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Centcom chief Admiral Fallon: Petraeus "an ass-kissing little chickenshit"


Why does Admiral Fallon hate the troops? National security analyst Gareth Porter writes:

In sharp contrast to the lionisation of Gen. David Petraeus by members of the U.S. Congress during his testimony this week, Petraeus's superior, Admiral William Fallon, chief of the Central Command (CENTCOM), derided Petraeus as a sycophant during their first meeting in Baghdad last March, according to Pentagon sources familiar with reports of the meeting.

Fallon told Petraeus that he considered him to be "an ass-kissing little chickenshit" and added, "I hate people like that", the sources say. That remark reportedly came after Petraeus began the meeting by making remarks that Fallon interpreted as trying to ingratiate himself with a superior.

More importantly, why does Admiral Fallon hate ponies?

Anyhow, this isn't the first time Petraeus and his boss have clashed over Iraq policy. WaPo:

For two hours, President Bush listened to contrasting visions of the U.S. future in Iraq. Gen. David H. Petraeus dominated the conversation by video link from Baghdad, making the case to keep as many troops as long as possible to cement any security progress. Adm. William J. Fallon, his superior, argued instead for accepting more risks in Iraq, officials said, in order to have enough forces available to confront other potential threats in the region.

The polite discussion in the White House Situation Room a week ago masked a sharper clash over the U.S. venture in Iraq, one that has been building since Fallon, chief of the U.S. Central Command, which oversees Middle East operations, sent a rear admiral to Baghdad this summer to gather information. Soon afterward, officials said, Fallon began developing plans to redefine the U.S. mission and radically draw down troops.

One of those plans, according to a Centcom officer, involved slashing U.S. combat forces in Iraq by three-quarters by 2010 [That is, a smaller imperial garrison]. In an interview, Fallon disputed that description but declined to offer details. Nonetheless, his efforts offended Petraeus's team, which saw them as unwelcome intrusion on their own long-term planning. The profoundly different views of the U.S. role in Iraq only exacerbated the schism between the two men.

"Bad relations?" said a senior civilian official with a laugh. "That's the understatement of the century. . . . If you think Armageddon was a riot, that's one way of looking at it."

Now, I like a really thorough teabagging just as much as the next Republican, but even I thought Petraeus was just a tad excessive with the spit and polish yesterday.

Glad to see that his boss agrees. Shame on Fallon for interrupting the Republican circle-jerk on the MoveOn ad, which now looks pretty tame. And they were having so much fun, too.

NOTE Fallon also bought a level of sanity to Bush's plan to attack Iraq. I assume Bush will be firing him shortly.

NOTE Via Think Progress.

UPDATE As Dante Zappala of Military Families points out, neither DOD chief not Admiral Fallon were at the hearing. "This is about the President handing off the war to the next President." Looks like Philly in the background on the video. Excellent!

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intranets's picture
Submitted by intranets on

I doubt he'll get any medals or Nobel Peace Prizes, but my last hope for this country is the few true Americans left in the military who are unwilling to trash and throw away American lives and prosperity in the name of Empire and lunacy.

I hold out hope that there can be no marine invasion of Iran as long as Fallon is around.

Of course, all bets are off once the first bombers fly over Iranian airspace, or Israel or proxy UK troops start WWIII.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

The thing about UK forces is they're under the control of the Queen, not the PM or Parliament, as is the decision to wage war. The PM has immense control, but politically cannot act against the Sovereign’s objections. She's a hard one but even if she were cold enough to off Diana (doubt it) she does surely not want to be a party to WWIII or apparently any more foreign adventurism at all. The Brits are pulling out of Iraq, why would they want to take on Iran?

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

This just in:

Backbiting between Monty and Patton. Call off the War.

Submitted by lambert on

Like Iraq was WWII and Patton was going on FIX news. What is it with wingers and off-point historical analogies, anyhow? NoPod's the worst, but this is pretty bad.

We. Are. Going. To. Die. We must restore hope in the world. We must bring forth a new way of living that can sustain the world. Or else it is not just us who will die but everyone. What have we got to lose? Go forth and Fight!—Xan

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Are you freaking kidding me? There is no way some Navy wuss derided General Petraeus as an "ass kissing chickenshit". If that happened, who heard it? Let’s hear a name. Didn’t happen, Petraeus would have kicked the ass licking Navy crap out of Fallon, subordinate or not. Do you think an Army Paratrooper would take that crap from a fellow 4 star? Remember morons, there’s no difference in rank (only position) and Fallon is an old washed up flypuss. Fallon flew around at 10K feet in air conditioned comfort during the gulf war... wow, tuff as nails. Petraeus was on the ground getting shot at during the 2003 invasion and has spent nearly 3 of the past 4 years in Iraq while Fallon pulled "shore duty" somewhere...what a puss. Petraeus was shot in the chest in 1991 when he was a Battalion CDR in the 101st. 3 days after surgery, he did 50 pushups without resting. I doubt that Fallon has ever done 50 pushups (maybe girl pushups with his knees on the ground...speaking of his knees on the ground I’m sure he’s spent a lot of time there). Petraeus wrote the manual on counterinsurgency...Fallon uh, well he uh, hasn't done jack crap except fly around saying "wow looks hot down there". Face it libs, Fallon didn't say a word, if he did he wouldn't get fired, he'd get the snot kicked out of him. Oh, and yes Ive been there, did my year and will go back as many times as it takes. Why? because I'm not a crybaby liberal.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

It has to be a biorhythm thing.

intranets's picture
Submitted by intranets on

Let me guess, you like to run marathons in umsc logo'd t-shirts and are seven inches cut? I think thou doth confess too much conservatism.

Submitted by lambert on


General Fallon was reality-based enough to scale back the more lunatic of Cheney's plans for war with Iran, so I'm inclined to trust the story, rather than your personal assurances.

And Petraeus is a political general who's been acting as a Republican operative for some time. He wrote a glowing Op-Ed on progress right before the election (turned out to be wrong, of course); gave an exclusive interview to Republican tool Hugh Hewitt; and after he got done giving the Moderate Republicans political cover to piss away another few billions and murder another few thousands so Bush can kick the Iraqi can down the road for another couple of Freidman Units, he gave an exclusive interview to Republican organ FOX news.

Now, to be fair, I have no real evidence that Petraeus is a pervert or a child abuser like so many other Republicans, but, as I said, he's definitely a political general, and his politics are to support Bush and the Republican Party.

Again, to be fair, Bush, knowing his own complete lack of credibility with the thinking members of the public, at least, trashed the chain of command by using a General as a political tool. Then again, Petraeus allowed himself to be used, instead of having the guts to resign.

So, I'd take "ass-kissing little chickenshit" to be a translation, into the vulgate, of "political general." But if the words "ass-kissing little chickenshit" offend you, or are new to you, just replace them in your mind with the more polite words. See?

Incidentally, I reread the post, and I don't see any whining and crying in it. However, I do see a great deal of whining and crying on the right because one of your authority figures got called out his bullshit. And I'm playing the world's smallest violin.

So, wipe the cheetohs and the spooge off your keyboard, and try again.

And Jesus, what's with the pushups? I mean, Washington beat Cornwallis because he could do more pushups? If this bizarre mindset has permeated the Army, we're in a lot worse shape than I thought. Unless the next contemplated use Our Betters have for the military is to turn it lose on the domestic population. Pushups might be of some use there.

UPDATE It occurred to me that you might not be fully conversant with the details of Petraeus's testimony, and that this might account for the feelings you shared with us. So, thanks to the self-correcting blogosphere, I present this revised version of his chart for your edification. Enjoy!


UPDATE Intranets, you're saying that Whosthechickenshit is even smaller than "Gannon"? That's cold.

We. Are. Going. To. Die. We must restore hope in the world. We must bring forth a new way of living that can sustain the world. Or else it is not just us who will die but everyone. What have we got to lose? Go forth and Fight!—Xan