February 24th, 2012
02:49 PM ET

Watch GPS: Brzezinski "embarrassed as an American" by GOP candidates

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.

On Iran

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.

On Syria

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.

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Topics: GPS Episodes • GPS Show • Iran • Syria • United States

soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. John

    I was somewhat shocked by Brez's comment about being "embarrassed" to be an American when he watches Republicans debate during an election season. I wonder whether he was similarly embarrassed by being a senior member of the Carter Administration. What's more embarrassing, campaign rhetoric or sheer administrative incompetence? Brez., a brilliant man, has done a good job of disconnecting himself from a failed presidency, but he has has his most serious lapses of judgment when he feels most threatened, much like the Republican candidates do when they come under fire from the media Illuminati. Fareed would do well to have his guests confine themselves to their areas of expertise, not to offer gratuitous and obviously partisan comments that bring back so many bad memories of runaway inflation, hostage-taking, Soviet expansionism, national humiliation, and "malaise."

    February 27, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  2. Englishman in the US

    Fareed, I have decided to stop watching GPS. I cannot take any more the progam's overt political bias – in the choice of guests, in the cringing before third world despots, and in the generally anti-western tone.

    It would be more honest if you weere to present GPS with a "Vote Obama" baseball cap. Objective news reporting it most definitely is not. Well, back to the BBC...

    February 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  3. Mensaman

    So HE's embarassed? He was in the Carter Administration! Talk about embarassing. Look, he's a partisan Leftist so what else is he goin to say?.
    Obama has been an embarassment as well. He can't manage Congress, added $8 Trillion to the deficit, botched Iran, ignores Syria, left Iraq undersupported and unstable, blocked the pipeline and has not been truthful on the economy.
    Partisan fools may argue, but you wouldn't find Clinton or Reagan dragging out this non-recovery like this. How long are the American people going to suffer without jobs? How long will ideologically locked liberals live in their cloud of fantasy? Hope and Change – sure- go vote for that fiasco again Sbiggy boy.

    February 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Reply
    • Mr. Common Sense

      The one and only person who was able to stabilize Iraq and the region for so many years was Saddam Hussein and Bush killed him. I don't like Obama a bit but it was Bush who took the country from a surplus to a deficit.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Reply
      • Gene

        And Mussolini enabled the trains to run on time. Shame on you. Shame on your priorities. Shame on your morality. We've enabled Iraqi's to shed a despot and create the first democracy in the Arab world. I'm proud of America and for the values for which it stands. Obama has apologized for us enough that I can't wait for the day when he's gone. Whether he's gone in 1 year or it 5, he will be gone and I hope we never hear from him again. I want US to stand for Democracy in the world, for freedom, for opportunity to make your own future. And for America that stands for something other than who makes trains run on time.

        March 8, 2012 at 5:43 am |
  4. Golgotha

    It's okay, Zbigniew, everyone in academia and politics knows your loyalty lays with Poland first and America second.

    March 3, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Reply
  5. Boomer

    As an American I am embarrased by Zbigniew Brzezinksi and his tenure with the Carter administration. Zbigniew Brzezinksi's and Carter's utter incompetence and insufferable arrogance did this country lasting harm.

    March 5, 2012 at 8:37 am | Reply
  6. Gene

    I wonder if Brzezinski was equally embarrassed by the Carter administration under which he served. He has the gall to call the current candidates embarrassing? Has he forgotten the US hostages that he enabled to spend some 450 days in Iran? Has he forgotten the pathetic attempt to free them with helicopters that couldn't even fly? What about 20% inflation and 12% interest rates? Brzezinski and Carter were such an embarrassment to the United States, they shouldn't even call themselves American.

    March 8, 2012 at 5:35 am | Reply
  7. gary burns

    Brzezinski spks truuuuuuuuth!... Israel has been found guilty...guilty...guilty of "aparthied" and "atrocities" against the Palestinian people by the United Nation's Investigative Teams. This is fact and cannot be refuted. Netanyahu is going around the world begging...(not to becoming BeBe) as it 'projects' it's own unfounded fears upon the west.. Netanyahu and the Israeli govn't is ...stalling...stalling..stalling...delay...delay....delay.. using these tactics before Abbas declares a"Palestinian State'. No more tears or 'Carte Blanche' for Israel or its transparent tacticsl. The "chickens have come home to roost." Brzezinski is right!...Go... Putin!!!! ...Go...Zbigniew...Right on Fareed!!!

    March 8, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  8. gary

    Brzezinski is right on! Republicans are "Primitive' and 'Out of touch' with reality'...I live in the real world and can't afford to make $10,000.00 bets (Romney bet while debating with Santorum).

    March 8, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Reply
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      April 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Reply
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    April 6, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
  14. gary

    P.S. – Knowing Zbigniew Brzezinski 's view's on foreign policy and having lived the experience myself I agree with him on all points. The current GOP runner up's for the presidency are 'Primitive' and "out of touch with reality." They all look like 'clowns' pandering to the public and what they want to hear! If you want "Vaudville", go to Washington, D.C. (You may be too young to remember 'Vaudeville'.- so look it up). Sit at a local restaurant in Dupont Circle and listen to what Congressman and Senators are talking about.... You will be astounded at some of the conversations!

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