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Profile: Anthony Zinni

 
  

Positions that Anthony Zinni has held:

  • Four-star general, Marine Corps


 

Quotes

 
  

Quote, August 23, 2002

   “It's pretty interesting that all the generals see it the same way and all the others who have never fired a shot and are hot to go to war see it another way” [Tampa Tribune, 8/24/02]

Associated Events

Quote, October 10, 2002

   “If we think there is a fast solution to changing the governance of Iraq, then we don't understand history, the nature of the country, the divisions, or the underneath-suppressed passions that could rise up. God help us if we think this transition will occur easily.” [Middle East Institute, 10/10/02]

Associated Events


 

Relations

 
  

No related entities for this entity.


 

Anthony Zinni actively participated in the following events:

 
  

Summer 2002-2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       Current and former top US military brass dispute White House claims that Iraq poses an immediate threat to the US and that it must be dealt with militarily. In late July 2002, The Washington Post reports that “top generals and admirals in the military establishment, including members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff” believe that Saddam Hussein's regime “poses no immediate threat and that the United States should continue its policy of containment rather than invade Iraq to force a change of leadership in Baghdad.” The report says that the military officials' positions are based “in part on intelligence assessments of the state of Hussein's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and his missile delivery capabilities.” The newspaper says that there are several reasons why these dissident officers disagree with their civilian bosses. They worry that if Saddam Hussein is removed, Iraq could “split up, ... potentially leading to chaos and the creation of new anti-American regimes and terrorist sanctuaries in the region.” It is also possible, they say, that an invasion of Iraq could provoke Saddam Hussein into using whatever weapons of mass destruction he may have. And even if the invasion is successful, the aftermath could see “mass instability, requiring tens of thousands of US troops to maintain peace, prop up a post-Saddam government, and prevent the fragmentation of Iraq,” the military brass warns. Their position is that the US should continue its policy of containment, specifically sanctions and the enforcement of the US- and British- imposed “no-fly” zones. [The Washington Post, 7/28/02] Responding to the dissenting opinions of these military officials, Richard Perle, current chairman of the Defense Policy Board, says that the decision of whether or not to attack Iraq is “a political judgment that these guys aren't competent to make.” [The Washington Post, 7/28/02] A few days later, The Washington Post publishes another story along similar lines, reporting, “Much of the senior uniformed military, with the notable exception of some top Air Force and Marine generals, opposes going to war anytime soon, a stance that is provoking frustration among civilian officials in the Pentagon and in the White House.” Notably the division has created “an unusual alliance between the State Department and the uniformed side of the Pentagon, elements of the government that more often seem to oppose each other in foreign policy debates.” [The Washington Post, 8/1/02 Sources: Unnamed senior military officials] The extent of the generals' disagreement is quite significant, reports the Post, which quotes one proponent of invading Iraq expressing his/her concern that the brass' opinion could ultimately dissuade Bush from taking military action. “You can't force things onto people who don't want to do it, and the three- and four-star Army generals don't want to do it. I think this will go back and forth, and back and forth, until it's time for Bush to run for reelection,” the source says. [The Washington Post, 8/1/02 Sources: Unnamed US official] During the next several months, several former military officials speak out against the Bush administration's military plans, including Wesley Clark, Joseph P. Hoar, John M. Shalikashvili, Tony McPeak, Gen James L Jones, Norman Schwarzkopf, Anthony Zinni, Henry H. Shelton and Thomas G. McInerney. In mid-January 2003, Time magazine reports that according to its sources, “as many as 1 in 3 senior officers questions the wisdom of a preemptive war with Iraq.” They complain that “the US military is already stretched across the globe, the war against Osama bin Laden is unfinished, and ... a long postwar occupation looks inevitable.” [Time, 1/19/03]
People and organizations involved: James L Jones, Norman Schwarzkopf, John M. Shalikashvili, Anthony Zinni, Henry H. Shelton, Thomas G. McInerney, Joseph Hoar, Tony McPeak, Richard Perle, Kim Holmes, Wesley Clark  Additional Info 
          

October 10, 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       In a speech during Middle East Institute's annual conference, retired Marine General Anthony Zinni, presents an extensive argument against the Bush administration's plans for invading Iraq. He makes several points. [Middle East Institute, 10/10/02]
In order for the planned military operation against Iraq to be successful it must have international support. [Middle East Institute, 10/10/02]
In order to ensure a quick war, the US must use overwhelming force. [Middle East Institute, 10/10/02]
Civilian casualties, collateral damage, and destruction of the infrastructure must be kept to a minimum. [Middle East Institute, 10/10/02]
Israeli involvement would create massive instability. [Middle East Institute, 10/10/02]
The invasion must not provoke a reaction from the Arab Street. [Middle East Institute, 10/10/02]
The transition to a post-Saddam Iraq will not be easy. He explains: “If we think there is a fast solution to changing the governance of Iraq, then we don't understand history, the nature of the country, the divisions, or the underneath-suppressed passions that could rise up. God help us if we think this transition will occur easily.” [Middle East Institute, 10/10/02]
The burden of the war and post-war reconstruction must be shared. [Middle East Institute, 10/10/02]
It will not be possible to simply impose a democracy on Iraq. [Middle East Institute, 10/10/02]
Terrorism cannot be defeated by military means alone. He asks several questions that are rarely asked in public: “Why are young people flocking to these causes? Could the issues be political, economic and social? Could disenfranchisement or oppression be what drives them rather than the religious fanaticism that may be the core element to only a few? How do we cooperate to fix these problems? How do we help a part of the world that's trying to come to grips with modernity?” [Middle East Institute, 10/10/02]
He questions whether an invasion is even necessary, instead suggesting that there are numerous other issues to deal with of higher priority. [Middle East Institute, 10/10/02]
Finally, he says that violence and war are not the solution. “Like those generals who were far greater than I am, I don't think that violence and war is the solution. There are times when you reluctantly, as a last resort, have to go to war. But as a general that has seen war, ... I will tell you that in my time, I never saw anything come out of fighting that was worth the fight.” [Middle East Institute, 10/10/02]
People and organizations involved: Anthony Zinni
          

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