Video: Don't be self-righteous on Egypt, Brzezinski cautions US
The Obama administration should pay attention to 'self-restraint, tone, and discretion,' said Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as national security adviser under President Carter.
Michael Bonfigli / The Christian Science Monitor
That is the recommendation of Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as national security adviser under President Carter. He is currently a counselor and trustee at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington and a professor at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, also in Washington.
Speaking at a Monitor-sponsored breakfast for reporters Thursday, Mr. Brzezinski said, “I am not objecting to specific advice. I am concerned how it is given and what its repercussions are going to be when it is given.” He said the Obama administration should pay attention to “self-restraint, tone, and discretion” when making suggestions to players in the Egyptian governmental crisis.
Brzezinski argued, “There is a lot of resentment – not just in Egypt, but in the world – about this kind of self-righteousness of America on a number of issues, which seems to be telling other countries how to run their domestic affairs at a time when one cannot entirely say our own domestic affairs are most effectively conducted.”
The longtime foreign-policy expert characterized the situation in Egypt as “a great deal of generalized disaffection without public clarity regarding what specifically needs to be done." He added, "Mubarak is a symbol of this problem. And this is why his departure is unavoidable.”
A key challenge, Brzezinski said, is, "How can you have a democracy without a process, without some institutions?” In that area, he said, the US can be helpful: "The National Democratic Committee, the Republican committee, the [National] Endowment for Democracy, the [US Institute of Peace]. They all have resources ... and I think we should be working with the Egyptians on this. We are not dealing with stupid people.”