If Obama repudiates his July 2011 date for first withdrawals of U.S. troops, if he agrees to any new Petraeus troop request, his party will split and he will face a primary challenge from the antiwar left.
But if he stands with Biden and says the July 2011 date holds, and the troops start home in July, Petraeus would likely put out word that his hands are being tied and he will not fight a no-win war.
Should Petraeus resign his command under such circumstances, he would become a Douglas MacArthur-like hero to the GOP, and could wind up as No. 2 on the ticket. And that could send Barack Obama home to Chicago.
Obama should have left McChrystal to succeed or fail with the McChrystal Plan. Had he succeeded, Obama also would have succeeded. Had he failed, Obama would have been free to relieve him and tell the nation: "We gave it our best shot, with our best general, with all the resources he requested. Regrettably, we did not succeed. Now we are coming home."
That option was closed when he fired McChrystal and made himself the political prisoner of Gen. David Petraeus.
i believe Gen McChrystal resigned and must be sick and tired of writers saying he was fired.
I think it was a brilliant plan by Gen McC. What the Community Organizer will never figure out is that 4-star generals and admirals are exceptionally good at sticking a finger up into the political winds. It’s a lose-lose for 0.
It was reported that the arrogant pos told him to resign
If Oboner handles this situation like he has (or hasn’t) the Gulf Oil spill, he will look like the azzclown that he is to us conservatives. Petraeus will shake things up in Afghanistan and create a safe environment but Oboner with the help of the presstitutes will get credit for vision and clarity in the matter.
"Consider the box Obama just put himself in." <<<<
I frequently wonder if among BHO's closest advisers are those who are intentionally sabotaging him, or if they are just naturally stupid.
McChrystal is a LIBERAL.....good riddance.
How do you know that?
He voted for BHO
Petraeus = Ike Part Deux
How do you know that?
“How do you know that?”
(Apparently, it has been known for some time. Among other sites, see:)
This is Marc Ambinder in The Atlantic. “Even more about McChrystal: now it can be told. The story about him voting for Obama is not contrived. He is a political liberal. He is a social liberal,” and he is a wacko environmentalist liberal. “He banned Fox News from the television sets in his headquarters.” He has banned fast food, Burger King and all that from his headquarters and from people in his command.
According to Bernie Goldberg, it is has been said he voted for Zero via Marc Ambinder of the Atlantic. Yet no-one has been able to confirm. http://wonkette.com/404286/are-you-sexy-enough-for-marc-ambinders-obama-club/
“Should Petreus resign his command under such circumstances, he would become a Douglas MacArthur-like hero to the GOP, and could wind up as No. 2 on the ticket. And that could send Barack Obama home to Chicago.”
Petreus is sufficiently well known to Americans and respected by the troops that “O” cannot successfully besmirch HIS character or fault his abilities. If “O” tries the usual and shabby Liberal tactic of smearing opponents for his OWN personal aggrandizement, I think it will come back to haunt him....quick!
There really isnt a bus big enough for O to throw the general under and the bus whose undercarriage O has populated to-date, is full up!!
I think the author is right! O just painted himself into a corner. It had to happen . and will continue to happen on other issues and throughout this administration.
However, THIS issue is fully VISIBLE and instantaneously ACCESSIBLE to all Americans. There are no auditors, fed agents, commissions or other officials to run interference for O on this decision and its consequences. More than any other Presidential action, military reverses (though I sincerely hope it doesnt come to that) . will be immediately and unarguably apparent to American voters!!!! No fudging on THAT kind of event!
The old phrase, ‘wag the dog’ comes to mind!
He voted for Obama, and all the lefties have said he is an avowed liberal.
Ambinder thinks conservatives have gone mad. “The obsession with ACORN, Climategate, death panels, the militarization of rhetoric, Saul Alinsky, Chicago-style politics, that TAXPAYERS will fund the bailout of banks — these aren’t meaningful or interesting or even relevant things to focus on. (The banks will fund their own bailouts.)”
Ambinder lives is a fantasy world where left-wing commentators (including Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow) are serious policy wonks, while all conservative commentators are “entertainers shouting slogans;” where hyperbole is the exclusive refuge of the right-wing; where the vile language and defamation hurled at George Bush for eight years never existed; where the equally vile attempts by Democratic leaders to equate health care protesters to terrorists never happened.
Every day Democratic politicians and left-wing bloggers hurl epithets like “teabagger” and “racist” and “extremist” at political opponents, yet none of that exists in Ambinder’s precious little world.
Ambinder cannot seem to understand that being mad is not the same thing as madness. The true madness is the direction in which the Obama administration is taking this country.
The deceptive and destructive policies of this administration have been picked apart by people who do not live in Ambinder’s world, and do not watch CBS News.
And if Ambinder were honest with himself, he would admit that the loss of control over the news cycle and the debate is what bothers him most. Hence the gratuitous statements in Ambinder’s post about Fox News and the “conservative echo-chamber.”
The loss of relevance must be a frustrating thing. It can drive some people mad. http://legalinsurrection.blogspot.com/2010/04/has-marc-ambinder-gone-mad.html
I agree, he quit before BO could fired him!
Michael Calderone on staff at Politico
Why would conservative Freepers believe anything coming from left leaning websites. As shown above Ambinder repeated Calderone's statement from Politico.
Even Rush spewed this third hand tripe.
I think that McCrystal could be a very dangerous enemy for O to have. Whether we hear about it or not.
>>McChrystal is a LIBERAL.....good riddance.
LOL! The guy who implemented Petraeus’s policy in Iraq while commanding JSOC who went out on hot, hot raids with his men while a colonel.
And you say good riddance.
But Pat’s analysis is again on the money.
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