Friday, June 25, 2010

Obama and his General


The recent flap over the comments by General McChrystal will inevitably draw comparisons between President Obama and his generals and President Lincoln and his generals.  That is an interesting study. 

Lincoln started with Irving McDowell who didn’t really want to fight.  He was defeated at the First Battle of Manassas.  George McClellan followed.  “Little Mac” was a master organizer and manager, but he didn’t want to fight either.  Little Mac got two shots at it and then got fired.  Lincoln tried Ambrose Burnside and Joseph Hooker who had each shown a willingness to fight, but they didn’t have the intellect or temperament for high command.  Then Lincoln found Ulysses Grant.  He was a fighter and he had the intellect for high command.  But most of all, Grant shared Lincoln’s ultimate goal – they both wanted to defeat the enemy and win the war. 

In my opinion, President Obama wanted George McClellan but he got Ulysses Grant.  Obama wanted his own “Little Mac” to manage his way out of Afghanistan.  However General McChrystal wants to beat the Taliban and win in Afghanistan.  This was never destined to be the kind working arrangement that Lincoln had with Grant.  The difference between the two Presidents is stark – Lincoln was kicking his generals in the butt while Obama is reining his in.  The Obama-McChrystal clash was inevitable. 

I don’t know General McChrystal but he appears to have the requisite organizing skills, he is a respected leader, and he wants to fight.  I don’t think we need a different general, we need a better commander-in-chief.  The problem is that it took decades for McChrystal to become a good general; Obama doesn’t have that kind of time and he hasn’t exhibited the desire to learn. 

Certainly McChrystal’s comments were indiscrete and that is all he should apologize for – being indiscrete.  Some of his comments were sophomoric and crude, but then I’m sure he is aware of what we were saying about Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton in their day. 

Conservative Resistance – Day 598

The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War (The Politically Incorrect Guides)

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