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Friday, March 06, 2009

Zbig and zbomb

Jimmy Carter's former national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday. You would think that after the disaster the Carter administration was on the foreign policy front, Brzezinski would be ashamed to show his face in Washington. And given Carter's disastrous handling of the Islamic revolution under his watch, you would think that even if Brzezinski was going to show his face in Washington, it would have nothing to do with Tehran. But you're wrong on both counts. In his testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Brzezinski urged the US not to pressure Tehran over the regime's development of nuclear weapons.
Brzezinski began by stressing actions that US shouldn't take, to avoid prejudicing the negotiations, arguing against ratcheting up sanctions, threatening the use of force, speaking of regime change and setting deadlines for the negotiations, unless the aim was for the talks to break down and for America to be able to blame that breakdown on Iranian intransigence.

Accordingly, he criticized a story in Haaretz this week that said Israel told Clinton to impose a time frame on talks for them to have impact.

"We should be very careful not to become susceptible to interested parties" and their policies on Iran, he warned.

He also took issue with Israel's contention that a nuclear-armed Iran would be an "existential threat," and argued that deterrence in the form of extending America's nuclear umbrella to friends in the Middle East should allay Jerusalem's concerns.

The US, Brzezinski maintained, faced more of an existential threat from the Soviet arsenal when he was in the White House, in the 1970s, then Israel did now, and deterrence proved effective in that case.

Both Brzezinski and Scowcroft agreed that the biggest threat came not from Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon but from the impetus such an acquisition would give to a regional nuclear arms race.
Yes, but the Soviet Union was a rational actor that would not willingly sacrifice its own people. Iran seeks a messianic apocalypse. The Soviet Union could therefore be deterred by mutually assured destruction. For Iran, mutually assured destruction martyrdom is an incentive to act.

Forget (for a minute) about listening to Israel. When are we going to start listening to Iran? Brzezinski is behaving the same way the world did in the 1930's regarding Hitler. Hitler laid out exactly what he intended to do, and morons like Brzezinski refused to believe him. Unfortunately, it wasn't the morons like Brzezinski that suffered the consequences. Hopefully, we won't repeat that mistake again.

But to avoid repeating that mistake, Israel may need (and is willing) to proceed without the support of the Obama administration. Zbig is one of the zboys there.


At 9:09 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

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At 9:11 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - I strongly urge you to read my post under "War Of The Words." I think what is also relevant here is that Purim is just around the corner. The distance removed from Haman to the mullahs and Ahmedinejad is a short one as far as Jewish history is concerned and they both promise to kill all the Jews. (Haman didn't succeed, thank G-d.) Eldad mentions America's desire to get along with its various adversaries in the Middle East including Iran and he writes that Israel is not willing to pay the price to solve America's problems in the region.

And he says about America's promised nuclear umbrella being extended to Israel that its worthless after Israel is wiped out. Perhaps people think Israel does not take Iran's words seriously. Given the Jewish historical experience, Israel cannot afford to dismiss the intentions of the modern Persian archenemy.

Brzezinski may be right that the US has nothing to worry about from Iran. For Israel, its a very different story and is not going to be restrained by how its taking action against Iran will affect US interests. All Israelis agree its a matter of national survival for the Jewish people.

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Anything Zbig says, do the exact opposite of. He is a compass, always pointing to the incorrect solution, the wrong answer.

His tenure in the White House with that other winner, Jimma Carter, is notorious in its ineffectiveness, and unparalleled in its resulting loss of American stature and deterrence capability.

On his watch, the mad mullahs got their start. On his watch, the USSR invaded Afghanistan. In one of the most bone-headed moves in the history of bone-headed moves, he then worked to ship arms to Islamic radicals.

One of the few rules for stability of a region. Never ever, under any circumstances, ship weapons to Islamic or Arab countries for their use. They will use them. Against you. Or sell them. To your enemies.

No matter what he says, find out what the opposite thing is, and do that. Zbig is very smart. But he is wrong with a perfect and unbroken track record for being wrong.


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