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Time to plan for US withdrawal from Iraq, says Brzezinski

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, April 19, IRNA
Iraq-US Withdrawal
Former US president Jimmy Carter's national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski said Wednesday that it was time to plan for an American withdrawal from Iraq.

"Given that a more authentic Iraqi political leadership is finally beginning to push aside the earlier US-hand-picked choices, the time is ripe to adopt a strategy for terminating US military presence in the country," Brzezinski said.

He said that the US needs to recognize that 'its intervention in Iraq is becoming part of a wider, dangerous collision between America and the Muslim world'.

It was a 'collision that could prove, if it becomes truly widespread, devastating to America's global position', the former security advisor said.

"An America in a conflict with the world of Islam as a whole will be an America with more enemies and fewer friends, an America more isolated and less secure," he warned.

In an article for the Financial Times Wednesday, Brzezinski proposed a four-point program, which he suggested could serve as the basic framework to terminate US involvement in which the Bush seems 'unable either to win militarily or to end politically'.

Firstly, he suggested that Washington should quietly ask Iraqi leaders to publicly ask the US to leave, rather than announce arbitrarily a date for the departure.

Second, after such a public request, the US and Iraqi governments would jointly consult on a date for ending the occupation, Carter's former advisor said, believing that it should be within a year to allow a complete and orderly disengagement.

After this, he proposed that the Iraqi government -- not the US -- should then also call for a regional conference of Muslim states, some immediately adjoining Iraq, others more distant, to help consolidate internal stability.

On leaving, Brzezinski's fourth point was that the US should convene a donors' conference of European states, Japan, China and others with an interest to help finance the restoration of the Iraqi economy.

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