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Brzezinski warns Bush about provoking Iran

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    Ex-national security adviser warns that Bush is seeking a pretext to attack Iran By Barry Grey in Washington DC 2 February 2007 World Socialist Web Site
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 4 10:14 AM
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      Ex-national security adviser warns that Bush is seeking a pretext to
      attack Iran


      By Barry Grey in Washington DC
      2 February 2007
      World Socialist Web Site
      http://www.wsws.org


      Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations
      Committee on Thursday, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the
      national security adviser in the Carter
      administration, delivered a scathing critique of the
      war in Iraq and warned that the Bush administration's
      policy was leading inevitably to a war with Iran, with
      incalculable consequences for US imperialism in the
      Middle East and internationally.

      Brzezinski, who opposed the March 2003 invasion and
      has publicly denounced the war as a colossal foreign
      policy blunder, began his remarks on what he called
      the "war of choice" in Iraq by characterizing it as "a
      historic, strategic and moral calamity."

      "Undertaken under false assumptions," he continued,
      "it is undermining America's global legitimacy. Its
      collateral civilian casualties as well as some abuses
      are tarnishing America's moral credentials. Driven by
      Manichean principles and imperial hubris, it is
      intensifying regional instability."

      Brzezinski derided Bush's talk of a "decisive
      ideological struggle" against radical Islam as
      "simplistic and demagogic," and called it a "mythical
      historical narrative" employed to justify a
      "protracted and potentially expanding war."

      "To argue that America is already at war in the region
      with a wider Islamic threat, of which Iran is the
      epicenter, is to promote a self-fulfilling prophecy,"
      he said.

      Most stunning and disturbing was his description of a
      "plausible scenario for a military collision with
      Iran." It would, he suggested, involve "Iraqi failure
      to meet the benchmarks, followed by accusations of
      Iranian responsibility for the failure, then by some
      provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the US
      blamed on Iran, culminating in a `defensive' US
      military action against Iran that plunges a lonely
      America into a spreading and deepening quagmire
      eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and
      Pakistan.".

      This was an unmistakable warning to the US Congress,
      replete with quotation marks to discount the
      "defensive" nature of such military action, that the
      Bush administration is seeking a pretext for an attack
      on Iran. Although he did not explicitly say so,
      Brzezinski came close to suggesting that the White
      House was capable of manufacturing a
      provocation—including a possible terrorist attack
      within the US—to provide the casus belli for war.

      That a man such as Brzezinski, with decades of
      experience in the top echelons of the US foreign
      policy establishment, a man who has the closest links
      to the military and to intelligence agencies, should
      issue such a warning at an open hearing of the US
      Senate has immense and grave significance.

      Brzezinski knows whereof he speaks, having authored
      provocations of his own while serving as Jimmy
      Carter's national security adviser. In that capacity,
      as he has since acknowledged in published writings, he
      drew up the covert plan at the end of the 1970s to
      mobilize Islamic fundamentalist mujaheddin to topple
      the pro-Soviet regime in Afghanistan and draw the
      Soviet Union into a ruinous war in that country.

      Following his opening remarks, in response to
      questions from the senators, Brzezinski reiterated his
      warning of a provocation.

      He called the senators' attention to a March 27, 2006
      report in the New York Times on "a private meeting
      between the president and Prime Minister Blair, two
      months before the war, based on a memorandum prepared
      by the British official present at this meeting." In
      the article, Brzezinski said, "the president is cited
      as saying he is concerned that there may not be
      weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq, and that
      there must be some consideration given to finding a
      different basis for undertaking the action."

      He continued: "I'll just read you what this memo
      allegedly says, according to the New York Times: `The
      memo states that the president and the prime minister
      acknowledged that no unconventional weapons had been
      found inside Iraq. Faced with the possibility of not
      finding any before the planned invasion, Mr. Bush
      talked about several ways to provoke a confrontation.'

      "He described the several ways in which this could be
      done. I won't go into that... the ways were quite
      sensational, at least one of them.

      "If one is of the view that one is dealing with an
      implacable enemy that has to be removed, that course
      of action may under certain circumstances be
      appealing. I'm afraid that if this situation in Iraq
      continues to deteriorate, and if Iran is perceived as
      in some fashion involved or responsible, or a
      potential beneficiary, that temptation could arise."

      At another point Brzezinski remarked on the
      conspiratorial methods of the Bush administration and
      all but described it as a cabal. "I am perplexed," he
      said, "by the fact that major strategic decisions seem
      to be made within a very narrow circle of
      individuals—just a few, probably a handful, perhaps
      not more than the fingers on my hand. And these are
      the individuals, all of whom but one, who made the
      original decision to go to war, and used the original
      justifications to go to war."

      None of the senators in attendance addressed
      themselves to the stark warning from Brzezinski. The
      Democrats in particular, flaccid, complacent and
      complicit in the war conspiracies of the Bush
      administration, said nothing about the danger of a
      provocation spelled out by the witness.

      Following the hearing, this reporter asked Brzezinski
      directly if he was suggesting that the source of a
      possible provocation might be the US government
      itself. The former national security adviser was
      evasive.

      The following exchange took place:

      Q: Dr. Brzezinski, who do you think would be carrying
      out this possible provocation?

      A: I have no idea. As I said, these things can never
      be predicted. It can be spontaneous.

      Q: Are you suggesting there is a possibility it could
      originate within the US government itself?

      A: I'm saying the whole situation can get out of hand
      and all sorts of calculations can produce a
      circumstance that would be very difficult to trace.

      *********************************************************************

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