Some Speculation on Zinni
5:18 PM, Feb 4, 2009 • By MICHAEL 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.
Having the offer revoked was a major slap in the face to Zinni, who, according to this source, had already begun the process of removing himself from at least one of the corporate boards he sits on. Holbrooke's involvement would also indicate that the decision to ditch Zinni did not come from the White House, that Obama was not undercutting Hillary, but rather the other way around. So now Chris Hill, as a reward for his years spent appeasing the North Koreans, will get the chance to work that same magic on the Iranians.
If this scenario is correct, the real question is where is Obama on all this? Did he really allow his underlings to overrule Jones and appoint Hill? Does Obama even care who ends up at this post, or is his time consumed in dealing with the economy and the parade of tax cheats he's nominated for high office?