Zinni, who headed the US Central Command from 1997 to 2000, was asked if anyone should lose their job over how Washington has managed its Iraq policy.
“Secretary of defense to begin with,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press” program.
“Integrity and getting on with the mission and doing it right is more important than loyalty. Both are great traits, but integrity, honesty and performance and competence have to outweigh, in this business, loyalty,” the former Marine Corps general said.
Zinni also had something to say about the claims that the media is exaggerating the stories in Iraq (via Think Progress):
RUSSERT: Do you believe the American media is distorting the news from Iraq or presenting an accurate picture?
ZINNI: Well, I think the American media is being made a scapegoat for what’s going on out there. At last count, I think something like 80 journalists have been killed in Iraq. It’s hard to get outside the Green Zone and not risk your life or risk kidnapping at a minimum to get the story. And it’s hard to blame the media for no good stories when the security situation is such that they can’t even go out and get the good stories without risking their lives. And you have to remember that it’s hard to dwell on the good things when the bad things are so overwhelmingly traumatic and catastrophic. So I think that’s an unfair blame that’s put on the media. I think that there probably are good things at the lower level, but are they balanced out by the bad things that are happening? All the good things happening out there will mean nothing if this unity government doesn’t come together.
This second one really hits home. All we hear about is that the media is reporting only the bad stories from Iraq. Last year the “truth tour” went to Iraq to report on good news. They did find some good news but of course that was all contained within the green zone. Of course Bush has always needed a scapegoat for his failings in life. Why should it be any different just because he is President?