‘Pre-emption’ turns out to mean U.S. only attacks weaker enemies

Old Blog Import

“What the cases of North Korea and Iraq show is that if the threat is genuinely serious, the pre-emption doctrine is not pursued,” said Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was President Carter’s national security adviser. If the threat is not immediate but, as the president said, grave and gathering, then you rely on pre-emption. It is less risky and more satisfying to beat up someone who is less threatening than more threatening.”

Put another way, the paradox of pre-emption is that it can be applied only to a country that is too weak to retaliate effectively. Of the three countries Bush placed in the "axis of evil" category in his State of the Union address last year, Iraq is generally viewed as the weakest and most vulnerable.”

SF Chronicle