January 4, 2010

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(Zbigniew Brzezinski - exploring the concept of Felt Interests)

I realize I haven't been doing enough of these of late - our Foreign Policy going back to Woodrow Wilson. I promise this year to catch up and make this a regular thing. Today it's Zbigniew Brzezinski on the sidelines in 1969, having left the State Department but still very much a presence in on-going East-West relations in 1969. This interview, via Meet The Press on April 6, 1969 comes at a time when the Paris talks with North Vietnam were at a standstill, Russia had invaded Czechoslovakia the previous August and the Middle East was on simmer. Europe was still under the influence of Charles DeGaulle and, with a few changes in players and circumstances, the same as it is today.

Zbigniew Brzezinski: “It seems to me that all major powers reach agreements on the basis of their felt interests at a given time. When that felt interest declines they move away from the agreement. All powers act that way. So do we, incidentally. And I think the point of an agreement is to find an area of common interest which the agreement then crystallizes and expresses. And I think it behooves us to search for these areas of agreement with the Soviet Union, but without exaggerated hopes. Without exaggerated expectations.”

Yes, exaggerated expectations. Something we're all a little too familiar with lately.

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