Just before 2300GMT on the BBC World Service, one of the commentators on the London transit bombings (named, I believe, Bill Daugherty) mentioned that he found it admirable that Prime Minister Tony Blair’s reaction to the bombing was to return to the capital, rather than “in some bunker somewhere.”
I wonder who he could have been thinking of?
Has anyone else noticed this conflict between two of the supposed current goals of the Bush administration in Iraq?
On one hand, the US is supposedly intent upon creating a new democracy out of the ashes of the regime of Saddam Hussein.
On the other hand, Iraq is our “flypaper” for Islamic terrorists, where we are drawing them to fight in order to prevent them from attacking the US on its own soil.
But doesn’t it seem as if there’s a problem in setting up a stable nation in a war zone? I have a hard time reconciling those two plans. Unless the pool of potential terrorists in the Islamic world is just about empty (something I have a hard time swallowing) it seems like we’re going to need active flypaper for some time to come (making the huge assumption that it actually works) either in Iraq or elsewhere. And that means developing a stable government, turning over true power to that government, and leaving Iraq is a long way off (assuming, of course, that it was ever planned).
Apparently, former Carter administration National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski has an article in The Financial Times (subscription only) criticizing the Bush administration’s prosecution of the war. La-di-dah.
Sunday, Tom Tomorrow reiterated Brzezinski’s comments from a 1998 interview in which he pats himself on the back for convincing Jimmy Carter to secretly fund the anti-Communist Mujahadeen in Afghanistan, drawing the Soviets into the war six months later.
Brzezinski says he sent Carter a message the day the Soviets invaded saying that they now had the opportunity to give the Soviets their own Vietnam war. Apparently, that was a good thing to the likes of Brzezinski, who seems not to care that a lot of non-combatants die in places like Vietnam during wars, but what the hey, that’s realpolitik, isn’t it?
It did get me to wondering though, what with people like Putin running post-Soviet Russia, a suspicious mind might wonder if a few well-placed millions of dollars might just have gone to a little payback for the whole Afghanistan thing. What if you could spend a little bit of cabbage and lure someone with big pockets into shooting billions upon billions of dollars into a hole like Afghanistan or Iraq? What if, like Brzezinski, you didn’t care a whit about the people who lived (or died) there? As a budding capitalist nation, would a little levelling of the playing field be a good return on investment?