Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Zbigniew Brzezinski on the Middle East

Tonday's NY Times features an opinion piece by former national security advisor for the Carter administration, Zbigniew Brzezinski. It is, to my mind, one of the best short pieces I have read on a new approach to America's foreign policy as regards the Middle East and Europe.

It is striking that in spite of all the electoral fireworks over policy in Iraq, both presidential candidates offer basically similar solutions...Both candidates have become prisoners of a worldview that fundamentally misdiagnoses the central challenge of our time. President Bush's "global war on terror" is a politically expedient slogan without real substance, serving to distort rather than define. It obscures the central fact that a civil war within Islam is pitting zealous fanatics against increasingly intimidated moderates. The undiscriminating American rhetoric and actions increase the likelihood that the moderates will eventually unite with the jihadists in outraged anger and unite the world of Islam in a head-on collision with America.

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