Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Beast of the Month - September 2008

Beast of the Month - September 2008
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Obama Foreign Policy Guru

"I yam an anti-Christ..."
John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) of The Sex Pistols, "Anarchy in the UK"

"Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss"
The Who, "Won't Get Fooled Again"

Those evil Russians. With their mastermind Vladimir Putin in charge (using "President" Dmitry Medvedev as his front-man puppet) those nasty Soviets invaded the noble, peace-loving nation of Georgia, just so they could steal land from a thriving little democracy that just wanted to be left alone.

At least that's how it’s been portrayed in the press.

Okay, maybe Russia isn't the most sympathetic "victim" in world affairs, and Putin has proven himself to be quite the would-be dictator. But the story as it's been presented just doesn't add up. Let's start with the issue of who attacked who first. In fact, it was Georgia, who bombarded the province of South Ossetia unilaterally. The mainstream media even admits this truth, but then argues that since South Ossetia is part of Georgia sovereign nation, the attack was legitimate. Of course, this ignores that South Ossetia long has had secessionist desires from Georgia so it could reunite with the Russian homeland. Indeed, a 2006 referendum in which voter turnout was 95 percent showed that 99 percent of South Ossetians supported their continued quasi-independence from Georgia, a landslide of near-universal proportions. 34 international observers monitored the election, and none disputed the validity of the results. This shouldn't be a surprise: since 1992, Russian peacekeeper have remained in the province under agreement with Georgia to protect its desired independence from the rest of the nation.

In attacking South Ossetia, Georgia went after the city of Tskhinvali, which has no military targets and is a residential and industrial center home to 30,000 people. The majority of these people, incidentally, have both Russian citizenship and passports. The massive bombing and shelling of these people can rightly be deemed a war crime, and according to Russia, over 2,000 people were murdered in the massacre. Given this provocation, Russia did what any superpower nation would do under similar circumstances: sent its own military to repel the assault and defend its own citizens.

(This, of course, leads to the ultimate absurdity of the situation: Team USA feigns outrage at supposed Russian violation of sovereignty of a hostile nation situated right at its border, while the invasion of the Iraqi nation half-way across the planet continues in its sixth year.)

Even in the Western media, Putin (long made out to be a Bond-like super-villain) and Medvedev (long mocked as Putin's poodle) didn't lose the most PR-wise, since they didn't have far to fall. It was Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili, who long had been championed as a supposed leader devoted to democracy. At best, he appeared to be a sniveling opportunist who falsely assumed that Russia wouldn't respond to its attack, or that NATO would defend it if Russia did. At worst, he was revealed as a political charlatan who uses charm and Western propaganda to hide his power-hungry actions, actions which have made him increasingly unpopular in Georgia. (And as far as NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine goes, does anyone really believe that defending a nation on the border of Russia with the NATO pact is a good idea, even ignoring what an arrogant buffoon Saakashvili is in particular?)

Still, focusing on Saakashvili misses the big picture of who is in charge here. After all, if Medvedev is Putin's puppet, so is Mikhail S. to NATO and the West. (In fact, Saakashvili is such a tool, it is safe to assume the Bush Team greenlighted the South Ossetia invasion.) And in particular, Saakashvili is beholden to one man: Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Konformist Beast of the Month.

Brzezinski, for those unaware, was founding executive director in 1973 of the Trilateral Commission, the conspiracy bugaboo long alleged to be the major not-so-secret player in international affairs. Created by David Rockefeller, the TLC got together leaders of the US, Western Europe and Japan (hence the "trilateral" part of its name) to coordinate foreign policy plans in secret. Jimmy Carter became a member, and when he was elected President, he named Z-man as his National Security Advisor.

Nearly twenty-eight years after his presidency, Carter is known for being a warm, snuggly Nobel Peace Prize winner, but whatever fuzzy, peace-loving tendencies Jimmy had, Zbig didn't share them. He was the decided hawk in the Democratic establishment, and he is best described as the Democratic Party's answer to Henry Kissinger. Nor is he particularly fond of democracy, as the 1974 TLC report "The Crisis of Democracy" revealed: it argued the masses had too much influence over government and economics, influence that needed to be curtailed.

How to curtail that democratic influence on government? The best way, it seems, is by creating faux-populist leaders who would dazzle the public, then let the same old club of powerful insiders run the show behind the curtain. Jimmy Carter was the first of these in 1976, followed by Ronald Reagan in 1980, Clinton in 1992 and GWB in 2000. All of these candidates feigned that they were outsiders during the campaign, but then mainly served sectors of the establishment after occupying the White House. (Bush Sr. was the solitary admitted insider after he won in '88.) This leads to this year's election, where the Democrat's have Mr. "Hope and Change" Barack Obama battling the Republican's "Maverick" John McCain. Do we see a pattern?

Of course, as far as ties to Brzezinski go, Barack Obama is far deeper than McCain, something heavily detailed by author Webster Tarpley in the recent political expose Obama - The Postmodern Coup. Zbig's support of Obama turned covert after Brzezinski became publicly critical of Israel and its lobby. As Obama would explain in February, "He's not one of my key advisers. I've had lunch with him once. I've exchanged e-mails with him maybe three times. He came to Iowa to introduce me for a speech on Iraq." (If this line of argument sounds familiar, it's the same one he used for his deep ties to financial swindler Tony Rezko and former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers.) But until the Israeli controversy, Brzezinski was featured prominently as a chief Obama foreign policy advisor, a de facto position that has likely remained the same.

This may not be for the better. While the GOP has been taken over by the destructively incompetent neocons, at least even George W. Bush was smart enough to know that wars in the Middle East are less dangerous than an overt battle with either Russia or China (which is why he wisely ducked a major confrontation with Russia over the Georgia crisis.)

Don't take The Konformist's word for it. Brzezinski laid it all out in his 1998 book The Grand Chessboard, where he argued the 21st century would turn into a major battle between Russia, China and the West for control of natural resources, in particular oil. Ten years later, his book looks more like a blueprint than a prediction, although the battle between the West and both Russia and China still remains extremely cold. But that could change: both Georgia's Saakashvili and Ukraine's Viktor Yushchenko (two former Soviet Republic's with important strategic locations in the battle for access to Caspian Sea oil between the West and Russia) are presidents whose campaigns were backed by the brains of Brzezinski and the funds of George Soros. Both were rushed in on a wave of gushing populist frenzy, followed by increasing unpopularity as they followed policies of neoliberal economics and provoking the Russian bear in foreign policy. That the same recipe behind Saakashvili and Yushchenko is being used for the Obamahead cult shouldn't be too comforting.

But so this doesn't get confused as an advertisement for the McCain campaign, Mr. Maverick has as his foreign policy guru Randy Scheunemann, a frothing neocon who for four years was a paid foreign lobbyist of (drum roll please) the nation of Georgia. It is important to note that after the Georgia-Russia conflict began, McCain immediately was far more forceful in bellicose anti-Russian posturings than Obama. No surprise for the one 2008 candidate more tied to Bush's Iraq War than any other.

All of which suggests that, when it comes to foreign policy, 2008 is a rigged game. Obama, after feigning to be the "antiwar candidate" during the Democratic primary, has shed all such pretensions as November approaches. To his credit, McCain has never pretended otherwise than to be a Commander-in-Chief President. Either way, we're looking at four more years of Afghanistan, Iraq and possibly new misadventures in Iran and, yes, Russia. Meet the new boss...

In any case, we salute Zbigniew Brzezinski as Beast of the Month. Congratulations, and keep up the great work, Z-man!!!


Adams, Cecil. "Is the Trilateral Commission the Secret Organization that Runs the World?" The Straight Dope 6 November 1987 <http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/524/is-the-trilateral-commission-the-secret-organization-that-runs-the-world>.

Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives. New York: Basic Books, 1998.

Judis, John B. "Neo-McCain." New Republic 16 October 2006 <http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=23c3a0ff-9d55-4d28-a94e-0b0e09e26505>.

Scheer, Robert. "Georgia War a Neocon Election Ploy?" Truthdig 12 August 2008 <http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20080812_georgia_war_a_neocon_election_ploy/>.

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Sweet, Lynn. "Obama Assures Jewish Leaders on Religion, Israel Stance." Chicago Sun-Times 25 February 2008 <http://www.suntimes.com/news/sweet/811251,CST-NWS-sweet25.article>.

Tarpley, Webster Griffin. "Brzezinski's Georgia Puppets Attack Russia - WWIII In Sight." Rense.com 11 August 2008 <http://rense.com/general82/indt.htm>.

Tarpley, Webster Griffin. Obama - The Postmodern Coup. Joshua Tree: Progressive Press, 2008.

Traynor, Ian. "Georgia Crisis: Medvedev Promises to Guarantee Any Vote by Rebel States to Break with Tbilisi." The Guardian 15 August 2008 <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/15/russia.georgia>.

Whitney, Mike. "Putin's Winning Hand." Information Clearing House 16 August 2008 <http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20535.htm>.

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