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The title of this post is a quote from a great interview on the Daily Show recently with Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was Jimmy Carters national security advisor.
The video is here: Zbigniew Brzezinski on the Daily Show
Here are some choice quotes:
Talking about the responsibilities that go with being the lone superpower:
The country was very pleased, satisfied with itself but self-indulgent. Not prepared to make the kind of sacrifies that leadership entails particularly at this stage of history, where we have to be aware of the fact that if we want to lead we have to make some sacrifies. We have to make some efforts to adjust to the inequalities that exist in the world and that requires us to be a superpower with some sense of humility and social responsibility.
About Bush’s foreign policy:
The notion that he is somehow or other leading the forces of good against the empire of evil. The notion that somehow or other in that setting the fact that we are morally superior justifies us comitting immoral acts. And that, I think, is a very dangerous posture for the country that is the #1 global power. But which to lead effectively has to have the support, trust and confidence of other nations. The fact is he squandered our credibility, our legitimacy and even respect for our power, and that’s a very serious indictment.
Jon brought up a point from the book about how he believes technology has made it much easier to kill a million people than govern them for the first time in history. That a small number of people can cause so much damage:
… and because of that, operating on the international scene has to be based, to an unprecedented degree, on effective consensus, on drawing others to work with us. … The real problem is that we have had a policy lately that has been dividing our friends and uniting our enemies, and it should be the other way around.