June 10, 2012
Former US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski has warned against an “emotional” response by the West to the Syrian crisis, saying any foreign intervention in the Arab state could have grave repercussions.
“I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion at this stage that the majority of Syrians don’t want the [Bashar] Assad government to stay in power. I think it’s much more complicated than that, In fact the evidence of a national uprising against Assad is relatively limited,” Brzezinski said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program.
“We are seeing sporadic outbreaks with a lot of localized brutality, but that is not the same thing as a cross-country civil war,” he added.
On Moscow’s firm and consistent opposition to the Western countries’ stance on Syria, Brzezinski said, “I think Russians have a stake in larger cooperation with us, but not on terms dictated by us. That’s a very significant difference.”
Russia has repeatedly called for action in “an accurate, balanced manner” over the crisis in the Middle Eastern country.
Russia and China have vetoed two Western-backed UN Security Council draft resolutions against Syria.
Brzezinski added that the regional dynamic also undermines the case for intervention by foreign countries.
“We’re dealing here with a region in which all of these issues are interconnected.”
“If we act simply on the basis of emotion and sort of vague threats that the Russians have to be forced to be good boys, we are going to produce a region-wide outbreak in which the issues within Syria will become linked with a conflict between the Saudis and the Shiites, Iraq will become destabilized, Iran will be involved.”
The former US government official also said the ramifications of a foreign military intervention could be “very serious” for Washington.
“We’re going to have a major international problem in our hands with political and economic consequences that are very serious,” he stressed.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011 and many people, including security forces, have lost their lives in the violence.
The West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of killing the protesters, but Damascus blames ”outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups” for the unrest, stating that it is being orchestrated from abroad.