Pundit Pap: Zinni, smart on Iraq; Timmeh and friends, clueless on race

Meet the Press dominated by Iraq talk, clutching of pearls over Imus firing

April 16, 2007 (correntewire.com ) — Tim Russert is unhappy about what happened to Don Imus.

Not that this was expressed in so many precise words, but then when are the Beltway 500 ever able to excavate those buried relics of their own assumptions? Take it from me: Timmeh considers Don Imus at worst a wronged man, and at best a tragic one.

Speaking for myself, I consider this attitude the real tragedy.

But first, General Anthony Zinni, he who spoke out against the Iraq invasion even before it turned sour, mere minutes after the fall of Saddam’s statute. Props go to Zinni because he warned this administration and the American people, in real time, before it was too late, that invading Iraq would prove to be sheer folly.

Now he’s got an up-dated paperback version of his book, "The Battle for Peace," coming out, the perfect time to express his concerns about where we go from here.

Not out of Iraq, according to Zinni, not anytime soon.

Tony Zinni is a man of strong and generally intelligent opinions, but he dislikes politics, especially electoral ones, opining that our Presidents should have single six year terms to avoid their energies being suctioned into re-election efforts, and this desire not to be seen as partisan, but without watering down the pointedness of his own point of view allowed Russert to paint Zinni into a non-partisan corner.

Russert set the stage by serving up manwich-sized helpings of Bush-whacking – like tape of Cheney’s statement in 2002 that Saddam’s amassing of WMD was now beyond question, which happened to take place at a dinner in honor of Zinni, or reading an unstinting critique of the multiple failures of this administration in Iraq from Zinni’s own book:

“We promised to build a new Iraqi state in all” aspects “and the Iraqi people are still waiting for us to deliver on our promise.

“Why?

“We now know the answers to that question: Poor intelligence, lack of planning, faulty political motivation, incompetent or inexperienced people placed in key positions, flawed assumptions, lack of understanding of the Iraqi culture, arrogance, spin, and the list goes on and on.”

As Timmeh noted, “that’s quite a list.”

Moving forward, immediately, Timmeh asked Zinni’s response to the notion of a War Czar, but not before reading the comments of Jack Sheehan, one of the Generals who turned down the position because “they,” the Bush administration, doesn’t know where it’s going in Iraq, and because, in calling around, Sheehan confirmed that the residue of the Cheney view that we’re going to win a victory in Iraq still predominates in the administration, while what pragmatists there are express desperation about how the hell we’re going to get out of Dodge and survive.

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