Breaking: Fallon resigns as head of Centcom; Update: In the works for awhile?

posted at 3:47 pm on March 11, 2008 by Allahpundit

Everyone in the blogosphere’s going to be linking this Thomas P.M. Barnett profile in Esquire published just last week suggesting that Fallon’s the only thing standing between the U.S. and war with Iran, and as such, if he leaves Centcom it’s a surefire sign that he’s lost the debate and the bombs will soon be dropping. Well, he’s out. Read the Esquire piece while I go look for updates.

Allegedly he isn’t a big fan of Petraeus either, so bear that angle in mind too as explanations emerge. Stand by.

Update: From WaPo’s write-up of the Esquire article:

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.

Update: A key passage from Esquire. Bear in mind, we’ve been hearing rumors from the likes of Seymour Hersh about the “imminent” attack on Iran for two years:

Just as Fallon took over Centcom last spring, the White House was putting itself on a war footing with Iran. Almost instantly, Fallon began to calmly push back against what he saw as an ill-advised action. Over the course of 2007, Fallon’s statements in the press grew increasingly dismissive of the possibility of war, creating serious friction with the White House.

Last December, when the National Intelligence Estimate downgraded the immediate nuclear threat from Iran, it seemed as if Fallon’s caution was justified. But still, well-placed observers now say that it will come as no surprise if Fallon is relieved of his command before his time is up next spring, maybe as early as this summer, in favor of a commander the White House considers to be more pliable. If that were to happen, it may well mean that the president and vice-president intend to take military action against Iran before the end of this year and don’t want a commander standing in their way.

And so Fallon, the good cop, may soon be unemployed because he’s doing what a generation of young officers in the U. S. military are now openly complaining that their leaders didn’t do on their behalf in the run-up to the war in Iraq: He’s standing up to the commander in chief, whom he thinks is contemplating a strategically unsound war.

Maybe his allies suspected he was being pushed out for other reasons and wanted to get a jump on the narrative by framing it this way? Any alternative theory to Barnett’s theory is a good alternative.

Update: Or was Fallon’s cooperation with Barnett for his article the problem?

Update: Yup, maybe:

Officials said the last straw, however, came in an article in Esquire magazine by Thomas P.M. Barnett, a respected military analyst, that profiled Admiral Fallon under the headline, “The Man Between War and Peace.” The article highlighted comments Admiral Fallon made to the Arab television station Al Jazeera last fall, in which he said that a “constant drumbeat of conflict” from Washington that was directed at Iran and Iraq was “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.”…

Readers of the Esquire article who are among the admiral’s boosters said they did not believe on reading that piece that Admiral Fallon himself had made comments that could be viewed as insubordinate to the president.

Like the Times says, Gates is known to be dovish on Iran too. If the jets are being warmed up, when did he come around, exactly?

Update: Further to the “Esquire article as preemptive strike” theory, here’s Blackfive claiming that he’s been hearing Fallon was on his way out for months now and it has nothing to do with Iran. Jim Miklaszewski at NBC says it does have something to do with Esquire, though — namely, his alleged insubordination. This was posted this morning, about four hours before the resignation came down:

The Pentagon sharks are circling CENTCOM Commander Adm. William “Fox” Fallon for a magazine interview in which he appears to openly criticize President Bush on the administration’s Iran policy. The very public comments raised speculation Fallon would either volunteer or be forced to resign…

Still, the gruff, outspoken CENTCOM commander has his detractors. “How many times can [Fallon] get away with these kinds of remarks,” before he’s forced out the door, asked one senior Pentagon official. The reason may be that on Iran, Gates and many senior military officials happen to agree with Fallon.

Gates has said publicly and privately that under current conditions he’s opposed to war with Iran. Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen is also against it. In fact, almost every senior military officer we’ve talked to is against launching military strikes against Iran, because as one senior official told us, “then what do you do?”

Update: The official explanation is that it was the Esquire article that led him to leave — namely, the “misperceptions” that he didn’t see eye to eye with the administration on Iran when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. Ahem.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Good. That piece struck me as public insubordination. I’m glad he did the right thing and resigned.

TheBigOldDog on March 11, 2008 at 3:49 PM

Resigned or told he would be booted to Alaska dogsled command ?

William Amos on March 11, 2008 at 3:50 PM

Huh, well I guess the NIE didn’t do the death blow to American National Security that we thought it might.

NeoconNews.com on March 11, 2008 at 3:50 PM

Allegedly he isn’t a big fan of Petraeus is not as competent nor as strategically brilliant as Gen. Patraeus either….

Branch Rickey on March 11, 2008 at 3:51 PM

Color me sceptical. Regardless of this, we still aren’t going to bomb Iran.

Vote Sauron 08 on March 11, 2008 at 3:51 PM

“That piece struck me as public insubordination.”

Completely agree. If he feels that way, fine. Keep it to yourself.

You’re an Army Officer, not some ditz on Oprah. We don’t need the enemy knowing that.

Should have been canned right then.

NoDonkey on March 11, 2008 at 3:51 PM

Geez, I was surprise that even in Fox News they made it seem like because he resigned, we’re going to war with Iran.

terryannonline on March 11, 2008 at 3:52 PM

Imagine if some General were to say to President Obama “Your totally clueless and going to get alot of Americans killed” the nutroots would have wanted a public beheading.

William Amos on March 11, 2008 at 3:52 PM

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,336849,00.html

Fallon claimed ongoing misperceptions about differences between his ideas and U.S. policy are making it too difficult for him to operate,

Yes basically what he says is the Media is distorting what he is saying so much he can no longer be effective. Sad how the most of the media is distorting not only what he said before, but even now with his statements on why he is REALLY resigning.

JeffinSac on March 11, 2008 at 3:53 PM

Another Admiral General Big Cheese that couldn’t get the job done and has some envy of Petraeus?
And Bush really, really wants to spank Iran?

Kini on March 11, 2008 at 3:54 PM

Fallon got his fourth star from Clinton, and his sentiments lie in the same general directiona as Wes Clark. We all know what an asshole he is. Expect an endorsement of Obama (with an expected appointment in that administration) in short order.

Alamo on March 11, 2008 at 3:55 PM

Judging from the reeking Esquire piece, good riddance.

RushBaby on March 11, 2008 at 3:56 PM

Ok who’s got all the links straight on this one? We’ve had several articles on this haven’t we? We had one recently where he claimed to be angry about the story right?

TheBigOldDog on March 11, 2008 at 3:56 PM

Very interesting. If the recent increase in bombings in Iraq is Iran sponsored I wonder if Petraeus is recommending a response that Fallon didn’t agree with.

BrianBoru on March 11, 2008 at 3:56 PM

Of course, this could all be related to the busting of the prositution ring in New York.

davod on March 11, 2008 at 3:58 PM

No war with Iran is imminent but the possibility of him standing with Hillary, or Obama, soon, in opposition to a war with Iran is very high. My bet is on Hillary.

Entelechy on March 11, 2008 at 3:59 PM

Fallon didn’t like the general under whom the situation in Iraq improved dramatically, played “good cop” with the rogue Islamic regime, and apparently sided with the NIE — which has since been slammed by both domestic and foreign sources as inaccurate.

amerpundit on March 11, 2008 at 4:00 PM

Hmm. Interesting.

someguy on March 11, 2008 at 4:02 PM

Ahmadinnerjacket is “Client 8.” You think he came all the way to NY just to speak at the UN?

Akzed on March 11, 2008 at 4:02 PM

From the Esquire piece:

President George W. Bush, regularly trash-talks his way to World War III

Esquire/Barnett’s slant is obvious. Go to heck.

mikeyboss on March 11, 2008 at 4:03 PM

1) I question the timing.

2) Who the hell knows?

mikeyboss on March 11, 2008 at 4:04 PM

Of course, this could all be related to the busting of the prositution ring in New York.

davod on March 11, 2008 at 3:58 PM

Can you say Client No. 10?

BrianBoru on March 11, 2008 at 4:05 PM

Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran!

Shirotayama on March 11, 2008 at 4:08 PM

Does all of this “going to war with Iran” talk mean bombing known nuclear sites, or a ground/air offensive followed by an occupation?

If the latter, might I suggest a starting date of June 22?

OhEssYouCowboys on March 11, 2008 at 4:08 PM

Good. That piece struck me as public insubordination. I’m glad he did the right thing and resigned.

TheBigOldDog on March 11, 2008 at 3:49 PM

Dittos.

Besides, Iran could assume we wouldn’t be attacking as long as he was there.

petefrt on March 11, 2008 at 4:08 PM

Another one gone. You really think they’re planning an invasion of Iran? That would be a big mistake. I mean, we’re not talking about a defenseless nation crippled by 10 years of embargoes now, are we?

Watchman on March 11, 2008 at 4:12 PM

I’ve never been too fond of too many Navy types. The Air Force is unacceptably liberal, but they’re nothing compared to the sailors. While many are very competent, too many sailors (like this less-than-professional admiral, if he did say those things about his Army General Patraeus) are nothing more than double-talking, insubordinate liberals that you can count on to undercut authority at every turn. For loyalty and competence, I’d always turn to the Army and the Marine Corps. They’ve got their liberals, too, but not nearly as many.

And, as somebody else said, it’s funny how he got so indignant after General Patraeus moved in and cleaned up the town in full sight of the press.

Virus-X on March 11, 2008 at 4:13 PM

Fallon got his fourth star from Clinton, and his sentiments lie in the same general directiona as Wes Clark. We all know what an asshole he is. Expect an endorsement of Obama (with an expected appointment in that administration) in short order.

Alamo on March 11, 2008 at 3:55 PM

Thomas P.M. Barnett (who I used to think was a rational lefty) is for Obama. From his blog:

I always cringe when I see mag covers announcing some “New Cold War!”

Again, another good example of how out of synch we are with the world right now. That’s why I’d take Obama and let him play up instead of having to dial down McCain all the time. Plus we’ve seen what “second acts” got us with W., so I’m not eager for the Clinton crowd’s return.

RushBaby on March 11, 2008 at 4:14 PM

Seems interesting in light of Cheney’s impending trip, which was only announced yesterday.

Extraneus on March 11, 2008 at 4:14 PM

“a defenseless nation crippled by 10 years of embargoes now, are we?”

Stop it. We already know that the embargoes were largely ineffective for stopping anything Sadaam really wanted.

davod on March 11, 2008 at 4:16 PM

Another one gone. You really think they’re planning an invasion of Iran?

I really don’t think. Um let’s see….

Bush has less than a year to go so that means he would have to start making the case for TODAY. Oh, and he has very little public approval so does he want to be IMPEACHED? Also, why the Bush administration let an NIE get out that said that Iran has suspended it’s nuclear program.

So NO I don’t think we are going to war with Iran. It’s absolutely ridiculous!!!

terryannonline on March 11, 2008 at 4:17 PM

if we are going to bomb Iran, I say do it around the time of the DNC convention. If the $%*( is going to hit the fan anyway, might as well do so with a bang.

jp on March 11, 2008 at 4:18 PM

Stop it. We already know that the embargoes were largely ineffective for stopping anything Sadaam really wanted.

Except, of course, reconstituting his army, feeding his people, rebuilding his country, etc…

Of course, now you’ll just say that Saddam didn’t really want that huh?

Watchman on March 11, 2008 at 4:18 PM

My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia Iran forever. The bombing begins in five minutes?

CaptainObvious on March 11, 2008 at 4:18 PM

So NO I don’t think we are going to war with Iran. It’s absolutely ridiculous!!!

terryannonline on March 11, 2008 at 4:17 PM

no war, but they may bomb the heck out of them or rather their nuke making facilities

jp on March 11, 2008 at 4:19 PM

So NO I don’t think we are going to war with Iran. It’s absolutely ridiculous!!!

terryannonline on March 11, 2008 at 4:17 PM

Someone I can agree with. Thanks for that…

Watchman on March 11, 2008 at 4:19 PM

Imagine if some General were to say to President Obama “Your totally clueless and going to get alot of Americans killed” the nutroots would have wanted a public beheading.

William Amos on March 11, 2008 at 3:52 PM

True dat.

Fallon got his fourth star from Clinton, and his sentiments lie in the same general directiona as Wes Clark. We all know what an asshole he is. Expect an endorsement of Obama (with an expected appointment in that administration) in short order.

Alamo on March 11, 2008 at 3:55 PM

I’m always slightly skeptical of top officers that got to the top under Clinton.

Frozen Tex on March 11, 2008 at 4:19 PM

Watchman-

I sure hope it doesn’t come to that, but your overestimation of Iran’s capabilities sounds remarkably like those comments heard from all the weenies prior to the invasion of Iraq.

Despite all of the liberal whining, hand-wringing and desperate hopes otherwise, the United States military is capable of completely overwhelming any nation on this planet (short of the PRC) in relatively short order. The ONLY question is how much we will hinder our own efforts by minimizinng collateral damage. Our greatest weakness in combat is our benevolence towards both non-combatants and our enemies.

Alamo on March 11, 2008 at 4:20 PM

We have initiated an Official Moonbat Alert due to this development.

Snooper on March 11, 2008 at 4:21 PM

Less dead weight around the ankles of the men fighting in Iraq.

joewm315 on March 11, 2008 at 4:22 PM

Here’s a quote from Gates via Yahoo! News:

“I think this is a cumulative kind of thing,” said Gates, speaking of the circumstances leading up to Fallon’s decision. “It isn’t the result of any one article or any one issue.”

“As I say, the notion that this decision portends anything in terms of change in Iran policy is, to quote myself, ‘ridiculous,’ ” he said.

someguy on March 11, 2008 at 4:23 PM

your overestimation of Iran’s capabilities sounds remarkably like those comments heard from all the weenies prior to the invasion of Iraq.

Whilst I would have never said Iraq was going to be a “cakewalk”, there was no doubt that the US military was going to take the country in short order. As I suggested above, the country had been destroyed in the first gulf war, (I know, I was there), and kept on a short leash in the 10 years that followed.

Iran is a whole different ball of wax.

Watchman on March 11, 2008 at 4:26 PM

Gates has said publicly and privately that under current conditions he’s opposed to war with Iran. Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen is also against it. In fact, almost every senior military officer we’ve talked to is against launching military strikes against Iran, because as one senior official told us, “then what do you do?”

Idiots all, Messrs Gates/Fallon included. Even if that’s how they feel, it should never be announced to the world. All options on…the…table…what happened to the strength through surprise strategy, even if that means inaction of some sort?…

Oh, the old war boys and their real stones…today’s have ping-pong balls in their stead. Gates and State seem to be for softball nuance, negotiations, and getting along. Team-work, in war and all the way down. Global kumbaya, love, peace,…and ultimate destruction of all things free.

Entelechy on March 11, 2008 at 4:26 PM

UPDATE: Defense Secretary William Gates announced Tuesday that Fallon is stepping down as head of U.S. Central Command. He said Fallon took the decision because he felt the statements attributed to him created a misperception about his goals and those of President Bush.

Maybe Petraeus will move up to CENTCOM as Blackfive suggests.

bnelson44 on March 11, 2008 at 4:27 PM

Aid. Comfort.

mymanpotsandpans on March 11, 2008 at 4:28 PM

Does all of this “going to war with Iran” talk mean bombing known nuclear sites, or a ground/air offensive followed by an occupation?

If the latter, might I suggest a starting date of June 22?

OhEssYouCowboys on March 11, 2008 at 4:08 PM

An occupation…………with what? We have nothing left.

ThePrez on March 11, 2008 at 4:31 PM

Unless we evacuate the occupation force from Irag into Iran. Facing a better equiped and train Iranian military PLUS their terrorist helpers in ADDITION to a public rallied to the cause of forcing out the American occupiers.

ThePrez on March 11, 2008 at 4:33 PM

Sounds like another 4-star is ready to start circulating in Democrat political circles.

Whatever Fallon’s colors turn out to be, I think the worst of Bush’s legacy will have been his failure to recognize the extraordinary extent to which the Clintons partisanized virtually all branches of government, and his subsequent failure to purge not only the military commands but the CIA, DoJ, and virtually every other agency of just such operatives. (And, of course, Clinton’s greatest legacy–and the real reason a Hillary presidency is such a nightmarish prospect–was his ability to have so thoroughly partisanized so much so deeply with such long-lasting consequence.)

Blacklake on March 11, 2008 at 4:38 PM

Iran is a whole different ball of wax.

Watchman on March 11, 2008 at 4:26 PM

How so?

It wasn’t lack of material that kept the Iraqis from mounting a staunch defense. It was lack of strategy, command and control, leadership, and most of all will.

The rank and file Iranian soldier has absolutely no misconception about what fate awaits him in the field opposite the US military. Like Desert Storm and the Iraq war, self preservation would lead to wholesale defection and surrender. Almost certain destruction, along with extreme dissatisfaction with the rule of the mullahs, does not make for very good morale or an effective fighting force.

This would (again) be a mismatch of monumental proportions. That said, given the generally favorable sentiment towards the US of the average Iranian citizen, I hope we can wait for positive internal change to occur within Iran.

Alamo on March 11, 2008 at 4:38 PM

Of course, this could all be related to the busting of the prositution ring in New York.

davod on March 11, 2008 at 3:58 PM

Can you say Client No. 10?

BrianBoru on March 11, 2008 at 4:05 PM

In the screencap, he has the very same “blowfish” expression on his face as the Gov. of Love!

RushBaby on March 11, 2008 at 4:38 PM

Colonel Patrick Lang is the retired military fellow “The News Hour” always brings on the air whenever they need someone to contradict the active duty personnel.

He blogs.
http://www.turcopolier.typepad.com/

gabriel sutherland on March 11, 2008 at 4:39 PM

I simply can NOT understand why the liberals actively undercut any desire to thwart, remove, or destroy a regime that ACTIVELY undercuts American interests and those of its proxy (Israel). The Iranian regime has been responsible for:

-The deaths of hundreds if not thousands of American military and civilian personnel, largely through the supply of explosives and other weaponry designed specifically to counter American armor

-The active building up of Hizbullah and the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands of Lebanese Arabs and scores of Jews/Israelis

-The active destabilization of Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan

-The harboring of terrorists both Shi’ite and Sunni such as the late Mugniyeh and Zarqawi, and BinLadin’s son Sa’ad.

-Steadfastly refused to listen to the rest of the world as it repeatedly asked, sanctioned, and begged Iran to STOP building nuclear technology, while simultaneously threatening Israel’s existence, spurring fears of a true middle eastern nuclear armageddon between Iran and Israel, likely drawing in larger powers such as the US, Russia, and China

The ONLY reasons I can think of why the liberals would actively work to PREVENT our taking down such a blight on world stability and security is because they either:

a) Utterly hate the United States and everything it represents, thus making them nothing short of traitors in my view, and

b) They’re so enamored of the idea that ANY death of ANY person is so utterly horrible that they have to fight against it happening. Except they forget there are people who actively want to kill them and their families, because we’re all Kufr.

I say: President Bush, threatened impeachment be damned! Take the Iranian regime down NOW, please. Before it’s too late. Please do the job that Ronald Reagan unwisely chose NOT to do.

Shirotayama on March 11, 2008 at 4:40 PM

“the United States military is capable of completely overwhelming any nation on this planet (short of the PRC) in relatively short order.”

Please – the PRC can’t even overcome the obstacles before then in taking back little Tawain, as far as amphibious ops.

In an all out war, we’d kick them back to Chinatown – Peking.

NoDonkey on March 11, 2008 at 4:43 PM

Someone made a comment the other day that FoxSpews had gone awful lefty lately. I was watching Shemp Smith B report, and he and his panel were all over BUSH for this. Mary slammed Bush as really being anti-military because of all the careers HE ruined as commander in chef. And Shemp was just nodding his head and going off with the rest of the panel on how Bush screwed up in Afghanistan and Iraq and whose real goal is to attack Iran.

Seems there’s no news left to watch for an unbiased (or honestly biased) report.

mksmithwriter on March 11, 2008 at 4:43 PM

What about the wild card?

What would Fallon have done if Iran attacked Isreal?

Maybe this move is to insure that if that does happen before President Bush leaves office, he has the personnel in place to act accordingly?

Just a guess….

Seven Percent Solution on March 11, 2008 at 4:45 PM

Dude in the 8 year war with Iran Iraq almost beat them. And we handed Iraq’s army a swift thumping.

That said I dont see this as anything more than a high ranker shooting his mouth off and paying the price.

William Amos on March 11, 2008 at 4:47 PM

The ONLY reasons I can think of why the liberals would actively work to PREVENT our taking down such a blight on world stability and security is because they either:

a) Utterly hate the United States and everything it represents, thus making them nothing short of traitors in my view, and

b) They’re so enamored of the idea that ANY death of ANY person is so utterly horrible that they have to fight against it happening. Except they forget there are people who actively want to kill them and their families, because we’re all Kufr.

I say: President Bush, threatened impeachment be damned! Take the Iranian regime down NOW, please. Before it’s too late. Please do the job that Ronald Reagan unwisely chose NOT to do.

Shirotayama on March 11, 2008 at 4:40 PM

Actually, I think they realize the storm is coming, and they want credit for it – just like FDR knowingly allowed the Pearl Harbor attack, to get the US out of the Depression, which he had failed to do, even with this socialist progroms, for NINE years.

mksmithwriter on March 11, 2008 at 4:47 PM

That is good news. Postmodern MacArthur without any of MacArthur’s credentials.

Hening on March 11, 2008 at 4:51 PM

Someone made a comment the other day that FoxSpews had gone awful lefty lately. I was watching Shemp Smith B report, and he and his panel were all over BUSH for this. Mary slammed Bush as really being anti-military because of all the careers HE ruined as commander in chef.

I saw that. It was so irresponsible. I’m actually really furious about it right now. No one in news media should actively feed the paranoia. I’m really get sick and tired of this. Also, during some of the Democratic debates when the moderators would ask questions they were always posed as if the Bush administration had drawn up plans already.

Didn’t there use to be a time when the media would act responsibility. If the public actually paid attention to the news they might work the masses into a frenzy and that is the MOST dangerous thing I can think of that the media can do.

I’m sick of this. I hope these gigantic news media corporations go down to the internet. They deserve it. They lie to the public and I’m not going to stand for it. It’s disgusting.

I’m sorry I had to vent.

terryannonline on March 11, 2008 at 4:52 PM

Seems there’s no news left to watch for an unbiased (or honestly biased) report.

mksmithwriter on March 11, 2008 at 4:43 PM

This is the place, my friend.

Fox News has become a cheezy tabloid (I do miss all the sound effects).

Hening on March 11, 2008 at 4:54 PM

NoDonk;

Don’t get me wrong. I believe we’d hand the Chicoms their asses- It would just take longer. The Chinese have been demonstrated to be an effective, motivated fighting force. We had to kill s shitload (to quote a Marine at Chosin) to get them to back off in Korea. Conversly, there has not been an effective Arab or Persian miltary effort since the dark ages.

I was only referring to the degree of difficulty-not the ultimate outcome.

Alamo on March 11, 2008 at 4:55 PM

I’m sick of this. I hope these gigantic news media corporations go down to the internet. They deserve it. They lie to the public and I’m not going to stand for it. It’s disgusting.

I’m sorry I had to vent.

terryannonline on March 11, 2008 at 4:52 PM

Liberty is dead. The internet will soon be a thing of the past, shut down and regulated just like in China. Seems businesses (Google, MS and others) have no problem following the dictates of communists and dictators long as they get their bucks.

mksmithwriter on March 11, 2008 at 5:04 PM

FDR knowingly allowed the Pearl Harbor attack, to get the US out of the Depression, which he had failed to do, even with this socialist progroms, for NINE years.

mksmithwriter on March 11, 2008 at 4:47 PM

Oh brother. *rolls eyes*

RushBaby on March 11, 2008 at 5:05 PM

On the other hand, I’ve read reports why many of the Military’s top brass are leery of attacking Iran, particularly in a ground conflict:

Iran is essentially a natural fortress at the top of a high desert plateau in the central part of the country, with mountains nearly as high and craggy as Afghanistan’s in the western part of the country. Much harder to attack going uphill.

Then again, I’d actually rather suspect that their forces would start fleeing and deserting not long after we began any kind of serious ground assault.

Shirotayama on March 11, 2008 at 5:07 PM

FDR didn’t “knowingly” allow the Japanese to attack Pearl but he did precipitate it through a sort of miscalculation. We refused to sell oil to Japan because of Japan’s actions in China and elsewhere. We thought that would be enough to cause Japan to modify her behavior. What happened instead was completely unexpected. Japan decided to take the oil fields of the Dutch East Indies. In order to do that, she had to disable our Pacific fleet long enough to take those oil fields and build up her military to defend her conquests.

She would have succeeded too except for one major glitch. During the raid on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese could not find our aircraft carriers. Fearing that they would be caught, they canceled a third wave of bombing and headed home. Had that third wave succeeded in its mission … the bombing of the oil storage on Pearl Harbor, we would have had to move our fleet to San Francisco and there would have been no battle of Midway.

WWII in the Pacific was our first war for oil.

crosspatch on March 11, 2008 at 5:11 PM

I’m not going to chime in on the wisdom of action against Iran or not. What I am going to say is that when I saw this comment about threatening to resign if we took action, I felt it to be completely improper if true, and no different than the political games the State Department and CIA play to get their way over elected officials.

I think it is clear–you *can* resign if you disagree with the policy. You *can* give honest advice on the policy, even criticize it, especially to Congress. After all, the President is the senior commander of the Armed Forces, but he does not own them. It is not the “Royal Navy”, it is the United States Navy. The people own the military, and their representatives are in Congress.

But what I do not think you can do as a senior general/admiral is interject yourself in the political sphere by publically threatening to resign if you don’t get your way. I think you can do that in private, but not public–and I’m not even sure about that. If Fallon did indeed do this, then I felt last year he needed to go as a threat to liberty and civilian control. And this despite the fact that I’m not exactly bursting at the seams with enthusiasm at this adminstration’s strategic skill at the regional level.

But never forget that George Washington, with the national cause in a far deeper peril than we could ever begin to think about today, always managed to defer to civilian control, even if he felt such control was misguided. And when he resigned in 1783, it was he that tipped to his hat to those not fit to carry his–not the other way around. Because of the principal of the thing.

And as a side note, I think we may want to start questioning the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols act that took the JCS out of the direct chain of command. COCOM’s seem to be getting rolled very often these days, for good and ill.

Horatius on March 11, 2008 at 5:12 PM

I’m all for getting on with the inevitable dirty business we have to take care of with Iran, but this gives me pause. And strange feelings I haven’t felt before…

Cuffy Meigs on March 11, 2008 at 5:15 PM

mksmithwriter on March 11, 2008 at 4:47 PM

Actualy its because they don’t believe there really is a threat…

Face it, we tied in Korea… and nothing bad happened to the US.

We gave S. Viet Nam away…

And the Cold War? no major damage to the US.

The Liberals in power today have grown up in an era when you could LOOSE a war, and there would be no consequence.

Its just not a real threat to them…

Oh, and this guy should have been fired as SOON as he started talking politics. He’s a General, not a policy maker. The only thing he should be saying are things like “Iran? bah… we could bomb in back into the Stone Age in a month…”

Romeo13 on March 11, 2008 at 5:15 PM

Oh brother. *rolls eyes*

RushBaby on March 11, 2008 at 5:05 PM

Do the research. IT’s true.

mksmithwriter on March 11, 2008 at 5:16 PM

RushBaby: If you read Thomas Barnett’s books he tends to favor youth and chance over age and experience. He himself says he started trying to gain favor with “two stars” rather than “four stars” because the “two stars” would eventually be the “four stars” so why not start working with them now.

Generals of course.

Could we place a moratorium on comparisons between General William Fallon General MacArthur? Really.

I simply can NOT understand why the liberals actively undercut any desire to thwart, remove, or destroy a regime that ACTIVELY undercuts American interests and those of its proxy (Israel). The Iranian regime has been responsible for:

Any aggressive desire yes, but they’re not willing as of yet to commit to anything like the use of force. Force is the last of our means and lets pray it doesn’t come to that with Iran. This country has about a million crazy zealots that will do anything to appease the hidden imam. Add to that the fact that Russia, China, Australia and JAPAN all trade with them and we’re looking a real problem if force is the answer.

gabriel sutherland on March 11, 2008 at 5:16 PM

The “Spitzer” Expression spreads.

Chertoff should be the third gargoyle to go.

One more weak sister in a position beyond his grasp.

profitsbeard on March 11, 2008 at 5:22 PM

Stop it. We already know that the embargoes were largely ineffective for stopping anything Sadaam really wanted.

Except, of course, reconstituting his army, feeding his people, rebuilding his country, etc…

Of course, now you’ll just say that Saddam didn’t really want that huh?

Rebuilding his country and feeding his people weren’t priorities. Obtaining the latest Russian weaponry and bribing influencing Western politicans where both priorities.

And before you say anything futher, I got one word for you: Oil for Palaces.

I R A Darth Aggie on March 11, 2008 at 5:26 PM

Any aggressive desire yes, but they’re not willing as of yet to commit to anything like the use of force. Force is the last of our means and lets pray it doesn’t come to that with Iran. This country has about a million crazy zealots that will do anything to appease the hidden imam. Add to that the fact that Russia, China, Australia and JAPAN all trade with them and we’re looking a real problem if force is the answer.

gabriel sutherland on March 11, 2008 at 5:16 PM

Yeah, let’s not get into a fight because it might get out of hand. Iran’s posture is a continuing attack on Israel (and the US because of its support). Their leaders (and many other Mid-East nations) will not rest until Israel falls.

Period.

Besides, soon as we had intel Iran was supporting jihad AQ and Sadr terrorists in Iraq, was the day we should have declared war on them.

Bush’s continued failure to prosecute this war properly has allowed the liberals like him fully take control of our nation.

Liberty is dead. And all brave free men soon follow.

mksmithwriter on March 11, 2008 at 5:28 PM

FDR was a lot like Chamberlain in the respect that the public didnt want war and the leader themselves was far too willing to believe that dictators didnt want war either. FDR was under the misconception that Japan wouldnt be stupid enough to attack the US. And that same kind of thinking infects the Democrats now. They simple believe that since we know we can kick thier asses they should know it also.

Iran is brazeningly attacking the US right now in Iraq. You dont think they could then use Iraq to further attack both the US and Israel if we pull out now ? They are doing that right now and in 1983 in Lebanon.

William Amos on March 11, 2008 at 5:30 PM

Despite all of the liberal whining, hand-wringing and desperate hopes otherwise, the United States military is capable of completely overwhelming any nation on this planet (short of the PRC) in relatively short order. The ONLY question is how much we will hinder our own efforts by minimizinng collateral damage. Our greatest weakness in combat is our benevolence towards both non-combatants and our enemies.

Alamo on March 11, 2008 at 4:20 PM

Agreed.

I would hazard to guess that 25% of all casualties in Iraq were caused solely by the ROE forced on the military by pantywaist “drive-bys.” If we go to war, keep the drive-bys locked up and let’s go in win. If they’re going to tie one hand behind our soldiers’ backs, don’t send them in unless they’re willing to stand right beside them.

SoldiersMom on March 11, 2008 at 5:33 PM

Actualy its because they don’t believe there really is a threat…

I disagree. The Dems all fell back on FDR starting in 2003 (before their coordinated-with-MSM attack on the war’s progress before Fallujuh when Bush flinched and failed to attack it when we had an advantage and then again when he failed to take out Sadr) claiming they could be tough in war when it was necessary. They were so jealous this happened on Republican’s watch (mostly Repub’s get us out of the Dem’s military mistakes). I think they know a big war is coming, and they will use it to completely wipe what’s left of our liberties off the books.

Liberty is dead.

Oh, and this guy should have been fired as SOON as he started talking politics. He’s a General, not a policy maker. The only thing he should be saying are things like “Iran? bah… we could bomb in back into the Stone Age in a month…”

Romeo13 on March 11, 2008 at 5:15 PM

Yup. Agree with that.

mksmithwriter on March 11, 2008 at 5:34 PM

Despite all of the liberal whining, hand-wringing and desperate hopes otherwise, the United States military is capable of completely overwhelming any nation on this planet (short of the PRC) in relatively short order. The ONLY question is how much we will hinder our own efforts by minimizinng collateral damage. Our greatest weakness in combat is our benevolence towards both non-combatants and our enemies.

Alamo on March 11, 2008 at 4:20 PM

Agreed.

I would hazard to guess that 25% of all casualties in Iraq were caused solely by the ROE forced on the military by pantywaist “drive-bys.” If we go to war, keep the drive-bys locked up and let’s go in win. If they’re going to tie one hand behind our soldiers’ backs, don’t send them in unless they’re willing to stand right beside them.

SoldiersMom on March 11, 2008 at 5:33 PM

And what happens when someone (like the crazed Putin in Russia) starts firing off their nukes in support?

People, you all should be very very scared right now because our politicians have betrayed us since FDR with his communist connections. And now is not only our liberty gone, our lives are in grave danger as well.

We’re done. It’s over -

Liberty is dead.

mksmithwriter on March 11, 2008 at 5:38 PM

They simple believe that since we know we can kick thier asses they should know it also.
William Amos on March 11, 2008 at 5:30 PM

I have to disagree. Have to look at the big picture back then which was the Great Depression. Until Germany attacked Russia, they were mostly unaffected by the depression. After nine years, FDR had failed to pull us and most of the West out of the depression. He was opening supporting China and England in the war. He knew the only way to protect his new version of communism, socialism, was war. People have to have something to do, even if only minimally productive. I believe the Repubs were pretty much in control of congress. So he was in danger of losing all those progroms which continued to fail.

He was already buddies with Stalin. In fact, during the war he was closer to Stalin than Churchill.

But heads off to your measured response. Good points.

mksmithwriter on March 11, 2008 at 5:44 PM

I was watching Shemp Smith B report, and he and his panel were all over BUSH for this. Mary slammed Bush as really being anti-military because of all the careers HE ruined as commander in chef.

I rarely watch Shepard/Sustupid but when I caught this today I screamed out loud at that idiot Mary Jane/Ellen.

Instead of discussing the threat Iran poses she blathered on and on over how many military careers President Bush had ruined during his administration.

Democrats refuse to recognize the danger.

They have no business being in charge.

Domino on March 11, 2008 at 5:45 PM

Fallon’s out?

This must be good news then. The moonbats are bouncing off the walls with EOTW predictions.

Et tu Brute on March 11, 2008 at 5:46 PM

mksmithwriter-

Liberty is dead. All all free men soon follow.

Thanks for the laugh.

(That Obituary has has a scorpion’s tail that usually ends up pricking its midwives.)

profitsbeard on March 11, 2008 at 5:47 PM

Let’s not make the same mistakes again. It’s not about the war, it’s about the day after. It’s about the Chinese, the Russians, the oil straits, Dubai, Egypt, Pakistan, the Stock Market, the Dollar, occupation troops, IEDs, etc.

Think about the day after, before anything else.

Titus Flavius on March 11, 2008 at 5:51 PM

Doesn’t Fallon’s replacement have to get the approval of Congress?

Might take a while to find a suitable replacement…

alphie on March 11, 2008 at 5:52 PM

Since when did Congress get the power to pick the CENTCOM commander ?

William Amos on March 11, 2008 at 5:57 PM

hink about the day after, before anything else.

Titus Flavius on March 11, 2008 at 5:51 PM

Right. Let’s not go to war to protect our troops and our rights and our allies and our sovereignty.

See folks, with people like this, it’s why I say –

Liberty is dead.

mksmithwriter on March 11, 2008 at 5:58 PM

I’m not going to chime in on the wisdom of action against Iran or not. What I am going to say is that when I saw this comment about threatening to resign if we took action, I felt it to be completely improper if true, and no different than the political games the State Department and CIA play to get their way over elected officials. . .
Horatius on March 11, 2008 at 5:12 PM

Good post. Yes, Fallon’s quote was completely improper and should have gotten him fired then and there.

Re Iran, it is not likely we would launch a ground invasion and subsequent occupation, much though the place is way overdue for a ‘regime change’, and much as we have really been at war with Iran since 1979 (taking our embassy was an act of war).

But the growing nuclear capability has to be dealt with, one way or another, and something has to be done about the Revolutionary Guard’s support of proxy terrorists like Hezbollah and Hamas. Maybe we’ll support an Israeli attack on the nuclear sites with our weaponry, and at the same time take out Iran’s military infrastructure. That would probably lead to an attempt by Iran to blockade the Gulf, but we have three carrier groups there.

The question is whether President Bush is going to take action this year, or leave it for the next guy. If the next guy is a Democrat, that might not be the wisest plan.

MrLynn on March 11, 2008 at 6:19 PM

Simple questions then.

What troops? How many? How long? How much? How often, should we pre-schedule the repeat visit for 20 years after?

Yes, Liberty is dead.

Titus Flavius on March 11, 2008 at 6:19 PM

Entelechy on March 11, 2008 at 3:59 PM

quit looking at my homework. :)

60Mins, then 20/20, Nightline, Frontline, and finally Matthews and Russert. We’ll get plenty of Fallon between now and November.

Limerick on March 11, 2008 at 6:26 PM

Titus Flavius

Nice choice. Except, that dude finished the war he was put i charge of, and quite effectively, ending Israel as a nation for almost 2,000 years,huh? So, his name doesn’t connect with your point, actually, does it.

Simple questions then.

What troops? How many? How long? How much? How often, should we pre-schedule the repeat visit for 20 years after?

Yes, Liberty is dead.

Titus Flavius on March 11, 2008 at 6:19 PM

Well, if our leaders actually efficiently did their jobs, those wouldn’t be legitimate questions. IF people like you hadn’t supported the attack on Bush, and instead supported Bush, he probably wouldn’t have paused at Fallujah, and with Sadr.

Yep, Liberty sure be dead, massar.

mksmithwriter on March 11, 2008 at 6:31 PM

quit looking at my homework. :)

Limerick on March 11, 2008 at 6:26 PM

Lim, you were supposed to keep it a secret :)

Entelechy on March 11, 2008 at 6:40 PM

Simple questions then.

What troops? How many? How long? How much? How often, should we pre-schedule the repeat visit for 20 years after?

Yes, Liberty is dead.

Titus Flavius on March 11, 2008 at 6:19 PM

Troops? NONE, except what we put on the Iran/Iraq border in a defensive posture…

Its time to bring back a middle ages Warfare idea, the punishment raid.

You very simply bomb them back to the stone age… no invasion, no worrying about “colateral damage”… you bomb the military, and bridges and infrastructure, and oil refineries (both of em)… and essentialy destroy what economy they have. You also shut them down from exporting oil…

Economy tanks. People get fed up. Government falls.

We have the power and technology to do it, and it would be WAY cheaper than invading and occupying the country (our mistake in Iraq).

Romeo13 on March 11, 2008 at 6:41 PM

alphie on March 11, 2008 at 5:52 PM

While you’re waiting on a new Legate you just have the Primus Pilus fill in.

Limerick on March 11, 2008 at 6:43 PM

Romeo,

I think Israel has tried that strategy already in Palestine.

Turns out folks don’t love countries that bomb them.

Got any other plans?

alphie on March 11, 2008 at 6:45 PM

alphie on March 11, 2008 at 6:45 PM

Please point out a sustained bombing campaign, conducted by Israel, between 1948 and 2008.

Limerick on March 11, 2008 at 6:46 PM

Ah yes, we can crush the barbarians, they won’t come back in 20 years.

Sure bomb the oil refineries. I’m sure the Chinese will love you bombing the oil they bought.

If you really want to do it, make a deal with the Chinese to do it, and they get to keep all the oil.

Titus Flavius on March 11, 2008 at 6:48 PM

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