Anthony Zinni

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

General Anthony Zinni, USMC (Ret), is a Member of the Board of Regents of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. "General Zinni currently holds positions on several boards of directors of major U.S. companies. In addition he has held academic positions that include the Stanley Chair in Ethics at the Virginia Military Institute, the Nimitz Chair at the University of California-Berkeley, the Hofheimer Chair at the Joint Forces Staff College, and the Harriman Professor of Government appointment and membership on the board of the Reves Center for International Studies at the College of William and Mary. He has worked with the University of California's Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation and the Henry Dunant Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva. He is also a Distinguished Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations." [1]

"Out of uniform, Zinni was a troubleshooter for the U.S. government in Africa, Asia and Europe and served as special envoy to the Middle East under the Bush administration for a time before his reservations over the Iraq war and its aftermath caused him to resign and oppose it." [2]

War in Iraq

"It might be interesting to wonder why all the generals see it the same way, and all those that never fired a shot in anger and really hell-bent to go to war see it a different way. That's usually the way it is in history." --Zinni at Florida Economic Club, August 23, 2002.


May 2004

Zinni gave a speech — "Eye on Iraq" — at the Center for Defense Information Board of Directors Dinner on May 12, 2004.

On the May 23, 2004, edition of 60 Minutes, Zinni interviewed with Steve Kroft. The promotion headline for the show reads "'They've Screwed Up'." Zinni accuses "top Pentagon officials of 'dereliction of duty'" and says that "staying the course in Iraq isn't a reasonable option." Zinni states that "'The course is headed over Niagara Falls [and he thinks that] it's time to change course a little bit or at least hold somebody responsible for putting you on this course'."

According to CBS News, Zinni says that the "current situation in Iraq was destined to happen ... 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."

"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.'"

Zinni "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 UN 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.'"

September 2003

Zinni, "a retired Marine general who was Bush's Middle East mediator, angered the White House when he told a foreign policy forum in October [2003] that Bush had far more pressing foreign policy priorities than Iraq and suggested there could be a prolonged, difficult aftermath to a war. He was not reappointed as Mideast envoy." [3]

October 2002

"Now comes retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, former head of Central Command for U.S. forces in the Middle East, who has worked recently as the State Department's envoy to the region with a mission to encourage talks between Palestinians and Israelis. Zinni, a Purple Heart recipient who served in Vietnam and helped command forces in the Gulf War and in Somalia, spoke last Thursday in Washington at the Middle East Institute's annual conference and laid out his own reservations about a potential war with Iraq.
In a keynote address striking for its critical assessment of the Bush administration, Zinni stressed the need to get the Israeli-Palestinian peace process back on track, build a broad coalition against Iraq, create trust among allies in the region -- and put Saddam Hussein's threat in perspective.
He also took issue with hawks in and around the administration who downplay the importance of Arab sentiment in the region. 'I'm not sure which planet they live on,' Zinni said, 'because it isn't the one that I travel.' And he challenged their suggestion that installing a new Iraqi government will not be especially difficult. 'God help us,' he said, 'if we think this transition will occur easily.'" --Salon, October 17, 2002.

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links