When Marine General Peter Pace and Admiral William Fallon were moved around within the military after 9/11 and the start of the Iraq War and occupation, most people thought that George W. Bush and his neocons had selected Pace and Fallon for being onboard with the neocon's lead-up to the invasion and with their policies and practices in general. Obviously, that did not turn out to be the case.
Many anti-war commentators had given the neocons too much credit, had underestimated their difficulty in finding willing militarists, or both. In hind sight, it is likely that the correct answer is both with emphasis on the latter. They didn't qualify their writings by explaining that they didn't have sources for their views about Fallon in particular but were rather conjecturing.
It's never too late to clarify things though.
High ranking military people rise through the ranks not solely by the power of the office of the President. The U.S. military is part of the executive branch, but the legislative branch has huge overlapping authority and control. I won't go into all of that, because for one, I don't know enough about the details. This page (guide: Rod Powers) seems to offer a relatively detailed overview of things and a starting place for additional research if desired.
Peter Pace would not lay the blame for roadside bombs in Iraq at the doorstep of the mullahs of Iran. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is their highest ranking Muslim cleric. He calls the ultimate shots. Ahmadinejad does not. Without being able to blame (with concrete evidence) the top leadership of Iran, the neocons are more hard pressed to convince others to attack Iran. That is especially true since the neocons obviously blatantly lied in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq about, among everything else, Iraq's cache of weapons and weapons programs.
In addition, Peter Pace would not agree with the removal of the "don't ask, don't tell" restrictions concerning openly active homosexuals serving in the military. Neocons want bodies for canon fodder, and they don't care whether or not they are the bodies of homosexuals or non-citizens I might add. This latter aspect is nowhere near as important to them though as Pace's refusal to lie beyond any credibility about the motives and actions of the ultimate leadership of Iran.
William Fallon was moved well after Peter Pace had been elevated. At the time, most anti-war coverage suggested that Fallon's expertise in naval warfare and especially naval air-warfare was an indication of the Bush neocon intention to bomb Iran into submission or back to the Stone Age. Again, it was assumed that Fallon was "on-board" with that plan. He was not, as we have all come to understand.
While from a military and political perspective things continued to be terribly mismanaged in Iraq and were further disintegrating out of the control of the neocons on all fronts, foreign and domestic, a "face-saving" psychological strategy to twist and reset the agenda concerning the definition of success was proposed by certain civilian, war-monger neocons (primarily the Kagans — Frederick Kagan, Robert Kagan, Kimberly Kagan, Donald Kagan — amoral, immoral Greater Israel firsters) who hadn't jumped ship and who were still so-called loyal to Bush. Their strategy was fitted to the ostensible military theories written and somewhat evidenced in Iraq by David Petraeus. Those theories are highly controversial. I won't go into them here either for the sake of time and because suffice it to say, all his theories and practices are antichrist regardless and by definition.
Now, Pace, Fallon, and Petraeus all hold openly that the U.S. military is rightly civilian controlled, meaning the civilian executive branch sets the U.S. foreign policy and the U.S. military does not. All three also took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. In fact, civilian control is part of that. Also constitutionality is the requirement for legal warfare. The U.S. Constitution expressly makes itself subject to international treaty obligations calling such the "supreme law of the land." International Treaties to which the U.S. has obligated itself are very clear about what is and what is not legal warfare. The Constitution is also specific about declarations of war.
When looking at the treaties and the other requirements in the Constitution, one finds that the Bush administration neocons have violated both the letter and spirit and done so blatantly and hugely. Their orders to the military have been illegal. Pace, Fallon, and Petraeus were all obligated to disobey those orders. All military officers and personnel were obligated under the law to disobey those orders.
Pace and Fallon refused to go along to a point but didn't refuse to follow all illegal orders. Fallon made it clear that they would have to fire him, because he would not carry out orders to attack Iran under then prevailing circumstances. Such an attack would not have been legal in his eyes. He probably would now say that such an attack would be illegal given the information we have at the time of this writing and the lack of any concrete evidence of illegal intention or actions on Iran's part. Therefore, they fired him.
Petraeus on the other hand, has gone along, as far as the public is allowed to see, with all the illegality. He's hedged his bet a bit here and there. One hears him refusing to point the finger directly at the mullahs, but he chooses his words in a way to appease the neocon liars as well, much more so than did Pace or Fallon and many other former generals and admirals I might add. Pace and Fallon are far from alone in their obvious aversion to the neocon agenda. That's why the neocons have been so hard pressed to find experienced top officers to do their bidding.
So, Petraeus has shown himself much more willing to attempt to tiptoe through the landmines of illegality for the sake of what? God alone knows in full. One doesn't rise so high in the Empire without showing a willingness to go along. In fact, one rises to the level of his or her willingness to go along and also ability to guess which way the plutocrat-wind is blowing.
The MoveOn.org ad "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" caused a huge uproar at the time. Who constitutes the "Us" in the ad? The "Us" is the people as in "government of, by, and for the people." The U.S. Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, especially its Bill of Rights, is supposed to enshrine that. However, the neocons don't see it that way. They see the "people" as a dumb mob to be ruled over.
When the Moveon.org people put out their ad, they were saying that Petraeus was betraying the Constitution and hence the people. Were they right or wrong? Well, Petraeus didn't say that he refuses to follow orders that are clearly illegal under the U.S. Constitution. He didn't say he refuses to follow orders from a so-called president who obtained the office by illegal, immoral, election fraud, which Bush did.
The title of this post is PETER PACE AND WILLIAM FALLON VERSUS DAVID PETRAEUS VERSUS JESUS. So, where does Jesus fit? Well, Jesus wouldn't follow an order to go to war regardless of what the U.S. Constitution says or doesn't say.
When one looks at the entirety of Jesus's teaching and life as recorded in the New Testament, one may learn what is real law versus falsehood. All the legal code of human beings claims to aspire to best government. No legal code has ever been written that can result in better government, behavior, organization, or results then the words and deeds of Jesus. His words and deeds are the legal code we ought to follow. Anyone calling himself or herself a Christian must live by (in accordance with) Jesus's words and deeds. Doing so will result in never violating the highest law.
The worst the can happen is that those who don't understand the highest law will misinterpret the law and wrongfully punish those who follow the law of Christ. That is what happened with most of the members of the then Sanhedrin when via kangaroo-court proceedings, they committed to moving the Roman Empire to sanction the execution of Jesus.
In other words, one can not be violating the U.S. Constitution in spirit and hence in letter when one is adhering to the real law spoken and executed by Jesus.
Are you able to see that?
Look at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which the U.S. is signatory. How can one be adhering to the U.S. Constitution that subjects itself to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other treaty documents including those expressly prohibiting torture and still engage in waterboarding and not be violating the law? It can't be done. There is no way for those who waterboard others to be sure they are even handling the guilty. George W. Bush and his neocons authorized waterboarding and other brutal actions. They did that in direct contravention of the "supreme law of the land" and all it supporting legal documents. Doing so constitutes clear high crimes and misdemeanors that are impeachable offenses and grounds for removal from office.
The legislative body has the sworn obligation to uphold the law. To fail to impeach under these circumstances (and the other illegalities of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and other neocon governmental officials such as sweeping, warrantless spying) serves to undermine the law. There is no doubt about that. In fact, to fail is to create a state of true lawlessness.
Jesus provided the outline and general direction and spirit for properly dealing with offenders. His way is consistent with warning others away from error. It is consistent with the Golden Rule.
You will note that he does not provide for punishment but simply truthful discernment that necessitates not following wrongful leaders (those who don't adhere to the highest law).
You will note that George W. Bush has not been subjected to any process to rein him in and to remove him as leader for his poor and illegal leadership. This constitutes an unlawful government or lawlessness. This is not anarchy but lawlessness, which is different.
Anarchists have guiding principles that aspire to what they see as the highest morality. They are not by and large in favor of violence. Most are pacifists in fact.
George W. Bush subscribes to the idea that the U.S. Constitution is "just a God damned piece of paper." Those who believe that ought not to swear then to preserve, protect, and defend it. George W. Bush did though, just as he claimed to the world that he is Christian when he absolutely lied about that for votes. He swore that he believes in God while swearing to protect a goddamn piece of paper. Think about that. He lies full circle. It's pathological. We want him to turn.
George W. Bush believes that ultimately, he as President is not accountable to anyone. So far, most of the rest of the so-called government has acted in accordance with that belief.
George W. Bush believes that all is fair in war. It's doubtful he would admit it publicly. Well again, he swore to uphold the Constitution, which by legal extension says it is not the case that all is fair in war or politics.
George W. Bush is a neocon. He believes in the teachings of Leo Strauss that is based upon the so-called noble lie formulated by Plato. That philosophy holds that the masses are so dumb and incapable of learning that it is right that the elites fool them via myths into more manageable behavior. Jesus of course proved that completely wrong.
Jesus showed that the people are very much able to comprehend and that Plato's whole system is denial and self-deception.
Anyway, Machiavelli taught much the same thing as Plato only Plato pretended to morality much more so than did Machiavelli. Machiavelli though did do his best to justify (rationalize) his evil mentality. The neocons have built their system upon Plato, Machiavelli, Nietzsche, Strauss, and others. Ultimately, they hold with might makes right. They are amoral, really immoral. They want material possession and control for themselves and then their offspring, then their other kin.
In their view, taking by force what you want is a sign of evolutionary superiority — greater fitness to survive. It's social, economic, and physical Darwinism all rolled into one. They don't believe in God or Jesus. Some will dispute this but not many.
Christianity, on the other hand, holds that such views are unenlightened and subhuman. Homo sapien means wise man. The neocons are unwise, hence subhuman in that sense. They hearken to dog-eat-dog. That's not human. That's dog. Humans are supposed to be above that mentality. Humans are supposed to lead dogs away from violent selfishness. They aren't supposed to adopt selfish-dog ways. God didn't give us our relatively large cerebral cortices only to be as wise as dogs or pigs or snakes. We aren't dogs, pigs, and snakes. At least we aren't supposed to be. We're people. We're supposed to act that way.