An Interesting Character – William Fallon

I followed the link at the Drudge Report to a story at Esquire Magazine regarding the Head of Central Command, Admiral William Fallon. Whether or not the story is true, the author, Thomas P.M. Barnett, in his article entitled The Man Between War and Peace, paints an interesting story and manages to make Admiral “Fox” Fallon sound quite fascinating.

Barnett says of Fallon:


When Fallon is serious, his voice is feathery and he tends to speak in measured koans [sic] that, taken together, say, “Have no fear. Let Washington be a tempest. Wherever I am is the calm center of the storm.”


As the admiral recounts the exchange, his voice is flat, his gaze steady. His calculus on this subject is far more complex than anyone else’s. He is neither an idealist nor a fantasist. In Pakistan, he has the most volatile combination of forces in the world, yet he is deeply calm.


The first thing you notice is the face, the second is the voice. A tall, wiry man with thinning white hair, Fallon comes off like a loner even when he’s standing in a crowd.Despite having an easy smile that he regularly pulls out for his many daily exercises in relationship building, Fallon’s consistent game face is a slightly pissed-off glare. It’s his default expression.


And in truth, Fallon’s not a screamer. Indeed, by my long observation and the accounts of a dozen people, he doesn’t raise his voice whatsoever, except when he laughs. Instead, the more serious he becomes, the quieter he gets, and his whispers sound positively menacing. Other guys can jaw-jaw all they want about the need for war-war with . . . whomever is today’s target among D. C.’s many armchair warriors. Not Fallon. Let the president pop off. Fallon won’t. No bravado here, nor sound-bite-sized threats, but rather a calm, leathery presence. Fallon is comfortable risking peace because he’s comfortable waging war. And when he conveys messages to the enemies of the United States, he does it not in the provocative cowboy style that has prevailed in Washington so far this century, but with the opposite–a studied quiet that makes it seem as if he is trying to bend them to his will with nothing but the sound of his voice.


The local Chinese commander was beside himself. It was the first time in his life he had ever met an American military officer, and here he was at the bottom of a jet ramp waiting for the all-powerful head of the United States Pacific Command to descend. Then, to his horror, he realized that Fallon had brought his wife, Mary, along for the trip. Scrambling to arrange the evening banquet, the Chinese commander brought his own wife out in public for the first time ever.When the time came for dinner toasts, after the Chinese commander thanked Mrs. Fallon for coming, the admiral returned the favor by thanking the commander’s wife for her many years of service as a military spouse. The commander’s wife broke down in tears, saying it was the first time in her entire marriage that she had been publicly recognized for her many sacrifices.


Admiral William J. Fallon has resigned his position and retired from the Navy. Was it the article in Esquire Magazine that became the straw that caused him to quit? Was he really at odds with the Bush admin? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, I can’t wait to see his character in a movie or a novel.

Comments




XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

-->



 

226

Cookbooks

Eat Your Books