Skip to comments.Latest Helen Thomas screed: "Hats Off To Admiral Fallon--Perception Is He Was Pushed Out"
Posted on 03/20/2008 6:30:21 AM PDT by seanmerc
A salute is due Adm. William Fallon, who tried to prevent a wider war with Iran.
After serving one year as commander of U.S. Central Command, Fallon has resigned, saying he was quitting because his differences with official U.S. policy had become a distraction.
But there is a widespread perception that he was pushed out by the neo-conservatives among President George W. Bushs aides, especially Vice President Dick Cheney, because of Fallons reluctance to go along with the administrations hawkish moves toward Iran.
Cheney, who took five consecutive draft deferments to stay out of the Vietnam war, does not mind keeping the U.S. in the Iraqi quagmire he helped create. The same goes for Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP presidential candidate, who said that leaving Iraq is not a U.S. option.
McCain once said the U.S. could stay in Iraq for 100 years.
As head of Centcom, Fallons command ran from the Mediterranean to South Asia and included Iraq, where he ran afoul of Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander there.
Petraeus would maintain the 130,000 pre-surge U.S. troop-level in Iraq, probably till the end of the Bush presidency. Fallon was concerned that keeping so many troops in Iraq could leave the U.S. unprepared for any new crises that might occur elsewhere.
Petraeus is scheduled to report on the war in Iraq to Bush in early April and, in view of the lessened violence there, is expected to present his usual upbeat assessment of how things are going. Petraeus plays ball and gives the president the answers he wants.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, also on the team, indicated Fallon was right to quit.
Admiral Fallon reached this difficult decision on his own," said Gates. I believe it was the right thing to do, even though I do not believe there are, in fact, significant differences between his views and administration policy, Gates added.
The Pentagon chief, who has held top jobs in government for years, is a survivor who learned long ago to ride the right horse. He praised Fallon, saying he was enormously talented and very experienced, and he does have a strategic vision that is rare.
While the differences between Fallon and the bellicose White House were well known, they came to a head in an article in the April issue of Esquire Magazine written by Thomas Barnett, a former professor at the Army War College.
Barnett wrote that if Fallon left his job anytime soon, it could signal that Bush intends to go to war with Iran. Gates called that assertion just ridiculous.
Recent press reports suggesting a disconnect between my views and the presidents policy objectives have become a distraction at a critical time, Fallon said in a statement. He said it would be best to step aside and let our military leaders move beyond this distraction.
Fallon appears to be a military man with peaceful intentions. The Esquire article quoted him: What America needs is a combination of strength and willingness to engage.
The change of command in the Persian Gulf also comes as a time when the U.S. is marking the fifth year in a mindless war with no end in sight.
Fallon was a rarity in the top military ranks. To tell the truth to the commander-in-chief often has a price.
Ask Gen. Colin Powell, former secretary of state, who sacrificed his credibility when he spoke to the United Nations on Feb. 5, 2003, and delivered a pack of falsehoods to justify the U.S. attack on Iraq.
Powell later called it a blot on his career.
(Helen Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org).
He did? What did Powell "lie" about?
Thank you Helen, for the Al Jazeera point of view.
My perception is he should have been thrown out.
So, according to the windbag (and I do mean “bag”), wanting to make sure that the leading state supporter of Islamic terror doesn’t get a nuclear weapon is hawkish, but daily Iranian chants of Death to America and Death to Israel is simply diplomatic jargon?
It would be nice if someone would throw Helen Thomas out.
Helen Thomas? Is SHE still alive?
I have actually used that face to scare my children.
You would probably be arrested for using it as a Halloween mask.
Depends on who you talk to.
Good. I hope he WAS pushed out. Fallon was a lousy officer. He was the product of a generation of political correctness forced on our military.
The Marine Corps, in which I served, suffered under a similar idiot named Krulak under Clinton.
(GSC tips hat to the moderator of the moment)
HELLen - The American military will end up killing every single terrorist in your family. Sucks to be you doesn’t it?
McCain once said the U.S. could stay in Iraq for 100 years.
I wish they would print this in context, but better yet I wish that straight talking McCain would think before he gives his opposition ammo.
More pictures of this ugly crone please! They are the only reason I open posts on this sow.
Helen calls Iraq a “quagmire.” The real quagmire was CENTCOM under Fallon.
Helen Thomas and Castro are both still alive? I thought the Grim Reaper had them both years ago. Any news about Abe Vigoda’s health?
Soo . . Hellen, which war did YOU serve in?
Oh, God! I’m blind! (I hope I touch-typed this correctly.)
The War Against Beauty ... she was a Field Marshall!
He was fired.
I really am looking forward to your obituary!
I think it was Fred Sandord who said to his wifes sister “You could make gorilla cookies with that face.”
i thought that that was abe vigoda in a dress.
as helen is proof that only the good die young and that ugly does go right to the bone and apparently keeps one alive...
but as far as i know... cheney is a part of this war... being the cic in waiting... and has visited the battlefields of the middle east... doesn’t he deserve credit for that.
It was, but Aunt Esther was Helen of Troy compared to HT!
Now THAT is way too funny! I bet Bill Clinton would
Barnett was a prof at the Naval War College, Helen, not the Army War College.
Was so happy to see that hypocritical, sactimonious little sh!t retire.
He’d kiss her, too.
Who did you post the same picture twice?