Two of Washington’s most prominent foreign policy greybeards praised Saturday’s direct participation in multinational talks with Iran by a senior U.S. diplomat but called on the administration of President George W. Bush to drop his demands that Tehran freeze its uranium enrichment program as a precondition for broader negotiations.
Retired Gen. Brent Scowcroft, who served as national security adviser under Republican presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, who held the same post under Democratic President Jimmy Carter, urged Bush to go further by offering immediate rewards to Tehran in exchange for such a freeze.
And both men warned that repeated U.S. threats to use military force against Iran were counterproductive and strengthened hardline forces in the regime led by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They said an actual military attackwhether by the United States or by Israelwould likely be disastrous for U.S. interests in the region.
"A war with Iran will produce calamities for sure," said Brzezinski, who pointed, among other things, to its likely impact on the price of oil and the likelihood that it would create yet another front to add to the two warsIraq and Afghanistanin which U.S. military forces are already engaged.
"[Brzezinski’s assessment] may be a little more dire [than mine] but not much," Scowcroft told the Inter Press Service (IPS) in a brief interview after the two men spoke at a briefing sponsored by the Center for Security and International Studies (CSIS) here. "It would turn the region into a cauldron of conflict, bitterness, and hatred. It would turn Islam against us."
Both men have been strongly critical of U.S. policy in the Middle East, particularly the decision to invade Iraqalthough Brzezinski has been considerably more vocal than Scowcroft, who remains a close friend of Bush Senior. Both leading lights of the so-called "realist" foreign policy establishment, they are currently collaborating on a book to be published in September…
A former White House national security adviser says if John McCain becomes the next US president the world will move toward World War IV.
Former US President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski criticized US officials in Senator McCain’s camp for pushing the presumptive Republican nominee toward a radical foreign policy on issues such as Iran.
Brzezinski described McCain’s presidency as an ‘appalling concept’ as it would lead to the World War IV, arguing that from the viewpoint of figures surrounding the Arizona senator the Cold War counted as World War III.
"Well, if McCain is president and if his Secretary of State is Joe Lieberman and his Secretary of Defense is [Rudolph] Giuliani, we will be moving towards the World War IV that they have been both favoring and predicting," Brzezinski cautioned…