Admiral William Fallon Resigns

March 11, 2008 at 2:37 pm | Posted in Iran | 2 Comments

Admiral William Fallon resigns as CENTCOM commander. This is really important because he was the one who said that there will be no war with Iran on his watch.

In an admiring article on Fallon in Esquire, former Pentagon official Thomas P.M. Barnett writes that Fallon angered the White House by “brazenly challenging” Bush on his aggressive threat of war against Tehran. Barnett also cites “well-placed observers” as saying Bush may soon replace Fallon with a “more pliable” commander.

Barnett’s account, which quotes conversations with Fallon during the CENTCOM commander’s trips to the Middle East, shows that Fallon privately justified his statements contradicting the Bush policy of keeping the “option” of an unprovoked attack on Iran “on the table” as necessary to calm the fears of Egypt and other friendly Arab regimes of a U.S.-Iran war.

Barnett recalls that when Fallon was in Cairo in November, the lead story in that day’s edition of the English-language daily Egyptian Gazette carried the headline “U.S. Rules Out Strike against Iran” over a picture of Fallon meeting with President Hosni Mubarak.

That story, published Nov. 19 and not picked up by any U.S. news media, reported that Fallon had “ruled out a possible strike against Iran and said Washington was mulling non-military options instead.”

Later that day, according to Barnett, Fallon told him during a coffee break in a military meeting, “I’m in hot water again,” and then confirmed that his problems were directly with the White House.

That was the second time in less than a week and the third time in seven weeks that Fallon had publicly declared that there would be no war against Iran. In an interview with Al-Jazeera television in September, which Fallon himself had requested, according to a source at Al-Jazeera, he had said, “This constant drum beat of conflict is what strikes me which is not helpful and not useful”.

And only a week before the trip to Egypt, in an interview with Financial Times, Fallon had said, a military strike was not “in the offing”, adding, “Another war is just not where we want to go.”

These statements represented an extraordinary exercise of power by a combat commander, because it contradicted a central feature of the Bush-Cheney strategy on Iran. High-ranking Bush administration officials had been routinely repeating the administration’s line that no option had been taken “off the table” since early 2005.

At an Oct. 17 news conference, Bush said he had “told people that if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.”

Fallon’s public statements explicitly ruling out an attack on Iran thus undermined the Bush administration’s threat against Iran.

You ready America? A war with Iran is now closer at hand.

UPDATED: Here is the Esquire piece on Admiral Fallon that pretty much led to his removal. He was probably the last stumbling block on the Bush administration’s vile desires to war with Iran. Thomas P.M. Barnett’s abstract is ominous:

As head of U. S. Central Command, Admiral William “Fox” Fallon is in charge of American military strategy for the most troubled parts of the world. Now, as the White House has been escalating the war of words with Iran, and seeming ever more determined to strike militarily before the end of this presidency, the admiral has urged restraint and diplomacy. Who will prevail, the president or the admiral?

It seems the president has won and the world has lost.

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2 Comments »

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  1. Blessed are the peacemakers.

    Unless they work for the Bush administration, in which case, they’re screwed.

  2. As a former Naval Officer and Aviator I am very proud of Admiral Fallon. He is an example of the independent and intelligent thinking inherent in every Naval Officer and Aviator


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