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Thread: Top US Iraq war military chief resigns, critic of US Iran policy

  1. #1
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Top US Iraq war military chief resigns, critic of US Iran policy

    March 11 (Bloomberg) -- Admiral William Fallon is stepping down as head of U.S. Central Command because of perceived differences on Iran policy with the Bush administration, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said today.

    Fallon, 63, assumed command of all U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central Asia a year ago, with responsibility for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He informed Gates of his decision today in the wake of an Esquire magazine article that portrayed him as an ardent opponent within the administration of war with Iran to halt its possible building of a nuclear bomb.

    While the U.S. is pursuing a policy of diplomatic pressure on Iran at the United Nations and unilateral sanctions to weaken its access to the international banking system, the Bush administration hasn't ruled out military action as an option.

    ``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 said in a statement.

    Fallon said while he doesn't believe a policy rift exists, ``the simple perception that there is makes it difficult for me to effectively serve America's interests there.''

    Gates said Fallon ``reached this difficult decision entirely on his own.''

    `Right Thing'

    ``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 told reporters at the Pentagon.
    The Esquire piece praised Fallon as ``the rarest of creatures in the Bush universe: the good cop on Iran, and a man of strategic brilliance.''

    The article said Fallon had created tensions with the White House by opposing the administration's Iran rhetoric and cited well-placed observers as saying ``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.''

    Gates described as ``just ridiculous'' an idea raised in the article that if Fallon leaves, it may mean the U.S. is going to war with Iran.
    Fallon will leave his post at the end of the month. Army Lieutenant General Martin Dempsey, the deputy commander of Central Command, will serve as acting commander once Fallon steps down, Gates said.

    `Enormously Talented'

    ``Admiral Fallon will be difficult to replace,'' Gates said. ``He is enormously talented.''

    Before taking the Mideast command, Fallon was in charge of U.S. forces in the Pacific.

    Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Fallon's departure ``yet another example that independence and the frank, open airing of experts' views are not welcomed in this administration.''

    In an interview last month in Doha, Qatar, Fallon said Iran continued to supply lethal aid and training to extremist militias in Iraq and said the U.S. was looking for ``a long-term change'' in Iranian behavior.
    Fallon, a former fighter pilot known to friends as ``Fox,'' routinely rejected news stories that suggested he clashed with General David Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq. Fallon's resignation comes just weeks before Petraeus is scheduled to testify before Congress on security conditions in Iraq.

    Iraq Pause

    In the interview last month, Fallon endorsed Petraeus's decision to pause this summer before deciding whether to continue withdrawing U.S. combat brigades from Iraq later in the year.

    Fallon's appointment was part of a broad shakeup of the U.S. military's command structure in the Middle East that coincided with President George W. Bush's decision to add 21,500 combat troops in Iraq to the 131,000 already there, with the primary goal of stabilizing Baghdad.

    Bush, in a statement, said Fallon, a Vietnam veteran who previously served as head of U.S. Pacific Command, had served the U.S. ``with great distinction'' for 40 years. He was the first Navy officer to head Central Command.

    Bloomberg.com: Worldwide
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  2. #2
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    oh what the fuck ever, Bush pushed him out because he wouldn't toe the crazy line and told him either resign or i'll fire you.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  3. #3
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    War with Iran in 10...9....8....
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


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