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‘A Little Feu de Joie’

Adam Shatz: Khomeini rises, 25 April 2013

Days of God: The Revolution in Iran and Its Consequences 
by James Buchan.
John Murray, 482 pp., £25, November 2012, 978 1 84854 066 8
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... with Khomeini’s approval, was meeting in Algiers with the US national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski. Bazargan denounced the students for their violation of international law and diplomacy, but the Supreme Leader embraced them, taking the opportunity to paint opposition to the embassy takeover as cowardly surrender to the Great ...

Was it better in the old days?

Jonathan Steele: The Rise of Nazarbayev, 28 January 2010

Nazarbayev and the Making of Kazakhstan 
by Jonathan Aitken.
Continuum, 269 pp., £20, July 2009, 978 1 4411 5381 4
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... thanks to a high birthrate their numbers were increasing faster than those of the majority Slavs. Zbigniew Brzezinski and other US Sovietologists in the Carter administration eagerly took up the theory of a demographic time-bomb and funding was increased for Western radio broadcasts into Central Asia in the hope of exploiting Islam’s anti-Soviet ...


David Bromwich: The Establishment President, 13 May 2010

... he nominated to important posts but withdrew from consideration – the names would include Zbigniew Brzezinski, Robert Malley, Rashid Khalidi and the anti-war Republican senator Chuck Hagel, whose leaked note to George W. Bush may have saved the US from a war with Iran in 2007. If one made it a list of incidents as well as persons, one would have ...

The General in his Labyrinth

Tariq Ali: Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US, 4 January 2007

... cost. As we now know, plans (a ‘bear-trap’, in the words of the US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski) were laid to destabilise the PDPA, in the hope that its Soviet protectors would be drawn in. Plans of this sort often go awry, but they succeeded in Afghanistan, primarily because of the weaknesses of the Afghan Communists ...

Protocols of Machismo

Corey Robin: In the Name of National Security, 19 May 2005

Arguing about War 
by Michael Walzer.
Yale, 208 pp., £16.99, July 2004, 0 300 10365 4
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Chain of Command 
by Seymour Hersh.
Penguin, 394 pp., £17.99, September 2004, 0 7139 9845 8
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Torture: A Collection 
edited by Sanford Levinson.
Oxford, 319 pp., £18.50, November 2004, 0 19 517289 2
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... And some of national security’s most accomplished practitioners, such as Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski, as well as theoreticians like Steven Walt and John Mearsheimer, even claimed that a genuine consideration of US interests militated against the war. The mere fact that some politicians misused or abused the principle of national security ...

‘You can have patience or you can have carnage’

Charles Glass: In Afghanistan, 18 November 2004

... Soviet invasion; the arming of insurgents in what President Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, called ‘the Muslim holy war against Communism’; the politicisation of Islam; the destruction of what little infrastructure the country had; the Soviet defeat and departure; the civil war among the insurgents; deals in oil pipelines ...

Confronting Defeat

Perry Anderson: Hobsbawm’s Histories, 17 October 2002

... was the watchword of the Trilateral Commission itself, set up by David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski in 1973 to bring together ‘top politicians and businessmen’ from the US, Europe and Japan, to ponder problems of jointly running the world. Just as the insistence in Age of Extremes that the main problem of the world economy is not so ...

Apartheid’s Last Stand

Jeremy Harding, 17 March 2016

Magnificent and Beggar Land: Angola since the Civil War 
by Ricardo Soares de Oliveira.
Hurst, 291 pp., £25, March 2015, 978 1 84904 284 0
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A Short History of Modern Angola 
by David Birmingham.
Hurst, 256 pp., £17.99, December 2015, 978 1 84904 519 3
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Visions of Freedom: Havana, Washington, Pretoria and the Struggle for Southern Africa 
by Piero Gleijeses.
North Carolina, 655 pp., £27.95, February 2016, 978 1 4696 0968 3
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A General Theory of Oblivion 
by José Eduardo Agualusa, translated by Daniel Hahn.
Harvill, 245 pp., £14.99, June 2015, 978 1 84655 847 4
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In the Name of the People: Angola’s Forgotten Massacre 
by Lara Pawson.
I.B. Tauris, 271 pp., £20, April 2014, 978 1 78076 905 9
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Cuito Cuanavale: Frontline Accounts by Soviet Soldiers 
by G. Shubin, I. Zhdarkin et al, translated by Tamara Reilly.
Jacana, 222 pp., £12.95, May 2014, 978 1 4314 0963 1
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... was a dyed-in-the-wool anti-racist). In the White House, with the new national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, at his shoulder, he set all this aside. His administration was as hostile to the MPLA as Ford’s had been. Shunned by the new figure in the White House but bolstered by its friends, the MPLA now made good on its offer of support to the ...

Here comes the end of the world

Michael Hofmann, 23 July 1992

Bohin Manor 
by Tadeusz Konwicki, translated by Richard Lourie.
Faber, 240 pp., £12.99, July 1992, 0 571 14437 3
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... use a little help with some of the names and references, although Konwicki’s entanglements with Brzezinski (‘the Great Zbig’, who is unable to find time to meet him, thereby costing Jimmy Carter to lose the election, according to Konwicki) and the Laureate Milosz (‘It looks as if I’ll be making a film of Milosz’s The Issa Valley – a jolly leap ...

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