Carol Platt Liebau: Zbig Mistake

Monday, April 24, 2006

Zbig Mistake

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).

In any case, his piece in yesterday's LA Times is a dazzling example of the left's approach to foreign policy -- timorous, craven and ultimately concerned about all the wrong issues.

And it's also wrong on some facts. Take this assertion:

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.

Seems to me that a former US national security advisor (and editors at the LA Times, for that matter) should know this, but under the war powers act, the President doesn't need a congressional declaration of war to launch a "surprise" attack -- a la President Reagan's April 4, 1986 strike on Libya.

Brzezinski then goes on to worry about whether a strike on Iran would exacerbate terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan -- and the United States. Yes, better to let them develop the nuclear weapons, and then worry about whether they'll deploy terrorists against American interests, when our ability to deter them has been significantly diminished.

As for oil prices, they're important -- but not as important as keeping nukes out of the hands of Islamofascist crazies.

Most amazingly, like his fellow left-wing global strategist Barbara Corcoran, Brzezinski thinks we ought openly to take the threat of military action off the table. Yes, let's make sure the Iranian government knows it has nothing to fear if it continues with the nuclear program . . . surely that will convince it to stop when all the honeyed UN incentives failed. Hello?

Certainly, as I noted here, there are good reasons not to bomb Iran -- yet (as Edward Luttwack pointed out). But those are strategic considerations that contrast favorably with the timid and cramped little fears enumerated by Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Most unpardonably, Brzezinski sneaks this snarky little sentence into the piece: The United States should not be guided by emotions or a sense of a religiously inspired mission. Give me a break. Sorry if my emotion -- being insufficiently neutral about the prospect of seeing New York incinerated -- makes anyone uncomfortable. And as for the "religiously inspired mission" -- who but left-wing crackpots really thinks that this is some kind of "crusade" (but good job in validating the idea for purposes of Islamofascist propaganda)?

Brzezinski believes that Iran would be deterred from giving nukes to a terrorist because -- if the nukes struck us -- it would be tantamount to "suicide for Iran." First of all, the United States would (rightly) recoil at the prospect of killing innocent Iranians, and their government knows it. And earth to Zbig: In any case, when you have a government led by advocates of suicide bombing, the threat of death is not a deterrent.


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