Top Officer Resigns Over Iran Strategy
Head of military actions in Mideast said U.S. would not attack Iran on his Watch
By Michael Collins Piper
Over the past several months, conservative devotees of Israel were calling for the head of Adm. William “Fox” Fallon, the tough-talking, no-nonsense chief of the U.S. Central Command, which is responsible for U.S. military operations in the Mideast, East Africa and Central Asia.
On March 11 the conservatives got what they wanted. The admiral resigned his post, citing public controversy over his deep philosophical differences with the Bush administration on foreign policy matters.
Although both the admiral and the administration insisted for public consumption that there were no such differences, powerful forces with an interest in U.S. foreign policy—particularly pro-Israel pressure groups and their influential financial backers—have raised serious questions over the past year about Fallon’s commitment to Bush administration policies that are seen as vital to Israel’s security interests.
Most recently there’s been a buzz in higher circles about an admiring article about Fallon in the new issue of Esquire magazine written by former Pentagon official Thomas P.M. Barnett. Although Fallon, ironically,
said that he had problems with the article, it nonetheless regenerated discussion of Fallon’s concerns about the direction of the Bush administration’s policies.
Israel and its supporters in the United States have long been angry that, upon assuming his post, Fallon had dared to declare that there would be no war against Iran during his watch. Fallon’s comment was seen as a direct challenge not only to the Israeli lobby, which has been pushing for U.S. war against Iran, but also to President Bush, who has, of course, been the chief propagandist in the campaign against Iran, even in the wake of the disaster in Iraq that Bush and his pro-Israel “high priests of war” orchestrated.
Fallon also implied in a conversation with Army Col. Patrick Lang, a former analyst with the Defense Intelligence Agency, that he (Fallon) would resign his post in protest rather than follow orders by Bush to wage war against Iran.
Fallon further infuriated the administration (and pro-Israel circles) by dismissing the Bush regime’s insistence on using the term “the long war” as a way of hyping the so-called “war on terrorism.” The admiral also caused much consternation by referring publicly to the “crazies” in neo-conservative circles who were demanding U.S. military interventions across the Middle East on behalf of Israel.
Israel and its supporters considered Fallon the No. 1 “Arabist” in the Central Command which longtime pro-Israel shill Bill Gertz, writing in The Washington Times, complained “is dominated by Arabists who do not understand Islamist theology.” Gertz charged that the generals at the Central Command are “thoroughly confused . . . on the nature of the terrorist threat.”
In other words, Fallon and his high-ranking military colleagues were not prepared to thoroughly endorse the concept that all U.S. military operations must be coordinated for the purpose of advancing Israel’s geopolitical aims in the Mideast.
Following 9-11, Israel’s propagandists began pounding away at the theme of “fighting terrorism” as the foundation for stoking up U.S. public support for Israel (which they claim is based upon something they call “Islamo-Fascism”) and although most Americans don’t know it, many top-ranking military leaders, intelligence analysts, diplomats and others do not buy the argument that the “terrorist threat” is as serious or organized as Israel and the pro-Israel mass media in America insist.
The attacks on Fallon were part of
a long-standing Israeli propaganda campaign against American military leaders being conducted by such groups as the Washington-based Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), which has been described as “a virtual agency of the Israeli government.”
In the fall 2006 issue of its Journal of International Security Affairs, JINSA featured an article calling for a classic “witch-hunt” aimed at U.S. military leaders and others in the diplomatic and intelligence community who are perceived to be unsupportive of Israel.
The author of the article, Walid Phares, who is associated with a Zionist public policy front known as the Foundation for the Defense of the Democracies, asserted that there are anti-American and anti-Israel “adversaries” at high levels in the American military and intelligence establishment.
In his article “Future Terrorism—Mutant Jihads,” Phares asked: How deeply have jihadist elements infiltrated the U.S. government and federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and various military commands, either through sympathizers or via actual operatives?
Since there are few Muslim Americans or even Arab Americans in any substantial numbers in the FBI, Homeland Security, the Department of Defense etc, the suggestion that “jihadist” elements have “infiltrated” our government might seem silly to the average American.
But in the fevered minds of JINSA, the real concern is that there are growing numbers of people high up in the FBI and the CIA and in the military who are getting “fed up” with Zionist power in America.
Top military leaders openly dismissed the need for war against Iraq and Iran, both wars of which have been longtime goals of the Zionist lobby. This, in the view of the JINSA sphere, constitutes effective collaboration with and sympathy for the dreaded “jihadists.”
For example, on May 11, 2005, the New York-based Forward, a leading Jewish community newspaper, reported that Barry Jacobs of the Washington office of the American Jewish Committee said he believed there are high-ranking officials in the U.S. intelligence community who are hostile to Israel and waging war against pro-Israel lobbyists and their neo-conservative allies in the inner circles of the Bush administration.
Citing the ongoing FBI investigation of espionage by officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the leading pro-Israel lobby group, Forward reported that this top-level Jewish community leader believes, in Forward’s summary, that “the notion that American Jews and Pentagon neo-conservatives conspired to push the United States into war against Iraq, and possibly also against Iran, is pervasive in Washington’s intelligence community.”
In the end, though, what’s interesting is that prior to the explosion of reports in the mainstream media about the dissatisfied generals—four years after American Free Press first broke the story at a national level, even before the invasion of Iraq—the April 2006 issue of America’s oldest and most respected magazine, Harper’s, featured a provocative cover story: “American Coup d’Etat: Military Thinkers Discuss the Unthinkable”—the “unthinkable” being the apparent possibility that American military leaders could move against the president if he ordered them to wage a war that they did not believe was in America’s national interests.
This was one month after Harper’s—in another cover story—called for the impeachment of Bush. Clearly, some people in high places were—and are—not happy with the pro-Israel internationalism (and war-mongering policies) of the Bush regime. And Adm. Fallon was one of them. That’s why he is has effectively been forced out of his post, the aim of the pro-Israel propagandists.
A journalist specializing in media critique, Michael Collins Piper is the author of Final Judgment, The High Priests of War, The New Jerusalem, Dirty Secrets, The Judas Goats: The Enemy Within and The Golem: Israel’s Nuclear Hell Bomb and the Road to Global Armageddon. All are available from AFP. He has lectured across the globe.
(Issue # 12, March 24, 2008)