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US: Afghanistan (Gallup 6/25-26)

Topics: McChrystal , National , Poll

Gallup
6/25-26/10; 1,044 adults, 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Gallup release)
Update: Obama on Afghanistan

National

Obama Handling of Afghanistan
8% Very Good, 42% Good, 28% Poor, 16% Very Poor

Approve / Oppose July 2011 Timeline to Begin Withdrawing Troops from Afghanistan
58% Approve, 29% Oppose any deadline, 7% think withdrawal should occur earlier, 1% think withdrawal should occur later

Approve or disapprove of President Obama's decision to remove General McChrystal as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan?
53% Approve, 30% Disapprove

Regardless of whether you approve or disapprove of Obama's decision to remove General McChrystal, based on what you know or have read about the matter, which of the following would have been the best way for President Obama to handle it
38% Remove, 37% Reprimand but not remove, 12% Take no action

 

Comments
hoosier_gary:

Interesting result. 53% approve of the decision but only 38% think it was the best thing to do.

That seems to go along with the accountability gap being discussed in some circles. When asked what he should have done, 49% said something else and 13% had no opinion.

That 10% to 15% figure keeps coming up over and over. Obama seems to have less than a 40% approval for almost everything he does but he maintains an overall approval of around 50%.

That means that 10% to 15% still do not hold Obama accountable for his actions. They approve of him but not what he does. That is a dangerous disconnect for him. You can only run on personality for so long. Eventually people will associate you with your record.

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rdw4potus:

Who are these 37% of respondents that think that McChrystal should have been allowed to openly mock the Commander in Chief and keep his job? That's a false reading, right? Just a result of righties enjoying the mocking of the Big O? No one is actually so stupid as to think that McChrystal's actions should be permissible, are they?

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hoosier_gary:

That's what happens to people when the president's chief of staff tells them to go f**k themselves. They don't support him on anything - even if by some strange mistake he happens to be right.

Welcome to polarization Obama-style.

I happen to think he needed to fire McCrystle. It might be the first thing I can think of that I agree with. I just hope that if move-on.org comes out with another "General Betray-Us" full-page ad he'll have the decency to slap them down this time instead of skipping the senate vote like last time.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"Who are these 37% of respondents that think that McChrystal should have been allowed to openly mock the Commander in Chief and keep his job?"

Reread some of Stillow's posts on the matter. He was one of them.

I think Obama might have tolerated it if the comments were just about him and his personality. McChrystal's comments about Obama personally were imo the least of the problem. What was worse is that the comments were directed up and down at the entire administration.

I know when I've been in a leadership position, I'll tolerate snickering about me. That's inevitable. But I can't tolerate rebuke of my subordinates. You have to back them up or it undermines everything.

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hoosier_gary:

What is so surprising about this is that McCrystle made such a rookee mistake of trusting the media - especially a magazine so openly and obviously anti-military.

How much do you think this will change the freedom that embedded reporters now enjoy? Do you think they'll be sitting at a table in Paris throwing back shots with Patreus?

McCrystle got caught on record saying what every general in the military has always said about civilian political meddling. He was dead wrong to get caught saying it to a reporter - but I have never heard military brass talk well of civilians trying to meddle in military matters.

I met with some pretty heavy-duty upper brass just before Desert Storm at the embassy in Dhahran and they didn't even try to hide their disgust for the state department weenies at those same meetings. When you got them out of the room, they talked even worse about the weenies.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"what every general in the military has always said about civilian political meddling."

Obviously military leaders want to implement their strategies without interference. Military officers at the high echelons tend to be control freaks. It was true for MacArthur, Westmoreland, the various Iraq commanders particularly Sanchez and Abizaid, and now McChrystal.

The successful ones do the best job with the parameters given them: Eisenhower, Ridgway, Schwarzkopf, Clark, Petreus.

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Xenobion:

"What is so surprising about this is that McCrystle made such a rookee mistake of trusting the media - especially a magazine so openly and obviously anti-military."

He had 2 chances to retract and edit the interview. He dug his own grave.

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Field Marshal:

X,

That's why i think it was his way of getting out of the command for one reason or another- whether that be the direction of the mission or some other personal reason. Rumor has it that McChrystal is an ardent, far-lefty too which is also incongruent with the whole mess.

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melvin:

Do you hear Mr Obama its time to end the Republicans Wars right now,the people have spoken.All the Republicans wants to do is start Wars in cut taxes for their rich friends,thats their agenda.You can bet if they get back in power the 1st thing their going to do is attack Iran in Syria.Fthe other day.

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Xenobion:

Field Marshal I wouldn't put it past you to take a politically moot situation and turn it as another example to disparage the left. If you simply read his interview you can tell his politics or lack thereof. If you happen to use his rules of engagement criteria as the lynchpin of his politics I'd say that's a pretty far stretch.

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Field Marshal:

X,

And you know its politically moot because.....? Oh right, you said so. Where did i disparage the left also? Possibly a Rorschach test response. You saw what you believed in your head all along!

I'm just speculating as to one possibility. McChrystal is a smart man. Its a far stretch that he would divulge such animosities towards his boss to a far-left hack reporter. Smacks of some ulterior motive.

What could that ulterior motive be? Who knows. Seems to me that it took the spotlight off of the oil spill which was hurting Obama, it made Obama actually look like a competent leader for a change by decisively firing him, and it led the way to replace McChrystal with the man that the GOP can't disparage as they regard him as a national hero- Petraeus- effectively removing Afghanistan as a target for Obama by the GOP.

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Xenobion:

"Rumor has it that McChrystal is an ardent, far-lefty too which is also incongruent with the whole mess. "

Take a now unpopular figure or now shamed popular figure and label them as a far-leftist sympathizer. I don't need to read an inkblot when the text is in front of my face.

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Field Marshal:

But he is a liberal. How is stating fact ever bad. I guess, to a liberal, only when the person is unpopular. LOL.

PS> the point i was making there is that he is not a far-right ideologue who was trying to hurt Obama. That's what makes the whole situation fishy. Relax X.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"But he is a liberal."

What evidence do you have for this? All I can find is a blog post from Marc Ambinder saying that McChrystal banned Fox News from his HQ (there are a lot of reasons he might have done that - when I was in the military our cdrs discouraged us from watching the news, particularly where it concerned the wars) and was tolerant of gays. Okay, if that's true we know he wasn't a hard-core rightwinger, but that's no evidence for him being liberal. It may be he was just non-religious.

Obama picked McChrystal. In high echelon promotions political connections are a must, so it makes sense he was in with some democrats.

But I don't see how his political leanings are relevant. From what I saw, it seems some right-wing blogs are attempting to tarnish the man based on Ambinder's allegations.

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Aaron_in_TX:

Some are also tarnishing him because supposedly McChrystal voted for Obama. Again I don't see why this matters. Eisenhower, Patton, Marshall all voted for FDR.

Disdain for Fox News is not an exclusively liberal position, neither is tolerance of gays.

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Field Marshal:

Actually Aaron, I've seen many more left-wing blogs knocking McChrystal than the right, though there have been right wing blogs doing it too. There is actual consensus among both ends of the spectrum that McChrystal acted stupidly. I suspect otherwise.

Again, the whole point of my posts is because I question his motive in the entire mishap. The circumstances surrounding the entire episode is strange.

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melvin:

If Obama donot pull out of Afghanistan by July of 2011 like he promised, he will not be the Democratic nominee in 2012 its just that simple,anit no way in hell the left is going to support him.

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Huda:

hoosier_gary quote: "hat is so surprising about this is that McCrystle made such a rookee mistake of trusting the media - especially a magazine so openly and obviously anti-military."

See that's why the American mainstream media makes a mockery out of the concept of free press and informed population, which is essential to any free Republic. Rolling Stones has done its job and did it without tricking or deceiving any of our military officials, unless you are claiming Pentagon is run by brainless crew. Today's media expect to serve those in 'Power,' not publish the truth about them, when they hold so much misery over their own civilian voters and the world.

For one, McChrystal and his team were given the exact piece before it was published to see if anything was misrepresented and they had no 'Objection' to it as they themselves stated. You cannot blame the messenger, when the message was moronic and high schoolish from a military leadership that forgot their job is to be politically neutral and take their grievances through the Civilian command channel that is the essence of any functioning Western Governing system.

On another note, who would've thang it Obama the so-called radical liberal to poll better on military and foreign affair agenda better than any democratic presidents in few decades. He's more hawkish & horrible when it comes to Civil liberties than Bush admin, yet gets away with it because gosh darn it he's a dem.

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Xenobion:

Its a fact because I say so. /facepalm Show me a statement where he self describes himself as such then we'll play ball Field Marshal. Otherwise you're just straw-maning ad-homs as if it were therapeutic.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"I suspect otherwise."

My feeling is that it may have been the normal b***ching that people in the military do. When I was in we said all kinds of un-PC things. Of course they don't like politicians' double-talk. The writer of the article, Hastings, tried to explain that it was just "shooting the sh*t" in one interview I saw, but people interpreted it another way. The article was almost all positive about McChrystal, and seemed to be critical of Obama. It looked to me like the main problem was McC's folks didn't like that the Biden wing of the administration opposed his strategy.

I really don't care that he thought Obama was uncomfortable around military brass. Military people think that about most civilians. They think that about me then suddenly I turn on my military speak and acronyms and they turn into my best bud and we start sharing war stories. It's stupid, really, but knowing the lingo and speaking with their inflections is like being part of a club.

An important distinction few made: it was the aides who made the comments, not the General himself. This was a case of sensationalism and missing the point.

Here's the article. Actually reading it makes me feel different about the whole thing.

http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/twn_up_fls/Rolling%20Stone%20McChrystal.pdf

If there are any ulterior motives, it might have been the desire to co-opt Petreus as a possible challenger. Something we know the Obama admin likes to do.

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Aaron_in_TX:

There are also indications within the article that Petreus and McChrystal are rivals.

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ndirish11:

For once I agree with Melvin. The biggest problem I have with modern day Republicans, or the neo-conservatives, is their extremely hawkish view on foreign policy. I mean they want to balance the budget right? It's literally impossible to balance the budget while we maintain our empire. We are fighting a no win war in Iraq, a no win war in Afghanistan, and we military bases scattered in hundreds of countries around the world who pose no threat to us. Do we still need troops in France and Germany? Now we want another no win war with Iran or to extend the battle even further Pakistan?

We have to understand. Terrorists don't hate us because we are free and prosperous. They hate us because we are over there meddling in their affairs and because we have caused war, poverty and destruction in the region for years. The leaders may be religious whack jobs who hate our freedoms, but they recruit their massive followings by using propaganda that depicts us an evil state who is destroying their whole region with our massive military and who is intervening in all of their affairs. If we were not so involved in the first place in the Middle East, there would be less hate generated towards us. It's similar to Nazi Germany. Hitler was racist towards Jews. But were the millions of German citizens who backed him racist? No. But the Nazi leaders depicted the Jews as the common enemy through propaganda and the people bought it.


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Farleftandproud:

Obviously people who dislike Obama, don't have the decency to be fair on any of these questions. I think the war is a huge mistake, but I think since we are there he is doing at least a good job.

It is simply a fact that people are conditioned to believe what they want. When Bush was president, I know I was always looking for failure but at best when I was polled, which was only 2 times during the Bush years, I gave him a fair rating before I knew of the WMD's. I think on economic issues like the tax cuts I would have answered on a poll like this "very poor" but on some other things I would have answered fair or even good in a couple of categories.

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Farleftandproud:

"The biggest problem I have with modern day Republicans, or the neo-conservatives, is their extremely hawkish view on foreign policy. I mean they want to balance the budget right? It's literally impossible to balance the budget while we maintain our empire. We are fighting a no win war in Iraq, "

I can't understand that either. It is like they have this set way of thinking, and once the Republican platform is set, very few disagree with all aspects of it. If Rand Paul were to be elected, I bet you anything he would run as a libertarian and than end up being a war hawk like

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