JIM LEHRER: And before we go, some closing thoughts tonight from Zbigniew Brzezinski and Walter Russell Mead. Dr. Brzezinski, some people will say, have suggested, that what Dr. Natsios -- Mr. Natsios is just talking about is as important as the military part of the effort. Where do you come down on that?
ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: I agree. The outcome of the war is known to us. The U.S. will win. But how that war is defined historically and internationally depends a great deal on what we do when the military phase is completed. If we show that there were weapons of mass destruction, if we pursue a very humanitarian program, if we're active on the road map for Israeli-Palestinian peace, I think the assessment of the war will become less critical particularly abroad.
But if we're indifferent to these issues, if we use the victory essentially as a springboard for going after Syria or Iran and so forth, the war will be viewed as an imperialist demonstration of American power and will probably contribute to increased American isolation. It will produce the risk that it will become the focal point of global resentment.
JIM LEHRER: How important do you believe the humanitarian thing is?
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: I think the humanitarian... doing the humanitarian aid component is critical, but I really think it's only the beginning in the sense that when people think about American leadership and here we are the richest country in the world, the most powerful militarily country in the world, what is it that we're doing for the world? And we can't just define that, although I think we do have to define that partly as protecting the world from the bad guys and the terrorists with the weapons of mass destruction. But you know, yeah, we have a humanitarian crisis in Iraq, but there are tens of millions of people with HIV/AIDS who can't be treated. There are a billion....
JIM LEHRER: Not just in Iraq.
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Right. -- all over the world. I'm saying the United States needs to do I think much more than simply take the lead in a humanitarian effort in Iraq. If we really want to legitimize American leadership in our own minds, you know, in our own country as well as around the world, I think we need to think seriously about how can the United States be providing international leadership for people all over the world to have better lives, to live more in the way that people do in the United States and some of the other rich countries.
JIM LEHRER: Did what you just heard from Mr. Natsios make you feel good about the fact of at least this particular action that the U.S. is prepared to take to rebuild Iraq, does it sound right to you? Does it sound like the commitment is there?
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Yes. I think there is a commitment. People have sometimes said, well, look, we haven't done that much in Afghanistan. We haven't maybe done as much as we could have. We haven't done nothing, but maybe not as much as we could have. I think Iraq is so central to how we're going to be seen in the world and to our purposes in the world that whether we like it or not, we're going to be obliged to follow through on the humanitarian dimension of this in a pretty thorough way.
JIM LEHRER: Which goes back to what you said at the very beginning tonight, Dr. Brzezinski, that there's an awful lot riding on here in terms of the way the United States is perceived, and this is just as important as to whether or not we win, in fact, in some ways more important if we win the military war.
ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: Oh, absolutely. I think this is the test of our assertive global leadership. And I think one way of responding is not only to do all these things that were just mentioned minutes ago but also to make a real effort to get the international community involved in it, so that they can feel that they're genuinely partners of America in doing things that are constructive and useful because at stake as I said earlier is really our leadership, how we're perceived in the world, how we're defined by a world that is now politically very alert, very conscious, very, very interactive.
JIM LEHRER: Gentlemen, thank you both very much for tonight and for all the other earlier evenings.
ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: Thank you, Jim.
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Thank you.