CENTCOM Commander Admiral William Fallon, the man who had dared to declare “there will be no war with Iran on my watch”, has finally been fired. The pretext for his dismissal was a recent article in Esquire magazine. In his (rather sycophantic*) article about Fallon Thomas P.M. Barnett writes: If, in the dying light of the Bush administration, we go to war with Iran, it’ll all come down to one man. If we do not go to war with Iran, it’ll come down to the same man. He is that rarest of creatures in the Bush universe: the good cop on Iran, and a man of strategic brilliance. Setting aside the talk about Fallon’s alleged “strategic brilliance” for a minute, there is no denying that Fallon has been outspoken against the Neocon plans for an aggression on Iran and against the Neocon’s poster boy, General David Petraeus, whom he called an “ass-kissing little chickenshit” for cooking up the idiotic “Surge” plan to please the White House.
As Gareth Porter wrote recently, Fallon clearly knew that he would be fired and he fully cooperated with the Esquire article precisely because of this awareness. Although one can only guess at Fallon’s deep motives, I would note here that even though Fallon is rather old for a flag officer he is still young enough for a political career (he is 63). Whatever may be the case, Esquire correctly predicted that Fallon would be fired soon, and indeed he was a couple of days after the publication of the article. Why did the White House fire a high-profile Admiral, was it really only over the Iran policy?
The answer can be found in a somewhat less publicized quote by Fallon made last May: “There are several of us trying to put the crazies back in the box“. You see, “crazies” is a long time “Anglo codeword” for the (mainly Jewish) Neocons “sitting the basement” as Papa-Bush used to say (see my previous articles “Daddy – what’s a Neocon: ethnic Mafia wars in the USA” and “Some thoughts on current events“). In this context, the ouster of Fallon is without any doubt a major Neocon success: not only has the last senior US commander opposed to an attack on Iran been fired, but a major player of the “Old Anglo Guard” as been evicted from his power base. Regardless of who actually succeeds Dubya in the White House, the entire military command is now firmly back in Neocon hands. Ditto for both houses of Congress and most of the corporate media. While many naive observers thought that the resignation of Rumsfeld marked the end for the Neocons, the fact is that the Neocons have recovered amazingly fast:
1) All remaining Presidential candidates with a chance to actually get into the White House are firmly under Neocon control.
2) The vast majority of the political advisers of these candidates (who will become future key members of the next Administration) are also Neocons.
3) The Pengaton has been effectively cleared from any Old Anglo Guard members capable of opposing Neocon plans for more wars in the Middle-East. Even better, it makes it easier for the Neocons to trigger a “Persian Gulf of Tonkin” kind of incident to trigger a war with Iran even before the Presidential election thereby probably propelling the most beloved candidates of the Neocons (McCain) to power.
4) The efforts of the Old Anglo Guard (Carter, Scheuer, Mearsheimer , Walt, Ritter, Odom, etc.) to make the power of the Israel Lobby a political issue have failed to penetrate the “sound barrier” (to use Amy Goodman’s expression) of the corporate media which remains firmly pro-Neocon (not a single US new outlet has been willing to interview Sibel Edmons about her allegations that top US officials were selling nuclear secrets!).
5) All the major political scandals threatening to expose the Neocons (the AIPAC espionage trial, Sibel Edmon’s revelations, “Scooter” Libby’s case, Valerie Plame, the “lost nukes” headed for the Middle-East, the Federal Prosecutors scandal, etc.) have effectively been buried and send down the memory hole.
Neither the Old Anglo Guard nor the peace movement has been able to tackle the Neocon’s power and influence. Sure, here and there, attempts were made, but none of that represented anything more than a nuisance for the formidable Israel Lobby and its absolutely submissive corporate media. As Friedrich Nietzsche said: “What does not kill me, makes me stronger“. The Neocons and the Israel Lobby only came out stronger from all the half-hearted, if often sincere, efforts to expose them and their hijacking of the USA’s polity.
As I have written many times in the past, the USA is not run by a political party, or by a President or even by the collective power of its corporations. The USA is, in reality, controlled and run by a Soviet-style “Nomenklatura“, a not so small subset of the US economic elite, whose agenda has nothing to do with pragmatic US national interests. It is important to stress here that the USA is *not* run and controlled by “the Jews” as, in reality, major Jewish organizations are not truly representative of US Jewry (I repeat this here not out of some sense of “political correctness” but because, as any doctor knows, any mis-diagnosis makes it impossible to find a cure and risks making the problem even worse; besides the same could be said of the Anglo elite who does not represent the interests of most Americans). This is why it should be called the “Israel Lobby” and not the “Jewish Lobby”.
The highest visible political expression of this Nomenklatura are the Neocons and their policies who can be summed up as “Israel über Alles” or, as Israel Shahak used to say, “think locally, act globally”.
Consider that even a so-called “moderate” and “progressive” Israeli media outlet like Ha’aretz writes that “the road to Gaza runs through Tehran” and just imagine what the so-called “security establishment” thinks. Make no mistake: the Empire will attack Iran.
Since the US Army is already bogged down, overextended and essentially already defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Imperial High Command will use the Air Force and, even more so, the US Navy to attack Iran. As I have analyzed in detail in my article “Iran’s asymmetrical response options” (original link here), the Empire cannot win such a conflict. But neither did Israel have any real chance of winning its war against Hezbollah in 2006. Its not about “winning” – its about perpetual war and remaining in power. Besides, you can be confident that at the end of the day, most dead will be Iranian and American – very few Israelis will suffer from such a conflict, or at least this is what the Israelis hope for.
I will repeat this over and over and over again: neither the Israelis nor the Neocons are capable of long-term strategic thinking and even though most people mistake their arrogance for intelligence, they are not nearly as smart as they think they are. Furthermore, the US and the Israeli intelligence community is amazingly incompetent (in particular in HUMINT) and it has a long history of baffling SNAFUs behind it. The US intelligence community is bloated beyond belief, poorly coordinated, it is mostly staffed by bureaucrats and it sorely lacks analysts which actually understand the countries they are supposed to provide expert analysis for. As for the Israelis, they are way too arrogant in their anti-Arab, if not anti-Gentile, racism to even imagine that they could actually get their butts kicked, hence the long list of Mossad screw-ups. Tom Clancy novels are one thing, the real world is something quite different. The bottom line is that it would be folly to expect the US or Israeli intelligence officials to speak up against a war with Iran. They will do not such thing, if only because that would end their careers.
As for the so-called “US allies” (whether of the “New Europe” or the “Old Europe” persuasion), they will stay away from any such war, but they will do nothing meaningful to oppose it either: they all well know that the Neocons will not listen and that being the “true believers” that they are, they operate from a messianic point of view which cannot be affected by either facts on the ground or rational analysis.
Fallon’s ouster marks the removal of the last possible impediment to a smooth going to war with Iran and while that this does not necessarily mean that the war is imminent, or even truly inevitable, it makes it very, very likely.
* For a good article on Fallon check out Crushing the Ants: The Admiral and the Empire by Chris Floyd. For more analyses of the meaning of the firing of Fallon listen to the interviews of Gareth Porter and Ray McGovern.