View Full Version : Different Views: How others see the military

04-11-06, 11:49 AM
April 17, 2006
Different Views: How others see the military
‘We’ve wasted 3 years here’

Excerpts from comments made by retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, former chief of U.S. Central Command, on the April 2 edition of NBC’s “Meet the Press”:

The potential for Iraq to come out of this better off is there, where there was no hope under Saddam. But the problem is that we’ve wasted three years here. ... And it may take them a while — five, 10 years of this kind of violence and destructive behavior, sectarian violence that they perpetrate on each other — for them to get out of this. And I think we lost ground when we had an opportunity in the beginning to freeze this situation and gain control, and we let all these snakes come out.

I think the American media’s being made a scapegoat for what’s going on out there. ... It’s hard to blame the media for no good stories when the security situation is such that they can’t even go out and get the good stories without risking their lives. And you have to remember that it’s hard to dwell on the good things when the bad things are so overwhelmingly traumatic and catastrophic, you know? So I think that’s an unfair blame that’s put on the media.

Should someone resign?

Absolutely, secretary of defense, to begin with. ... Those that have been responsible for the planning, for overriding all the, the efforts that were made in planning before that, that those that stood by and allowed this to happen ... I think they have to be held accountable.

Those that are in power now that have been part of this are finding that their time is spent defending the past. And if they have to defend the past, they’re unable to make the kinds of changes, adjustments, admit the mistakes and move on.

I think the president of the United States ought to certainly say that there were mistakes made. ... It may not be necessarily the case that he was wrong. He was given bad information. ... You know, you have to make tough choices. You know, integrity and getting on with the mission and doing it right is more important than loyalty. Both are great traits, but integrity, honesty and performance and competence have to outweigh, in this business, loyalty.