By Eric Walberg
Global Research, July 23, 2008
Al Ahram Weekly
It is hard to sort through the hype and heat of Obamania, but one thing is
clear: who’s pulling the strings, argues Eric Walberg
As the United States election race enters the final stretch, Barack Obama
as the candidate promising change is revealing his true colours, much to
the despair of anyone actually expecting any change. His recent call to
declare Jerusalem the undivided capital of Israel, his denial of
Palestinans’ right of return, and his support for a Bantustan Palestinian
“state” which poses no threat to Israel show how completely he has caved
in to the Zionist establishment on that issue.
As President George W Bush calls for early reductions in combat troops in
Iraq, Obama’s position on Iraq – a vow to bring troops home within 16
months, excepting a “residual force” – looks less and less of a defining
moment in his foreign policy. Whatever happens to troop levels, there is
no explicit talk of overriding the plans for 14 permanent bases.
Obama is toeing the line in Afghanistan, too. As NATO casualties continue
to mount, surpassing monthly Iraqi casualities as of June this year, he is
proposing – now seconded by McCain – that the United States shift up to
15,000 more troops there from Iraq. Just prior to his trip to Afghanistan,
he wrote in a New York Times Op Ed, “We need more troops, more
helicopters, better intelligence-gathering and more nonmilitary assistance
to accomplish the mission there.” Please, will someone show me the silver
lining in an Obama victory in November?
But then none of the above should come as any surprise to those familiar
with his chief promoter and foreign policy adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski,
who, along with current (and likely future) Secretary of Defense Robert
Gates, has already entered history as helping “suck the Soviets into a
Vietnamese quagmire”. These are the words of President Jimmy Carter’s
Under-Secretary of Defense Walter Slocumbe in March 1979, eight months
before the Soviets were successfully “sucked in”, when Gates was CIA
chief. The changing of the guard, come November, will change nothing. US
foreign policy has a logic which transcends who sleeps in the White House.
What’s especially ghoulish about all this is that there are five
Brzezinski offspring who are all onboard the Obama wagon: Mark (director
of Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council under
President Bill Clinton, and one of the prime movers of the 2004 color
revolution in Ukraine), Ian (currently the US Deputy Assistant Secretary
of State for European and NATO affairs and a backer of Kosovan
independence, NATO expansion into Ukraine and Georgia and US ABM missiles
in Poland), Mika (political commentator on MSNBC whose interview with
Michele Obama contributed to the general media Obamamia) and finally,
Matthew (a friend of Ilyas Akhmadov, “foreign minister” and US envoy of
the Chechen opposition).
Brzezinski’s brand of anti-Russian, anti-Muslim geopolitics will dominate
a future Obama administration. In Second Chance: Three Presidents and the
Crisis of American Superpower, published last year, he lays out his New
World Order agenda without so much as a blush. Apparently, there is a
global political awakening going on, the goal of which is “dignity”. Not
economic development, not the alleviation of poverty, not national
sovereignty against the IMF and World Bank. Just plain old dignity, though
Zbig’s brand of dignity is the kind attained through secession,
balkanisation, and the creation of weak statelets for each ethnic minority
subservient to the US. Think: Kosovo and – if he has his way – Chechenia.
Neo-Wilsonian demagogy in the service not of peace but of US world
domination, encirclement of Russia and control of the Arab world.
Zbig said in endorsing Obama: “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 peoples.” Obama’s alleged global
approach and trans-ethnic, trans-racial allure are right out of Zbig’s
university textbook, or rather Second Chance, which will be the manual for
the Obama campaign and presidency.
Obama is literally a second chance for Brzezinski: having destroyed the
Soviet Union and shattered the Warsaw Pact, he now wants to dismember the
Russian Federation itself and put the finishing touches on Afghanistan as
an impregnable US military base against China, Russia… the list is
endless. Perhaps Zbig is dreaming of restoring Greater Poland circa 1600 –
from the Black Sea to the Baltic, all controlled by petty szlachta
aristocrats like… the Brzezinskis?
The Economist blog put it best: “A new brain for Barack Obama! It’s 78
years old and it still works perfectly. It belongs to Zbigniew Brzezinski,
the peppery ex-national security adviser to Jimmy Carter.”
The messianic idealism of the Obama campaign has not been seen since the
days of another Brzezinski creation – Jimmy Carter, who made him national
security adviser with disastrous results. Brzezinski’s anti-Russian
obsession back in 1976 prompted him to foment the rise of Islamic
fundamentalism, which he touted as the greatest single bulwark against
Soviet communism. Tarpley argues that Brzezinski was even a prime
behind-the-scenes mover in the overthrow of the Shah of Iran and
installing Ayatollah Khomeini in power in Tehran. Brzezinski cared less
about the Middle East and its oil than he did about the need for a centre
from which Islamic fundamentalism of the most retrograde type could
penetrate the soft southern underbelly of the USSR. For Brzezinski, the
space between the southern frontier of the Soviet and the Indian Ocean
littoral became an “arc of crisis”, and we have his handiwork to thank for
the horrors taking place there to this day.
The 1980 Carter Doctrine – that the US was determined to dominate the
Persian Gulf – is at the root of the first Gulf War, of the present Iraq
war, and of the possible war on Iran. Brzezinski’s grandiose schemes of
world transformation caused a renewal of the Cold War and gave birth to
Al-Qaeda, and without Soviet restraint the results could easily have been
far more tragic than they turned out to be. By 1980, disillusionment with
Carter led to the nightmare of the Reagan regime. But this was of little
concern to Brzezinski – a mere blip on his radar screen.
In 2008, we have an obscure Illinois senator, a neophyte with no
legislative achievements to speak of, but with a raft of utopian promises,
including solving the race problem once and for all. Recession,
unemployment and an alarming rise in poverty are of no consequence; a
golden age is at hand thanks to his magnetic personality. Since he knows
nothing of foreign policy, these matters will be competently managed by
the Brzezinski cabal.
But there seems to be one slight hitch. Despite Obama’s slavish
pro-Israeli genuflections of late, he is still not trusted by the Jewish
lobby. Quite possibly because they know who the power behind the
throne-to-be is, and they can’t stomach him, nor he them. Addressing the
AIPAC crew in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, he said, “They
operate not by arguing but by slandering, vilifying, demonising. They very
promptly wheel out anti-Semitism. There is an element of paranoia in this
inclination to view any serious attempt at a compromised peace as somehow
directed against Israel.”
But then Brzezinski was a key player in Carter’s 1978 Camp David Accords,
much loathed by the Zionists as giving up Sinai in exchange for a cold
peace with Egypt. Brzezinski is definitely not a hardcore Zionist, though
he’s happy to allow the destruction of Palestine. Perhaps he is, under his
suave exterior, still the quintessential Polish anti-Semite, with a vision
of the New World Order without Israel at the centre.
If he can keep up the momentum, however, he may be able to outflank the
Zionists in Washington and bringing his horse first past the finish line.
They are on the defensive these days, what with spy trials, even J Street
Project, a Jewish lobby group that – gasp – dares to criticise Israel. Is
this, then, the silver lining in an Obama victory?
Eric Walberg writes for Al-Ahram Weekly. You can reach him at