"Iraq is not Korea," former National Security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski told an audience in DC Wednesday night.
Speaking before a gathering sponsored by the Committee for the Republic, Brzezinski expressed profound dismay about recent White House inferences to imposing the "Korean model" on Iraq.
As White House spokesman Tony Snow explained it to reporters on Wednesday, "The Korean model is one in which the United States provides a security presence, but you've had the development of a successful democracy in South Korea over a period of years, and, therefore, the United States is there as a force of stability."
Speaking at US Pacific Command in Hawaii on Thursday, SecDef Robert Gates also cited the "Korean model" as an attractive option for Iraq.
"The idea is more a model of a mutually agreed arrangement whereby we have a long and enduring presence but under the consent of both parties and under certain conditions," he said.
"The Korea model is one, the security relationship we have with Japan is another," he said.
Brzezinski objects to the validity of using a Korean analogy as a possible way forward in Iraq. US presence has engendered stability on the Korean peninsula because "the South Koreans welcomed us," he said. Following the Korean war, the US was viewed as a force for good, protecting the south from the oppression of the north.
But the US presence in Iraq is "much closer to colonialism, imperialism," Brzezinski explained. A good majority of Iraqis object to the presence of US troops, viewing them as foreign occupiers. Thus, Brzezinski noted, the US could never hope to sustain an enduring presence unless American leaders resigned themselves to facing enduring resistance.