Sunday, October 16, 2005

Irony Alert: Carter-era official criticizes administration

The Real Jimmy Carter: How Our Worst Ex-President Undermines American Foreign Policy, Coddles Dictators and Created the Party of Clinton and Kerry In a recent op-ed column (the LA Times, as if you couldn't guess), former national security advisor to Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, pilloried the Bush administration. Calling the post-9/11 approach, "suicidal statecraft" (a la Arnold Toynbee), Brzezinski further claims that 9/11 represented a "challenge largely of regional origin."

Those slaughtered in the World Trade Center or at the Pentagon are, of course, unable to voice their opinions while Brzezinski pontificates. That a Carter-era official, party to -- inarguably -- the most disastrous presidency in the last half-century, criticizes anyone, should be enough to set off alarm claxons in newsrooms everywhere.

Recognizing the irony inherent in a Carter-era administration windbag critiquing anyone, Victor Davis Hanson shreds Brzezinski using everything but a taser and a cattle prod. Sally forth and read it all, for it is good.

...Aside from the unintended irony that the classical historian Arnold Toynbee himself was not always “adroit,” but wrong in most of his determinist conclusions, and that such criticism comes from a high official of an administration that witnessed on its watch the Iranian-hostage debacle, the disastrous rescue mission, the tragicomic odyssey of the terminally ill shah, the first and last Western Olympic boycott, oil hikes even higher in real dollars than the present spikes, Communist infiltration into Central America, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Cambodian holocaust, a gloomy acceptance that perpetual parity with the Soviet Union was the hope of the day, the realism that cemented our ties with corrupt autocracies in the Middle East (Orwellian sales of F-15 warplanes to the Saudis minus their extras), and the hard-to-achieve simultaneous high unemployment, high inflation, and high interest rates, Mr. Brzezinski is at least a valuable barometer of the current pessimism over events such as September 11...

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