Brzezinski: Obama raid glory escapes Carter fate

Editor’s Note: There’s a reason for every action in Brzezinski’s world.  Apparently Obama passed some kind of test with the puppeteers and will be rewarded with a second term.


WASHINGTON (AFP) – For decades former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski has been haunted by the failed hostage rescue in Iran, but this week he relived a new special forces drama — one that ended with success rather than disaster.

Brzezinski said Friday that the US Navy SEALs mission that killed Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden in his hideout in Pakistan provided President Barack Obama with a crucial special forces victory that eluded president Jimmy Carter a generation ago.

“In Obama’s case had it failed (it) would have been similar” to the debacle that befell Carter, who lost re-election by a landslide in 1980 barely six months after the doomed effort to rescue 52 American hostages at the US embassy in Tehran, Brzezinski told the MSNBC network.

“But Obama is getting the credit because nothing succeeds like success. Nothing fails like a failure.”

Brzezinski, Carter’s foreign policy hawk who also helped broker the Camp David peace accords, planned what became known as Operation Eagle Claw, a daring but controversial bid to end the hostage crisis in April 1980 using the newly-created Delta Force, an elite counter-terrorism unit.

The mission collapsed when helicopters succumbed to desert wind, sandstorms and technical problems. After Carter aborted the mission, one of the retreating choppers crashed into a US transport plane in the Iranian desert, killing eight servicemen and making Washington look ineffectual in the face of rogue regimes.

“A few hours later the president spoke to the country and took full responsibility for a very daring decision,” Brzezinski said.

Thirty-one years later Obama addressed the nation and the world, albeit in a reversal of fortune, with America’s top terrorist threat eliminated, valuable intelligence material scooped up and all US commandos back safely.

Brzezinski is no stranger to White House Situation Room drama, but he had his heart in his throat when he learned that a US helicopter malfunctioned as it landed in bin Laden’s compound, forcing US forces to abandon it.

“When I heard about the helicopter I sent a message (to current National Security Adviser Tom Donilon) simply saying, ‘I know how you must have felt when you heard about the helicopter, because that’s how I felt.'”

Brzezinski, now 83, told MSNBC he still keeps “an old card in my briefcase” detailing critical phases of the Delta Force operation.

“Takeoff, first landing, rendezvous of the helicopters with the Delta team that was supposed to go in,” he said in recalling the “very complex operation.”

He recalled that the plan was for Delta Force operators to be flown to a holding point near Tehran and spend the night there before being driven to town to assault the embassy and extract the hostages. They never got that far.

“In the afternoon, I got word that there is a problem with the helicopters and that the question is whether the mission should continue, because another (helicopter) was malfunctioning.

“So I went in to see the president — I interrupted him, I told him ‘I have to speak to you immediately,'” Brzezinski said.

“I said to him, ‘Look, sometimes in a situation like this, one takes a chance.'”

But Carter balked, and scrapped the mission.

“So the order was given, depart, go back, and that’s when the accident occurred,” Brzezinski said.

Secretary of state Cyrus Vance, who had argued against the rescue, resigned in protest, while Brzezinski served the remainder of the Carter administration.

© AFPPublished at Activist Post with license

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