Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, September 15, 2006

He Failed, Yet He Pontificates

Who is most responsible for the creation of today's Iran? Khomeini? Carter? Bush?

The point could be made that it is Zbigniew Brzezinsky, who as National Security Advisor, was at Carter's side, advising throughout the creation of the monstrosity that has become the Iran of the Mullahs and Ahmadinejad. Apparently, not a word recommending forceful action came out of Brzezinsky's mouth during all those months; rather, he thought the best way to protect the national security was to play a mousey role in the Middle East, to not make waves, to not take risks.

So it takes a concerted effort not to bark or barf when reading der Spiegel's interview with Brzezinski. As he did in the 1970s, Brzezinski still sees no serious threat in Islamofascism:
Radical Islam is such an anonymous phenomenon that has arisen in some countries and not in others. It has to be taken seriously, but it is still only a regional danger most prevalent in the Middle East and somewhat east of the Middle East. And even in those regions, Islamic fundamentalists are not in the majority.
Some words for the former Security Advisor: Rome. London. WTC. Pentagon. A picture he might want to consider: Venezuela's Hugo Chavez cozying up to Ahmadinejad. "Only a regional danger?"

Brzezinski would wave aside my protest with a curt declaration that I am dabbling in fear mongering, something tawdry and unamerican:
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States was energetic and determined, and during the 40 years of the Cold War it was patient and deliberate. In neither case did any U.S. president intentionally preach fear as the major message to the people - on the contrary.
What in the world does that mean? Intentionally? "Ooops, I called the Soviet nuclear threat something to be afraid of." Major message? "Joe, better move that paragraph about the the presence of Russian forces in Eastern Europe and Chinese forces in Korea down a bit ... I wouldn't want anyone to think it was my major message." Absurd, unbelievable and just not historical.

Asked for solutions, Brzezinski ignores the jihad-ready forces in the Muslim world and their allies in China, North Korea and Russia who are willing to arm them in order to get a little cash and buy a little protection. He continues to think terrorism is about economic inequality, not conversion by the sword:
Achieving equality would indeed be an illusionary goal. Reducing inequality in the age of television and Internet may well become a political necessity. We are entering a historic stage in which people in China and India, but also in Nepal, in Bolivia or Venezuela will no longer tolerate the enormous disparities in the human condition. That could well be the collective danger we will have to face in the next decades.
So the solution is forfeiting our economic and military dominance, settling the world down to the least common denominator, and all just loving each other. Yes, Virginia, there is a foreign policy Santa Claus.

Interestingly, on the consequences of attacking Iran, Brzezinski is in full agreement with someone who he would rarely agree with: Charles Krauthammer. Here's the former:
The Iranians have a number of options open to them. Among them is the destabilization of Iraq and the western part of Afghanistan as well as the everpresent option of activating Hezbollah in Lebanon. They could cut down oil production, damage the Saudi oil production and threaten the passage of tankers through the Strait of Hormuz - with all the devastating consequences for the world economy. They could of course also accelerate the production of weapons of mass destruction, which then quite possibly would lead to renewed and more comprehensive military attacks - a vicious circle.
Hmmm. Didn't he say at the outset that Islamism is just a regional issue? Then how did he get to WMDs? Well, anyway, here's Krauthammer, writing today in Real Clear Politics:
An attack on Iran will likely send oil prices overnight to $100 or even to $150. That will cause a worldwide recession perhaps as deep as the one triggered by the Iranian revolution of 1979. ...

Iran could do this by attacking ships in the Strait, scuttling its own ships, laying mines or just threatening to launch Silkworm anti-ship missiles at any passing tanker. ...

Iran will activate its proxies in Iraq, most notably, Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army. Sadr is already wreaking havoc with sectarian attacks on Sunni civilians.
The difference is Brzezinski looks at the results of an attack and says the price is too high, while Krauthammer looks at the price of not attackinga nuclear Iran -- that is, allowing Iran to become a nuclear nation -- and sees military action frightfully costly but ultimately necessary, if diplomacy fails.

Whom do you trust, the man who helped create the Iranian terrorocracy, or the man who sees and fears the monster that was allowed to be created?

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