Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Straight talk from Zbigniew Brzezinski

Let me be serious now because this is a serious time that calls for serious: "Zbigniew Brzezinski"

The first proposition is that today, for the United States, its policy in the Middle East is the basic test of America’s capacity to exercise global leadership. It’s become that. I see it as in many respects similar to what transpired during the Cold War when the ultimate test of America’s capacity to act as a defender of the free world was its ability to conduct a meaningful policy in Europe for Europe then was the central front and we know the outcome.

Today the Middle East is the fundamental test of American ability to lead, and at stake is precisely that. If we do not do well, we will lose our capacity to lead, and that concerns me greatly.

The second axiomatic proposition that I want to share with you is that the experience of recent times--and much of the experience connected also with the existence of the state of Israel--teaches us that neither Israel nor the United States in the final analysis have the capacity to impose a unilateral solution. There may be people who deceive themselves of that. We call them neo-cons in this country and there are other equivalents in Israel as well. They may think that either the United States or Israel can impose a solution

The United States has already learned--or at least it is in the process of learning in Iraq-- that it does not have the capacity to impose unilateral solutions to the problems it faces, by force, acting on its own, and neither does Israel.

And my third proposition is that by now it should be very evident to all concerned that the parties that are fighting now in the Middle East, particularly the Israelis and the Palestinians can never resolve their conflict peacefully, no matter how much they try, no matter how sincere they may be. And when they are sincere, unfortunately it is in-synchronous to the sincerity of the other side, and more often than not, one or the other is not sincere. Quite often, neither is sincere. As a result, there has been no peace in the Middle East.

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