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Civilian politicians Vs. The army
The American press has been very energetic in covering the recent scandal wherein General Mcchrystal, having berated Obama in an interview for the Rolling Stones, was summoned to the white house and swiftly fired? As in any scandal, it seems to point to some deep and fundamentally unresolved issue in the very heart of American life. What is it? What does the force of this scandal point to?

Was Obama right to fire Mcchrystal?
I don't see it as a scandal,  I see a General who did a ridiculous thing and then tendered his resignation exactly as he should have.
Obama had to take him out because of the General's poor judgment.  It was really poor judgment.

Did McChrystal think that gossip from the field was going to do some good?  Has it?
Or did a god-complex suddenly overpower him?

We'll never know.

As for a deep, unresolved issue in American life, I think it's the same old unresolved issue. The power shifts back and forth and that's good even though its frustrating beyond telling.

Thanks for putting your two questions forward, Doug. Civilian/military and power/love (in another thread), they're worthy of a long complex discussion.
I'm intrigued and putting more thought into them

What observations have you made about these topics?
Linda is right.  McChrystal's firing is not a scandal.  It is, in fact,  a very common action in the relationship of a subordinate to his commander-in-chief whether  he is the president or a higher ranking general.  The rule is you do not criticize or  defy anyone who outranks you.  This has special implications in the civilian (the president) and the military relationship; the framers knew that war would best not to be left in the hands of generals except for tactics and battle strategy.

Lincoln fired a number of generals for poor performance.  During WWII more generals and other high ranks were relieved of command for various reasons, mainly poor performance but not entirely for that reason.  For example, George Marshall ordered one of his subordinate generals to take on an administrative project which had to be completed in three months.  The general (whose name I've forgotten) said it couldn't be done.  Marshall stretched the time to four months.  The general still said it couldn't be done.  Marshall fired him on the spot.
Martin, McChrystal wasn't fired on the grounds of his misperformance, nor for insubordination. He was fired because he said Obama doesn't know what he was doing. And no, this wouldn't be a reason to get fired inside the army.

I think the Scandal, and if we define scandal by the amount of press an event gets this is certainly a scandal, is mostly because of people's discomfort with what it reveals. The president said we should trust the army, and its generals, and the army says the president doesn't know what he's doing. I personally would find it worrying if the person responsible with managing a war that the president described as of utmost importance says the president is clueless.

It's a scandal because it's one more case where Obama clearly nominated or left inept people on the job. How many times can he blame others?

It's a scandal because people so much want to believe in Obama that the accumulation of such cases is troubling.

But perhaps what your question was getting at is the deeper uneasiness in the relation army-civilian. (It's strange that in Israel, a country who most major politicians are ex-generals, we had as a person in charge of the military a complete moron who didn't understand anything about the army, and that was accepted. No general needed to say the guy didn't understand, everyone knew this and accepted it.)
I don't actually think this is what's behind this scandal. I think the American public is trying to come to grips with who is Obama and what to expect from him. Every new scandal which either shows him as inept, or as nominating incompetent people for the job, as well as people who are controlled by the oil industry, record industry, etc. makes the country more and more wondering. Here is the savior that so many people were waiting for after Bush and big-money controlling the government, and lo-and-behold, things are continuing just as before. This is what I think is troubling people.
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Latest Post: June 28, 2010 at 9:40 AM
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