Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thank you, General Anthony Zinni

We have been hearing about generals who, connected with the military contractors, connived with Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld to trash the military experts who called it as they saw it. We can thank Gen. Zinni, in contrast, for calling a spade a spade at a time when American and Iraqi lives were at risk because of the decisions of the Bush administration. He was fired by Rumsfeld for saying that we would need 300,000 troops to do the job in Iraq. And he was trashed by self-serving generals for saying that the war in Iraq was in trouble. It is a shame that government officials like Rumsfeld would turn the job of administrating a war into mere public affairs and that formere generals would prostitute themselves and their profession by protecting the American public from the truth about what was going on in Iraq. Many people could not believe that things were as bad as they were until Bush final admitted it by proposing a "surge" to solve the problem. Anyway, Thanks, General Zinni. I wish we had more like you.

On his history: From 1997 to 2000, he was commander-in-chief of the United States Central Command, in charge of all American troops in the Middle East. Then became a special envoy to the Middle East of the Bush administration. But he broke ranks with the administration over the war in Iraq. He has even criticized senior officials at the Pentagon as guilty of dereliction of duty. Before the second war in Iraq Zinni advised against a pre-emptive attack. It is in his recent book on Iraq that he says the Pentagon was derelict in its duty, guilty of "negligence and irresponsibility, at worse, lying, incompetence and corruption."

Zinni believes it is part of your duty to speak out. “It is part of your duty. Look, there is one statement that bothers me more than anything else. And that's the idea that when the troops are in combat, everybody has to shut up. Imagine if we put troops in combat with a faulty rifle, and that rifle was malfunctioning, and troops were dying as a result,” says Zinni. “I can't think anyone would allow that to happen, that would not speak up. Well, what's the difference between a faulty plan and strategy that's getting just as many troops killed? It’s leading down a path where we're not succeeding and accomplishing the missions we've set out to do.”

Zinni said that "the books were cooked, in my mind. The intelligence (that supported the claims made to support the need for war) was not there."
There was a "lack of planning" for the post-war stablization and reconstruction of Iraq. There was “insufficiency of military forces on the ground."

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