Saturday, February 24, 2007

I say, Mr. Bush, your generals are revolting

On 13 February, this year General Peter Pace tossed cold water on the attempt by the Bush administration to create a casus belli for an attack on Iran. His point that there was no evidence that the Iranian government was implicated directly in the provision of weapons to Iraqi insurgents came as something of a surprize to Bush. It prompted Bush to make this ridiculous statement:
What's worse, that the government knew or that the government didn't know?
Pace's statement was an indication of some serious opposition inside the Pentagon to the Bush/Cheney plans to launch an attack on Iran. And now, we learn that it is probably a lot more serious than originally thought. (Emphasis mine) If any of the Chiefs of Staff of any of the services or any of the commanders of the nine US combatant commands resign over an attack on Iran it would spell disaster for Bush.
SOME of America’s most senior military commanders are prepared to resign if the White House orders a military strike against Iran, according to highly placed defence and intelligence sources. [...]

“There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran,” a source with close ties to British intelligence said. “There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible.”

A British defence source confirmed that there were deep misgivings inside the Pentagon about a military strike. “All the generals are perfectly clear that they don’t have the military capacity to take Iran on in any meaningful fashion. Nobody wants to do it and it would be a matter of conscience for them.

They are joined by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
A generals’ revolt on such a scale would be unprecedented. “American generals usually stay and fight until they get fired,” said a Pentagon source. Robert Gates, the defence secretary, has repeatedly warned against striking Iran and is believed to represent the view of his senior commanders.
The kicker is that this appears to be generals and admirals at the most senior level. Pace's stance on Iran would be difficult to maintain if he didn't have the support of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The question is, which generals and admirals are prepared to walk if Bush/Cheney just go ahead with their obvious plans?

Perhaps Bush should consider dealing with Iran another way.

Single combat.

Ahmadinejad could send one of his eight vice-presidents and Bush could send his only vice-president.

Shotguns. Two rounds each.

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