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Rolling Stone’s piece on General Stanley McChrystal , ably and amazingly written by the savant Michael Hastings, raises quite a few questions as to why he was really fired yesterday.  For a terrific take on Runaway General, the piece, check out Harvard J’School’s the Nieman Storyboard.

I come away from it feeling that Obama, who looked and sounded like a real leader yesterday, has absolutely no grip on this war and that those who surround him don’t either.  It’s a mess.

We don’t belong in Afghanistan.  We need to get out.  Al Quaeda is in Pakistan and everywhere but Afghanistan. Karzai is a joke.

Thank God for the power and truth of story: a story that takes off the Emperor’s clothes:  Obama’s.  I’ve supported this president, viewing him as perceptive, strong, courageous.  But I don’t honestly think he understands anything about how to fight terrorism.

The piece gives me a sense of McChrystal as a total asshole much of the time, a brilliant strategist, and someone we needed in the war on terror.  I don’t like a lot of the things he has said or that he has done, especially skewing Cpl. Pat Tillman’s death.  But given his time in special ops in the worst of times, he is emblematic of the kind of Jedi that we need against the formidable centipedes that swell the ranks of Al Quaeda, hiding out in rocks and caves, eating raw mutton, crazed, delusional, infinitely more dangerous than any enemy we have ever faced before.

We’ll see if Petraeus can figure it all out and turn it around.

Meanwhile, where was Barack Obama when the first few thousand gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf and the rig blew, killing eleven men.  There’s no escaping the fact that his photo ops on the beaches seem like afterthoughts.    Can anyone bear to see one more creature dying on a live feed?

It doesn’t really feel like anyone is at the helm.  I hate to admit that any of the crazies on the Right have a sane thought, but they’ve been saying from the beginning that an ivory tower brainiac doesn’t belong in the White House.

Many of us wanted a messiah; we flocked to see Obama, and were uplifted by his oratory. He inspired us to elect him.  Now the reality check.  The viability of the big dreams and the big money poured into bail-outs, jobs, and this cursed troop surge, now hamstrung by recent mealy-mouthed directives to not take out people who “look like” civilians.

Those mushrooms growing up after all the rain, in clusters… overtaking gardens–that’s bureaucracy, which unfortunately has inevitably become synonomous with Obama.  He needs to reverse course, fast, because he’s steered us into an unwinnable war, a huge domestic mess, and in not sitting on Salazar so that Salazar would sit on that archaic minerals agency that hands out permits and lets big oil get away with shortcuts that lead to death and devastation, it feels to me that he has f****d us in the most insidious of ways– charming, disarming, smart but not smart enough.

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