Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Inside Brzezinki's Mind

A Review of The Grand Chessboard

The perverse worldview of Zbigniew Brzezinski is what this book has to offer us. The Brzezinskis are Polish aristocrats, and Zbigniew is undoubtedly their ablest living heir. Brzezinski combines the reactionary sophistication of a Joseph de Maistre with the crude slyness of a pickpocket. Plato extolled the philosopher-king, whereas our Polish pickpocket-philosopher would be more likely to please the sensibilities of a Machiavelli.

That a crook like Brzezinski aims to shape the foreign policy of the world's most crooked nation should come as no surprise; like attracts like, and as Cicero fittingly pointed out, "nature loves nothing so much as that which resembles it."

Brzezinski's finest hour probably came during the late seventies of the previous century, when he travelled to Peshawar in Pakistan for a fateful rendezvous with the Afghan warlords who had fled from the communist regime in Kabul. The Afghan communists had sought to instil some Enlightenment values into their woefully backward countrymen, but what visionaries such as N.M. Tariki, H. Amin, and B. Karmal failed to see is that it takes a great deal more than the waving of red banners to the chants of "liberté, egalité, fraternité" if you wish to convince a Wahabi of the value of the ideals propounded by a Rousseau or a Voltaire, let alone by a Karl Marx. And hell broke loose when Afghan communists granted equal rights to women. For the patriarchal Afghans this was casus belli justifying Jihad against the infidel regime in Kabul.

Brzezinski's geopolitical calculations made him see that the communist regime in Kabul would beg the Soviet Union to intervene in the event of a civil war. And this is precisely how things turned out; fire and brimstone upon the Soviets.

In the homily which Brzezinski delivered to the Afghan cavemen, he spoke of hope and redemption. He reminded the Afghan cavemen, the precursors to the Taliban, that God was on their side and that the Almighty would deliver them from the scourge of communism. It was a shameless display, yet a geostrategic masterstroke.

The Soviet Union is no more, but from the ashes of the dead communist empire Putin's Russia is risen. The book on hand should be seen as a theoretical preparation for our Polish pickpocket-philosopher's next crusade against the Soviet Union's heir: Putin's Russia. That which is implicit in this book is far more important than that which is explicit. Admittedly, Brzezinski is frank enough about the end: the maintenance of American hegemony. But he is wisely convoluted as to the means by which the end is to be attained.

The key chapter of the book in this regard is "the Eurasian Balkans". Brzezinski is a formidable geostrategist, in comparison with whom the neoconservative would-be-empire-builders come across as downright amateurs.

Brzezinski once pointed out that the Islamists are unlikely to come swimming across the Atlantic in order to attack the United States, and he is right. In virtue of being a cold-blooded political realist, Brzezinski knows full well that Islamism will never pose a tangible threat to the United States. As far as America is concerned, Islamism is nothing more than a bogeyman, an imaginary affliction, with which to frighten a notoriously simple-minded American population into submission so as to make it relinquish its own civil liberties. For Russia, on the other hand, Islamism is a lethal threat right at its doorsteps. This is a fact of which Brzezinski is fully aware, who envisages the following scenario for the Central-Asian Balkans: the delicate demographic composition of the Central-Asian republics coupled with a resurgent Islam gone mad will set the whole region in flames. "Indeed, the process of Islamization is likely to prove contagious also to the Muslims who have remained within Russia proper" (p. 133). One may well view this as the utterance of a detached observer, but one would be foolish to view it in such a light. The Americans are likely to leave no stone unturned in their endeavours to channel the rage of the Islamists into Russia. The Islamists may be fuming against America for now, but in the long run they may once again prove to be an invaluable American asset. One can only hope that this book is being carefully studied in both Moscow and Beijing.