President Obama’s Comments on Nuclear Weapons + Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Return = Carter Administration Redux

During the run-up to the 2008 election, one of the most disturbing and ominous indicators for those of us who care about Israel’s security was a statement made by an advisor to President Obama’s campaign named Zbigniew Brzezinski, who had served as national security advisor to former President Jimmy Carter.

Asked by a reporter about possible scenarios should Israel, acting in self-defense, bomb Iranian nuclear facilities, Brzezinski postulated that American fighter jets might threaten to shoot down Israeli planes on such a mission.

When a reporter asked Mr. Obama whether he gave any credence to such a ghastly scenario, and whether Mr. Brzezinski was an advisor he trusted on the middle east, Mr. Obama responded that Brzezinski was an advisor, but that he consulted him on other matters, not the middle east. Shortly afterward, Brzezinski met the fate of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright – he was shut up and put out of sight like some crazy uncle in an attic.

Fastforward a couple of years; on March 24 President Obama, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “popped into a meeting that national security adviser James Jones regularly holds with six of his White House predecessors when the subject turned to the Middle East.”

Guess who was in attendance at the meeting, where the subject was “whether President Barack Obama should propose his own solution to the intractable conflict between Israel and the Palestinians?” That’s right: Zbigniew Brzezinski.

(The Post-Gazette story, reprinted from the Washington Post, states such meetings of former national security advisors are held regularly by Jones, which means Brzezinski has been participating in discussions on matters of foreign policy, presumably including mideast policy, regularly, with a national security advisor to the President).

The Post-Gazette story further relates that Brzezinski and the others in attendance all “supported” the idea of a U.S. designed proposal including “billions of dollars in compensation to Palestinians for giving up the right to return to their homes in Israel” and Jerusalem as a shared capital.

One wonders, then, about the sincerity of President Obama’s statement during the campaign that Brzezinski was not an advisor regarding the middle east. And more ominous still: what does his presence at this meeting, where he “supported” President Obama’s proposed “solution,” bode for Israel? What if, absent strong, responsible Palestinian leadership (and why do I doubt such leadership will emerge in the next two-and-a-half years?), Israel’s leaders determine that a hastily created Palestinian state will be terrorist state, and therefore they are not on board with the American President’s grand vision?  Or if, in this same time period, Israel must attempt, in self-defense, a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities?

It is one thing to argue against U.S. military action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Or even to argue against Israeli military action. But to argue that, were Israel to attempt a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, the United States should shoot down the planes of our ally, is treachery. That is what Mr.  Brzezinski suggested, on the record, to a reporter, as a possibility.

The fact that Mr. Obama seems to have allowed or even brought Mr. Brzezinski into the fold in a discussion about the middle east is alarming. It is not Brzezinski himself–but his point of view, that is the point. It is concerning that President Obama views him as an advisor of value on the middle east.

It is consistent, however, with what is emerging, tragically, as a pattern on the part of President Obama: taking for granted and even mistreating allies while attempting to appease enemies. It is a strategy that, in politics as in life (remember high school?), may pay superficial dividends in the short run, but in the long run, is dishonorable – and ineffective. Unless this strategy is posturing and President Obama ultimately plans to surprise the world by denying Iran the ability to produce a nuclear weapon, he seems to be on a foreign policy track more disastrous than that of Jimmy Carter.

The inclusion of Brzezinski in discussions of mideast policy is also consistent, in its wrong-headed nod to our enemies over our allies, with the President’s remarks in recent days to the effect that the U.S. would not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty – even if those nations attacked the U.S. with chemical or biological weapons or lauched a”crippling” cyber-attack.

This remark was unbelievably naive, dangerous and completely unnecessary. What function, in the real world, could it serve? Any nation likely to be impressed by our high-mindedness would not likely be the type to attack us in the first place. And now those regimes insane enough to consider a biological or chemical attack on the United States have received notice that, should they perpetrate such horror, they would be exempt from the most dire of consequences so long as they had signed a treaty. Again, apply common sense to the President’s logic: would any regime crazy enough to attack the U.S. in such a manner be likely to have respect for treaties, anyway? So if the purpose of the President’s statement was to bring more countries on board to sign the treaty, he has only likely succeeded in bringing sincerely on board those nations that would never have attacked, and bringing insincerely on board those nations that would consider attacking, and would probably be the types to build nukes in violation of treaty, anyway. Only now, in addition to being armed with chemical and biological weapons, rogue regimes have foreknowledge that could embolden them to use these weapons.

If there is to be any hope for a safer world, President Obama should realize that preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon would be the greatest contribution to world peace he or anyone could possibly make.

Conversely, allowing the Iranian regime to acquire nuclear capability, thereby ushering in a nuclear arms race in the middle east, will be a permanent cloud over his legacy. And preventing an ally from attempting to save the world–including the Iranian people themselves–the horror of a nuclear-armed, fanatical Iranianian regime would be a crime against humanity that would destroy Obama’s legacy.

This entry was written by and posted on April 9, 2010 at 12:32 am and filed under Blog. permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Keywords: , , . Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. */?>