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“…”I’ve been a military officer most of my adult life, and there are lines you don’t cross,” Graham said. “Those lines were crossed.  It was poor judgement, it was beyond poor judgement.  It made it virtually impossible for the general to stay in his job.“…”   Lindsey Graham

The Pink Flamingo was actually on time for the Wednesday 5:30 service today. (I had Altar Guild).  The Feast Day of the Nativity of John the Baptist is on the 25th, exactly 6 months before Christmas.  Our most excellent new priest, Judy Burgess, had a great little  homily about John the Baptist.  (In all fair disclosure, I picture John the Baptist as Newt Gingrich, the voice crying in the wilderness).

The message of today was that John the Baptist repeatedly told everyone he was not The One to Come, that he as a messenger, but not the Messiah.  He had no problem being number two, of not being the important one.  He was strong enough to know that there was another, the Messiah.  The lesson is that there are men and women who are capable of being number two because they know being number two is important.

Gen. David Petraeus will step down as CENTCOM commander, to become “number two”.  Taking the job in Afghanistan is a step down for him, but we are dealing with a man of honor, not a man of ego.

On Wednesday’s PF post, I suggested Obama would be well served to replace McCrystal with General Petraeus.  I would like to think that he took my advise, but unlike many in the blogsphere, my ego is not that large.  When Obama does something of which I approve, I say so.  I APPROVE OF HIS MOVE!

My Brother and the General

Did Barack Obama just cry uncle and admit that George W. Bush is right? Oh, wait, if anything goes wrong now in Afghan he can blame Bush for it!

The worst aspect of the far right has been exposed, making them look like cheap, dirty flashers.  There is no honor with them, there is no basic decency.  As long as you are one of their select, you are good.  If you are not, they will lie about you, and go to any length to destroy you.  We are being treated to the far right at its worst today, its disgusting worst.

“…However, without a credible replacement, firing McChrystal would have appeared dangerously self-serving for the Obama administration and probably would have put what looks like an increasingly endless war beyond any reasonable hope of satisfactory conclusion. The president’s decision to tap General David Petraeus, widely credited as the savior of the war in Iraq, to take direct control of operations in Afghanistan is probably inspired. Petraeus is one of the authors of the COIN strategy; policy-wise, there is no daylight between him, the president, and General McChrystal. While this may be disappointing for critics of COIN (like the vice-president), a change in strategy in Afghanistan was never remotely feasible even with a change in command – the president has invested far too much blood, treasure, and political capital into an Iraq-style “surge” in Afghanistan to make an about-face now. In crude political terms, Obama has also blunted predictable Republican criticism about his decision to relieve McChrystal of command. Petraeus is a hero on the right for his salvaging of the Iraq war, and is often floated as a future GOP presidential candidate in the mold of Dwight Eisenhower. It will be hard for Republicans to cast Obama’s decision as reckless when he has put Afghanistan under the command of the only man with a successful COIN track record…”

The far right is slamming Lindsey for being honorable, for being Lindsey.  They don’t approve of his stand on the McCrystal thing.

“…The statements of the General not only were outside the norm, they really did put in question military subordination to civilian control. How do you think Rolling Stone is a good group to have follow you around for a month is a judgment question.

The second thing is — let me just say this to these officers who are unnamed, to these officer who are unnamed…I understand you’re warriors and you’ve been shot at and you’re brave. But you let yourself and your Army down. The language used, the cavalier attitude, the disrespect, even though you may have disagreement, was unacceptable.

This is a low point, in my view, for the Armed Forces in a very long time. And I am glad the president made this decision. And some other officers need to be looked at….”

Victor David Hanson actually wrote something of which I agree.  He nails the right.

“...I think conservatives are making a big mistake citing all sorts of legitimate reasons for McChrystal to have expressed frustration. I agree with almost all of them, but they are not the issue, which remains judgment, the chain of command, civilian/military relations, and the very wisdom of palling around Paris with a loose-cannon reporter….”

The Anchoress

Lindsey had quite a bit to say about the situation.

“…Graham, an Air Force Reserve colonel and a military lawyer who’s the only member of Congress to have served active duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, stopped just short of accusing McChrystal of insubordination for his derisive comments about Obama and his aides in a Rolling Stone magazine article.

“When it comes to why the president had to act, the statements of the general not only were outside the norm, they really did put in question military subordination to civilian control,” Graham said.

Graham, though, rebuked Obama for continuing to say that he’ll start a drawdown of U.S. troops next summer.

“The July 11, 2001, policy is confusing,” Graham said. “It undercuts the war effort. It empowers our enemies. It confuses our friends. And I think it needs to be re-evaluated.”…”I would urge the president to look at this as a chance to put new people on the ground without old baggage,” Graham said. “And if we don’t change quickly, we’re going to lose a war we can’t afford to lose.”
Graham, however, wouldn’t say whether Obama should replace Ambassador Karl Eikenberry and special envoy Richard Holbrooke, whom McChrystal and his staff also disparaged in the Rolling Stone article….”

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  • SallyVee

    I saw it coming right away. I knew the Three Senatorial Amigos, being our strongest defenders of national security, would seize this moment to move in for the kill… the killing of the artificial timeline, that is. And the gutting of the abominable civilian contingent. And the clarification of “victory,” and the re-commitment (or should I say the first *real* commitment since Obama was elected) to the war in Afghanistan.

    God bless Lindsey, Mac and Joe. They are not letting this crisis go to waste.


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