Thursday, March 23, 2006

Hard To Spell -- Hard To Dispute

Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski was recently on PBS' NewsHour and had this to say in response to a question about the costs and benefits of the U.S. invasion and 3-year occupation of Iraq:
I think the benefits have been, in fact, very few, beyond the obvious one: the removal of Saddam Hussein. But we have undermined our international legitimacy. That's a very high cost to a superpower.

We have destroyed our credibility; no one believes anything the president says anymore. We have tarnished our morality with Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. These are phenomenal costs. And there's, of course, blood and money and tens of thousands of Iraqi killed.

So, in my view, the time has come to face all of this, to realize that staying for a prolonged period of time until some ephemeral victory is not the solution. It is time to leave.

Zbigniew BrzezinskiAnd I think a four-point program could be implemented that would permit us to leave in a fashion that would not be a debacle: Ask the Iraqi government to ask us to leave, first of all. And some would ask us. Some have already asked us, in fact.

Secondly, concert with the Iraqi government on the date of our departure, so it's a joint decision, I would think in about a year.

Third, the Iraqi government then convenes a conference of neighbors, Muslim neighbors, who are interested in continued stability in Iraq and in helping to prevent a civil war from exploding.

And fourth, arrange a donors conference for the recovery of Iraq. We could do that. I think we'd be better off if we did it; otherwise we're stuck, and this is getting worse and worse. The region is becoming more destabilized and hostile to us.

"No one believes anything the president says anymore." Sad, but true.


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