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!