A political bombshell from Zbigniew Brzezinski


World Socialist Web Site www.wsws.org
WSWS : News & Analysis : North America

Ex-national security adviser warns that Bush is seeking a pretext to
attack Iran

By Barry Grey in Washington DC
2 February 2007

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.” [Emphasis added].

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

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

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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