Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Zbig Brzezinski: Israel's Actions in Lebanon Essentially Amount to "the Killing of Hostages"

Zbig Brzezinski: Israel's Actions in Lebanon Essentially Amount to "the Killing of Hostages" is a partial transcript of a talk given by former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski about the current mess. The most interesting part is this: Brzezinski stated: "I hate to say this but I will say it. I think what the Israelis are doing today for example in Lebanon is in effect, in effect -- maybe not in intent -- the killing of hostages. The killing of hostages. ... Because when you kill 300 people, 400 people, who have nothing to do with the provocations Hezbollah staged, but you do it in effect deliberately by being indifferent to the scale of collateral damage, you're killing hostages in the hope of intimidating those that you want to intimidate. And more likely than not you will not intimidate them. You'll simply outrage them and make them into permanent enemies with the number of such enemies increasing."

Yup, he's implying that Israel is perhaps taking actions they know will have collateral damage, and using the innocents being killed as a wedge to get the Hezbollah fighters to stop fighting. However I completely understand his contention that it's more likely to cause Hezbollah fighters to be outraged, to cause more people to join Hezbollah, just like has happened in Iraq where the U.S. led invasion has simply been the biggest recruiting vehicle for the other side. In both cases it leads people who might remain innocent bystanders to seek revenge or to seek to throw out an invading and occupying force.

I think the technical term for this is blowback, which is the unintended negative consequences of covert actions taken by a country's intelligence or military services.

For example, the September 11, 2001 attack was blowback for all the years of Western meddling in Middle East affairs, and more specifically for the presence of U.S. military in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait following the first Iraq war.