Funny things happen when you watch CNN
Saw CNN on Sunday interview Zbigniew Brzezinski in regard to the Iranian election turmoil on a show called GPS, and I couldn’t for the life of me remember what his job was with the Carter Administration. I was thinking he was Sec of State, but not sure so I looked him up.
Turned out he was National Security Advisor for Jimmy Carter, and in going through some of the links I found an interesting interview he did with a French publication which basically turns on its head the left’s claim that Reagan was solely responsible for the arming of the Taliban and the US being involved.
The “Official” history generally has the United States getting involved in 1979 after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan to support the tottering Afghan Communist regime that had sprouted after the 1978 Communist coup.
The Soviet excuse for invading was to stop “US expansionism” into the Middle East and prevent “meddling” with their fledgling Communist government.
Brzezinski in the interview claims essentially to have suckered the USSR into invading in the first place (all emphasis mine);
Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs [“From the Shadows”], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?
Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.
B: It isn’t quite that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.
Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?
So Carter wanted to give the Soviets their own taste of Vietnam.
Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?
B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.
And here I have to agree on one point, the eventual breakup of the USSR was essential to achieving some possibility of world peace. But he and they failed to account for the danger the Taliban would pose in the vacuum left behind after the Soviet withdrawal. He essentially defends this choice between two evils;
Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?
B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?
Clearly even as of 1998 when this interview was conducted Brzezinski was clueless as to the dangers of the rise of radical Islamic Fundamentalism, and even the French interviewer was incredulous at Brzezinski’s answer;
Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.
B: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn’t a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.
I’ll grant him that this interview was three years prior to the WTC attacks, and I still say they had the right idea with regard to breaking the USSR; I wonder if Reagan’s “Tear down this wall” would’ve been followed so soon by its actual crumbling had this not have occurred? Eventually I’m sure it would’ve collapsed under its own weight as Reagan predicted it would, maybe not as soon if they’d never have been embroiled in Afghanistan.
As I sit here, I can hear the hissing as the air is let out of future assertions by leftist trolls that it was all “The Evil Republicans” fault.
Kind of gives an interesting twist to Carter’s famous whine; “I can’t believe the Russians lied to me.”