Obama scores, but antiwar voices grow
President Obama has found unusually strong support from Our Readers Who Comment in his handling of the McChrystal Affair, even from many of our regulars who usually disagree with Obama. At the same time, Get Out of Afghanistan voices are getting louder.
Both sentiments are found in comments on the articles and commentaries on this latest chapter in the nation's history of presidents firing general officers. Excellent examples come in reaction to George Will's column, which clearly supports the president's action. But Will also writes, "The American undertaking in Afghanistan is a fool's errand, and McChrystal is breathtakingly foolish."
Several find it hard to believe that Will actually agrees with something President Obama did. Many applaud both of Will's points, but many also disagree. Reader comments are not a scientific poll, but this incident has produced more comments urging a quick end to the war in Afghanistan than I have seen before.
We'll start with drankland, the first of many to express the same two sentiments in one post, in writing, "Can't believe it but I agree with George Will. McChrystal needed to go -- and fast."
MPatalinjug noted that Will called the "American undertaking" in Afghanistan a "fool's errand" and was one of many to say if that's the case, "...it is high time that the U.S. consider withdrawing from Afghanistan on the Obama timetable starting summer of next year and completing it summer of the following year...This war is unwinnable. And the U.S. should be realistic enough to know that it is high time to decide to cut its losses and quit."
And manchiji said, "...One would only hope that President Obama realizes what a fool's errand this Afghan project is and wisely wraps it up. The Afghan war is a dollar sucker, siphoning the last penny from the deep "overdraft" of a near bankrupt treasury. Only fools ignore the lessons of history."
But 1republican wrote, "Your column has convinced me that Gen McChrystal had to be replaced. Perhaps, Gen Petraeus is up to the task of fighting with one hand tied behind his back. I hope so only because our troops deserve better than a president who, in order to satisfy his liberal pimps, announced shortly after taking office that we would begin withdrawal in 18-months. Afghanistan has been there for a thousand years. The Taliban can wait until July 2011. By then, Karzai will have defected to someplace like Switzerland with millions in the bank."
PaulG2 said, "This was not about egos, or even about Afghanistan.
The notion of a U.S. military with such contempt for civilian control scares me much more than the Taliban or Al Queda ever could. McChrystal had to go."
JoeT1 wrote, "...The fact that Obama wasn't a fan of the COIN [counterinsurgency] strategy in the first place but accepted it as the one adopted by his generals, says a lot about his leadership. He is willing to listen to his generals, but only to a point, and is willing to pull the plug. That's exactly what you want in a commander in chief, some healthy skepticism..."
samelson1 said, "McChristal should have been dishonorable discharged for his immaturity and inpertinance. Obama did him a favor by simply accepting his resignation."
bsallamack said, "This is the best thing that could have happened to the United States. Now is the time to pull back our troops to safe areas and wait for the Afghan government to step up to the fight. The United States can turn it attention to fighting terrorists as even the general with his poorly thought out strategy admitted that only the Afghan government could defeat the Taliban..."
avatar666 wrote, "If you agree "a crises is a terrible thing to waste" then yes, I suppose this may boost the president's ratings somewhat. Too bad it had to come to this. I suspect as time goes by the general will tell his side of the story and then we'll know why he said what he said and not just what was reported in Rolling Stone or what is being reported now by mostly biased reporters."
Jsuf said, "As much as I enjoy seeing Barry screw up and make people realize he's a fake, this situation is not good for America at all. The fact that the Obama's own boy, McChrystal has no faith in the Commander in Chief is very sad... McChrystal realized what Obama really is, a fake. My biggest problem is that now the rest of the world can see that he has no clue what he's doing."
lane2125 wrote, "The key point here is that Mac Crystal is losing the war. It's his strategy and he's in command, but he's losing. He's like George McClellan, another losing general who wanted to spend his time criticizing the President. It's a bad combination."
DaveNKy said, "Mr. President, time to dust-off Nixon's refrain: "peace with honor", and get us the hell out of there."
elgropo1 wrote, "...As difficult, or even impossible, as the mission in Afghanistan may be, we can't walk away. A politically primitive country that gave refuge to al-Qaeda can not be left to its own devices. Get past the personalities. This has nothing to do with Napoleon, Lincoln, FDR, MacArthur, Obama, or McChrystal. Unstable societies can not be indulged or ignored. Stow your high-minded conservative (?) principles long enough to recognize that we do have an obligation to clean up lawless territories."
We'll close the way we started, with ubaldino, who said, "Insightful, informative and unsettling - all in one brilliant column. Congratulations to a man I so frequently disagree with."
All comments on the Will column are here.
June 24, 2010; 9:40 AM ET
Categories: Afghanistan , Military , Obama | Tags: Afghanistan, McChrystal, Obama
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