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Should Gen. McChrystal Get Canned? Opinions Updated Here All Day | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

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Should Gen. McChrystal Get Canned? Opinions Updated Here All Day

Reaction to the Rolling Stone profile of General Stanley McChrystal and remarks he and aides made about President Obama and others is now rolling in. We will update the reactions—should he stay or should he go?—as they come in, updated from the top.  For the key links and background so far go to today's Daybook here.

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Stephen M. Walt at Foreign Policy:  "Whatever happens to McChrystal, the real question remains unresolved: What the heck are we doing in Afghanistan, and is an open-ended war there in the U.S. national interest?"

Rep. Ron Paul on Hardball says McChrystal should go.  Why are we concerned about his "survival" when should be worried about survival of our troops.  War going badly and we should get out.

Tom Ricks at Foreign Policy:  McChrystal will go -- in a week or so.  He wants Petraeus to "step down a command" and take over.  Need whole new team.

Joe Klein on CNN says a "good source" tells him McChrystal has offered to resign.  But Obama also has option of making point by firing him.   No confirmation at all from White House.

Michael Hastings, author of Rolling Stone article, says all key quotes from McChrystal or "inner circle."   Also, had tape recorder in clear view, he tells CNN.

Rolling Stone editor Eric Bates interviewed by Huff Post. Says they knew long ago that had "explosive" quotes.   Plans to publish material that was cut from story. Mad at Politico for wrongly stating that the magazine showed article to McChrystal in advance--then publishing PDF of article on their site before Rolling Stone did.

Gen. Barry McCaffrey on MSNBC: whether McChrystal goes or stays, his authority "fatally" damaged and "should go." Don't expect criticism of Obama from military if he cans him... Mike Allen of Politico: Robert Gibbs briefing this afternoon suggests he is toast. So do statements by three hawkish senators, including Lieberman.

Jonathan Alter at Newsweek: Military code demands his ouster: "Having been burned once by Stanley McChrystal, the president is not likely to allow himself to be burned again." David Ignatius at Wash Post: If anything, article understates level of "backbiting" going on. Obama needs to get right team in place.

Ben Smith at Politico recalls that Pat Tillman's mother had warned about elevaring McChrystal, who took part in coverup of son's death.

Secretary of Defense Gates: McChrystal "made a significant mistake." Statement here.

Conservative writer Byron York: Retired military guy who served under McChrystal tells him "just a matter of time" for him to implode, always disdainful of "the suits." But Obama in bind—fully justified in canning him but bad for Afghan drawdown... Another righty, Victor Davis Hanson at National Review, also says he should go, partly because if he couldn't ID a Rolling Stone write-up as a danger, how can he defeat the Taliban? 

Joe Klein at Time: He still loves McChrystal but knows he speaks his mind, is myopic and bad at PR, so  "I suppose he will have to be sacked now. He is not irreplaceable. There are more than a few fine generals in the Army."  Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic agrees—general showed disrespect, a sin.

General Jack Jacobs on MSNBC: It's mainly aides'  fault but "McChrystal will show up tomorrow with his resignation." Also, what's Gen. Petraeus up to? "Chain of command breakiing down in both directions."

Marcy Wheeler: What's really being missed in article—and most important—is devastating portrait of failing Afghan policy.

Military law expert: McChrystal within rights, but should go away anyway.

Juan Cole: Should Obama fire McChrystal (who has not kept his Afghan promises anyway) like Truman axed MacArthur?... Yes, general should go, argues Jonathan Capehart at Wash Post... 

James Fallows says Obama must can him: "It's about civilian control of the military, respect for the chain of command, and the concepts of disrespect and insubordination." 

McChyrstal aides mocked him, but John Kerry says he won't respond because mission too important, president will handle.


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