There's a couple of things left unsaid about the GEN McChrystal firing yesterday. However, I am willing to say them. Take into account as you read this, that I have served on the staff of LTG McKiernan when he was CFLCC, and MG Thurman when he was CG, 4th ID. Not in their inner circle, but as a regular staff officer.
1. Staff officers that drink with a reporter in Paris are morons. No if, ands, or buts.
2. Obama is almost universally disliked and berated by the enlisted, warrants, and commissioned officers in the military (in private). Here at Fort Carson, there one, and only one, car with the bumper sticker that says "Veterans for Obama". The African-American soldiers I know in the military are proud of serving under an African-American President, but they are not proud that that president is Barack Obama. Several have talked about how much they would have preferred the first African-American president be someone else besides the most socialist politician in American history. Colin Powell's name comes up in that position often.
3. Barack Obama could have secured a small increase in respect from soldiers if he had done the following, which wold have shown a small, very small, understanding of how the military works:
3.a. Privately told McChrystal that he had to fire anyone on his staff that showed disrespect to the civilian chain of command.
3.b. Put a Letter of Reprimand in the permanent file of each of those officers fired under 3.a.
3.c. Told GEN McChrystal that he was to return to Afghanistan as CG, but with a new staff that respected the civilian chain of command.
3.d. Told the American public that any discussion between he and McChrystal was private, that McChrystal had his full support, and that he understood that the soldiers, from the lowest Private to the Commanding General, wanted only victory in Afghanistan and security for the US, and he was going to support their every effort to obtain that end.
3.e. Told the American public that each soldier was not only entitled to their personal opinion of politicians, but that they had well earned the right to that opinion. Nonetheless, those opinions were not appropriate for bar talk in Paris with a reporter from any newspaper.
4. Any President who has never served one day in uniform and thinks he knows more about running a war than a professional soldier with 34 years experience is a moron.
5. Obama has demoted GEN Petraeus with his assignment to take over for Gen McChrystal. There needs to be a CG CENTCOM; Petraeus' old posting. When someone is assigned to that post, they will, by virtue of their position, be over GEN Petraeus. This move shows Obama's ignorance of both the military chain of command and the need for clear, concise, consistent leadership. GEN Petraeus took the assignment (most likely) because he is a great soldier and patriot. He understands the position the US is in, and he's willing to swallow his pride in order to help the nation. I applaud Petraeus for not telling Obama to go fuck himself.
6. Obama isn't worthy to lick the Afghanistan dust off the bottom of either GEN McChrystal's, or GEN Petraeus' boots. For that matter, he isn't worthy to lick the Afghan dust off the bottom of the boot of the lowest private currently serving in that country. He may be Commander in Chief of all US Armed Forces because he's President, but that doesn't mean he also has the respect of soldiers currently serving in OIF and OEF. Clearly he doesn't. In the services, it's understood that you salute the rank, not necessarily the person. The person gets saluted by earning the salute.
7. Obama will never earn the salute.