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Brzezinski: Baker Commission ‘Will Offer Some Procrastination Ideas For Dealing With The Crisis’

By ThinkProgress on November 26, 2006 at 6:37 pm

"Brzezinski: Baker Commission ‘Will Offer Some Procrastination Ideas For Dealing With The Crisis’"

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Today on CNN, former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski issued a strong, preemptive criticism of the Baker Commission studying alternatives for Iraq. Brzezinski said that while the commission “will probably come out with some sound advice on dealing with the neighborhood,” it essentially “will offer some procrastination ideas for dealing with the crisis.”

Brzezinski added that the Iraq war “is a mistaken, absolutely historically wrong undertaking. The costs are prohibitive. If we get out sooner, there will be a messy follow-up after we leave. It will be messy, but will not be as messy as if we stay.” Watch it:

Henry Kissinger, appearing on CNN with Brzezinski, said that “my attitude will be to support any bipartisan conclusion that would be arrived at” by the Baker commission. Brzenzinski countered, “I’ve been arguing this on your program with Henry for the last three years. And I invite viewers to go on the Internet and look what we have been saying, respectively.”

American Progress has a plan to stop procrastinating in Iraq, Strategic Redeployment.

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Transcript:

KISSINGER: Well, this is an issue that I believe that the Baker commission ought to address, and certainly my attitude will be to support any bipartisan conclusion that would be arrived at. But we have to navigate between a situation in which we are engaging in the civil war that is — well, the sectarian war that is going on inside Iraq. And conditions in which we withdraw under circumstances in which, as we have seen in Lebanon and as we will see elsewhere, whatever structure exists in the region, disintegrates and a vacuum will be created that will be filled by the nearest powerful country, which in this case is probably Iran.

BLITZER: This is the argument that so many of the administration supporters, Dr. Brzezinski, are making, that if the U.S. were to take your advice and get out, let’s say, over the next year, there would be this huge vacuum that Iran would presumably take charge of, but also that Iraq — and I want you to respond to this — would become the new Afghanistan, if you will, but even much more dangerous because of all the oil that Iraq has.

BRZEZINSKI: Well, it already is the new Afghanistan. In fact, the lethality is much higher. But the point to understand is that if you undertake a historically mistaken adventure, the longer you stick with it, the higher the cost you pay for it.

BLITZER: You’re making the comparison to Vietnam.

BRZEZINSKI: Yes, our — or to Algeria. And when Henry says that the Baker commission is going to help us resolve it, I think that’s an illusion. The Baker commission will probably come out with some sound advice on dealing with the neighborhood, with Iran, with the Israeli- Palestinian issues, which is relevant but essentially will offer some procrastination ideas for dealing with the crisis.

The fact of the matter is, the undertaking itself is fundamentally wrong-headed. And I’ve been arguing this on your program with Henry for the last three years. And I invite viewers to go on the Internet and look what we have been saying, respectively.

This is a mistaken, absolutely historically wrong undertaking. The costs are prohibitive. If we get out sooner, there will be a messy follow-up after we leave. It will be messy, but will not be as messy as if we stay, seeking to win in some fashion.

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