You may agree or disagree with his worldview, but this man knows a thing or two about geopolitics …
Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski gave an interview to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria about various political hot potatoes and their significance.
Among other things, he talked about:
Israel — according to Brzezinski, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is isolating his country from the rest of the world. Hamas has supposedly accepted Israel’s authority by signing on to the peace talks, signalling tacit recognition, so any use of excessive military force isn’t doing Israel any favors. Brzezinski then goes on to propose that the world should signal its disapproval of Netanyahu’s actions by granting Palestinians a selection of their UN aspirations.
Flight MH-17 — Brzezinski notes that this is a tipping point (which is taking place on the backdrop of an already larger tipping point called Ukraine) — a humanitarian catastrophe that is finally forcing the Europeans to re-examine the status quo relating to Ukraine, Russia, Russian financing and energy policy, and world geopolitics.
Ukraine — Brzezinski identifies the war-torn country as the first territorial dispute that has involved the force of arms since WWII. He points out that what is required of the West right now is leadership, so as not to let the situation get away from them. Cold War: it has started, but the West didn’t initiate it.
The interview is serious, as are the issues it raises, but some of Brzezinski’s points are conveniently simplistic, providing no real solutions to the problems. For example, no mention is made of what Hamas represents and how it operates, or how to deal with its terrorist grassroots.
Also, no explanation is offered as to why he considers Ukraine to be the first European territorial dispute to involve the use of arms since WWII when the shady honor clearly belongs to Serbia, Bosnia and Kosovo.
All in all, this interview is awed — more of a sound byte than anything else. Still, it’s a great indication on how key figures in the West is approaching the given geopolitics of the day, warts and all.
In closing, here is an excerpt on the subject of Russia, Europe and the moment of significance that followed the downing of flight MH-17:
“My sense is that the European public opinion is aroused. This humanitarian issue is so tragic, so painful, so cruel and so unnecessary that the Europeans are beginning to be moved. But each of the major European leaders has a role to play. Chancellor Merkel has to face the fact that her predecessor, also a chancellor, was one of the creators of Europe’s dependence on Russian energy supplies. Does Europe want to become a satellite? I think President Hollande has to face the fact that he cannot now, at this moment, be sending advanced arms to help Russia. Prime Minister Cameron should face the fact that the city of London has become a Las Vegas for Russian financial transactions that are self-serving. There are responsibilities these leaders have to face and they have public opinions which I think are becoming increasingly aware that this is truly a moment of decisive significance for the future of the system — of the world system.”
Nothing over-simplistic about that. On the contrary, it is astute, raw, and right on the money.
For a short video clip from the interview, plus the entire transcript, click here.
From your event-anticipating Spin Doctor,
Eyes open, mind sharp.