One of the Democrats' leading foreign policy experts reckons Obama has a better grasp on foreign policy realities than Clinton: " Aug. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of the most influential foreign-policy experts in the Democratic Party, threw his support behind Barack Obama's presidential candidacy, saying the Illinois senator has a better global grasp than his chief rival, Hillary Clinton. Obama ``recognizes that the challenge is a new face, a new sense of direction, a new definition of America's role in the world,'' Brzezinski said in an interview on Bloomberg Television's ``Political Capital with Al Hunt.'' ``Obama is clearly more effective and has the upper hand,'' Brzezinski, who was President Jimmy Carter's national security adviser, said. ``He has a sense of what is historically relevant, and what is needed from the United States in relationship to the world.'' Brzezinski, 79, dismissed the notion that Clinton, 59, a New York senator and the wife of former President Bill Clinton, is more seasoned than Obama, 46. ``Being a former first lady doesn't prepare you to be president. President Truman didn't have much experience before he came to office. Neither did John Kennedy,'' Brzezinski said. Clinton's foreign-policy approach is ``very conventional,'' Brzezinski said. ``I don't think the country needs to go back to what we had eight years ago.'' ``There is a need for a fundamental rethinking of how we conduct world affairs,'' he added. ``And Obama seems to me to have both the guts and the intelligence to address that issue and to change the nature of America's relationship with the world.'' Negotiating With Foes Brzezinski also sided with Obama, who was criticized by Clinton as being ``irresponsible'' and ``naÃ¯ve'' for saying he would meet in his first year as president with leaders of adversaries such as Iran and Syria. ``What's the hang-up about negotiating with the Syrians or with the Iranians?'' Brzezinksi said. ``What it in effect means'' is ``that you only talk to people who agree with you.'' Clinton has the backing of her own Democratic foreign- policy heavyweights, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke, both of whom served in her husband's administration. Howard Wolfson, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, had no comment on Brzezinski's remarks. Iraq Brzezinski, a harsh critic of the Bush administration's war in Iraq, slammed President George W. Bush for claiming progress is being made in Iraq and for asserting in an Aug. 22 speech that an early pullout would lead to the kind of bloodshed Southeast Asia experienced after American forces left Vietnam. The addition of about 30,000 U.S. troops in recent months ``may be making some progress in some suburbs of Baghdad, but I don't think anyone claims that it marks the turning point in what is clearly a failure,'' Brzezinski said. ``And the president's speech itself was an admission of a colossal failure, a colossal failure,'' he said. ``Four and a half years after his invasion of Iraq, he's now saying that if we withdraw, Iraq ends up like Vietnam or even worse.'' A U.S. intelligence report released yesterday said the troop increase has had some success in curbing violence and there have been ``modest improvements in economic output,'' yet ``Iraq's sectarian groups remain un-reconciled'' and al-Qaeda ``retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks.'' Brzezinski said Bush wants to ``bequeath the war to his successor.'' ``As long as that war goes, we're going to be tied, handcuffed in dealing with foreign affairs,'' he said. ``Our relations with China, with Russia are deteriorating, we don't have freedom of action, we're despised worldwide.'' "