Saturday, September 19, 2015

chess, not checkers...,



Brzesinski with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan
wikipedia |  In his 1970 piece Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era, Brzezinski argued that a coordinated policy among developed nations was necessary in order to counter global instability erupting from increasing economic inequality. Out of this thesis, Brzezinski co-founded the Trilateral Commission with David Rockefeller, serving as director from 1973 to 1976. The Trilateral Commission is a group of prominent political and business leaders and academics primarily from the United States, Western Europe and Japan. Its purpose was to strengthen relations among the three most industrially advanced regions of the capitalist world. Brzezinski selected Georgia governor Jimmy Carter as a member.

Jimmy Carter announced his candidacy for the 1976 presidential campaign to a skeptical media and proclaimed himself an "eager student" of Brzezinski.[19] Brzezinski became Carter's principal foreign policy advisor by late 1975. He became an outspoken critic of the Nixon-Kissinger over-reliance on détente, a situation preferred by the Soviet Union, favoring the Helsinki process instead, which focused on human rights, international law and peaceful engagement in Eastern Europe. Brzezinski has been considered to be the Democrats' response to Republican Henry Kissinger.[20] Carter engaged Ford in foreign policy debates by contrasting the Trilateral vision with Ford's détente.[21]
After his victory in 1976, Carter made Brzezinski National Security Advisor. Earlier that year, major labor riots broke out in Poland, laying the foundations for Solidarity. Brzezinski began by emphasizing the "Basket III" human rights in the Helsinki Final Act, which inspired Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia shortly thereafter.[22]

Brzezinski had a hand in writing parts of Carter's inaugural address, and this served his purpose of sending a positive message to Soviet dissidents.[23] The Soviet Union and Western European leaders both complained that this kind of rhetoric ran against the "code of détente" that Nixon and Kissinger had established.[24][25] Brzezinski ran up against members of his own Democratic Party who disagreed with this interpretation of détente, including Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. Vance argued for less emphasis on human rights in order to gain Soviet agreement to Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), whereas Brzezinski favored doing both at the same time. Brzezinski then ordered Radio Free Europe transmitters to increase the power and area of their broadcasts, a provocative reversal of Nixon-Kissinger policies.[26] West German chancellor Helmut Schmidt objected to Brzezinski's agenda, even calling for the removal of Radio Free Europe from German soil.[27]
The State Department was alarmed by Brzezinski's support for East German dissidents and objected to his suggestion that Carter's first overseas visit be to Poland. He visited Warsaw, met with Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski (against the objection of the U.S. Ambassador to Poland), recognizing the Roman Catholic Church as the legitimate opposition to communist rule in Poland.[28]

By 1978, Brzezinski and Vance were more and more at odds over the direction of Carter's foreign policy. Vance sought to continue the style of détente engineered by Nixon-Kissinger, with a focus on arms control. Brzezinski believed that détente emboldened the Soviets in Angola and the Middle East, and so he argued for increased military strength and an emphasis on human rights. Vance, the State Department, and the media criticized Brzezinski publicly as seeking to revive the Cold War.
Brzezinski advised Carter in 1978 to engage the People's Republic of China and traveled to Beijing to lay the groundwork for the normalization of relations between the two countries. This also resulted in the severing of ties with the United States' longtime anti-Communist ally the Republic of China (Taiwan).

After the September 11 attacks in 2001, Brzezinski was criticized for his role in the formation of the Afghan mujahiddin network.[citation needed] He countered that blame ought to be laid at the feet of the Soviet Union's invasion, which radicalized the relatively stable Muslim society.[citation needed]
Brzezinski was a leading critic of the George W. Bush Administration's conduct of the War on Terror. In 2004, Brzezinski wrote The Choice, which expanded upon The Grand Chessboard but sharply criticized George W. Bush's foreign policy. He defended the book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy and was an outspoken critic of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[32]

In August 2007, Brzezinski endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. He stated that Obama "recognizes that the challenge is a new face, a new sense of direction, a new definition of America's role in the world."[33] – also saying, "What makes Obama attractive to me is that he understands that we live in a very different world where we have to relate to a variety of cultures and people."[34] In September 2007 during a speech on the Iraq war, Obama introduced Brzezinski as "one of our most outstanding thinkers," but some pro-Israel commentators questioned his criticism of the Israel lobby in the United States.[32] In a September 2009 interview with The Daily Beast,

Brzezinski replied to a question about how aggressive President Obama should be in insisting Israel not conduct an air strike on Iran, saying: "We are not exactly impotent little babies. They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?"[35] This was interpreted by some supporters of Israel as supporting the downing of Israeli jets by the United States in order to prevent an attack on Iran.[36][37] In 2011, Brzezinski supported the NATO intervention against the forces of Muammar Gaddafi in the Libyan Civil War, calling non-intervention "morally dubious" and "politically questionable".[38]

On 3 March 2014, between the 22 February ouster of Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovich and the 16 March Crimean referendum, Brzenzinski authored an op-ed piece for The Washington Post entitled "What is to be done? Putin’s aggression in Ukraine needs a response"[39] He led with a link on Russian aggression; he compared Russian President Vladimir Putin's "thuggish tactics in seizing Crimea" and "thinly camouflaged invasion" to Adolf Hitler's occupation of the Sudetenland in 1938, and characterised Putin as a cartoon Benito Mussolini, but stopped well short of advocating that the U.S. go to war. Rather, he suggested that NATO should be put on high alert and recommended "to avert miscalculations". He explicitly stated that reassurances be given "Russia that it is not seeking to draw Ukraine into NATO."[39]