Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

February 6, 2009


NY Times - When the vice president, the secretary of state and the national security adviser all say you have been tapped to be the next United States ambassador to Iraq, odds are it’s a done deal, right? Apparently not in the Obama administration.

Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, the former top American commander in the Middle East, said the Obama administration offered him the Baghdad job late last month, but withdrew the appointment without explanation, apparently in favor of a veteran diplomat, Christopher R. Hill.

With General Zinni fuming in undiplomatic fashion about the way he was treated, the question of who should be the next ambassador to Iraq has turned into an embarrassing mess for the Obama administration as it struggles to recover from other stumbles over high-profile nominations. There has still been no formal announcement about the Iraq job. . .

General Zinni was a prominent critic of the Iraq war before the invasion, but he supported the temporary increase in troops in Iraq and opposed a rapid withdrawal there, putting him closer to Senator John McCain’s position than to President Obama’s. Early on, he also called for the defense secretary at the time, Donald H. Rumsfeld, to resign.


Post a Comment

<< Home