But seeing that it's Zbigniew Brzezinski (May St. Vidicon of Cathode be praised for clipboards), there is a great deal of the precise and the specific in support of his blunt "suggestions."
It's amazing how much a mind can be improved by a prolonged lack of power and patronage.
Blog For Arizona: Brzezinski's Warning to the Senate
If the United States continues to be bogged down in a protracted bloody involvement in Iraq, the final destination on this downhill track is likely to be a head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of Islam at large. A plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran involves 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 U.S. blamed on Iran; culminating in a “defensive” U.S. military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.Zbiggy needs to include footnotes! But the essay, in the whole, is well taken - it does not take a giant, pulsating brain such as Brzezinski's to see what rough beast is shambling toward Persia. But he does name that beast more fully and damningly and publicly than most in the political establishment would dare.
A mythical historical narrative to justify the case for such a protracted and potentially expanding war is already being articulated. Initially justified by false claims about WMD’s in Iraq, the war is now being redefined as the “decisive ideological struggle” of our time, reminiscent of the earlier collisions with Nazism and Stalinism. In that context, Islamist extremism and al Qaeda are presented as the equivalents of the threat posed by Nazi Germany and then Soviet Russia, and 9/11 as the equivalent of the Pearl Harbor attack which precipitated America’s involvement in World War II.
This simplistic and demagogic narrative overlooks the fact that Nazism was based on the military power of the industrially most advanced European state; and that Stalinism was able to mobilize not only the resources of the victorious and militarily powerful Soviet Union but also had worldwide appeal through its Marxist doctrine. In contrast, most Muslims are not embracing Islamic fundamentalism; al Qaeda is an isolated fundamentalist Islamist aberration; most Iraqis are engaged in strife because the American occupation of Iraq destroyed the Iraqi state; while Iran—though gaining in regional influence—is itself politically divided, economically and militarily weak. 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.
Deplorably, the Administration’s foreign policy in the Middle East region has lately relied almost entirely on such sloganeering. Vague and inflammatory talk about “a new strategic context” which is based on “clarity” and which prompts “the birth pangs of a new Middle East” is breeding intensifying anti-Americanism and is increasing the danger of a long-term collision between the United States and the Islamic world. Those in charge of U.S. diplomacy have also adopted a posture of moralistic self-ostracism toward Iran strongly reminiscent of John Foster Dulles’s attitude of the early 1950’s toward Chinese Communist leaders (resulting among other things in the well-known episode of the refused handshake). It took some two decades and a half before another Republican president was finally able to undo that legacy.
One should note here also that practically no country in the world shares the Manichaean delusions that the Administration so passionately articulates. The result is growing political isolation of, and pervasive popular antagonism toward the U.S. global posture.
The Administration clearly wishes to cast us into a protracted war with Islam in general - World War III is terminology that the Right Wing has floated several times to describe it, as well as the term "clash of civilizations."
I would call it a clash of realities - the term "civilizations" is a bit oxymoronic in my view, considering the leading proponents for this clash on both sides of a divide that I see as being both intentional and convenient to the Idiologues of Islam and the Chickenhawk Castastrophizers of Christianity. In fact, there's little support for either group among the religiously moderate or the moderately religious - in either religion. Sojourners criticizes the war, while Liberal Islam Network cautiously explores the possibility of religious dissent. Interestingly enough, when religious conservatives of all sorts thump their scriptures, yelling loudly about what "The Good Book" has to say, reading the book itself brings a new, and far less "conservative" perspective on the original intent.
When you think of it - all this "clash of cultures" nonsense may well bring to pass the exact opposite; two cultures, so long completely and blissfully ignorant of the values and tenants of the other, discovering that what they have "always known" about the Infidel Other is in fact nonsense, and their greatest threats and foes are those who make a fine living pointing out the Evils and Dangers of the Others.
tag: Christianity, Red Letter Christians, Islam, Religious Fundimentalism, Clash of Cultures, WWIII, armageddon, Unintended Consequences, antiauthoritarian, Iran, Iraq War, Bush's Agenda, Planned Iran War