On Fareed Zakaria GPS this week at 10am and 1pm ET on CNN: America’s road ahead in Syria, Iran, Egypt, and more. Fareed is one-on-one with former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski.
The foreign policy theorist also shares his thoughts on the world view of the GOP candidates. Also on the show, What in the World: While worrying about Islam, the West seems to have forgotten about Egypt’s real enemy – the military.
And we have an all-star GPS panel on the economy: Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, Former Director of the Office of Management and Budget David Stockman, the Financial Time's Gillian Tett, and Zanny Minton Beddoes from The Economist.
On the GOP
Fareed Zakaria: In this fall’s election, you still prefer Obama to the alternative?
Zbigniew Brzezinski: Oh, without a question, without a question. I mean, look at those Republican debates. I must say I literally feel embarrassed as an American when I see those people orate. One of them sounds like a medieval Savonarola. Another one is trying to explain why he has some of his wealth located in the Cayman Islands. And someone else would go back to 1780. And then there is someone who is using his credentials as a repudiated speaker of the Congress to be president. I mean, this is just embarrassing....
On America's global role
Fareed Zakaria: So when you read Mitt Romney and his advisers saying 'America is number one, this is an American century, we should just assert our power'?
Zbigniew Brzezinksi: Well, the last three Republican presidents [said] God chose America and history commissioned America to be playing that kind of role. And that kind of rhetoric is just divorced from reality to the point of absurdity, actually to the point of danger for us.
Zbigniew Brzezinksi: We don’t need to go to war. And we have to make that very clear to our Israeli friends. We’re not going to go to war. They’re not going to go to war by flying over our airspace over Iraq. We’re not going to support them. If they do it, they will be on their own. The consequences will be theirs, because the price we’ll all pay, based on a massive war, which the Iranians interpret as being done with our connivance, will be disastrous for us in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in the terms of oil, but also in the Middle East more generally.
Zbigniew Brzezinksi: My approach would be somewhat differently shaped or defined than the one we’re pursuing right now. I would take the position that we will support anything that the Turks and the Saudis jointly contrive, because they’re our friends in the region. They’re responsible. They’re very interested. And they have the capacity to play a decisive role. We can then back them if they do it. But I certainly wouldn’t get out front.
Fareed Zakaria: Isn’t what happening in Syria, though, a kind of proxy or a cold war with the Iranians supporting the regime and the Saudis increasingly supporting the opposition?
Zbigniew Brzezinksi: Yes, it’s even more complicated because the Israelis also have an interest, and they certainly don’t have an interest in a strong, united Syria again reemerging, although that’s rather flightless these days in view what has happened. But we shouldn’t be careless in any comparisons between Assad and Gadhafi. Gadhafi was far more vulnerable than Assad is. I think it’s far from clear yet that Assad can, in fact, be overthrown.
Watch the full show Sunday at 10a and 1p Eastern on CNN.