Monday, March 24, 2008

Fallon retires -- will Iran war follow?

Here's a link to the piece I did for on the retirement of Adm. William Fallon, a military leader who from what I can tell thought it was more important to serve his country than to continue to serve this administration. Almost as soon as he assumed leadership of the Central Command (CentCom) he said in public that a war with Iran would not occur on his watch. He had to know that the article in Esquire on his views would be viewed as close to insubordination, and from those I talked to there seems little doubt that he was told to leave or be fired. President Bush is fond of saying that he listens to his military commanders in the field, but he seems to listen only to those who tell him what he wants to hear. Gen. David Petraeus (Adm. Fallon denies calling him an "ass-kissing chickenshit" but that sounds like typical Navy talk to me) is one of those -- and even he has said that nobody in the Iraqi government or the U.S. government believes the make-believe Iraqi government has come close to the kind of reconciliation everybody claimed to believe was essential in the wake of the "surge."

I still don't think a war with Iran is inevitable -- it would be even stupider than the Iraq war -- but who knows with this administration.

There's word that Congress wants Adm. Fallon to testify, but the Pentagon won't allow it. I thought he would retire officially April 30, but I guess not. I hope when he does that he will speak out boldly and often. And maybe before.

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