Friday, January 12, 2007

brzezinski on the surge

zbigniew brzezinski is one of the smartest guys on foreign policy out there as far as i'm concerned. what he said on last night's news hour with jim lehrer regarding the proposed troop surge escalation in iraq i found quite chilling but entirely plausible given the way this administration views "reality." and it's not the "blame the iraqis" part -- that's an obvious strategic advantage to this otherwise serious blunder -- it's what follows...
ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: [...] Are the benchmarks going to be met? I don't think anybody expects that they will be met. If they're not met, what do we do then?

One option is for the administration, in effect, to use the failure of the Iraqis to meet the benchmarks and, in effect, adopt a policy of blame and run, not cut and run, but blame and run.

JIM LEHRER: Blame the Iraqis, the Iraqis couldn't do it, so we go?

ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: We go. But we have, in the meantime, created this, in my judgment, exaggerated horror scenario of all the dominos falling in the Middle East if we leave. So how can the administration then leave, even if the benchmarks are not met, because all of these horrible things will happen if we leave?

So what's the other alternative? And this is what really worries me. There are hints in the president's speech and in Rice's testimony today about the possibility of escalation, not necessarily in the number of troops, but in the range of the military operations, namely perhaps against Syria or Iran.

And the incident with the Iranian consulate, the rhetoric about Iran, the increasing temptation to blame our failure on the Iranians and the Syrians could push us in that direction. And there are a lot of people still around here, particularly the neocons, who would like us to have a crack at Iran.
of course. lebanon did not give us the crack at iran the neocons wanted back in the summer -- remember bill kristol's claim that the israel-lebanon conflict was "our war"? biden and hagel heard what brzezinski heard in rice's testimony yesterday: read it as reuters and the boston globe report it.

1 comment:

Ryan W. said...

there's something about that guy that makes me always believe what he's saying. I don't know what it is. I think it's because he makes lists and speaks in a very structured way. Like "I am saying that it is this way. It is this way for the following three reasons. Reason number one is..." The thing I've been thinking about Iraq lately is that lo and behold, Howard Dean was right. And not only was he exactly right, right from the start, but he was totally confident and plain-spoken about it at a time when almost no other politicians were. Some politicians were opposing the war but seemed nervous about it. He never seemed nervous about it. The other thing is that I can't stand Hillary Clinton. It's not her stance on the war, it's just how incredibly calculated she seems about everything. Uggh. God I hope she doesn't end up the democratic candidate. Go Edwards, or somebody, anybody else. And for the GOP, go Chuck Hagel. And if it's Hagel vs Clinton, I'd be tempted to go with Hagel.