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Gen. Anthony Zinni, USMC (Ret.) Remarks at CDI Board of Directors

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Submariner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 11:24 AM
Original message
Gen. Anthony Zinni, USMC (Ret.) Remarks at CDI Board of Directors
This is good grist to throw in the face of repugs.

Gen. Anthony Zinni, USMC (Ret.) Remarks at CDI Board of Directors Dinner, May 12, 2004

"I just came back from giving a lecture at UCLA yesterday, and the lecture was on the Middle East. I tried to ... for the students there, step back and take a more strategic view of the Middle East and the issues out there and maybe give them a perception of the problems and issues from the eyes of those that live with it day-to-day, the Arabs, Israelis, all those that make up the peoples of the Middle East.

On the way back I was thinking about what to talk about here and I know Iraq is a hot topic and I thought I would stay with Iraq. And I thought on the airplane about how history is going to record what happened in Iraq, how we got into it, and obviously it's too early to tell. And oftentimes the outcome defines how history characterizes it.

But I thought about how much has been misconstrued about what has happened so far, especially at a time when I commanded CENTCOM and we were in the process of containing Iraq as part of the policy. And I thought about the mistakes we made, that as Bruce (Blair, President of CDI) said, I've commented on before.

And what I thought I would do tonight is go through the ten crucial mistakes to this point that we've made. Because I think it helps frame what, in fact, has happened over time ... and is going to be the first part of that history. And I will conclude with maybe some thoughts on the way ahead, at least from my point of view.

snip >

http://www.cdi.org/program/document.cfm?DocumentID=2208...

Lonesome George had his hat and his chaps.
His six-gun was loaded with caps.
He was fixin' to plug
Any stupid-assed mug
Who fucked with his afternoon naps.
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TacticalPeek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 11:57 AM
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1. A good man, and an excellent analysis.
Zinni:

The third mistake, I think was one we repeated from Vietnam, we had to create a false rationale for going in to get public support. The books were cooked, in my mind. The intelligence was not there. I testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee one month before the war, and Senator Lugar asked me: "General Zinni, do you feel the threat from Saddam Hussein is imminent?" I said: "No, not at all. It was not an imminent threat. Not even close. Not grave, gathering, imminent, serious, severe, mildly upsetting, none of those."


I predicted that the fighting would be over, the organized resistance in three weeks. To Tommy Franks' credit, he did it in 19 days. He beat my prediction. He did a magnificent job, as did our troops. But the rationale that we faced an imminent threat, or a serious threat, was ridiculous. Now, wherever history lays that, whether the intelligence was flawed or it was exaggerated, remains to be seen. I have my own opinions.

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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
2. wow excellent article
Zinni is a class act for a jarhead hehehehehe
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reprehensor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 12:12 PM
Response to Original message
3. Nice. Informative website, too. n/t
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SharonAnn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 06:12 PM
Response to Original message
4. Zinni is absolutely awesome.
He's both "head-smart" and "street-smart".

He knows what * doesn't, which is to how to actually ACCOMPLISH something.

* thinks that you just say a few words and give a "name" to a "plan" and things get done.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 07:50 AM
Response to Original message
5. I made an e-mail, copy & pasted
the basic 10 mistakes he outlines.
Got it ready to reply to my military buddies who still support Bush*.
Many thanks for this excellent article.
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Merlin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 08:52 AM
Response to Original message
6. Tragically, almost any of us could have given the same speech...
without notes. Zinni is dead on target.

As a friend recently remarked sarcastically: "You just can't expect a whole country to remember a damn history lesson for more than a generation."
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ewagner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-04 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
7. How true, how true!!!
The sixth mistake, and maybe the biggest one, was propping up and trusting the exiles, the infamous "Gucci Guerillas" from London. We bought into their intelligence reports. To the credit of the CIA, they didn't buy into it, so I guess the Defense Department created its own boutique intelligence agency to vet them. And we ended up with a group that fed us bad information. That led us to believe that we would be welcomed with flowers in the streets; that led us to believe that this would be a cakewalk.
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PSU84 Donating Member (733 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-04 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
8. Zinni on 60 Minutes Sunday, 5/23
See thread in "breaking news" forum
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mike from ri Donating Member (214 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-22-04 07:07 AM
Response to Original message
9. reminds me of wes clark
who i thought should be prez and who i hope will be selected by kerry for veep.
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