Atrios is brilliant. He hates the Afghan war as much as I do. And he really loathes Micahel O’Hanlon (like I do), he of the “I think this today – oh wait, it’s tomorrow – I don’t think that anymore” school of punditry. Today Atrios catches O’Hanlon saying:
At this moment, as we enter into perhaps the most crucial six months of the entire war, I hope and pray that President Obama will decide we cannot afford to be without the leadership of such an amazing American.
The acerbic Atrios gets it entirely right, when he adds: “Eight and a half years later we’re starting “the most crucial six months?”
So today everyone – me too – is all agog about Stanley MacArthur. And Obama. And will he? Or won’t he? Should he? Would he? And, omg, what if he doesn’t?? And what if he does?? Rock and hard place, but I stay with my previous post – Stanley must go, or more to the point, Obama must step up to the plate, defend civilian control and fire the general’s ass.
But even as we enjoy ‘the fret’, we’ve once again missed the point.
Why the hell are we still in Afghanistan? We hit the ground there in October of 2001. It is now June of 2010 and exactly what have we accomplished? I cannot name anything.
So on this 237th day of the ninth year of the war, I’d like my president to fire the general and then get the hell out of Afghanistan.
Per James Fallows at the Atlantic, Obama has a constitutional obligation to fire McCrystal. Article II, Section 2 makes the President Commander in Chief. As such, he must act swiftly to
- stop disrepect for the chain of command.
- protect the security of the US against public discord within that chain of command and public scorn for one’s own current government, and
- protect civilian oversight of the military.
McCrystal has to say bye-bye, but please please please Mr. President, require him to do so.