This is very interesting if it’s true. The London Times is reporting, based on unnamed sources in British intelligence, that several generals and admirals in the US military are prepared to resign if President Bush decides to attack Iran.
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.
Tension in the Gulf region has raised fears that an attack on Iran is becoming increasingly likely before President George Bush leaves office. The Sunday Times has learnt that up to five generals and admirals are willing to resign rather than approve what they consider would be a reckless attack.
Here’s the direct quotes from their source:
“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.
There are enough people who feel this would be an error of judgment too far for there to be resignations.”
This would be virtually unprecedented. The article also notes that defense secretary Robert Gates has warned several times against attacking Iran and his view is believed to be the dominant view among the senior military leadership. If this were to happen, it would be an interesting dilemma for conservatives, I think. Their rhetoric almost always indicates that we should let the generals run the wars, the politicians should stay out of it; frankly, I tend to agree with them.
How would they react in that case? I suspect they would react the same way most of them reacted to the long list of generals who came out publicly against the invasion of Iraq and especially against the non-existent plan for the post-war occupation; they’ll call those generals liberals who need not be listened to. Never mind that generals like Anthony Zinni, Eric Shinseki and Wesley Clark were right in everything they said about the ill-planned invasion, while Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld were wrong in virtually every prediction. Reality must bow to politics.