Re(1): 'Been There, Done That', LA Times, Zbigniew Brzezinski
Re(2): 'Three Conjectures', The Belmont Club, Wretchard
Subtitled: A Fisking in Need is a Fisking Indeed!!!
Been there, done that
Talk of a U.S. strike on Iran is eerily reminiscent of the run-up to the Iraq war.
By Zbigniew Brzezinski, Zbigniew Brzezinski was national security advisor to President Carter from 1977 to 1981.April 23, 2006
Actually, when one reviews Brzezinski in the light of Iran’s recent past this would be the end point of the Fisking. At this point in time (1978) Secretary Brzezinski was promoting ‘Human Rights’ without concern for RealPolitic. That hung Iran, a long term realpolitic ‘ally’, out to dry and directly led to the revolution.IRAN'S ANNOUNCEMENT that it has enriched a minute amount of uranium has unleashed urgent calls for a preventive U.S. airstrike from the same sources that earlier urged war on Iraq. If there is another terrorist attack in the United States, you can bet your bottom dollar that there also will be immediate charges that Iran was responsible in order to generate public hysteria in favor of military action.
Secretary Brzezinski, if there is another terrorist attack in the United States I would hope that we would use military action. Why else have a military. Maybe the military can be used to cut budget expenditures to pay for social programs – a strategy used in the 1990’s. And, Secretary Brzezinski, if you can process a minute amount of uranium into weapons grade material you can process significant amounts of uranium into weapons grade material. That is a lesson that should have been learned in the Iraq conflict as well – but you ain’t figured it out yet. Also, one should remind the esteemed Secretary Brzezinski that Iran (unlike Iraq) has indigenous sources of uranium within its borders.But there are four compelling reasons against a preventive air attack on Iranian nuclear facilities:
First, in the absence of an imminent threat (and the Iranians are at least several years away from having a nuclear arsenal), the attack would be a unilateral act of war. If undertaken without a formal congressional declaration of war, an attack would be unconstitutional and merit the impeachment of the president. Similarly, if undertaken without the sanction of the United Nations Security Council, either alone by the United States or in complicity with Israel, it would stamp the perpetrator(s) as an international outlaw(s).
Secretary Brzezinski, do you want to push the problem to the next guy. Oh, that’s right, Clinton the Great did so through the 90’s. That worked well. By the way, the UN will impose sanctions on Iran – with a slight push by the NeoCon Cabal… They will enact some inane, and in their opinion unenforceable, resolutions against Iran. They will believe that ‘America is in a Quagmire’ as they read the NYT. Oh, well… What happens then, Secretary Brzezinski.
Second, likely Iranian reactions would significantly compound ongoing U.S. difficulties in Iraq and Afghanistan, perhaps precipitate new violence by Hezbollah in Lebanon and possibly elsewhere, and in all probability bog down the United States in regional violence for a decade or more. Iran is a country of about 70 million people, and a conflict with it would make the misadventure in Iraq look trivial.
The difficulties in Iraq are now largely sponsored by Iran. We have largely beaten al Qaeda in Iraq. Now, it is the Iranian sponsored militias that are awaiting their turn. Secretary Brzezinski, are you reluctant to deal with Hezbollah. They have been killing Americans since you were their mid-wife in 1978. Kindof like giving birth to Jeffrey Dahmer, eh. Have you been watching the news for the past 28 years? Seems like they have been at war with the ‘Great Satan’ for decades. How long do you want to avoid fighting a war they have declared on us?
Third, oil prices would climb steeply, especially if the Iranians were to cut their production or seek to disrupt the flow of oil from the nearby Saudi oil fields. The world economy would be severely affected, and the United States would be blamed for it. Note that oil prices have already shot above $70 per barrel, in part because of fears of a U.S.-Iran clash.
Oh, so RealPolic of you… Very Kissingerian of you… I remember the effects of your Iranian policy in 1978. If I were you I wouldn’t mention this topic in good company… Oh, that’s right, ‘Been There, Done That’.
Finally, the United States, in the wake of the attack, would become an even more likely target of terrorism while reinforcing global suspicions that U.S. support for Israel is in itself a major cause of the rise of Islamic terrorism. The United States would become more isolated and thus more vulnerable while prospects for an eventual regional accommodation between Israel and its neighbors would be ever more remote.
The Jooos made Hezbollah do it. Get to the root causes. Autocracy. Kleptocracy. Living in the Gap. Economic Malaise (oops, sorry). You did not resolve any of the root causes during your four years of power. Clinton’s valiant team did not resolve any of the root causes during his eight years in power. So, your team has been in power for twelve of the last thirty years and resolved how many of those root causes. Me thinks the answer is Nada…
In short, an attack on Iran would be an act of political folly, setting in motion a progressive upheaval in world affairs. With the U.S. increasingly the object of widespread hostility, the era of American preponderance could even come to a premature end. Although the United States is clearly dominant in the world at the moment, it has neither the power nor the domestic inclination to impose and then to sustain its will in the face of protracted and costly resistance. That certainly is the lesson taught by its experiences in Vietnam and Iraq.
You’ve been watching the Democratic Documentary titled ‘Vietnam: The 40 Year Quagmire’. Great movie and gets high reviews by Liberal Luminaries like Michael Moore and Randi Rhodes (the Err America superstar – often inaccurate, but always ranting). Without a resolution of the root causes of Islamofascist Terror, someone on the Left could direct the sequel: ‘Vietnam: The 100 Year Quagmire’.
Even if the United States is not planning an imminent military strike on Iran, persistent hints by official spokesmen that "the military option is on the table" impede the kind of negotiations that could make that option unnecessary. Such threats are likely to unite Iranian nationalists and Shiite fundamentalists because most Iranians are proud of their nuclear program.
Question Secretary Brzezinski, did you and President Carter negotiate with Iran? Just asking. And, what was the policy you defined after the 1979 mishap? Was it not you and Jimmy Carter that ended relations with Iran (actually a good idea). The twelve years of negotiates made by Carter/Clinton did provide one (1) success story – the treaty between Israel and Egypt. But then again we were dealing with sane individuals (Begin and Sadat) - not terrorists. Minor issue, eh…
Military threats also reinforce growing international suspicions that the U.S. might be deliberately encouraging greater Iranian intransigence. Sadly, one has to wonder whether, in fact, such suspicions may not be partly justified. How else to explain the current U.S. "negotiating" stance: refusing to participate in the ongoing negotiations with Iran and insisting on dealing only through proxies. (That stands in sharp contrast with the simultaneous U.S. negotiations with North Korea.)
Good Lord, get your Tin Foil hat on for that one. Hearing DailyKos commentators in your teeth recently. I bring this up ‘With All Due Respect’, Sir.
The U.S. is already allocating funds for the destabilization of the Iranian regime and reportedly sending Special Forces teams into Iran to stir up non-Iranian ethnic minorities in order to fragment the Iranian state (in the name of democratization!). And there are clearly people in the Bush administration who do not wish for any negotiated solution, abetted by outside drum-beaters for military action and egged on by full-page ads hyping the Iranian threat.
Secretary Brzezinski, what were you doing about Afghanistan – another success story of your reign in power? You initiated the training and supply of the Mujajadeen. Again, do you think ‘frank discussions’ with terrorist states are effective diplomacy? Tell me the success stories – until then I will call this paragraph unsubstantiated blather. You went to college didn’t you?
There is unintended irony in a situation in which the outrageous language of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (whose powers are much more limited than his title implies) helps to justify threats by administration figures, which in turn help Ahmadinejad to exploit his intransigence further, gaining more fervent domestic support for himself as well as for the Iranian nuclear program.
President Ahmadinejad is constrained by Congress and the independent Judiciary. Is that what you are saying? Or, are you saying that he Mullahs are constraining him. Bubba, they put him in power. He is their ‘popular’ voice. By the way, since he is the President of Iran who else would you initiate your ‘frank discussions’ with.
It is therefore high time for the administration to sober up and think strategically, with a historic perspective and the U.S. national interest primarily in mind. It's time to cool the rhetoric. The United States should not be guided by emotions or a sense of a religiously inspired mission. Nor should it lose sight of the fact that deterrence has worked in U.S.-Soviet relations, in U.S.-Chinese relations and in Indo-Pakistani relations.
Deterrence with direct sponsors of suicide bombing??? I don’t place al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Muslim Brotherhood on par with the states of the Soviet Union, China, India, or even Pakistan. Tear your eyes away from The Democratic Underground site and read Wretchard’s ‘Three Conjectures’.Moreover, the notion floated by some who favor military action that Tehran might someday just hand over the bomb to some terrorist conveniently ignores the fact that doing so would be tantamount to suicide for all of Iran because it would be a prime suspect, and nuclear forensics would make it difficult to disguise the point of origin.
Just wait for that mushroom cloud, eh… That is your strategy… If all goes as you plan it will occur under the helm of an effective Democrat fighting the ‘War on Poverty’ or something. You will have to take charge and rename the Leftist political party in America if that happens. See your own writing in paragraph one (1).
It is true, however, that an eventual Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons would heighten tensions in the region and perhaps prompt imitation by such countries as Saudi Arabia or Egypt. Israel, despite its large nuclear arsenal, would feel less secure. Preventing Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons is, therefore, justified, but in seeking that goal, the U.S. must bear in mind longer-run prospects for Iran's political and social development.
Iran is in the midst of a giant Government Job Creation project. Let them be. Again, the Jooos are the root cause? Shouldn’t the Jooos be confident that when el Presidente Ahmadinejad says one thing, he will actually turn out to be decent and do something else? When someone tells Jooos that they want to incinerate their miserable little existence the Jooos should realize that he is just making small talk or diplospeak. Worked well in the recent past.
Iran has the objective preconditions in terms of education, the place of women in social affairs, and in social aspirations (especially of the youth) to emulate in the foreseeable future the evolution of Turkey. The mullahs are Iran's past, not its future; it is not in our interest to engage in acts that help to reverse that sequence.
I’ve seen the pictures of the Hitler Youth – oops, I mean the Basiji Youth. The youngsters who get all Jihaded up and walk calmly through mine-fields. They now run around as a Mullah Secret Police. And, joy of joys, el Presidente Ahmadinejad was once a member – and he harkens back to those days with warmness and fondness. So cute and cuddly...
Serious negotiations require not only a patient engagement but also a constructive atmosphere. Artificial deadlines, propounded most often by those who do not wish the U.S. to negotiate in earnest, are counterproductive. Name-calling and saber rattling, as well as a refusal to even consider the other side's security concerns, can be useful tactics only if the goal is to derail the negotiating process.
Those deadlines are ‘artificial’, but some odd bailout date of the GWOT is not. By the way, read Wretchard’s ‘Three Conjectures’ posted to the right of this column.
The United States should join Britain, France and Germany, as well as perhaps Russia and China (both veto-casting U.N. Security Council members), in direct negotiations with Iran, using the model of the concurrent multilateral talks with North Korea. As it does with North Korea, the U.S. also should simultaneously engage in bilateral talks with Iran about security and financial issues of mutual concern.
North Korea may be bonkers, but they have yet to kill Americans – at least after the 1950’s era mishap and tragedy. Iran is the major sponsor of American murder – and has been so for almost three decades.
It follows that the U.S. should be a signatory party to any quid pro quo arrangements in the event of a satisfactory resolution of the Iranian nuclear program and of regional security issues. At some point, such talks could lead to a regional agreement for a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East — especially after the conclusion of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement — endorsed also by all the Arab states of the region. At this stage, however, it would be premature to inject that complicated issue into the negotiating process with Iran.
Uuuuummmmm, Secretary Brzezinski, Iran has been cheating signed documents pertaining to the development of a nuclear capability for three decades – Give Them Another Chance!!! By the way, why are all the regional powers funding, supplying, and organizing terror against Israel if they are endorsing Peace in the Middle East?
For now, our choice is either to be stampeded into a reckless adventure profoundly damaging to long-term U.S. national interests or to become serious about giving negotiations with Iran a genuine chance. The mullahs were on the skids several years ago but were given a new burst of life by the intensifying confrontation with the United States. Our strategic goal, pursued by real negotiations and not by posturing, should be to separate Iranian nationalism from religious fundamentalism.
We should just quit. The Mullahs were on the skids till we decided to fight in the war they declared. Secretary Brzezinski, I would recommend you review a map before telling me how powerful Iran has become in the past five years. Would you want to be in their situation – militarily, sanctions wise, or diplomatically.
Treating Iran with respect and within a historical perspective would help to advance that objective. American policy should not be swayed by the current contrived atmosphere of urgency ominously reminiscent of what preceded the misguided intervention in Iraq.
That ‘misguided intervention in Iraq’ has placed a half million American trained troops on the western border of Iran. Do you, like Congressman Murtha, recommend an amphibious assault if the ‘frank discussions’ do not result in a peaceful Iran taking a positive role in the region? If you cannot answer that, then understand that amphibious assaults are not the favored form of military action. They can be sortof deadly.