BIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, former President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser, writes in a Washington Post OpEd Commentary about The Real Choice in Iraq, which he puts quite succinctly as follows--
ZB: "Victory or defeat" is, in fact, a false strategic choice. In using this formulation, the president would have the American people believe that their only options are either "hang in and win" or "quit and lose." But the real, practical choice is this: "persist but not win" or "desist but not lose."Although Zbig calls "victory or defeat" a "false strategic choice" in considering America's problem in Iraq, he actually embraces a from of "victory or defeat" as follows. He thinks the real choice in Iraq is "Persist but lose" or "Desist and win". Which confounds the meaning of persistence, with losing, and running away, with saving the situation. So his advice sounds a lot like "Cut and run! Soon as we can."
He buys into the calculus of "victory or defeat" but comes to his own conclusions about what to do now in those terms. Yet before deciding on "real choices" I think it might help to agree first on some non-zero-sum metaphor to capture the reality of Iraq. Here is mine: Democratic Iraq is like a child born out of wedlock-- you can't put the baby back in the mother. We may argue mightily over its provenance and legitimacy, the "circumstances" of the "case," but can America act out of other than a consciousness of paternity in its violent and bloody birth, or even "maternal responsibility" for what will happen now? Zbig seems to think an orphanage for Democratic Iraq might do just fine, while America concentrates on being "practical."
I think it is the sheer reality of Democratic Iraq's existence, and the potential for good in the neighborhood in which she will surely thrive or perish, that ought to shape America's choices there. In the Homeland of the Brave, seemingly secure in Liberty's protection, the febrile political and ideological argumentation, and the coming elections, will surely obscure that reality.
An interesting discussion on Zbigniew Brzezinski OpEd piece is going on over at the BELGRAVIA DISPATCH weblog.
RELATED PHILIPPINE COMMENTARY POSTS HERE:
Will America Abandon Democratic Iraq?
Our Love Goes to Democratic Iraq
Democratic Iraq--the Arab World's First and Only
TALKING OF STATE-SPONSORED TERRORISM From the Norway Post Front Page Norway's Foreign Ministry insists that the folks running the longest Communist insurgency in Philippine history, the C.P.P.-N.P.A. are NOT terrorists because they are not listed on the UN Terror List. Besides, the Norwegians are playing host to the "Peace talks" that have been going on almost as long as the insurgency! I suppose the fact that the Utrecht-based septuagenrians in the Central Committee of the C.P.P. subsist quite decently on the tender mercies of the Dutch and Norwegian Welfare States, and so in a twisted way, they have become CONSTITUENTS of those mightily deluded Northern European "democracies." As far as we can tell, the UN Terror List consists entirely of Al Qaeda and the Taliban, not Abu Sayyaf, not Jemaah Islamiyah, not 98% of the lethal, murderous organizations and individuals fingered by both the European Union and the United States Coalition of the Willing countries in their own anti-terrorism legislation. Including the C.P.P.-N.P.A. in successive annual reviews since 2001. Makes you wonder about Norway and the Netherlands when they back up a group that defends their use of land mines because they only use remote-control models (to selectively target "only" the class enemy). Someone save us from such friends.
(UPDATE 1300) Solomonia has a post on the Norway story