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December 8, 2009

Having McChrystal (and Eikenberry) Well In Hand, Right?

,Obama McChrystal White House.jpg

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So, with Lincoln looking on and the door propped open just enough to see from the U.S. to, well, Afghanistan, is this White House photo supposed to frame Obama, his two feuding leakers under sway, with McChrystal’s little head in a vice?

(Or, variation on the same theme, maybe that’s Yorick’s skull … meaning that, in the larger scheme of things, we’re all making too big a deal about Afghanistan and the military after all.)

(11am: revised title to add Eickenberry)

(photo: Pete Souza/White House. Caption: President Barack Obama meets with United States Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, left, and General Stanley McChrystal, Commander, International Security Assistance Force, in the Oval Office, Dec. 7, 2009.)

  • Karen

    from the feet of Robert E. Lee to the gaze of Lincoln. I’m not sure what I make of Obama’s body position. It’s not a typical pose for him. Is he about to get up, spring out of the room, or propel himself at the two men?

  • ken krayeske

    Obama looks tense, aware of the fact that he is lying to himself and to the world. There is a tension in his body, as he grips the armchair with his married hand – his wedding ring was not cropped out of this frame. Is this showing him grounded, a good father and husband leading the military? Or is the grab of an administrative adulterer, fibbing about the fate of a nation?
    There is no ring on McChrystal’s fingers, prominently displayed, nor can we see any sort of vow represented in Eikenberry’s hands.
    Nor do I think we are too big a deal of Afghanistan. People are dying at an alarming clip in Af/Pak, and we, the taxpayers, are buying the munitions of death at the expense of jobs and healthcare here.
    34,000 new troops will keep the U.S. on the road to self-destruction. I think we need to be louder and angrier about Obama’s continuation of the Bush war path. Stop the war in Afghanistan now.

  • ken krayeske

    woops – nor do I think we are making too big a deal of Afghanistan…

  • pws

    “I’m crushing your head, I’m crushing your head.” — Kids in the Hall reference.

  • Stella

    Forget the vise – it’s the looks on the faces of those poor men. They all know that violence isn’t the way, and they will be held responsible.
    I see little boys being lectured by the mature role-model.

  • pragmatic realist

    The President is saying to McCrystal (who at least wore his dress uniform to the White House this time instead of disrespecting the President in his battle fatigues as on Air Force One in Denmark.), “I am giving you what you want. But you had better be right.”

  • Thirdeye Pushpin

    the wedding ring is very strong and as Ken Krayeske pointed out shows that Obama has made a vow, if you arc through his left to his right it extends through McChrystal to Lincoln to the world. Obamas has betrothed his legacy in history and the world to these guys. Does he have MacChrystal in hand or has MacChrystal crowded Obama and minimized his connection to history and the world.

  • Gasho

    I see Obama propping himself up out of a slouch. Ok, guys, you asked for more troops and said you could carry out a plan. Now you have them (or the politically viable number of them) and I want to see results.
    Both these guys look like, ‘Awe sh*t, you weren’t supposed to go down this road. We can’t deliver on the plan’.
    The only hope I see is that Obama sees that the military solution is BS and changes course.

  • crabby

    I see two people lost in their own thought as the president drones on about nothing.

  • MeToo

    Don’t you think that if these meetings are so important that somebody should be taking notes? Meanwhile, the rest of the world awaits outside the door.

  • Rufus

    With all the time McChrystal has spent in the Middle East, he surely knows that showing the sole of your shoe is a massive insult.

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