2017-05-28 00:25:42 UTC
Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Adviser to Jimmy Carter, Dies at 89
By DANIEL LEWIS | MAY 26, 2017
He supported billions in military aid for Islamic militants fighting
invading Soviet troops in Afghanistan. He tacitly encouraged China
to continue backing the murderous regime of Pol Pot in Cambodia,
lest the Soviet-backed Vietnamese take over that country.
Mr. Brzezinski, a descendant of Polish aristocrats
In the following interview, Zbigniew Brzezinski admitted his proposal
to aid the mujahedin in order to induce a Soviet invasion and thereby
January 15, 1998
Zbigniew Brzezinski: How Jimmy Carter and I Started the Mujahideen
by Alexander Cockburn And Jeffrey St. Clair
Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs
["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid
the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention.
In this period you were the national security adviser to President
Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?
Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid
to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet
army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly
guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979
that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the
opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote
a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion
this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.
Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But
perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to
Brzezinski: It isn't quite that. We didn't push the Russians to
intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.
Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they
intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in
Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of
truth. You don't regret anything today?
Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea.
It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you
want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the
border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of
giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow
had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that
brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet
Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic [integrisme],
having given arms and advice to future terrorists?
Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The
Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems
or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?
Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic
fundamentalism represents a world menace today.
Brzezinski: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in
regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn't a global Islam. Look at
Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is
the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what
is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate
Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian
secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.
* There are at least two editions of this magazine; with the perhaps
sole exception of the Library of Congress, the version sent to the
United States is shorter than the French version, and the Brzezinski
interview was not included in the shorter version.
The above has been translated from the French by Bill Blum author of
the indispensible, "Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions
Since World War II" and "Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only
Superpower" Portions of the books can be read at: