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Gareth Porter: Fallon's "No Iran War" Line Angered White House

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laststeamtrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:56 AM
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Gareth Porter: Fallon's "No Iran War" Line Angered White House
Fallon's "No Iran War" Line Angered White House

Gareth Porter*

WASHINGTON, Mar 7 (IPS) - A new article on CENTCOM commander Adm. William Fallon confirms that his public statements last fall ruling out war against Iran last fall were not coordinated with the White House and landed him in trouble more than once with President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

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.

<snip>

The unhappiness of the Bush administration with Fallon's role as well as the unflattering picture of administration policy revealed by the article was evident Thursday from the failure of either the White House or the Pentagon to issue the usual reassuring statements in response to the article.

The White House declined to comment, although, according to the Washington Post's Thomas Ricks, the article "was being discussed there". The Pentagon spokesman, Geoff Morrell, said Secretary of Defence Robert M. Gates "has read the profile on Admiral Fallon but chooses not to comment on it or other press accounts."

<more>

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=41500
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thunder rising Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:12 AM
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1. A little perspective here: Generals advising foreign relations is like GlaxoSmithKline advising FDA
This is not intended to demean the military, but their job is to KILL THE ENEMY! The military is a tool that is to be used as a last resort, but the generals always see situations in need of their fire power.

We elect our politions, we do not elect generals. They are promoted through the ranks by their ability to kill the enemy better than the others.
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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Actually...
...we expect our military commanders to be capable of both strategic and tactical thinking, as well as good judgment as to when force is required vs. when it is not.

Now it may be true that generals by and large are more trigger-happy than the rest of us. However, at present, it seems to be the generals who are putting a leash on this administration's plans to attack Iran, which kind of undercuts your position a bit, no? In fact the general in question, if you read the article, is in trouble precisely because he does NOT see a situation in need of firepower, unlike the chimp in chief, who does.
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thunder rising Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:13 PM
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3. We agree. Bush fires generals that tell truth to power (Hitlerish) and that is thier job. But not
policy. Bush, McCain and Clinton like to use generals to validate policy. It's a shortcut to actual thinking.

Right now, the military is being put in the position of not doing their jobs which is planning for war (which is what I want them to be doing), to instead line walking between getting fired and unending war.

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