Magazine article The American Conservative

Hear No Reason

Magazine article The American Conservative

Hear No Reason

Article excerpt

For five years now, President Bush has summoned the authority of generals to extinguish unwelcome questions about his Mideast policies. Occupation not working out in Iraq? Well, says the prez, I'm just listenin' to what my commanders on the ground are tellin' me. After a long list of generals found that Iraq wasn't receptive to American makeover, Gen. David Petraeus arrived, and Bush stood in his shadow to overrule the Iraq Study Group and escalate the war. Those who failed to salute got their patriotism and "support for the troops" called into question.

So what happens when a senior commander lets it be known that the United States can't solve its strategic problems in the Muslim world by invasion and occupation? Ask Admiral William Fallon.

Fallon was head of U.S. Central Command--the top military officer responsible for the U.S. defense posture in central Asia and thus in charge of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He let it be known with increasing frequency that war with Iran was not a desirable policy option for the United States. He said this before Arab audiences and to Thomas Barnett, the Navy War College professor who penned a piece on the admiral for Esquire. …

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