Friday, January 12, 2007

Zbigniew Brzezinski on troop surge

Brezezinski was NSA under President Carter. Not without his own short-sightedness in foreign policy he does a good job of finding flaws in the recent President speech.

His op-ed in the WashingtonPost here.

He has five points of reflection. Just want to focus on two in particular (#3,5).

ZB writes:

The decision to escalate the level of the U.S. military involvement while imposing "benchmarks" on the "sovereign" Iraqi regime, and to emphasize the external threat posed by Syria and Iran, leaves the administration with two options once it becomes clear -- as it almost certainly will -- that the benchmarks are not being met. One option is to adopt the policy of "blame and run": i.e., to withdraw because the Iraqi government failed to deliver. That would not provide a remedy for the dubious "falling dominoes" scenario, which the president so often has outlined as the inevitable, horrific consequence of U.S. withdrawal. The other alternative, perhaps already lurking in the back of Bush's mind, is to widen the conflict by taking military action against Syria or Iran. It is a safe bet that some of the neocons around the president and outside the White House will be pushing for that. Others, such as Sen. Joseph Lieberman, may also favor it.
I would add a third possibility to that list: pass the buck to the next administration. But ZB is right in seeing in different factions within the Administration towards the other two (Gates versus Cheney mainly and Condi who knows...on vacation?).

ZB concludes:

The speech reflects a profound misunderstanding of our era. America is acting like a colonial power in Iraq. But the age of colonialism is over. Waging a colonial war in the post-colonial age is self-defeating. That is the fatal flaw of Bush's policy.
No Dept. of Reconstruction, No SysAdmin force + Democratic Trosktyism=Leviathan military-only (no diplomacy)=Colonial occupation.


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