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Congratulations to my favorite General in the whole wide world!

June 23, 2010

This is the man who taught me the phrase

“Intellectual Agility”

This is my favorite decision made by President Obama. Also, I would like to address that. Sometimes I hear the news referring to the President of the United States of America as “Obama”. I would ask that you please respect the President of the United States and the Office of the President of the United States and always refer to him as “President Obama”. I once heard someone tell me he referred to President Bush 41 as “Mr. President Bush” because he was the Director of the CIA. I thought that was interesting.

Congratulations to your new appointment General David Petraeus.

Obama fires McChrystal, names Petraeus

Reuters

By Matt Spetalnick and Adam Entous Matt Spetalnick And Adam Entous 2 hrs 40 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama fired his top Afghanistan commander on Wednesday over inflammatory comments that angered the White House and had threatened to undermine the war effort.

Calling it the “right thing for our mission in Afghanistan,” Obama relieved General Stanley McChrystal of duty and replaced him with his boss, General David Petraeus, in a bid to show his strategy would not be disrupted.

Obama had summoned McChrystal to the White House from Afghanistan to explain remarks he and his aides made in a Rolling Stone magazine article that disparaged the president and other civilian leaders.

“The conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general,” Obama said in the White House Rose Garden as he announced McChrystal’s dismissal.

“It undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system. And it erodes the trust that’s necessary for our team to work together to achieve our objectives in Afghanistan,” he said.

The situation posed a dilemma for Obama. If McChrystal had kept his job, the president could have been seen as tolerating insubordination from the military. But by firing him, Obama is shaking up the chain of command at a perilous moment in the unpopular 9-year-old war.

Vowing not to tolerate divisions within his national security team, Obama said the switch in generals was a “change in personnel but it is not a change in policy.” There have been increasing doubts among U.S. lawmakers about Obama’s troop buildup strategy against a resurgent Taliban.

Seeking to underscore the continuity of command and counter any concerns about a disruption in war leadership, Obama had Petraeus by his side for the announcement.

Petraeus, as commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, was widely credited with turning the tide against insurgents when sectarian violence there verged on civil war. He has a strong following on Capitol Hill and Senate confirmation is expected.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who had developed a close bond with McChrystal, had hoped the general would stay on but respected Obama’s decision to dismiss him, a spokesman said.

PERSONAL INSULT?

McChrystal, the U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan and architect of Obama’s war strategy, first met Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the Pentagon before entering the White House through a side door for his one-on-one encounter with Obama. He left without attending a monthly meeting of the president’s Afghanistan war council.

Obama had been described by aides as furious about McChrystal’s contemptuous remarks in the Rolling Stone magazine article, but said in his Rose Garden appearance that he was not acting out of a feeling of personal insult.

With his career on the line, the 55-year-old general had apologized. “It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened,” McChrystal said in a statement.

In the article entitled “The Runaway General” — http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/119236 — McChrystal himself makes belittling remarks about Vice President Joe Biden and the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke.

His aides are quoted as calling one top Obama official a “clown” and another a “wounded animal” and saying the president appeared intimidated at his first meeting with McChrystal.

Afghanistan had slipped down Obama’s policy agenda recently as he focused on domestic challenges like high unemployment and the devastating BP Plc oil spill, seen as critical to avoiding big losses for his Democratic Party in November’s congressional elections.

But the furor surrounding McChrystal comes amid growing skepticism in Congress and declining support among the public for the war effort in Afghanistan, where Taliban violence has risen despite an troop increase ordered by Obama six months ago to bring U.S. forces up to 100,000.

The article quotes a member of McChrystal’s team making jokes about Biden, who had favored a more limited counterterrorism approach than the general wanted.

One of McChrystal’s aides called White House national security adviser Jim Jones a “clown” who was “stuck in 1985.”

The article also quoted an adviser to McChrystal dismissing an early meeting with Obama as a “10-minute photo op” and saying the general was “disappointed” that the president seemed disengaged.

The episode evoked memories of military-civilian tensions when President Harry Truman stripped Gen. Douglas MacArthur of his Far East command in 1951 for flouting U.S. policy and openly advocating expansion of the Korean conflict to China. (Additional reporting by Phil Stewart, Jeff Mason, Patricia Zengerle, David Alexander; Editing by Patricia Wilson and Doina Chiacu)

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