March 13, 2008

Fallon vs. Spitzer: Which is the Most Consequential Story?

Mac Owens

I know that the resignation of a combatant commander who has publicly challenged the policies of his commander-in-chief is not nearly as riveting as the resignation of an arrogant, self-righteous, nanny-state Democratic governor who seeks out sex with prostitutes, but in the greater scheme of things, the former story is more consequential.

On Tuesday, Admiral William Fallon, commander of US Central Command, stepped down after an article in Esquire made it very clear that he was actively undermining the Bush adminstration policy in the Middle East, especially with regard to Iran.

In a piece posted on the Daily Standard website of The Weekly Standard, I address this issue. I contend that as commander of CENTCOM, Fallon acted in a way that exceeded his authority and had Fallon not stepped down, the president would have been perfectly justified in firing him, just as Abraham Lincoln fired Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, as Franklin Roosevelt fired Rear Admiral James O. Richardson, and Harry Truman fired Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

I suppose this would be a bigger story if it weren't for the Gov. Whoremonger scandal. Let's see: politician's sex scandal or civil-military relations crisis--which would the press prefer to cover? Sigh!

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I read the article on a plane back from the southern part of our great nation and was struck by the bias of the writer. It was not an objective article and so I wonder how much the author trumped up the painted picture of Fallon as acting against the wishes of the Commander in Chief vs. simple advocacy of certain positions. The writer clearly hates President Bush with unmitigated passion.

What I am far more concerned with, though, is the tendancy for CENTCOM to become a command where careers are demolished rather than a shining spotlight where Joint Chiefs are born. This should be the place where the stars shine the brightest... right? Next stop, a front row seat at the State of the Union. Instead, these great warriors seem destined to take off the uniform and throw their services up to bid from 24 hour news services. What up?


Posted by: Jon Scott at March 13, 2008 6:13 PM
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