Whither Zinni

Philip Giraldi, February 11, 2009

Those who have believed that the departure of Dubya from the oval office will mean that Israeli politicians will no longer be able to call up American presidents and tell them what to do should think twice. The story of General Anthony Zinni’s aborted appointment as ambassador to Iraq has received remarkably little attention, and it has been attributed to his being a general and his directorship with major military contractor Dyncorp. Neither explanation is plausible as Hillary Clinton certainly knew he was a general when the appointment was discussed and the issue of Dyncorp never came up in the interview process.

Zinni was offered the position after an interview with Hillary Clinton at the end of January and even received a call from Joe Biden congratulating him on the next day, but the assignment was derailed in the following week. Christopher Hill received the ambassadorship instead of Zinni and Zinni received no explanation why he had been passed over, which reportedly irritated the hell out of him.

I have been informed by a State Department contact that Zinni was rejected after Clinton came under pressure from some major supporters in New York State who told her that the appointment was unacceptable to Israel because Zinni is perceived as “hostile” to the Jewish state. Zinni has, indeed, been critical of Israel on a number of occasions. Another source in the intelligence community has told me that Zinni was perceived as bad for Israel’s security because Israel regards Iraq as a “front line state” in its confrontation with Iran. If Israel were to attack Iran it would need overflight approval over Iraq, something that Zinni would be unlikely to approve, possibly even submitting his resignation to stop such a development. It is not clear if Hill would necessarily be more amenable, but as a career diplomat not known for being outspoken or independent minded he would be unlikely to rock the boat if Washington wanted to look the other way to enable an Israeli attack.

Cross-posted at The American Conservative blog.




18 Responses to “Whither Zinni”

  1. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari has already publicly stated that Iraqi airspace is off limits to Israeli aircraft. That was a nod by the Iraqis to the Iranians. If the Israelis ignore that prohibition and fly over Iraq anyway look for an Iran – Iraq mutual defence pact to be agreed upon shortly afterward. That will likely result in medium and long range Iranian rockets capable of hitting strategic sites in Israel to be moved into Iraq. (If the Iraqis were not agreeable to that idea initially the Iranians would remind them that the relative stability inside Iraq could deteriorate almost overnight. The Iraqis would get the hint.)

    - – - – - –

    Iraqi airspace ‘must not be used in strike’

    By Basil Adas

    14 July 2008

    Baghdad: The Iraqi government has asked the United States to prevent Israel from using its airspace in any possible attack on Iran, Gulf News has learnt.

    According to a senior official, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari “conveyed to the US ambassador in Baghdad, Ryan Crocker, on Friday a message from the government that Iraq doesn’t accept the use of Iraqi space by Israeli jets,” that could launch aerial attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

    Full piece here: http://www.gulfnews.com/region/Iraq/10228683.html

  2. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari has already publicly stated that Iraqi airspace is off limits to Israeli aircraft. That was a nod by the Iraqis to the Iranians. If the Israelis ignore that prohibition and fly over Iraq anyway look for an Iran – Iraq mutual defence pact to be agreed upon shortly afterward. That will likely result in medium and long range Iranian rockets capable of hitting strategic sites in Israel to be moved into Iraq. (If the Iraqis were not agreeable to that idea initially the Iranians would remind them that the relative stability inside Iraq could deteriorate almost overnight. The Iraqis would get the hint.)

    - – - – - –

    Iraqi airspace ‘must not be used in strike’

    By Basil Adas

    14 July 2008

    Baghdad: The Iraqi government has asked the United States to prevent Israel from using its airspace in any possible attack on Iran, Gulf News has learnt.

    According to a senior official, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari “conveyed to the US ambassador in Baghdad, Ryan Crocker, on Friday a message from the government that Iraq doesn’t accept the use of Iraqi space by Israeli jets,” that could launch aerial attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

    Full piece here: http://www.gulfnews.com/region/Iraq/10228683.html

  3. UK aide ‘arrested over comment on Jews’

    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/749139/uk-aide-arrested-over-comment-on-jews

  4. RE: UK aide ‘arrested over comment on Jews’

    Lear K,

    Rowan Laxton’s email address is:

    rowan.laxton@fco.gov.uk

    I sent Mr Laxton a message of support yesterday shortly after his comments were first reported. In addition I copied the message to the general address at the UK Foreign Office:

    postmaster@fco.gov.uk

    I would recommend that more people do the same, even if it’s only a few words. Let the FCO, and by extension the British Government know that their ridiculous, cowardly actions have not gone without notice.

  5. Too bad about Zinni, he seems to be one of the sanest military men around. The shameful arrest of the man in England, for just expressing his disgust, at what was going on in Gaza is really chilling.

  6. Well, why not. If Israel can grab America and shake it like a terrier does a rat, why not have veto power over our appointments too? Can you believe that in the span of many of our lifetimes (the 1950′s and early ’60′s) America was once a neutral power in the mideast, not a pathetic Israeli puppet?

    And what the hell is wrong with the Brits? (Not that that wouldn’t happen here, I suppose.) A guy in a gym privately and vulgarly shouts about Israel and is arrested? Good God in heaven, is there no where we can be safe from Big Fascist and his little turd informants?

  7. England, like the USA, is a defacto colony of Israel. Darker days are ahead.

  8. England is no longer a free country. The loony-marxist Labour party has destroyed the U.K.

  9. England today is truly George Orwell’s nightmare.

  10. Just wait until all those Iraqi orphans grow to adulthood.

  11. No there’s naivete in the extreme: the idea that Israel would respect ANYONE’s territory or airspace. Just ask the Lebanese, among others.

  12. Make that “NoW there’s…”

  13. In Zinni’s book he complains that the invasion of Iraq was not necessary. He clearly states that Saddam was contained and that all of the years of hard work, that went into getting to that point, was thrown away by GWBush and the Israelis in his cabinet who wanted to invade Iraq.

    The dual citizens(Israel/US) such as Rham Emmanuel, serving in our government, don’t really care for someone like Zinni who doesn’t follow their talking points. On the other side of the coin, Hillary pisses in her pants when ever Israel’s name is mentioned.

  14. What’s scariest about this is that the Israel-firsters’ objection to Zinni was specifically with respect to their plans for war against Iran. Hello, everybody? They are still determined to do this? Have we forgotten how gas shot up to $4 a gallon last July when Israel and the Bushies and neocons were making big scary noises about starting the war against Iran ASAP? Didn’t we all notice how that kind of catalysed the economic meltdown of the entire planet? Now imagine, with the economy already this bad, imagine what happens when the war against Iran starts, and, like, the Persian Gulf is in flames, and insurance for oil tankers goes up to ten infinitillion dollars per barrel, and everybody in the world suddenly refuses to spend or lend any money at all for anything whatsoever?

    Can somebody please right now put Israel in a rocket and send it to some other galaxy, please?

  15. General Zinni would have made a fine ambassador to Iraq.
    Trouble is, he doesn’t toe the line of the boys in Tel Aviv. Can’t have that, now, can we?

    No surprise that Secretary Hillary Clinton dropped the hammer on Zinni’s nomination. She’s owned and operated by the Israel Lobby. She’ll take her orders straight from Tel Aviv.

  16. Well… now, maybe that will be good for Russia… Iran is not a nice neighbor. Did not they once said about “Big Satan and small Satan”?

    So, the right strategy is to sell weapons to Iran, that can result in true mess in the Persian gulf… Oil price would go up…

    I fortunately live in a free country, where I can say “Negro”, officially compare Zionism to German national socialism, and openly tell to a female co-worker (if I wish) that she looks very sex-appealing today, without a risk of an arrest.

    So, I hate Zionism, Israel as an implementation of such. But I have deep respect to Jews that have enough courage and brain to oppose all of that. And there are more then enough of those. Now, I was indoctrinated like that back in the USSR, sorry.

  17. Plus the US would never allow the Iraqi puppet government to make such decisions as allowing Iranian Military units to operate from Iraq.

  18. Some tourists may get confused thinking it is a “live action” presentation of “1984″.