Friday, February 18, 2005

Slamming Carter

Powerline has what I found to be a chilling post on former President Jimmy Carter, and this ancillary post, providing what I found to be a fairly accurate thumbnail of probably the most dangerous presidency in American history. Even Bill Clinton, on whose watch terrorism flourished, did not fail this horribly.

Under Carter, the Soviets had a real shot at a warm water port in Pakistan (they didn't invade Afghanistan because of its abundant resources, industry, or for a cross-cultural exchange. It was simply the real estate between the USSR and the Arabian Sea), which would have put them in a potentially decisive position in the Cold War. They would have established the Murmansk of the South. With respect to Iran, Carter put the Ayatollah Kohmeni in a position of real power by dealing directly with him rather than dealing at him. Jimmy Carter was no John Kennedy.

On the domestic front, let's not forget the misery index, which is the sum of the unemployment and interest rate. It came into use under his administration. We stood in lines for gas, and I can remember sitting in the car with my parents, waiting to get gas and hearing the grumblings about it. Carter was powerless to tackle any of these economic stranglers.

Upon his retirement, though, I gained new respect for him. He got back to God, he focused on building houses for people who didn't have them through Habitat for Humanity, and really lived a life that any man would love. But then at the turn of the century, Carter began rise again, abandoning morality for more of the madness that came to define his presidency. Prepared to leave a legacy of true goodness and love, despite a really unsuccessful presidency, Carter returned to the international scene and reminded us that when he meddles in world affairs, he lacks wisdom, capacity, and as much as it truly pains me to say it, morality.

The thing that strikes me is his unusual willingness not just to work with thugs, but to prefer their company to the exclusion of America and its allies.

He has always sold himself as a man of principle. This principled man was willing to boycott the Soviet Olympics in 1980 after they invaded Afghanistan. Notwithstanding that bold act of diplomacy, which, while strangely failing to deter the invasion, did guarantee the Soviets a medal sweep, Carter was still willing to cut a deal with the enemy (Check the Powerline link above) in order to get himself four more years. A man of principle indeed.

So principled, in fact that the Carter Center, a project of his designed to ensure the fair conduct of elections, a Keystone Kops gang if there ever was one, supervised and endorsed the results of the 2004 election returning the leftist Hugo Chavez of Venezuela to office, despite the fact that it was pretty clear to everyone that Chavez had tampered with the results of an election which he had clearly lost. Exit polling had him losing by 18%. The "official" cooked results had him winning by that much. The people of Venezuela voted him out, but he illegally worked the results to his favor. The Democrats in the State of Washington have nothing on him. Carter had the ethos to complain about the results and get them overturned, but instead, he defended them. It was an irresponsible and immoral abuse of power on Carter's part. Either he is dim to miss the facts, lacking the wisdom to evaluate them, or plainly immoral enough to look the other way when it is a leftist dictator trying to retain power. The real losers were the people of Venezuela.

And I wonder what the result would have been the result if Carter had been monitoring the Ukraine election? The Orange Revolution might have been squeezed.

Carter's brand of principle is really academic and idealistic cowardice. He'll stand up to a Republican administration in Washington any day. But he won't call evil what it is, nor will he confront it. Rather, he kisses it on the cheek and asks its cooperation. The point is that principle is foolishness if it allows evil to grow. And much evil has advanced on Carter's watch.


Blogger jwb said...


Kisses evil on the cheek and asks its cooperation? Stop with the hyperbole and one-sided rhetoric. You’re killing me. Are you talking about Bush I’s complacency toward China during and after Tieneman Square? Are you talking about Reagan and Bush I who supported Saddam in the 80's? Or are you talking about Reagan who supported the mujahideen in Afghanistan, the same mujahideen that turned into the Taliban and supported and harbored Bin laden?

Carter’s Presidency is forgettable. But your rose-colored glasses are killing me. Pragmatism has always been a part of U.S. international policy. Even today, we support dictatorships and oligarchs such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, . . . because it suits are needs. So let’s not get all high and mighty about not kissing evil on the cheek and asking its cooperation.

12:00 PM  

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