Accusing top Pentagon officials of “dereliction of duty,” retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni says staying the course in Iraq isn’t a reasonable option. “The course is headed over Niagara Falls. I think it’s time to change course a little bit or at least hold somebody responsible for putting you on this course…. 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.
You may recall that I have criticized the poor strategic thinking for some time now. I don’t expect anyone to pay a great deal of attention to what I have to say on military matters, but one would think that a commanding general’s opinion might at least be taken into account. Staying the course is not a reasonable option, and only someone almost wholly ignorant of the situation would recommend it. Significant expansion into global warfare and retreat into constitutional isolationism are the two primary alternatives. I tend to favor the latter, not out of any pacificist inclination, but because I do not trust the motivations and long-term goals of those who would be leading the former.
I wonder how Mowbray will go about defending his poor neoconservative friends this time? It’s an admirable instinct – to defend your friends – but here’s hoping he won’t have to start impugning false racist motivations to the general this time.