Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Brzezinski, Iran, and the Wingnuts

I remember Carter's foreign policy as seriously schizophrenic. There was the advocacy for human rights and an inclusive global order; there was the hawkish Realpolitik, anti-Soviet actions, and massive military buildup. The former were generally associated with Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. The latter were generally associated with National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski.

For the few of you who missed it, Brzezinski had an excellent op-ed in Sunday's L. A. Times explaining why an attack on Iran would be a stupendously bad idea. The gist:

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....Second, likely Iranian reactions would...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.

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....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....
As a hawk's hawk, a tireless advocate of military strength and the willingness to use it, Brzezinski is not the first person you expect to be arguing for peace. That makes him worth listening to...as does his prescience on the Iraq adventure, which he opposed for reasons that have since been proven correct.

None of which, of course, matters to the wingnuts. For example:

Paul Mirengoff (Powerline):
It was he and his feckless boss President Carter who saw no cause for concern in a potential Iranian mullocracy, and hence no reason to back the Shah of Iran who stood in the mullahs way.
Right or wrong (and I think he was probably wrong), Brzezinski was the Shah's strongest advocate in the Carter administration. He's the one who pushed for a crackdown on militants, while Vance was pushing the Shah to liberalize.

California Conservative:
This is typical liberal ideology. Negotiate from a position of weakness is straight from the Jimmy Carter failed handbook. Then again, Brzezinski is the failed bureaucrat that gave him that “Let’s all get along” advice. It’s obvious that Mr. Brzezinski didn’t learn anything from Reagan’s intimidating the Soviets into oblivion.
Anyone who remembers the Carter administration knows a) that 'let's all get along' was antithetical to Brzezinski's approach, and b) that Brzezinski (as noted above) pushed for the military build-up (which Reagan continued, but did not initiate) that wingnuts credit with defeating Communism.

Carol Liebau:
One can only wish that Zbigniew Brzezinski were as helpful to his own country as he has been to the forces of Islamofascism in Iran, both now and, of course, during the administration of the terminally incompetent Jimmy Carter, where he served as national security advisor (and when the radical Isamicists came to power in the first place).
There are plenty of people to blame for the theocratic revolution, starting with Eisenhower and the CIA (who overthrew Mossadegh in 1953) and continuing through Nixon and Kissinger (who encouraged the Shah as he stifled every democratic alternative in Iran), but Brzezinski: not high on the list.

Update: Boghie has acknowledged his error. Good for him.
Boghie on Your Six:
At this point in time (1978) Secretary Brzezinski was promoting ‘Human Rights’ without concern for RealPolitic [sic]. That hung Iran, a long term realpolitic [sic] ‘ally’, out to dry and directly led to the revolution.
Once more, for the slow learners. Cyrus Vance: human rights. Brzezinski: Realpolitik. Got the difference?

I know I shouldn't be surprised by such stupefying dumbassery. This is what they do. Still...jeezus, what a bunch of fucking morons.

[That's all, folks]