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  • azalphainvestor azalphainvestor Oct 25, 2004 2:34 AM Flag

    Zbigniew Brzezinski Weighs In

    How to Make New Enemies

    It is striking that in spite of all the electoral fireworks over policy in Iraq, both presidential candidates offer basically similar solutions. Their programs stress intensified Iraqi self-help and more outside help in the quest for domestic stability. Unfortunately, these prescriptions by themselves are not likely to work.

    Both candidates have become prisoners of a worldview that fundamentally misdiagnoses the central challenge of our time. President Bush's "global war on terror" is a politically expedient slogan without real substance, serving to distort rather than define. It obscures the central fact that a civil war within Islam is pitting zealous fanatics against increasingly intimidated moderates. The undiscriminating American rhetoric and actions increase the likelihood that the moderates will eventually unite with the jihadists in outraged anger and unite the world of Islam in a head-on collision with America.

    After all, look what's happening in Iraq. For a growing number of Iraqis, their "liberation" from Saddam Hussein is turning into a despised foreign occupation. Nationalism is blending with religious fanaticism into a potent brew of hatred. The rates of desertion from the American-trained new Iraqi security forces are dangerously high, while the likely escalation of United States military operations against insurgent towns will generate a new rash of civilian casualties and new recruits for the rebels.

    The situation is not going to get any easier. If President Bush is re-elected, our allies will not be providing more money or troops for the American occupation. Mr. Bush has lost credibility among other nations, which distrust his overall approach. Moreover, the British have been drawing down their troop strength in Iraq, the Poles will do the same, and the Pakistanis recently made it quite plain that they will not support a policy in the Middle East that they view as self-defeating.

    In fact, in the Islamic world at large as well as in Europe, Mr. Bush's policy is becoming conflated in the public mind with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's policy in Gaza and the West Bank. Fueled by anti-American resentments, that policy is widely caricatured as a crude reliance on power, semicolonial in its attitude, and driven by prejudice toward the Islamic world. The likely effect is that staying on course under Mr. Bush will remain a largely solitary American adventure.

    This global solitude might make a re-elected Bush administration more vulnerable to the temptation to embrace a new anti-Islamic alliance, one reminiscent of the Holy Alliance that emerged after 1815 to prevent revolutionary upheavals in Europe. The notion of a new Holy Alliance is already being promoted by those with a special interest in entangling the United States in a prolonged conflict with Islam. Vladimir Putin's endorsement of Mr. Bush immediately comes to mind; it also attracts some anti-Islamic Indian leaders hoping to prevent Pakistan from dominating Afghanistan; the Likud in Israel is also understandably tempted; even China might play along.

    For the United States, however, a new Holy Alliance would mean growing isolation in an increasingly polarized world. That prospect may not faze the extremists in the Bush administration who are committed to an existential struggle against Islam and who would like America to attack Iran, but who otherwise lack any wider strategic conception of what America's role in the world ought to be. It is, however, of concern to moderate Republicans.

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    • FiBs... Why don't you try this response on for size. From the today's Asia Times Online:

      Why this is so serious

      "It's unimaginable that both the Pentagon and the CIA didn't know exactly what was going on in al-Qaqaa: the sensitive compound had to be under saturated satellite surveillance early last year, as well as each and every Iraqi weapons site. But this information is classified - and it won't be disclosed for public scrutiny.

      The buck, once again, stops with Bush, not Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. It was Bush who accepted Rumsfeld's gamble and decided to send a very small army to Iraq, absolutely incapable of performing a proper post-invasion job (and that's the key reason for the widespread looting after April 9, 2003: the grand theoretician of Italian Marxism, Antonio Gramsci, will tell us that when the old order collapses and the new order is yet unborn, chaos is the norm).

      It's also fair to assume that if there were any WMD in al-Qaqaa they could have been trucked out to the Iraqi resistance - or to al-Qaeda operatives - in no time. Judging by the avalanche of deadly explosions in these past 18 months, unknown quantities of RDX and HMX have certainly reached the hands of the Iraqi resistance - and might eventually reach terrorist networks who would be able to blow up the entire airline industry. If one follows the warped Bush administration rhetoric of Iraq as the front line on the "war on terror", this means in fact that "terrorists" may well be in possession of plenty of WMD-lite.

      How does the Bush administration get away with all this? Once again, thanks to the media. Apart from the New York Times, CBS News and the blogosphere, US corporate media are doing what the can to shun the story - duly following the White House line. The entire Bush administration spin now consists of "proving" the explosives had already disappeared before April 3, 2003. But accumulated evidence from the "reality-based community" - ie the real world, as compared with the Bush administration's fantasyland - keeps interfering.

      The main Karl Rove-directed administration strategy remains misrepresenting reality to influence people's judgments - and then hurling a barrage of insults. The Bush administration initially ignores any accusation based on facts. Then it brands the accusation - incompetence in al-Qaqaa, for instance - as a lie. Finally it uses its own fabricated lie - or in this case a different excuse every day - to go into character-assassination mode. This is the heart of Bush's delayed - at least by two and a half days - "response" to Senator John Kerry on the al-Qaqaa scandal: "See, our military is now investigating a number of possible scenarios, including this one - that explosives may have been moved before our troops even arrived, even arrived at the site. The investigation is important and ongoing. And a political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not the person you want as the commander-in-chief."

      In this shift-away-the-blame environment, only minor fall guys are responsible for something. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice was not responsible for ignoring al-Qaeda before September 11, 2001. Bremer was not responsible for screwing up the occupation. Rumsfeld was not responsible for Abu Ghraib. And certainly Bush is not responsible for anything he does as commander-in-chief: after all, he's on a mission from God. "

      Well stated.


    • I agree with you that the President is an enlightened centrist. That is probably why many Democrats followed the more reasonable beliefs of their party as they were rejected by the Democrats and adopted by the Republicans, and now support the President.

      But, aside from the two running for President and VP, where does that leave the hard core liberal Democrat fringe(?)

      With severe angst perhaps--

      Again, related to your party spokesman and most recent president, what fool would continue to support a proven-to-the-level-of-DNA-accuracy deceiver (and then write nasty things to distract from the fact the fool failed to answer that question)(?)


    • FiBs.. As I have pointed out so many times.. I don't give a rat's ass of your opinion of my character. I believe you have distinguished yourself as little more than lying manipulating trash who would support a Neo incompetent rather than a enlightened centrist each and every day of the week. That is your choice. Don't look to others to respect it.


    • That is indeed revealing: A President lying (and similar acts) to American voters for purely personal protection/gain is a civil right.

      Perhaps Alf, it would be helpful if your character were stronger.

      That would make it possible for us to have a serious discussion about the character of your #1 past and #2 present heroes.

      For example, you might then understand why I might want to be privy to as much accurate information as possible about the person running for our number one official position in the United States of America. I believe it rightfully means little to me if you think I should or should not have such information.

      It is also your decision to decide whether someone who deceives those closest to him might also deceive you. Stated another way, what fool would continue to believe a proven liar(?)


    • Michael, your original post was a poster piece of excuses based on inaccuracy and obfuscation. Not an admirable American trait, although the French embrace it. Please think a bit more before hitting 'post message'.

    • Clinton lied, nobody died. Bush lied:

      "We don�t do body counts� Tommy Franks Well, Angel does body counts and I am part of the WE that is the USA.

      13928 Minimum Civilian Deaths Iraq
      1,110 Americans

      And untold injured, maimed, scared for life.

      There have been 1,250 coalition deaths, 1,110 Americans, 68 Britons, seven Bulgarians, one Dane, two Dutch, two Estonians, one Hungarian, 19 Italians, one Latvian, 13 Poles, one Salvadoran, three Slovaks, 11 Spaniards, two Thai and nine Ukrainians in the war in Iraq as of October 27, 2004. (Graphical breakdown of casualties). The list below is the names of the soldiers, Marines, airmen, sailors and Coast Guardsmen whose families have been notified of their deaths by each country's government. At least 8,016 U.S. troops have been wounded in action, according to the Pentagon. The Pentagon does not report the number of non-hostile wounded. This list is updated regularly. For a historical look at U.S. war casualties, click here.

      You can go to CNN International and see their faces. Then why do you go enlist or enlist your first born.


    • REGARDING: b. his children? He has only 1 child and I think she well knows, and knew, her father's infidelity.

      RESPONSE: You really are an idiot..., aren't you? LOL

    • Maybe it's lyeing, as in blinded by the lye.


    • can u and Alpha. How can anyone respond to this board with serious intent when "lieing" is spelled lying. Where do you people actually get the rest of your information?

      No wonder you claim I confuse you.

    • Actually FiBs, little surprises me. Much may dissapoint even dismay, but surprise respecting people and life ... no, that is really to be expected.

      Now you and I have some substantial diffrences respecting character. You think delving into someone's elses sexual choices is not a matter of privacy but fair game for Neo budinskies. I think it is a fundamentally protected civil right.

      You think Kerry's heroic service and concientious protest of the Vietnam War is dispecable. I think they are remarkable. You think Bush's 'dissaperance' from his last two years of Guard duty and apparent 'protection' from appropriate discipline is fiathful service. I think it is not. And lets not start on his silver spoon strings to get put to the head of the line for the Guard so he would not have to serve in active combat. You think playing fast and lose with SEC reporting requirements and selling stock while making misleading statements to the public is rugged individualism. I think it is criminal.

      You are right, FiBs. We dissagree respecting what constitutes good character.


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