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Zbigniew Brzezinski

August 14, 2011

war on terror at home – “By becoming more rational. We are waging a war on terror, but we’ve been very fortunate in not having any act of terrorism committed against the United States since 9/11. It’s partially luck, partially the consequence of America’s semi-isolation, and partially the consequence, perhaps, of some reasonably good intelligence and counterintelligence work. But very little of that is due to the consequences of the self-generated atmosphere of fear in this country, which has produced some ludicrous reactions, many of which have no bearing at all on either deterring or preventing terrorism. In Washington, DC, you can’t even go into a regular business building without some pretentiously uniformed people with labels on their shoulders indicating they’re security guards checking your ID occasionally, and asking the purpose of the visit in a manner—and sometimes tone—which indicates a rather phlegmatic attitude toward their responsibilities. And if you were to indicate that you were in the building for the purpose of blowing it up, chances are they would say, “The suite 908 is on the ninth floor, elevators are to the right.” We have a situation that some obscure law firm in a building is protected, but the main department stores, music halls, Kennedy Center, department stores, cafeterias, and restaurants are unprotected. What is the logic of this?” (Zbigniew Brzezinski vs George W. Bush)

oppression – “The President should really speak for himself on that, but President Carter, in my view, was deeply committed to human rights as a matter of principle, as a matter of moral conviction, and he was committed to human rights across the board. I mean, he felt very strongly about human rights in Argentina, as well as in the Soviet Union. I was deeply committed to human rights; I felt this was important, but I will not hide the fact that I also thought that there was some instrumental utility in our pursuit of human rights vis-à-vis the Soviet Union, because at the time the Soviet Union was putting us ideologically on the defensive. They saw themselves as representing the progressive forces of mankind, marching toward some ideologically defined future; and raising the issue of human rights pointed to one of the fundamental weaknesses of the Soviet system: namely, that it was a system based on oppression, on mass terror, on extraordinary killings of one’s own people. Focusing on human rights was in a way focusing on a major Soviet vulnerability. So, while I was committed to human rights – and I am committed to human rights – I do not deny that in pushing it vis-à-vis the Soviets, I saw in this also an opportunity to put them ideologically on the defensive at a time when they saw themselves rightfully on the offensive.” (Interview With Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski)

evil – “…In the meantime, the “war on terror” has gravely damaged the United States internationally. For Muslims, the similarity between the rough treatment of Iraqi civilians by the U.S. military and of the Palestinians by the Israelis has prompted a widespread sense of hostility toward the United States in general. It’s not the “war on terror” that angers Muslims watching the news on television, it’s the victimization of Arab civilians. And the resentment is not limited to Muslims. A recent BBC poll of 28,000 people in 27 countries that sought respondents’ assessments of the role of states in international affairs resulted in Israel, Iran and the United States being rated (in that order) as the states with “the most negative influence on the world.” Alas, for some that is the new axis of evil! The events of 9/11 could have resulted in a truly global solidarity against extremism and terrorism. A global alliance of moderates, including Muslim ones, engaged in a deliberate campaign both to extirpate the specific terrorist networks and to terminate the political conflicts that spawn terrorism would have been more productive than a demagogically proclaimed and largely solitary U.S. “war on terror” against “Islamo-fascism.” Only a confidently determined and reasonable America can promote genuine international security which then leaves no political space for terrorism. Where is the U.S. leader ready to say, “Enough of this hysteria, stop this paranoia”? Even in the face of future terrorist attacks, the likelihood of which cannot be denied, let us show some sense. Let us be true to our traditions.” (Terrorized by ‘War on Terror’)

anti-Semitism – “It’s not unique to the Jewish community — but there is a McCarthy-ite tendency among some people in the Jewish community,” he said, referring to the Republican senator who led the anti-Communist witch hunt in the 1950s. “They operate not by arguing but by slandering, vilifying, demonising. They very promptly wheel out anti-Semitism. There is an element of paranoia in this inclination to view any serious attempt at a compromised peace as somehow directed against Israel.” Although Mr Brzezinski is not a formal day-to-day adviser to Obama campaign, he said that he talks to Mr Obama. He wholeheartedly endorses the Illinois senator, lauding him as “head and shoulders” above his opponents. And he says he is the only candidate who understands “what is new and distinctive about our age”. In turn, Mr Obama has praised Mr Brzezinski as “someone I have learned an immense amount from”, and “one of our most outstanding scholars and thinkers”. They share very similar views on the folly of the Iraq war (Obama supporter accuses Jews of ‘McCarthyism’).

Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski (Polish: Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzeziński born March 28, 1928) is a Polish American political scientist, geostrategist, and statesman who served as United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981. Major foreign policy events during his term of office included the normalization of relations with the People’s Republic of China (and the severing of ties with the Republic of China), the signing of the second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II), the brokering of the Camp David Accords, the transition of Iran from an important US client state to an anti-Western Islamic Republic, encouraging dissidents in Eastern Europe and emphasizing certain human rights in order to undermine the influence of the Soviet Union, the financing of the mujahideen in Afghanistan in response to the Soviet deployment of forces there (allegedly either to help deter a Russian invasion, or to deliberately increase the chance of such an intervention occurring—or for both contradictory reasons simultaneously being embraced by separate US officials) and the arming of these rebels to counter the Soviet invasion, and the signing of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties relinquishing overt US control of the Panama Canal after 1999. He is currently Robert E. Osgood Professor of American Foreign Policy at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and a member of various boards and councils. He appears frequently as an expert on the PBS program The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, ABC News’ This Week with Christiane Amanpour, and on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, where his daughter, Mika Brzezinski, is co-anchor (Wikepedia).

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