Brzezinski: “Bush’s suicidal statecraft” – What gives?

2005-10-14

Richard Moore

In the article below, Brzezinski launches a full-scale attack
on Bush and the war in Iraq. He even calls for an early
withdrawal, leaving the Iraqi's to sort things out for
themselves, one way or the other.

I find it challenging to fathom what Brzezinski is up to here,
or where he's coming from.

We might start by recalling two items from his past. The first
regards the war between the USSR and Afghanistan, of which
Brzezinski was one of the architects, and which he afterwards
publicly bragged about as being a coup in the cold war. 

In order to launch this war, various Islamic terrorist
organizations were created, armed, and funded by the CIA,
recruiting from all over the Middle East. They were
unleashed in order to draw the Soviets into their own Vietnam
quagmire. The world "Taliban" means student; in particular a
student of the CIA terrorist schools. This was an act of
state-sponsored terrorism on the part of the U.S., leading
predictably to a very dirty and bloody conflict. The war was
also accompanied by a Matrix campaign which portrayed the
terrorists as domestic, self-motivated freedom fighters.

The second item to recall is Brzezinski's recent book (1997),
"The Grand Chessboard". A primary thesis of the book is that
the U.S. should not shrink from empire: we are top dog now and
should take whatever measures are necessary to maintain that
position, as the world's first truly global empire. In a very
real sense, the PNAC agenda can be seen as a specific
battle-plan drawn up in order to fulfill the strategic vision
Brzezinski articulated. In addition, the Patriot Act is in
some sense a response to Brzezinski's warning that "Democracy
is inimical to imperial mobilization".

With these observations in mind, let's examine some of
Brzezinski's statements. First however, you may want
to skip down and read Brzezinski's article, and see what
sense you can make of it.

---

  ZB:  That war, advocated by a narrow circle of decision makers for
    motives still not fully exposed, propagated publicly by
    demagogic rhetoric reliant on false assertions, has turned out
    to be much more costly in blood and money than anticipated.

All of this applies equally to the war Brzezinski helped
create in Afghanistan, apart perhaps for the part about
anticipated costs.  In truth he is the pot calling the kettle
black, although given his stature he can probably assume most
readers wouldn't be noticing his own true color.

So far, it seems Brzezinski is simply doing a hatchet job on
Bush, using his prestige, saying whatever works as anti-Bush
propaganda. This would indicate that the CFR-level community
is ready to dump Bush, as they dumped Nixon, hoping that all
the shit will stick to him as they flush him away, as it did
with Nixon: the scapegoat scenario.
    
    Compounding U.S. political dilemmas is the degradation of
    America's moral standing in the world. The country that has
    for decades stood tall in opposition to political repression,
    torture and other violations of human rights has been exposed
    as sanctioning practices that hardly qualify as respect for
    human dignity.

Ditto pot & kettle; ditto scapegoat propaganda.
    
    But it need not be so. A real course correction is still
    possible, and it could start soon with a modest and
    common-sense initiative by the president to engage the
    Democratic congressional leadership in a serious effort to
    shape a bipartisan foreign policy for an increasingly divided
    and troubled nation.

This is totally in line with a 'clean flush' agenda. they dump
Bush, everyone in Washington and media-land reveals they
didn't really like his policies in the first place, and
Americans believe that democracy has been restored - as they
did when Nixon resigned.

If Bush were to scale back his goals in Iraq, that would be a
retreat, a failure - not only for Bush, but for America's
reputation as a tough guy that you better watch out for. But if the
whole situation can be blamed entirely on Bush - a rogue
President who lost it, like Nixon - then any retrenchment will
be seen as well-intentioned attempt to clean up an unfortunate
mess. The Establishment survives, and all options are open as
regards policy shifts.

But then we'd be left with Cheney and Rumsfeld. Either they'd
need to be dumped as well, or else they could have 'changes of
heart' - they were only taking orders and being good soldiers
- like the fearsome flying monkeys who became like puppies
once the wicked witch had been slain.
    
    In a bipartisan setting, it would be easier not only to scale
    down the definition of success in Iraq but actually to get out
    - perhaps even as early as next year. And the sooner the
    United States leaves, the sooner the Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis
    will either reach a political arrangement on their own or some
    combination of them will forcibly prevail.

Brzezinski knows full well that the U.S. will never vacate
Iraq. We've built, and are still building, very permanent
military bases, establishing just the kind of imperial
infrastructure Brzezinski himself so eloquently promotes. He
never mentions in this article the elephant in the kitchen -
oil - and he knows full well that the U.S. will never
relinquish control over those reserves now that control has
been achieved. The PNAC document says that the issue of Iraq
transcends the issue of Saddam's regime; similarly it
transcends Bush's regime.

Brzezinski is simply taking a 'high moral ground' position
with his withdrawal ruse, donning the feathers of a dove,
knowing that the stand has no practical political relevance.

The substance of his proposal has to do with the 'bipartisan'
approach and the opening-up of options. The bipartisan part is
important, because it reinforces the image of 'democracy
restored'. It is a safe tactic, given that the Democrats on
The Hill are not substantially different then Republicans in
their politics. And they will fall over themselves with glee
at being invited back into the bargain-politics arena.

The opening up of options  is also very important. In fact,
Brzezinski is proposing that the U.S. abandon any pretense of,
or responsibility for, restoring order or establishing
democracy in Iraq, even to the point of simply cutting and
running - even a bloodbath would be acceptable.

Once options are opened up that widely for discussion, one can
rather easily predict the 'salvage strategy' that is likely to
be adopted. That strategy will have, I imagine, two parts: one
about the Iraqis, and one about the oil.

As regards the oil, the decision will be that the reserves are
too important to the world economy to be put under Iraqi
control 'during a period of adjustment and instability'. As a
trustee for the world, and for the Iraqis, the U.S. will
'protect and operate' the oil fields in 'the interim', and
will need its bases for that purpose, and to ensure
instability in Iraq doesn't spill over the borders.

As regards the Iraqis, based on the current covert campaign to
stir up a civil war in Iraq, and the relative autonomy given
to the Kurds, it seems the policy will be centered around
dividing Iraq up into mini-states. along ethnic-religious
lines: Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, etc. This would divide the
problem of controlling the region into manageable chunks, and
lead to a combination of stability and instability, providing
maximum flexibility as regards future interventions.

The mini-states would be a bit like the Palestinian areas in
Israel: treated as autonomous with respect  to dealing with
their own problems of survival, yet always vulnerable to air
strikes, blockades, or other relatively inexpensive yet
effective interventions. We might keep in mind that Israeli
security personnel have been busy training the U.S. occupation
forces in how to deal with the Iraqi resistance, based on
their experience with, and policies toward, the Palestinians.
We might also recall the years of sanctions, no-fly zones,
etc.

It would not be difficult to sell this plan to the Iraqis. If
the U.S. ended its attacks in Iraq, offered significant funds
and assistance for infrastructure reconstruction, and promised
to withdraw its forces to its bases (and pipelines, and oil
fields, and national borders) the Iraqis would have little
choice but to go along with the full package, despite its
drawbacks. They are sick of the fighting, and life is almost
impossible under the occupation and with most infrastructures
not operating.

This way the U.S. gets everything it ever wanted in Iraq -
bases and oil - and it can free its troops from an engagement
that never did serve any useful purpose for 'U.S. interests'.
The world will be so relieved to see the end of the unpopular
war that they will not challenge our residual presence and
role, nor will they berate us for Bush's prior mistakes. Bush
served a useful purpose by getting us into Iraq and creating a
situation so grotesque that anything less will now be
perceived as being acceptable. He took a mile and we can keep
the inch we really want.

That is how U.S. strategic planners will view the situation,
and perhaps how they have viewed it from the beginning. The
whole neocon clique were known to be a pack of attack dogs:
they were unleashed; they captured territory; we can now
apologize that they got off leash; and we get to keep the bits
we want. It was necessary that Bush based the campaign on
lies, so that we can now say that he was wrong but he was
sincere and perhaps deranged - getting us off the hook for our
actual oil-imperialist motivation. Before joining the neocon
lynch mob, recall Bob Dylan's words to those who felt like
lynching Medgar Evers' killer: "He was only a pawn in
their game."

As a consequence of this well-thought-out grand strategy, if
that's what it has been, the U.S. would emerge not only with
its oil and bases, but with most of its military forces
mobilized and freed up from active assignments. After a bit of
R&R, and the sending home of the most exhausted, the rest
would be all ready for the next major PNAC campaign. And this
time we will have a much better cover story: another
false-flag event, 9/11 number two.

Brzezinski is playing the role of Antony, in Julius Caesar. In
his dove clothes, he tells us he "has not come to praise war,
but to bury it." But in the end, his words set the stage for
the next episode of combat.

rkm

--------------------------------------------------------
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article10618.htm

George W. Bush's suicidal statecraft

Flaying away with a stick at a hornets' nest while loudly proclaiming
"I will stay the course" is an exercise in catastrophic leadership.

By Zbigniew Brzezinski
Tribune Media Services International

10/13/05 "ICH" - WASHINGTON - Sixty years ago, Arnold
Toynbee concluded, in his monumental "A Study of History,"
that the ultimate cause of imperial collapse was "suicidal
statecraft." Sadly for President George W. Bush's place in
history but - much more important - ominously for America's
future, it has lately seemed as if that adroit phrase might be
applicable to the policies pursued by the United States since
the cataclysm of 9/11.

Though there have been some hints lately that the
administration may be beginning to reassess the goals, so far
defined largely by slogans, of its unsuccessful military
intervention in Iraq, Bush's speech of Oct. 6 was a throwback
to the more demagogic formulations that he employed during the
presidential campaign of 2004 to justify the war that he
himself started.

That war, advocated by a narrow circle of decision makers for
motives still not fully exposed, propagated publicly by
demagogic rhetoric reliant on false assertions, has turned out
to be much more costly in blood and money than anticipated.

It has precipitated worldwide criticism, while in the Middle
East it has stamped the United States as the successor to
British imperialism and as a partner of Israel in the military
repression of the Arabs. Fair or not, that perception has
become widespread in the world of Islam as a whole.

More than a reformulation of U.S. goals in Iraq is now needed,
however. The persistent reluctance of the administration to
confront the political background of the terrorist menace has
reinforced public sympathy among Muslims for the terrorists.

It is a self-delusion for Americans to be told that the
terrorists are motivated mainly by an abstract "hatred of
freedom" and that their acts are a reflection of a profound
cultural hostility. If that were so, Stockholm or Rio de
Janeiro would be as much at risk as New York.

Yet in addition to New Yorkers, the principal victims of
serious terrorist attacks have been Australians in Bali,
Spaniards in Madrid, Israelis in Tel Aviv, Egyptians in the
Sinai and Britons in London. There is an obvious political
thread connecting these events: The targets are America's
allies and client states in the deepening U.S. military
intervention in the Middle East.

Terrorists are not born but shaped by events, experiences,
impressions, hatreds, ethnic myths, historical memories,
religious fanaticism and deliberate brainwashing. They are
also shaped by images of what they see on television, and
especially by their feelings of outrage at what they perceive
to be a brutalizing denigration of their religious kin's
dignity by heavily armed foreigners. An intense political
hatred for America, Britain and Israel is drawing recruits for
terrorism not only from the Middle East but from as far away
as Ethiopia, Morocco, Pakistan, Indonesia and even the
Caribbean.

America's ability to cope with nuclear nonproliferation has
also suffered. The contrast between the attack on the
militarily weak Iraq and America's forbearance of the
nuclear-armed North Korea has strengthened the conviction of
the Iranians that their security can only be enhanced by
nuclear weapons.

Moreover, the recent U.S. decision to assist India's nuclear
program, driven largely by the desire for India's support for
the war in Iraq and as a hedge against China, has made the
United States look like a selective promoter of nuclear
weapons proliferation. This double standard will complicate
the quest for a constructive resolution of the Iranian nuclear
problem.

Compounding U.S. political dilemmas is the degradation of
America's moral standing in the world. The country that has
for decades stood tall in opposition to political repression,
torture and other violations of human rights has been exposed
as sanctioning practices that hardly qualify as respect for
human dignity.

Even more reprehensible is the fact that the shameful abuse
and/or torture in Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib was exposed not by
an outraged administration but by the U.S. news media. In
response, the administration confined itself to punishing a
few low-level perpetrators; none of the top civilian and
military decision-makers in the Department of Defense and the
National Security Council who sanctioned "stress
interrogations" (torture, in other words) was forced to
resign, nor to face public disgrace and prosecution. The
administration's opposition to the International Criminal
Court retroactively now seems quite self-serving.

Finally, complicating the sorry foreign policy record are
war-related economic trends, with spending on defense and
security escalating dramatically. The budgets for the
Department of Defense and for the Department of Homeland
Security are now larger than the total budgets of most
nations, and they are likely to continue escalating even as
the growing budget and trade deficits are transforming America
into the world's no. 1 debtor nation.

At the same time, the direct and indirect costs of the war in
Iraq are mounting, even beyond the pessimistic prognoses of
the war's early opponents, making a mockery of the
administration's initial predictions. Every dollar so
committed is a dollar not spent on investment, on scientific
innovation or on education, all fundamentally relevant to
America's long-term economic primacy in a highly competitive
world.

It should be a source of special concern for thoughtful
Americans that even nations known for their traditional
affection for America have become openly critical of American
policy. As a result, large swathes of the world - be it East
Asia, or Europe, or Latin America - have been quietly
exploring ways of shaping closer regional associations tied
less to the notions of trans-Pacific, or trans- Atlantic, or
hemispheric cooperation with the United States. Geopolitical
alienation from America could become a lasting and menacing
reality.

That trend would especially benefit America's historic
ill-wishers or future rivals. Sitting on the sidelines and
sneering at America's ineptitude are Russia and China: Russia,
because it is delighted to see Muslim hostility diverted from
itself toward America, despite its own crimes in Afghanistan
and Chechnya, and is eager to entice America into an
anti-Islamic alliance; China, because it patiently follows the
advice of its ancient strategic guru, Sun Tzu, who taught that
the best way to win is to let your rival defeat himself.

In a very real sense, during the last four years, the Bush
team has thus been dangerously undercutting America's
seemingly secure perch on top of the global totem pole by
transforming a manageable, though serious, challenge largely
of regional origin into an international debacle.

To be sure, since America is extraordinarily powerful and
rich, it can afford, yet for a while, even a policy
articulated with rhetorical excess and pursued with historical
blindness. But in the process America is likely to become
isolated in a hostile world, increasingly vulnerable to
terrorist acts and less and less able to exercise a
constructive global influence.

Flaying away with a stick at a hornets' nest while loudly
proclaiming "I will stay the course" is an exercise in
catastrophic leadership.

But it need not be so. A real course correction is still
possible, and it could start soon with a modest and
common-sense initiative by the president to engage the
Democratic congressional leadership in a serious effort to
shape a bipartisan foreign policy for an increasingly divided
and troubled nation.

In a bipartisan setting, it would be easier not only to scale
down the definition of success in Iraq but actually to get out
- perhaps even as early as next year. And the sooner the
United States leaves, the sooner the Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis
will either reach a political arrangement on their own or some
combination of them will forcibly prevail.

With a foreign policy based on bipartisanship and with Iraq
behind us, it would also be easier to shape a wider regional
policy that constructively focuses on Iran and on the
Israeli-Palestinian peace process while restoring the
legitimacy of America's global role.

(Zbigniew Brzezinski was national security adviser to
President Jimmy Carter. This Global Viewpoint article was
distributed by Tribune Media Services International.)
-- 

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