Afghan Overwatch
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Obama team pisses off Gen. Zinni

The competence cultists have shown their great skills again in screwing up an offer for the vital job of ambassador to Iraq. They apparently asked ret. Gen. Zinni to do the job and then some back stabbing went on and they pulled the rug out on him. I tell you, these guys could make you nostalgic for W's crew awful quick.

First let's check in with the mighty Goldfarb.

I just had a conversation with one Republican who speculated that Richard Holbrooke may have been at the center of the current mess over who will serve as U.S. ambassador in Iraq. According to the scenario he laid out, despite Jones having offered the job to Zinni -- an offer from one retired four-star to another -- and Clinton having confirmed the offer, Holbrooke interceded on behalf of his protege, Chris Hill, urging Clinton to reserve the Iraq post for someone who had spent a career in the foreign service.

And now Zinni lets loose.

"Jones had called me before the inauguration and asked if I would be willing to serve as ambassador to Iraq or in one of the envoy jobs, on the Middle East peace process," Zinni told Foreign Policy. "I said yes."

"Then two weeks ago, Jones called," Zinni continued, "and said, ‘We talked to the secretary of state, and everybody would like to offer you the Iraq job.' I said yes.

"The president called and congratulated me," Zinni said....

But then he heard nothing.

To make a long story short, I kept getting blown off all week," Zinni said. "Meantime, I was rushing to put my personal things in order," to get ready to go.

"Finally, nobody was telling me anything," Zinni said. "I called Jones Monday several times. I finally got through late in evening. I asked Jones, ‘What's going on?' And Jones said, ‘We decided on Chris Hill.'"

"I said, 'Really,'" Zinni recalled. "That was news to me."

Jones asked him if he would like to be ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Zinni said. "I said, 'You can stick that with whatever other offers,'" Zinni recalled, saying he had used more colorful language with Jones.

Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked for a meeting last Monday night, Zinni said. He said he went to the meeting in her office at the State Department, where Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Williams Burns were also in attendance.

A former senior official familiar with the case said the matter appears to have been handled disastrously. However, he thought it might have been problematic for the Obama administration to name Zinni, a retired general, as Iraq ambassador, since they have also reportedly decided to name another general, Karl Eikenberry, as ambassador to Afghanistan.

"What if then the American government suddenly puts in both Afghanistan and Iraq both generals?" the former senior official said.

I tell you what, it's a good thing President Obama has surrounded himself with all these Ivy League brainaics the media was swooning over a couple of weeks ago. I mean dag they are doing such an amazing job with these real world issues and especially with personnel. Maroons!

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