Wednesday, June 14, 2006

From the NewsHour, Brzezinski remembers he was once a lion

After the President's dog and pony show in the Rose Garden the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer had one of their informal debate sessions. Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski (here after referred to as "Big B") went head to head with Walter Russell Mead. First off it was no contest. Mead is some dude with bad hair who wrote a book I haven't read ("Special Providence: American Policy and How it Changed the World." you can tell from the title alone that it's bullshit) but the administration is casting about wildly for parrots and human tape recorders to spout their crap.

I have a soft spot for Carter. I remember the excesses of the Nixon and Johnson era when J. Edgar Hoover ran the F.B.I. as his personal fief, when McNamera decided it was better to lie and keep us in Viet Nam than tell us we'd been had and save a few extra American lives, when Nixon and his minions decided it was more important for Nixon to get a second term than to obey the fucking law. Carter came in as a breath of fresh air. You always knew that he was a decent man. You just knew that from the way Miss Lillian acted, from their loving indulgence of Silly Billy, from Jimmy's manner of telling you things, you knew he was decent. Of course, decency has rarely had a secure place in Washington so his time was limited. We needed Reagan to blow in and spout some comforting macho bullshit that made us like being Americans even while we were training the Salvadoran death squads and the minions of Big Business that Teddy Roosevelt and Wilson tried to rein in ran rampant through the economy and looted freely. Jimmy just walked away and started building houses for the homeless. They called him a failure as a President. I have always said we failed Jimmy as a people. But, I digress...any way Big B was like the anti-Kissenger, intellectual but realistic, he understood that when you make deals with monsters (tinpot dictators whose only redeeming virtue is that they are facist, not communist. You know the type, just like Hitler) you weaken and undermine any policy you might be trying to put forward. So here we are last night, Big B versus Whatzizface on whether or not there has been real progress in Iraq or were they trotting out the same bullshit and trying to tell us that it's brown ice in the punchbowl not turds. The quotes are from the NewsHour site here: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/jan-june06/turningpoint_06-14.html (I promise to become more facile with my HTML coding as I mature in this arena, but it will probably end up just like the time I became a whiz at PL1, by the time I caught up with the technology that existed when I began my studies I was already behind the times by two years but I fucking promise anyway) The stuff that is obviously not a quote is stuff I made up to make Whatzizface seem even stupider.


JIM LEHRER
Dr. Brzezinski, the president ended his news conference saying, "Going to war in Iraq was worth it. It was necessary, and it will succeed." Do you agree?

ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, Former National Security Adviser to President Carter:
No, I do not. I don't think it was worth it. I don't think it is succeeding, and I think we ought to think very seriously as to how we can extract still some degree of success from what, obviously, has been a major misadventure.
JIM LEHRER: You did not hear the president say anything today that gave you confidence that success was still possible under his way of doing it?
ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: Well, the president opened his press conference by make a statement, which I suspect most Americans didn't quite fully interpret correctly. This is what he said: "I have just returned from Baghdad. I was inspired to be able to visit the capital of a free and democratic Iraq."
Now, this is what the president actually visited. This is an aerial map of Baghdad and, within it, the viewers can see a small spot. That is the so-called Green Zone, a fortified American fortress housing the American embassy, the American high command, and all the major institutions of the Iraqi, as he said, free and democratic government, in an American fortress.
This is worse than in the bad days of Vietnam, when the South Vietnamese regime was still operating from its own palaces, had its own army and so forth. We do not have in Iraq a free and democratic government that is functioning.


Big B comes out and smacks the opening pitch right the hell out of there. He didn't even have to mention that the President of the United States had to keep his travel plans secret from his staff and Cabinet and Congress for security reasons and sneak into this fortress under a combined armed presence of American Military AND Blackwater mercenaries.

JIM LEHRER: Walter Mead, what do you think of that?

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD, Council on Foreign Relations:
Well, I think that's -- you know, there is, obviously, some truth to it, but I wouldn't be quite so grim about it, because, particularly making the comparison with South Vietnam, the big difference in South Vietnam is we had a government but we could never quite find enough of a people who wanted to support that government.

In Iraq, I think it's very clear that the large majority of Iraqis wants this government to work. Now, whether they'll be able to succeed, that's another question.

I don't think the president made anybody think it was a sure thing that we were going to win in Iraq, but I look at some slow changes, and I do see some encouraging signs.

I mean, yes, it's true, the government is meeting in the Green Zone, but the government is meeting. You know, just a few weeks ago, there were a lot of people saying that the government would never be able -- they would never be able to assemble a national unity government. Then, when the key security ministries were left unfilled, they said, "Well, you see, they could do the easy part, but not the hard part." Now they've done that.

So, lessee, in essence Whatzizface sez: "Ouch, damn, those fast homers give me whiplash. Ok, now what? He said stuff that's true so I can't do the liar liar thing, so I'll concede the point and try to change the subject. Of course, he starts that part with a bald faced lie. There's no way to know what the majority of Iraqis want, it isn't safe to leave the Green Zone and talk to them. Besides that, body armor, helmets and automatic weapons tend to stifle the free exchange of ideas don'tcha think there Whatzizface? translation minus bullshit: The government is meeting inside the American Fortress because nowhere else in the fucking city is safe enough to hold meetings. Without the American Army and the hired guns of Halliburton standing by locked and loaded you just can't do shit in the fucking capitol. But wait kids, Whatzizface ain't done dancing yet...

The strategy that they were discussing for using 75,000 troops to begin to pacify Baghdad is a strategy that a lot of critics have been pressing on them for some time. And interestingly, in that strategy, they're calling for the effort to be led by Iraqis, with only about 10 percent of the forces being coalition.
None of this would have been even remotely possible a year ago. That's not to say that Iraq is paradise or that somehow the end is just around the corner, but there -- if you look at it over time, I think you do see some very positive changes in the balance of forces.


So, their big wonderful touchstone of how much progress is being made is that they are going to start a house to house, toe to toe fucking street fight. We are going to make Baghdad look just like Hue or Sarejevo. Fuck me tender. OK Big B, handle some shit dude.

JIM LEHRER: Do you see those same positive changes, Dr. Brzezinski?
ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: I would have to have an enormous magnifying glass to be able to see them that way. The fact of the matter is: The government is meeting in an American fortress.
(blammo, right between the fucking eyes)

If it is meeting in an American fortress, it is because it is not able to operate outside of an American fortress. That tells you a lot. The notions that a new plan is being put in to enhance security in Baghdad makes me think of a person in the midst of a huge fire in a house who all of a sudden announces that he has a new plan for the installation of air conditioning. (I love that airconditioning metaphor Big B you rock dude!)

I mean, the fact of the matter is that, three years after the occupation of Baghdad, the authority we have installed is besieged and relatively helpless, and a civil war is beginning to mushroom, under the occupation, which is unable to crush the insurgency, because it is a foreign occupation. (is there like a mercy rule in TV journalism? You know like in T-Ball when your kids are behind a bazillion to nothing?)

And, last but not least, we have to get rid of the mindset, which is really by now totally ahistorical -- we no longer live in the age of colonialism. We no longer have to assume "the white man's burden" in order to civilize others, and I'm using these phrases in quotation marks. (that means he's quoting Kipling you illiterate sons of bitches)

The Iraqis are a historical people. They're quite capable of handling things on their own, provided their leaders are real leaders of the country and not essentially proteges of an occupying power hiding in an American fortress.

In other words, if you want to act like there is a real government in Iraq, you have to quit pretending assholes. If you want to quell the insurgency, how about let's stop murdering (haditha and elsewhere), torturing (secret prisons, Abu Grahib, Guantanamo) If the best idea you have for peace and security is a full on house to house street fight in a city you've already lost this one bucko. Drink coffee instead of Kool-Aid, that's what grownups are doing in the morning.

I only excerpted the first exchange. Click on the link. Read the whole thing. Big B, dude you fucking rock!

5 Comments:

Anonymous Father Tyme said...

Minstrelboy,
That's the trouble with you radicals; always getting agenda mixed with the truth! LOL! The truth never hurt anyone. So how the hell could we even begin to think about invasion if all we did was tell the truth?
Great post.
And, with no apologies to Ahnold, I'll be back!

5:51 AM  
Blogger Tata said...

What the hell is father tyme talking about?

I was never a Brzezinski fan but he's plainly made the All-Star Team. Out of the park, as you say.

8:32 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i believe the good father is talking about how this whole invasion thing was hurried and trumped up. and they are wanting to do the same thing with iran right now...thanks for stopping by and dropping your comments

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Father Tyme said...

Minstrel Boy,
Yeah, that's basically what I was saying. The Bush Administration received 'questionable intelligence' before going to war. Lies. We needed the truth.
The part about the intel before the war has me really puzzled. On search and rescue ops, we had to rely on local intel a lot. But we were already fighting. If things looked bad, backup time! These guys had the option of NOT doing anything stupid but still did! Then they lied to everyone.
Bush is an ass but my gripe is with the men who should have known better. It's the 60s all over again. The only thing I can surmise is that the ones that never spent time with us thought it manly to get involved for their own egos. So they went along with the clown. But that doesn't excuse the experienced old timers.
House to house combat? I think I'll take the jungle any time. In a sense, these troops are more poorly supplied and advised than we were. My heart goes out to these guys.

6:52 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

Give me a nice jungle any day. Street fights are awful. Wes Clark had it right to avoid that in his handling of Kosovo. He knew that the Serbs wanted him to duke it out in the cities and Clark wouldn't allow the enemy to choose the type of fight or the battleground. Bush is an dangerous dumbass. His stupidity and willingness to lie to himself is getting kids killed needlessly. If a street fight is all that they can come up with it's seriously time to quit. One of my biggest apprehensions is that the next thing they try will make things that much worse. The troops could end up on the wrong end of a bloodbath. The eight miles of travel to the airport isn't secure for a full on retreat. The Green Zone is a nice, inviting fortified target.

11:22 PM  

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