This week I began shooting for the producers of a new documentary film about Zbigniew Brzezinski. Our first interview was with Brzezinski himself (screengrab above), who is a Polish American political scientist, geostrategist, and statesman who served as national security advisor to President Jimmy Carter. The documentary covers his involvement in and views on national security and foreign policy beginning with the Kennedy Administration to modern day affairs. During my time as a political science and foreign affairs junkie (since recovered) I found myself in agreement with much of his ideology, especially his emphasis on human rights. Today, I am more interested in good stories and to that end Brzezinski did not disappoint in telling this tale:
At a news conference, when Carter was asked about the new pope, Brzezinski says that Carter replied, “Yes, I am very happy about the news. He is best friends with my national security advisor!” Brzezinski was horrified.
In 1976, Polish Archbishop Karol Wojtyla visited the United States and had tea with Brzezinski, a fellow Pole. It was the first time they had met. Two years later Woktyla was elected pope (Pope John Paul II), the first non-Italian elected head of the Catholic Church in 455 years. When Brzezinski heard the the news, he called Carter, who was at Camp David, to tell him that he thought he should know that a Pole had just been elected pope. Later, at a news conference, when Carter was asked about the new pope, Brzezinski says that Carter replied, “Yes, I am very happy about the news. He is best friends with my national security advisor!” Brzezinski says he was horrified, lest the Pope would hear that and think he had bragged to Carter about them being such great friends after only having met once for tea. Fortunately, his worries proved to be unfounded and both men kept in touch up until the Pope’s death.