October 5, 2012
PAUL RAHE: Appeasement And The Suppression Of Liberty.
On Wednesday, when everyone was obsessing about the upcoming debate and no one but Joel Gehrke was paying any attention. Zbigniew Brzezinski appeared on Morning Joe to tout his recent book Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power and to discuss recent developments. In the course of the ensuing conversation, which focused in part on the events that took place on 11 September 2012 in Libya and elsewhere within the Islamic world, Brzezinski acknowledged, “We’re dealing here with a messy region which is increasingly slipping into increased instability — a region in which American domination is rapidly, rapidly coming to an end.”
In this situation, the former advisor to Jimmy Carter might have said a word or two about the failure of Barack Obama’s new-look foreign policy in the Middle East. He might have mentioned the President’s famous and highly apologetic Cairo speech. He might have noted the manner in which Obama had repeatedly and pathetically tried to suck up to the Iranian government. He might have discussed our betrayal of the Green Movement in Iran. He might have drawn attention to his administration’s embarrassing and futile attempt to flatter Bashar al-Assad of Syria and enlist him as a go-between in his attempt to foster a dialogue with the Islamic Republic. He might have emphasized the President’s marked reluctance to align the United States with those attempting to overthrow the tyrants dominant in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Iran, and he might have ended by commenting on the fact that displays of weakness and attempts at appeasing tyrants are apt to backfire.
But, of course, he did not do that. Instead, as Gehrke was quick to note, he endorsed the preposterous story that the Obama administration has intermittently peddled — that our troubles are somehow due to a fourteen-minute video posted on YouTube more than a month before the attacks in Benghazi by a Coptic Christian film-maker, and he suggested that a “crack-down” on the film-maker and those working with him might be appropriate on the off-chance that the video was designed “to provoke [Muslim] violence” against Americans.
Zbig was manifestly unfit to hold the offices he held, and he hasn’t gotten any fitter in the intervening years. Like Britain, I fear that America is afflicted with a ruling class that fundamentally doesn’t believe in the country it rules. That is unlikely to end well, if it is allowed to persist.