May 23, 2004

He believes these people, who include Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense, have hijacked U.S. foreign policy.

Of course, Gen. Zinni spoke out bravely during the year-long ramp up to this foolish military adventure. It is not only tragic, it is unforgivable that his scathing remarks at that time did not lead to greater introspection and critical thinking in the "US Mainstream News Media."

Here we are in the midst of a Mega-Mogadishu...

CBS News: Accusing top Pentagon officials of
"dereliction of duty," retired Marine Gen. Anthony
Zinni says staying the course in Iraq isn't a
reasonable option.
"The course is headed over Niagara Falls. I think it's
time to change course a little bit or at least hold
somebody responsible for putting you on this course,"
he tells CBS News Correspondent Steve Kroft in an
interview to be broadcast on 60 Minutes, Sunday, May
23, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
The current situation in Iraq was destined to happen,
says Zinni, because planning for the war and its
aftermath has been flawed all along...
Zinni blames the poor planning on the civilian
policymakers in the administration, known as
neo-conservatives, who saw the invasion as a way to
stabilize the region and support Israel. He believes these people, who include Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense, have hijacked U.S. foreign policy.
"They promoted it and pushed [the war]... even to the point of creating their own intelligence to match their needs. Then they should bear the responsibility," Zinni tells Kroft.

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Gen. Zinni: 'They've Screwed Up'
May 21, 2004


Accusing top Pentagon officials of "dereliction of
duty," retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni says staying
the course in Iraq isn't a reasonable option.

"The course is headed over Niagara Falls. I think it's
time to change course a little bit or at least hold
somebody responsible for putting you on this course,"
he tells CBS News Correspondent Steve Kroft in an
interview to be broadcast on 60 Minutes, Sunday, May
23, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

The current situation in Iraq was destined to happen,
says Zinni, because planning for the war and its
aftermath has been flawed all along.

"There has been poor strategic thinking in this...poor
operational planning and execution on the ground,"
says Zinni, who served as commander-in-chief of the
U.S. Central Command from 1997 to 2000.

Zinni blames the poor planning on the civilian
policymakers in the administration, known as
neo-conservatives, who saw the invasion as a way to
stabilize the region and support Israel. He believes
these people, who include Deputy Defense Secretary
Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, the undersecretary
of defense, have hijacked U.S. foreign policy.

"They promoted it and pushed [the war]... even to the
point of creating their own intelligence to match
their needs. Then they should bear the
responsibility," Zinni tells Kroft.

In his upcoming book, "Battle Ready," written with Tom
Clancy, Zinni writes of the poor planning in harsh
terms. "In the lead-up to the Iraq war and its later
conduct, I saw, at minimum, true dereliction,
negligence and irresponsibility; at worst, lying,
incompetence and corruption," he writes.

Zinni explains to Kroft, "I think there was
dereliction in insufficient forces being put on the
ground and [in not] fully understanding the military
dimensions of the plan."

He still believes the situation is salvageable if the
United States can communicate more effectively with
the Iraqi people and demonstrate a better image to
them.

The enlistment of the U.N. and other countries to
participate in the mission is also crucial, he says.
Without these things, says Zinni, "We are going to be
looking for quick exits. I don't believe we're there
now, and I wouldn't want to see us fail here."

Also central to success in Iraq is more troops, from
the United States and especially other countries, to
control violence and patrol borders, he says.

Zinni feels that undertaking the war with the minimum
of troops paved the way for the security problems the
U.S. faces there now, the violence Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld recently admitted he hadn't
anticipated.

"He should not have been surprised," says Zinni.
"There were a number of people who before we even
engaged in this conflict felt strongly that we
underestimated...the scope of the problems we would
have in [Iraq]."

The fact that no one in the administration has paid
for the blunder irks Zinni. "But regardless of whose
responsibility [it is]...it should be evident to
everybody that they've screwed up, and whose heads are
rolling on this?"


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Posted by richard at May 23, 2004 08:15 AM