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VIDEO: Gen. Zinni Calls on Rumsfeld and Others to Resign for ‘Disastrous Mistakes’ in Iraq

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"VIDEO: Gen. Zinni Calls on Rumsfeld and Others to Resign for ‘Disastrous Mistakes’ in Iraq"

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This morning on Meet the Press, Gen. Anthony Zinni, former commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, called on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other Bush officials to resign for making a “series of disastrous mistakes” in Iraq. Watch it:

Transcript:

ZINNI: There’s a series of disastrous mistakes. We just heard the Secretary of State say these were tactical mistakes. These were not tactical mistakes. These were strategic mistakes, mistakes of policies made back here. Don’t blame the troops. They’ve been magnificent. If anything saves us, it will be them.

RUSSERT: Should someone resign?

ZINNI: Absolutely.

RUSSERT: Who?

ZINNI: Secretary of Defense to begin with.

RUSSERT: Anyone else?

ZINNI: Well, I think that we — those that have been responsible for the planning, for overriding all the efforts that were made in planning before that, that those that stood by and allowed this to happen that didn’t speak out – and there were appropriate ways within the system you can speak out, at congressional hearings and otherwise — I think they have to be held accountable.

Full transcript below:

ZINNI: I saw the — what this town is known for, spin, cherry-picking facts, using metaphors to evoke certain emotional responses or shading the context. We know the mushroom clouds and the other things that were all described that the media has covered well. I saw on the ground a sort of walking away from 10 years’ worth of planning. You know, ever since the end of the first Gulf War, there’s been planning by serious officers and planners and others, and policies put in place — 10 years’ worth of planning were thrown away. Troop levels dismissed out of hand. Gen. Shinseki basically insulted for speaking the truth and giving an honest opinion. The lack of cohesive approach to how we deal with the aftermath, the political, economic, social reconstruction of a nation, which is no small task. A belief in these exiles that anyone in the region, anyone that had any knowledge, would tell you were not credible on the ground. And on and on and on, decisions to disband the army that were not in the initial plans. There’s a series of disastrous mistakes. We just heard the Secretary of State say these were tactical mistakes. These were not tactical mistakes. These were strategic mistakes, mistakes of policies made back here. Don’t blame the troops. They’ve been magnificent. If anything saves us, it will be them.

RUSSERT: Should someone resign?

ZINNI: Absolutely.

RUSSERT: Who?

ZINNI: Secretary of Defense to begin with.

RUSSERT: Anyone else?

ZINNI: Well, I think that we — those that have been responsible for the planning, for overriding all the efforts that were made in planning before that, that those that stood by and allowed this to happen that didn’t speak out — and there were appropriate ways within the system you can speak out, at congressional hearings and otherwise — I think they have to be held accountable. The point is, those that are in power now that have been part of this are finding that their time is spent defending the past. And if they have to defend the past, they’re unable to make the kinds of changes, adjustments, admit to mistakes and move on. And that’s where we are now, trying to rewrite history, defend the past. Ridiculous statements that well, wait 20 years and history will tell you how this turns out. Well, I don’t think anybody wants 20 years to continue like it is now.

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