The Grand Master who first drew the post-cold war chessboard, Zbigniew Brzezinski spoke with CNN's Amar Bakshi on what he sees ahead in the Middle East in the downstream of the 'Arab revolt'. ZB's assessment:
A. Don't expect a flowering of democratic states. Political awakening may take even extremist forms initially.
B. At any rate, successor regimes will be more responsive to popular opinion. From US' perspective, they won't any longer passively acquiesce with American foreign policy.
C. Popular opinion is quite critical of US due to its support for Israel. Israel-palestine problem is at the root of anti-American, anti-western Arab sentiments.
D. Therefore, long-term implications of Arab revolt for Israel's future are 'ominous'.
E. Which means there is imperative need of a 'grand compromise' that US must broker between Israel and Palestinians.
F. Iran is benefitting from Arab revolt. Therefore, US should be careful not to unwittingly help increase Iran's influence by excessively pushing for reforms. US interest lies in helping increase Turkey's regional influence.
G. Basic flaw in US regional policies was to have neglected the Arab street and to have pursued its interests in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan by accommodating the regimes, which have 'overlapping interests that are often financial'. But there is need to 'pay attention to Arab masses' in the Persian Gulf and not 'ignore the motivating impulses' for people who are now 'beginning to assert themselves in their national decision-making'.
Read the transcript of the interview.