Crushing the Ants

You may have heard the new Esquire article about Admiral William Fallon, head of the U.S. Central Command, presents him as a hero for standing up to Bush’s desire to attack Iran. Chris Floyd points out the portrayal of Fallon’s perspective is actually a little more complicated:

Fallon himself has long denied the story which had him declaring, upon taking over Central Command, that a war on Iran “isn’t going to happen on my watch.” And in fact, the article itself depicts Fallon’s true attitude toward the idea of an attack on Iran right up front, in his own words. After noting Fallon’s concerns about focusing too much on Iran to the exclusion of the other “pots boiling over” in the region, Barnett nevertheless keeps pressing the point the point and asks: “And if it comes to war?” Fallon replies with stark, brutal clarity:

“Get serious,” the admiral says. “These guys are ants. When the time comes, you crush them.”

The article makes clear that Fallon’s main concerns about a war with Iran are, as noted, about tactics and timing: Sure, when the time comes – no shuffling on that point – we’ll crush these subhumans like the insects they are; but we’ve already got a lot on our plate at the moment, so why not hold off as long as we can?

The rest.