June 24, 2010

(A far cry from sneaking out the back door of the White House)

And some very cool audio from the same time:

The last 24 hours of news regarding the fait accompli firing of Gen. McChrystal made an interesting comparison between Truman's firing of MacArthur and Obama's firing of McChrystal. First off, MacArthur was an acknowledged war hero and an architect in the reconstruction of post-War Japan. He was responsible for many good things that came out of World War 2 and was widely liked and respected. That he had no qualms about using the Nuclear option when it came to the Chinese and turning what was a regional conflict into World War 3 took him over the edge and became his Achilles Heel to the U.S. and the rest of the allies. What made him come to that decision is most likely the thing of books and historic speculation.

I don't think you can make any such comparison's with Gen. McChrystal or the reasons behind his firing/resignation. The events speak for themselves.

Although in fairness, our quandary over Foreign Policy remains unchanged these past sixty years and that, I suppose, is where the similarities lie. But don't forget we're fighting an entirely different type of war than we were even in 1951 in a region that has been largely unsettled the last thousand or so years. The parallel's between our involvement in Afghanistan and our crisis in the Gulf of Mexico are more striking than imagined - one is based on greed and the other is based on ideals, but the quagmire is the same and not instantly fixed.

With that said, here is a week's wrap up of the events surrounding the dismissal of General MacArthur as reported by NBC Radio on April 22, 1951. The Press handled it a lot differently.

James Fleming (NBC News): “However much General MacArthur may wish to keep above and beyond politics, the fact remains that he’s become a rallying point for a course of action, not supported by President Truman nor by our European allies.”

MacArthur did quietly fade away after the tirade died down. The political ramifications continued until 1953 when a truce was finally called and an uneasy peace has been in place ever since.

I'm not so sure the same will be said about Afghanistan though.

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