Zbigniew Brzezinski as I Knew Him

Zbigniew Brzezinski as I Knew Him
a repost from June 2, 2017

“When you hear a source called a ‘Russian agent,’ an ‘anti-semite,’ or a ‘conspiracy theorist,’ you had better listen to them. These are those in the know who accept arrow slings in order to tell you the truth.”

I decided to repost this column for several reasons. One is that the misrepresentation of Brzezinski as a neoconservative illustrates the cavalier attitude toward truth that characterizes our era. The rise in the West of denunciation as a more effective force than truth bodes ill for the survival of the Western World.

Throughout the Western World name-calling has taken the place of reasoned debate. A person who criticizes Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians or the Israel Lobby’s influence over the US government and academic appointments is labeled an “anti-semite,” a name that the Israel Lobby uses to discredit critics.

A person who points out that reckless and irresponsible accusations against Russia can lead to war is labeled “a Russian agent.”

A person who is too well-informed to believe the official stories of the Gulf of Tonkin, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and John and Robert Kennedy, 9/11, and the USS Liberty is said to be a “conspiracy theorist.” In other words, if you don’t accept the official stories, all of which are disproved by hard facts, you are discredited.

Facts no longer matter in the West. If you merely report some expert’s analysis that dissents from officialdom, you as a reporter are labeled along with the expert as a conspiracy theorist, a Russian agent, or an anti-semite. The belief is that if youl did not believe the expert, you would not have reported what he said. Little wonder the print and TV news avoids dissent from official explanations, unless the explanations are President Trump’s.

Throughout the Western World facts are persona non grata.

The consequence is that the Western World has isolated itself from reality and lives in illusions and delusions. Consequently, the West’s chances of survival are minimal.

Paul Craig Roberts

Brzezinski’s death at 89 years of age has generated a load of propaganda and disinformation, all of which serves one interest group or another or the myths that people find satisfying. I am not an expert on Brzezinski, and this is not an apology for him. He was a Cold Warrior, as essentially was everyone in Washington during the Soviet era.

For 12 years Brzezinski was my colleague at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where I occupied the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy. When I was elected to that chair, CSIS was a part of Georgetown University. However, the president of Georgetown University was one of those liberals who hated Henry Kissinger, who was also our colleague, and the university president also hated Ronald Reagan for his rhetoric, not for his deeds about which the Georgetown president was uninformed. So I also was unwelcome. Whatever I was worth to CSIS, Kissinger was worth more, and CSIS was not going to give up Henry Kissinger. Therefore the strategic research institute split from Georgetown university. Brzezinski stayed with CSIS.

When my 1971 book, Alienation and the Soviet Economy, which had circulated clandestinely inside the Economic Institute of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in mimeographed form for years, was republished in 1990 with an introduction by University of California, Berkeley, Professor Aaron Wildavsky, Brzezinski, along with Robert Conquest and two members of the USSR Academy of Sciences, provided cover endorsements for my book. Brzezinski wrote: “Professor Roberts’ explanation of Soviet economic development is timely, and it fills a noticeable void in the existing literature. The book is beneficial reading for experts and non-experts alike who wish to understand the theoretical Marxian framework within which the Soviet economy grew and declined.”

I quote his endorsement for two reasons. One is to show upfront that I might be biased in my account of Brzezinski. The other is to establish that both Brzezinski and I did not regard the Soviet Union as a long-term threat. I expected the Soviet economy to fail, which it did, and Brzezinski expected the Soviet Union to breakup along nationality lines, which it did under Washington’s supervision. Although we were both Cold Warriors—I was a member of the Committee on the Present Danger—both of us favored a peaceful, not a war or conflict resolution of the Cold War. Brzezinski was most certainly not a Neoconservative determined to remove Russia as a constraint on American unilateralism. Brzezinski, as National Security Advisor to President Carter, did not prevent SALT 2, which the Carter Administration honored despite the refusal of the US Senate to ratify it.

Brzezinski was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1928. His father was a Polish diplomat posted to Germany and the Soviet Union. In 1938 Brzezinski’s father was posted to Montreal, Canada, as Consul General. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and the Yalta Conference in which Churchill and FDR assigned Poland to the “Soviet sphere of influence” resulted in Brzezinski growing up in Canada where he was educated. Subsequently he obtained a Ph.D. from Harvard University and became a professor at that university. Brzezinski has all the conspiracy marks against him. He was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bilderberg Group. Fortunately for me, when I was nominated for membership in the Council on Foreign Relations, I was blackballed.

Brzezinski being Polish and his wife also being Eastern European is enough to explain his animosity toward Russia. However, Brzezinski was not a warmonger. He was an advisor to Hubert Humphrey’s presidential campaign, advocated de-escalation of US involvement in the Vietnam war and resigned from a US State Department position in protest to Washington’s expansion of the Vietnam war.

Simultaniously, he opposed George McGovern’s pacifism.
In my opinion, for what it is worth, Brzezinski wanted to make sure that America held on long enough for the Soviet Union to collapse from its internal contradictions. Brzezinski did not seek to impose American world hegemony. This is a neoconservative goal, not a Cold Warrior’s goal. As President Reagan emphasized, the point of “winning” the Cold War was to end it, not to achieve hegemony over the other party. Brzezinski’s strategy as National Security Advisor toward luring the Soviets into Afghanistan was to weaken the Soviet Union and, thereby, hasten an end to the Cold War.

These are the facts as I experienced them. If I am correct, the truth is different from what we are hearing both from the Russian and Western media, both of which portray Brzezinski as not only evil in wanting to destroy the Soviet Union, but also as the Cold Warrior who created the Cold War, a war that had begun three decades prior to Brzezinski’s rise as National Security Advisor.

It is ironic that Brzezinski’s approach to the Soviet Union is identical to Russia’s approach to the West today. Brzezinski preferred in place of Nixon/Kissinger detente to emphasize international law and human rights. This is Putin’s approach today toward Washington and Washington’s NATO vassals.

As I recall, Brzezinski wanted to use ideas, like V in the movie, V for Vendetta, against the Soviets and not military force. This, if memory serves, was the difference between Brzezinski and the military/security complex, which preferred force, and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, who preferred arms control.

I was born into The Matrix. It took many decades, insider experience, and fortuitous experiences for me to escape. Brzezinski might have been one of the fortuitous events. I remember him telling me that as National Security Advisor he was awakened in the middle of the night with the message that a couple hundred Soviet ICBMs were on their way to America. Before he could clear his mind, he was told that it was several thousand ICBMs on their way to destroy America. As the futility of a response hit him, a third message reached him that it was all a mistake from a training exercise somehow being transferred into the early warning network.

In other words, Brzezinski understood how easy it was for mistakes to launch a nuclear holocaust. He wanted to end the Cold War for the same reason that Ronald Reagan wanted to end the Cold War. To make Brzezinski and Reagan the villians, as the left-wing does, when the real villians are the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes that have convinced Russia that Washington is preparing a nuclear first strike on Russia, is a form of ideological idiocy.

But idiocy in the West is what we live with. The question is: how much longer can we survive our idiocy?

I think that the “Soviet Threat,” the basis for the Cold War, was a hoax. It was created by the military/security complex, about which President Eisenhower warned us to no effect. The patriotic war movies, the patriotic Memorial Days and July 4ths with emotional thanks to those who died “saving our freedoms,” which were never in danger from the Japanese and Germans, only from our own government, succeeded in brainwashing even National Security Advisors. Little wonder the insouciance of the American population today.

The Cold War was an orchestration of the military/security complex, and there are many victims. Brzezinski was a victim as the Cold War was his life. JFK was a victim as he lost his life to it. The Vietnamese, who died in the millions, were victims The photo of the naked young Vietnamese girl fleeing down the road in terror from the American napalm behind her made us aware that the Cold War had many innocent victims. The Soviet troops sent to Afghanistan were victims as were the Afghans themselves.

The Soviet Threat removed itself when hardline communists arrested Soviet President Gorbachev. This ill-conceived intervention collapsed the Soviet Union. With the Soviet Threat removed, the US military/security complex no longer had a justification for its massive budget.

Treading water while looking for a new justification for bleeding the American taxpayer, the military/security complex had President Clinton declare the US to be the World Policeman and to destroy Yugoslavia in the name of “human rights.” With Israeli and neoconservative input, the military/security complex used 9/11 to create the “Muslin Terrorist Threat.” This hoax has now murdered, maimed, dispossessed, and displaced millions of Muslims in seven countries.

Despite 16 years of Washington’s wars against countries ranging from North Africa to Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan, the “Muslim threat” does not suffice to justify the $1.1 trillion US military/security annual budget. Consequently, the Russian Threat has been resurrected.

The Muslim Threat was never a danger to the US. It is only a danger to Washington’s European vassal states, who had to accept millions of Muslim refugees from Washington’s wars. However, the newly created Russian Threat is a threat to every American as well as to every European.

Russia can bite back. For a quarter century Russia has watched Washington prepare for a paralyzing nuclear strike on Russia. Recently, the Russian High Command announced that the Russian military has concluded that Washington does intend a surprise nuclear strike against Russia.

This dire Russian announcement received no western press coverage. No high official of any Western government, Trump included, called Putin to give reassurances that no such attack on Russia was being planned.

So, what happens next time when a false alarm, such as the one Brzezinski received, is received by his counterpart in Moscow or the National Security Council? Will the animosities resurrected by the evil US military/security complex result in the Russians or the US believing the false signal?

The insouciant populations of the West, including the members of the governments, do not appreciate that they are living on the edge of nuclear destruction.

The very few of us who alert you are dismissed as “Russian agents,” “anti-semites,” and “conspiracy theorists.” When you hear a source called a “Russian agent,” an “anti-semite,” or a “conspiracy theorist,” you had better listen to them. These are those in the know who accept arrow slings in order to tell you the truth.

You will never, ever, get the truth from the Western media or from any Western government. (See: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/06/02/israels-slaughter-us-sailors/)

The most important truth of our time is that the world lives on the knife-edge of the American military/security complex’s need for an enemy in order to keep profits flowing. The brutal fact is this: For the sake of its profits, the American military/security complex has subjected the entire world to the risk of nuclear Armageddon.

Is It Too Late for Nonviolent Means to Restore American Liberty?

Is It Too Late for Nonviolent Means to Restore American Liberty?

“It is perfectly possible for a man to be out of prison and yet not free—to be under no physical constraint and yet be a psychological captive, compelled to think, feel and act as the representatives of the national state, or of some private interest within the nation wants him to think, feel and act. . . . To him the walls of his prison are invisible and he believes himself to be free.” — Aldous Huxley

John W. Whitehead says don’t give up on America, fight for her return to a land of liberty.

“There’s absolutely no evidence to support the statement that [America is] the greatest country in the world. We’re 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, 3rd in median household income, number 4 in labor force and number 4 in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined, 25 of whom are allies…

“[America] sure used to be [the greatest country in the world ]… We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reason. We passed laws, struck down laws, for moral reason. We waged wars on poverty, not on poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were and we never beat our chest. We built great, big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases and we cultivated the world’s greatest artists AND the world’s greatest economy. We reached for the stars, acted like men. We aspired to intelligence, we didn’t belittle it. It didn’t make us feel inferior. We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election and we didn’t scare so easy. We were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed… by great men, men who were revered. First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.” ― Aaron Sorkin, The Newsroom (Episode 1)

Life in America has become a gut-wrenching, soul-sucking, misery-drenched, demoralizing existence.

We have managed to survive crackdowns, clampdowns, shutdowns, showdowns, shootdowns, standdowns, knockdowns, putdowns, breakdowns, lockdowns, takedowns, slowdowns, meltdowns, and never-ending letdowns.

We’ve been held up, stripped down, faked out, photographed, frisked, fracked, hacked, tracked, cracked, intercepted, accessed, spied on, zapped, mapped, searched, shot at, tasered, tortured, tackled, trussed up, tricked, lied to, labeled, libeled, leered at, shoved aside, saddled with debt not of our own making, sold a bill of goods about national security, tuned out by those representing us, tossed aside, and taken to the cleaners.

We’ve had our freedoms turned inside out, our democratic structure flipped upside down, and our house of cards left in a shambles.

We’ve had our children burned by flashbang grenades, our dogs shot, and our old folks hospitalized after “accidental” encounters with marauding SWAT teams. We’ve been told that as citizens we have no rights within 100 miles of our own border, now considered “Constitution-free zones.” We’ve had our faces filed in government databases, our biometrics crosschecked against criminal databanks, and our consumerist tendencies catalogued for future marketing overtures.

We’ve seen the police transformed from community peacekeepers to point guards for the militarized corporate state. From Boston to Ferguson and every point in between, police have pushed around, prodded, poked, probed, scanned, shot and intimidated the very individuals—we the taxpayers—whose rights they were hired to safeguard. Networked together through fusion centers, police have surreptitiously spied on our activities and snooped on our communications, using hi-tech devices provided by the Department of Homeland Security.

We’ve been deemed suspicious for engaging in such dubious activities as talking too long on a cell phone and stretching too long before jogging, dubbed extremists and terrorists for criticizing the government and suggesting it is tyrannical or oppressive, and subjected to forced colonoscopies and anal probes for allegedly rolling through a stop sign.

We’ve been arrested for all manner of “crimes” that never used to be considered criminal, let alone uncommon or unlawful, behavior: letting our kids walk to the playground alone, giving loose change to a homeless man, feeding the hungry, and living off the grid.

We’ve been sodomized, victimized, jeopardized, demoralized, traumatized, stigmatized, vandalized, demonized, polarized and terrorized, often without having done anything to justify such treatment. Blame it on a government mindset that renders us guilty before we’ve even been charged, let alone convicted, of any wrongdoing. In this way, law-abiding individuals have had their homes mistakenly raided by SWAT teams that got the address wrong. One accountant found himself at the center of a misguided police standoff after surveillance devices confused his license plate with that of a drug felon.

We’ve been railroaded into believing that our votes count, that we live in a democracy, that elections make a difference, that it matters whether we vote Republican or Democrat, and that our elected officials are looking out for our best interests. Truth be told, we live in an oligarchy, politicians represent only the profit motives of the corporate state, whose leaders know all too well that there is no discernible difference between red and blue politics, because there is only one color that matters in politics—green.

We’ve gone from having privacy in our inner sanctums to having nowhere to hide, with smart pills that monitor the conditions of our bodies, homes that spy on us (with smart meters that monitor our electric usage and thermostats and light switches that can be controlled remotely) and cars that listen to our conversations and track our whereabouts. Even our cities have become wall-to-wall electronic concentration camps, with police now able to record hi-def video of everything that takes place within city limits.

We’ve had our schools locked down, our students handcuffed, shackled and arrested for engaging in childish behavior such as food fights, our children’s biometrics stored, their school IDs chipped, their movements tracked, and their data bought, sold and bartered for profit by government contractors, all the while they are treated like criminals and taught to march in lockstep with the police state.

We’ve been rendered enemy combatants in our own country, denied basic due process rights, held against our will without access to an attorney or being charged with a crime, and left to molder in jail until such a time as the government is willing to let us go or allow us to defend ourselves.

We’ve had the very military weapons we funded with our hard-earned tax dollars used against us, from unpiloted, weaponized drones tracking our movements on the nation’s highways and byways and armored vehicles, assault rifles, sound cannons and grenade launchers in towns with little to no crime to an arsenal of military-grade weapons and equipment given free of charge to schools and universities.

We’ve been silenced, censored and forced to conform, shut up in free speech zones, gagged by hate crime laws, stifled by political correctness, muzzled by misguided anti-bullying statutes, and pepper sprayed for taking part in peaceful protests.

We’ve been shot by police for reaching for a license during a traffic stop, reaching for a baby during a drug bust, carrying a toy sword down a public street, and wearing headphones that hamper our ability to hear.

We’ve had our tax dollars spent on $30,000 worth of Starbucks for Department of Homeland Security employees, $630,000 in advertising to increase Facebook “likes” for the State Department, and close to $25 billion to fund projects ranging from the silly to the unnecessary, such as laughing classes for college students and programs teaching monkeys to play video games and gamble.

We’ve been treated like guinea pigs, targeted by the government and social media for psychological experiments on how to manipulate the masses. We’ve been tasered for talking back to police, tackled for taking pictures of police abuses, and threatened with jail time for invoking our rights. We’ve even been arrested by undercover cops stationed in public bathrooms who interpret men’s “shaking off” motions after urinating to be acts of lewdness.

We’ve had our possessions seized and stolen by law enforcement agencies looking to cash in on asset forfeiture schemes, our jails privatized and used as a source of cheap labor for megacorporations, our gardens smashed by police seeking out suspicious-looking marijuana plants, and our buying habits turned into suspicious behavior by a government readily inclined to view its citizens as terrorists.

We’ve had our cities used for military training drills, with Black Hawk helicopters buzzing the skies, Urban Shield exercises overtaking our streets, and active shooter drills wreaking havoc on unsuspecting bystanders in our schools, shopping malls and other “soft target” locations.

We’ve been told that national security is more important than civil liberties, that police dogs’ noses are sufficient cause to carry out warrantless searches, that the best way not to get raped by police is to “follow the law,” that what a police officer says in court will be given preference over what video footage shows, that an upright posture and acne are sufficient reasons for a cop to suspect you of wrongdoing, that police can stop and search a driver based solely on an anonymous tip, and that police officers have every right to shoot first and ask questions later if they feel threatened.

Are you depressed yet? You should be.

More than depressed, however, you should be outraged at what has been done to our country.

I’m outraged at what has been done to our freedoms.

We are no less prisoners than those who are incarcerated behind prison walls.

As Aldous Huxley recognized in his foreword to A Brave New World Revisited: “It is perfectly possible for a man to be out of prison and yet not free—to be under no physical constraint and yet be a psychological captive, compelled to think, feel and act as the representatives of the national state, or of some private interest within the nation wants him to think, feel and act. . . . To him the walls of his prison are invisible and he believes himself to be free.”

The prison we inhabit may not be as bleak as the soul-destroying gulags described by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in his masterpiece The Gulag Archipelago, but that’s just a matter of aesthetics.

It’s time to stop waiting patiently for change to happen, stop waiting for someone to rescue you, and stage a breakout.

Get mad, get outraged, get off your duff and get out of your house, get in the streets, get in people’s faces, get down to your local city council, get over to your local school board, get your thoughts down on paper, get your objections plastered on protest signs, get your neighbors, friends and family to join their voices to yours, get your representatives to pay attention to your grievances, get your kids to know their rights, get your local police to march in lockstep with the Constitution, get your media to act as watchdogs for the people and not lapdogs for the corporate state, get your act together, and get your house in order.

Appearances to the contrary, this country does not belong exclusively to the corporations or the special interest groups or the oligarchs or the war profiteers or any particular religious, racial or economic demographic.
This country belongs to all of us: each and every one of us—“we the people”—but most especially, this country belongs to those of us who love freedom enough to stand and fight for it.

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we are fast approaching the point at which we will have nothing left to lose.

Don’t wait for things to get that bad before you find your voice and your conscience.

As Solzhenitsyn’s character reflects in The Gulag Archipelago:
“How we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if … during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

Take your stand now—using every nonviolent means at your disposal—while you still can.

Don’t wait to reflect back on missed opportunities to push back against tyranny.

Don’t wait until you’re the last one standing.

Time is running out.

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/im_not_breaking_up_with_america_this_valentines_day_and_neither_should_you

ABOUT JOHN W. WHITEHEAD
Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People  (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at http://www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

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