Brzezinski's latest Op-Ed

Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote an Op-Ed in yesterday's Washington Post titled "Terrorized by 'War on Terror': How a Three-Word Mantra has Undermined America." It is worth reading in full, but I'd just like to add a comment to his concluding paragraph.

Where is the U.S. leader ready to say, "Enough of this hysteria, stop this paranoia"? Even in the face of future terrorist attacks, the likelihood of which cannot be denied, let us show some sense. Let us be true to our traditions.

It makes me sad that a young 'un like me is more cynical than 79 year old Brzezinski. Brzezinski (that name is a pain in the ass to type) refers to Roosevelt's first inaugural address ("The only thing we have to fear is fear itself"), and a "calm" America winning the Cold War with a "quiet persistence." Yet when I think of American traditions, I think of COINTELPRO and wiretapping Martin Luther King Jr., of the "missile gap," of the Red Scares, of misguided CIA interventions in Latin America and Iran, of "Evil Empire," and of the domino theory.
Paranoia has been a constant in American foreign policy. This was somewhat more understandable when facing five million Soviet soldiers and ten thousand nuclear weapons. Now that our enemies are hiding in caves, and our "vigilance" serves no security-related purpose, it's less understandable. Maybe the problem is that we've been too true to our traditions, and that we need to change them. A new kind of politics! Too bad I don't think Obama's the guy to get us there.

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