Critics Blast Obama's Zinni Flip-Flop

They call yanking of Iraq ambassador post sign of transition chaos
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Feb 6, 2009 10:45 AM CST
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens during her joint news conference with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009, at the State Department in Washington.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – Remember those fat times, back in December, when competence and seamless coordination were back in town? Oh well. Joining the parade of minor appointment-related slip-ups is the apparent bait-and-switch pulled on retired Gen. Anthony Zinni, reports Politico. Zinni was told he had the job of Iraq ambassador—then the rug got pulled out; critics say this is typical of the Obama administration’s chaotic foreign policy transition.

Zinni even got a call of congratulations from Joe Biden, before the job was inexplicably yanked away, and he was offered the Saudi Arabia ambassadorship instead. “They handled this in an extremely amateurish way,” says a former Clinton official. Observers worry that the apparent disarray points to an ambiguous chain of command—no good for a foreign policy apparatus.