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Ed Driscoll

McChrystal Out, Petraeus In—Updated

June 23rd, 2010 - 10:36 am

Jim Geraghty tweets, “Fox News cites AP report that McChrystal will be relieved of command.” The Wall Street Journal adds, “Obama will relieve Gen. McChrystal as top commander in Afghanistan, replacing him with Gen. Petraeus,” which also could prevent the latter man from running against Obama in 2012.

Or give him one blinding resume if he succeeds.

Jimmy Bise quips:

I’ll be interested to hear from the mainstream Dems what they think of “General Betray-us” now that Obama has put confidence in him.

No sweat — the left has loads of experience from doing all those previous 180-degree pivots in the past decade. The dizziness they cause is their natural state these days.

(And so much for the Foster plan.)

Last night, Claudia Rossett wrote:

As my colleague, Cliff May, notes on NRO’s Corner, the real issue here is not an article in Rolling Stone, but that America is under attack. “A war is underway. Fight it. Win it.”

William Shakespeare, who understood plenty about politics and war, gave us iconic scenes in Henry V of how a commander-in-chief treats his men. During the night, before the Battle of Agincourt, the king, disguised as a common soldier, goes about the camp to talk with his men, hear their fears and doubts, and discover their mood. Then, as they gird for battle, he steps forth as their leader, to inspire loyalty with a call to honor and a great victory: “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.”

To avoid more blowouts like the article in Rolling Stone, Obama’s real challenge is not to humiliate a war hero who made the mistake of letting a reporter listen in on deep discontent with the politicians back home. It is to throw out Rules for Radicals and become a fast study in the ways of Henry V.  White House spokesman Gibbs was busy savaging McChrystal’s command when he said that parents of soldiers “need to know that the structure where they’re sending their children is one that is capable and mature enough in prosecuting a war.” But Gibbs’s words are a more fitting a reproach for the White House, and its commander-in-chief. When Obama gets done working over Gen. McChrystal, this would be an excellent “teachable moment” for the president himself.

“Throw out Rules for Radicals and become a fast study in the ways of Henry V?” Given Obama’s apparent hatred of all things British pre-Paul McCartney, I doubt that’s ever going to happen. But then, that’s the price of electing an Undergraduate in Chief to the White House instead of a seasoned executive.

Update: Now up on Google News, here are the AP and Wall Street Journal reports cited in the above items from Twitter.

Update: Michelle Malkin writes, “How far we’ve come from the MoveOn/General Betray Us heydays, eh?” and adds:

B-b-b-b-but didn’t Obama say a vote for his opponent would be a vote for four more years of Bush?

Another Emily Litella moment.

Indeed.™ Funny how the only elements of Obama’s presidency that have worked have been copying the man he loves to demonize, huh?

Flashback: In Vanity Fair last month, Mark Bowden, the author of Black Hawk Down, flashed back to Gen. Petraeus’ appearance on Capitol Hill in September of 2007:

Senator Barack Obama was equally dismissive. He had staked his campaign in part on the purity of his opposition to the war. When his turn came, Obama lectured Petraeus on the futility of his mission, using up the full seven minutes allocated to him and giving the general no chance to respond. “We have now set the bar so low,” said Obama, “that modest improvement in what was a completely chaotic situation … is considered success. And it’s not. This continues to be a disastrous foreign-policy mistake.”

Video here; quote above comes at the 2:20 mark for those who don’t wish to sit through the tyro senator’s entire bloviation:

Elsewhere, found amongst the numerous links on the topic proffered by Stacy McCain, Jules Crittenden dubs Afghanistan as “Rolling Stone’s war now:”

Safe facesaver kneejerk choice in Petraeus. Lucky for Rolling Stone … seeing as it’s Rolling Stone’s war now … that the gutless president, as long as he was going to be gutless about it, turned out to be utterly gutless. I don’t know about you, but I’m curious to see what Rolling Stone’s next plan is. Actual strategy might be asking a bit much. Here’s a thought. A Rolling Stone gotcha on Osama bin Laden and the one-eyed Mullah Omar, and everyone gets to go home.

Country Joe and/or the Fish could not be reached for comment.

Update: At the Weasel Zippers blog, “MoveOn Scrubs ‘General Betray Us’ Page From Website…Update: Flashback to 2007, Obama Skipped Senate Vote to Condemn MoveOn for “Betray Us” Ad…..”

Update: Glenn Reynolds reponds to MoveOn and quips, “Have you noticed how these people are always airbrushing? It’s kind of an admission that their stuff won’t sell if they tell the truth…” Much more at Instapundit, including a link to Victor Davis Hanson:

It is one of ironies of our present warped climate that Petraeus will face far less criticism from the media and politicians than during 2007–8 (there will be no more “General Betray Us” ads or “suspension of disbelief” ridicule), because his success this time will reflect well on Obama rather than George Bush. It is a further irony that Obama is surging with Petraeus despite not long ago declaring that such a strategy and such a commander were failures in Iraq. And it is an even further irony that he is now rightly calling for “common purpose” when — again not long ago, at a critical juncture in Iraq — Obama himself, for partisan purposes on the campaign trail, had no interest in the common purpose of military success in Iraq.

Meanwhile, in a video at the StoryBalloon blog, Andrew Breitbart notes another, albeit much more minor flip-flop from the legacy media regarding their coverage of the president and his immediate successor.

Update: They didn’t plan it this way, but from Obama’s POV, it was awfully nice of Rolling Stone and Generals McChrystal and Petraeus to break the all-BP-all-the-time newscycle, huh?

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