Our national security and the successful completion of the U.S. mission there depend on depriving the enemy of legitimacy and building trust between Americans and Afghans. If he is confirmed by the Senate to serve in this post, General Petraeus has the opportunity to ensure that the United States treats detainees there in accordance with our values.
Human-rights groups were always suspicious of McChrystal because of the torture allegations swirling around Camp Nama in Iraq during his time running JSOC, while Petraeus has always been on record as opposing torture. Perhaps ironically, while Petraeus is a self-identified moderate Republican, McChrystal was apparently a flaming liberal who wouldn't abide FOX News in his presence. The current scenario would seem to spike Republican hopes for either candidate to run in opposition to Barack Obama in 2012.
-- A. Serwer