Saturday, May 27, 2017

Sic transit Zbig

Zbigniew Brzezinski died last night.

Romans used to speak no ill of the dead. Not being Roman, and having lost my country in part due to Brzezinski's delusions of Empire, I'll speak my mind instead.

I once called him the "Sith Lord of the Democratic foreign policy cult," with Mad Madeleine Albright his dark apprentice. I stand by those words.
The Polish-born Brzezinski was precisely what the Founding Fathers warned against. He worked his entire life to bend his new country to the service of his old, and harness its power to the carriage of his personal affections and animosities.

In the course of this pursuit, he urged President Carter to back a jihad in Afghanistan - not after the Soviet Union sent in the troops, but months before - indeed, hoping to provoke a "Soviet Vietnam." He admitted this in the 1998 interview with the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur.

Asked if he regretted anything, Brzezinski said no:

"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."

Asked if he regrets giving "arms and advice to future terrorists," Brzezinski was likewise nonplussed.

"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?"

What did any of it have to do with the United States of America, though?

John Quincy Adams, a founder's son, a diplomat, and the sixth president in his own right, famously said his country "goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own."

What, then, should we make of someone who came to America and used it to unleash head-chopping barbarians - whether Al-Qaeda, ISIS, or any "moderate" flavor in between, from Bosnia to Borneo - on the world, in pursuit of Old Continent grudges and interests?

Not only did Zbigniew Brzezinski do evil - and made America do evil too - he argued it was doing good instead.

May God have mercy on his soul.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

'Drive them out': Trump sends message to Muslims on terrorism

I am far from the only one to make the observation that the mainstream media in the US are in throes of the Trump Derangement Syndrome - a mutation, if you will, of the Putin Derangement Syndrome diagnosed a decade back - and treating everything the 45th POTUS does with alarm and contempt irrespective of what it is, simply because he is the one doing it.

Thus the headlines about his trip to Saudi Arabia are filled with nitpicking about one particular phrase he didn't say, the multi-billion weapons deal with a country the media suddenly discovered was waging a war on Yemen (having not given a damn about said war before January 20, 2017), and obsessing about his daughter and son-in-law yet again.
Therefore I was surprised to see The Hill post a full transcript of Trump's speech, and even more surprised to read what was in it:

America is a sovereign nation and our first priority is always the safety and security of our citizens. We are not here to lecture—we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership—based on shared interests and values—to pursue a better future for us all.

[...]

Young Muslim boys and girls should be able to grow up free from fear, safe from violence, and innocent of hatred. And young Muslim men and women should have the chance to build a new era of prosperity for themselves and their peoples.

With God’s help, this summit will mark the beginning of the end for those who practice terror and spread its vile creed. At the same time, we pray this special gathering may someday be remembered as the beginning of peace in the Middle East—and maybe, even all over the world.

But this future can only be achieved through defeating terrorism and the ideology that drives it.

[...]

There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it.

Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person, and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith.

Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death.

[...]

This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations.

This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it.

This is a battle between Good and Evil.

[...]

But the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries, and for their children.

It is a choice between two futures—and it is a choice America CANNOT make for you.

A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out.

DRIVE THEM OUT of your places of worship.

DRIVE THEM OUT of your communities.

DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land, and

DRIVE THEM OUT OF THIS EARTH.

[...]

Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory – piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and YOUR SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED.

[...]

Starving terrorists of their territory, their funding, and the false allure of their craven ideology, will be the basis for defeating them.

So much for him being 'Islamophobic' or 'bowing down' to terrorism.

And while he accused Iran of being the ultimate sponsor of terrorism - disingenuous in the least, because it's Iran and Hezbollah doing a lion's share of fighting against ISIS, which the previous US government tacitly endorsed as a way to "regime change" in Syria - that makes it doubly hard for the Gulf Arabs to disregard his message, seeing as how they've been harping about "Iranian aggression" for years.

And if they do shrug off his offer (which I suspect they will), that just makes it clear which side they are on. After decades of pretending the problem didn't exist, finally, some clarity.