Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Brzezinski Has More to Say on Bubble Boy

If a president is incompetent and reckless, 'staying the course' doesn't mean much when it comes to national security. Before I get to Brzezinski's comments, let me post an excerpt from The Washington Post by former US ambassador to the UN, Richard Holbroke:
Two full-blown crises, in Lebanon and Iraq, are merging into a single emergency. A chain reaction could spread quickly almost anywhere between Cairo and Bombay. Turkey is talking openly of invading northern Iraq to deal with Kurdish terrorists based there. Syria could easily get pulled into the war in southern Lebanon. Egypt and Saudi Arabia are under pressure from jihadists to support Hezbollah, even though the governments in Cairo and Riyadh hate that organization. Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of giving shelter to al-Qaeda and the Taliban; there is constant fighting on both sides of that border. NATO's own war in Afghanistan is not going well. India talks of taking punitive action against Pakistan for allegedly being behind the Bombay bombings. Uzbekistan is a repressive dictatorship with a growing Islamic resistance.

The only beneficiaries of this chaos are Iran, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and the Iraqi Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr, who last week held the largest anti-American, anti-Israel demonstration in the world in the very heart of Baghdad, even as 6,000 additional U.S. troops were rushing into the city to "prevent" a civil war that has already begun.

Holbroke goes on to compare the current situation to August, 1914 and to suggest some moves that Bush should take to recover from his failed policies. The article is worth reading. The Kennebec Journal reports on a speech given in Maine where Brzezinski bluntly points out some of the fundamental problems of the Bush Administration:
America is losing its credibility and its legitimacy around the world, not because of its inability to win a ground war in Iraq, but because of its diminished role as a moderator and a peacemaker.

That was the message Tuesday night from Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security advisor under former President Jimmy Carter.


Brzezinski said converging lines around the world -- from China to Suez, Beirut to Baghdad -- form a circle around a region of intense instability he calls The Global Balkans, where ethnic, religious and political passions fan the flames of war.

The Balkan states in eastern Europe, with its vast diversity of people, was like a magnet for violence and unrest until international occupation forces provided a tenuous peace.

The situation in the new Global Balkans is quicksand for America, Brzezinski said, as this nation increasingly appears to be a colonial power, not a defender of the free world.


In the Middle East, the United States lost its chance four weeks ago to broker a peace settlement by opposing a cease-fire between Hezbollan militia and Israeli army forces, Brzezinski said.

Now, he said, America must settle for the same agreement, but without the diplomatic kudos it might have enjoyed.


"Today, the Middle East is the test case of American global leadership," he said. "United States was the defender of the free world for 40 years during the Cold War, and the test case then of our ability to perform on the global scene was our policy in Europe."

American at that time successfully united its friends and divided its enemies, he said.

Today, he said, it is the other way around.

"Are we pursuing policy that unites our friends and divides our enemies?" Brzezinski asked. "Or are we perhaps pursuing a policy that divided our friends and unites our enemies?"

In the meantime, riding his mountain bike or what it is he does on his long vacations, President Bush insists on staying within his bubble despite the growing evidence of his administration's incompetence and recklessness. In Iraq, there not only were no WMDs, no al Qaida connection at the time of invasion, and certainly no democracy worthy of the name after three years, but we are left scratching our heads wondering what Bush was really trying to accomplish in the first place while our foreign policy crumbles in other areas of concern around the world.

We now know 'gut feeling' doesn't work. The right wingers can jump up and down, and scream all they want, but the fact remains that our nation has a problem and it can be traced to the White House. In reality, there are solutions and those solutions are being offered by moderates, sober conservatives and pragmatic liberals and many of those solutions are not all that far apart but the president, from the safe confines of his bubble, refuses to listen. The American people need to get our president's attention.


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