Admiral Fallon was forced out as so many Generals before him for standing up to a Fascist White House. He should be an inspiration to others to speak out against evil. The Admiral's outspokenness should dispel the myth that being a general means following the orders of a commander-in-chief without question. That's what separates a free country and a dictatorship:
Fallon was the subject of an article published last week in Esquire magazine that portrayed him as opposed to President Bush's Iran policy. It described Fallon as a lone voice against taking military action to stop the Iranian nuclear program.
"Recent press reports suggesting a disconnect between my views and the president's policy objectives have become a distraction at a critical time and hamper efforts in the Centcom region," Fallon, who is traveling in Iraq, said in a statement issued by his U.S. headquarters in Tampa, Fla.
"And although I don't believe there have ever been any differences about the objectives of our policy in the Central Command area of responsibility, the simple perception that there is makes it difficult for me to effectively serve America's interests there," he said.
Here's part of that infamous Esquire interview:
When Dick Cheney has rattled his saber, it has generally meant that he intends to use it. And in spite of recent war spasms aimed at Iran from this sclerotic administration, Fallon is in no hurry to pick up any campaign medals for Iran. And therein lies the rub for the hard-liners led by Cheney. Army General David Petraeus, commanding America's forces in Iraq, may say, "You cannot win in Iraq solely in Iraq," but Fox Fallon is Petraeus's boss, and he is the commander of United States Central Command, and Fallon doesn't extend Petraeus's logic to mean war against Iran.
So while Admiral Fallon's boss, President George W. Bush, regularly trash-talks his way to World War III and his administration casually casts Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as this century's Hitler (a crown it has awarded once before, to deadly effect), it's left to Fallon--and apparently Fallon alone--to argue that, as he told Al Jazeera last fall: "This constant drumbeat of conflict . . . is not helpful and not useful. I expect that there will be no war, and that is what we ought to be working for. We ought to try to do our utmost to create different conditions."
What America needs, Fallon says, is a "combination of strength and willingness to engage."
Those are fighting words to your average neocon--not to mention your average supporter of Israel, a good many of whom in Washington seem never to have served a minute in uniform. But utter those words for print and you can easily find yourself defending your indifference to "nuclear holocaust."
How does Fallon get away with so brazenly challenging his commander in chief?
The answer is that he might not get away with it for much longer. President Bush is not accustomed to a subordinate who speaks his mind as freely as Fallon does, and the president may have had enough.
The Post's take:
As he was preparing to take command, Fallon said that a war with Iran "isn't going to happen on my watch," according to retired Army Col. Patrick Lang.
Lang, a former analyst with the Defense Intelligence Agency, said in an interview that he asked Fallon how he would avoid such a conflict. "I have options, you know," Fallon responded, which Lang interpreted as implying Fallon would step down rather than follow orders he considers mistaken.