Carter unfairly criticizes Bush

    The Democrats are in shambles. And as far as ex-presidents go, Jimmy Carter seems bent on joining Bill Clinton as another modern, can’t-get-him-to-just-go-away, oval office partisan. Ever since being named the Nobel Peace Prize recipient in October, Carter has adopted a persona of the hyper-beloved ex-president, starting off a media blitz that is no doubt trying to help other prominent Democrats do something about Bush’s resonating power with the American people.

    Generally regarded as one of our most naive presidents, especially in foreign affairs (remember the Iran Hostage Crisis?), Carter’s reputation as a fabulous ex-president now hangs in the balance. But that’s not stopping his full-fledged assault on the Bush administration, leaving many wondering if Carter has lost his bearings once and for all.

    But this is nothing new for President Carter. For example, immediately after Bush delivered his “”axis of evil”” speech, Carter was quick to criticize. “”I think it will take years before we can repair the damage done by [Bush’s speech],”” he said. But it was during Carter’s presidency that Iran, part of Bush’s “”axis of evil,”” held American citizens captive for almost a year and a half. How easily Carter forgets. And his rhetoric has been increasing lately.

    In an appearance on the CNN’s “”Larry King Live,”” Carter reaffirmed his lack of connection with sane America, saying that the aim of the Carter Center, his think-tank for peace, is “”to accommodate whatever situation we have and to try to bring out of it some resolution.””

    The keyword here is “”accommodate.”” The prevalence of idealism on the left — mainly, that we can negotiate with those who wish us harm — is exactly what caused the American people to usher in 12 years of Republican rule starting at the end of Carter’s first term. And lest we forget Walter Mondale, the presidential candidate in 1984 and Carter’s vice-president, carried only his home state of Minnesota against Ronald Reagan, the immensely popular Republican candidate.

    Furthermore, an important aspect of the left’s idealism — that war is never a solution — is wholly false. It’s completely the opposite — the definition of appeasement. And especially after witnessing what the appeasement ideology accomplished in the 20th century (World War II, anyone?), why do we constantly feel the need to revisit failed policies? As I recall, it was only after the world, following U.S. lead, turned away from isolationism and appeasement that Hitler was defeated, to the benefit of all.

    Racking up more points with liberals, Carter also thinks we need “”to shift our attention to the prevention of despair and hopelessness and suffering and anger and violence that might lead to terrorist acts.””

    Funny, I thought our enemy was al Qaeda or Saddam Hussein, not hopelessness and despair. And this is precisely the class warfare that we are expected to buy into as part of the blame-America-first crowd: Guilt must accompany those who aren’t downtrodden. Last I checked, all of the 9/11 hijackers were wealthy Saudis; bin Laden is a millionaire. I liken it more to the inability of others to accept our way of life than Carter’s preferred explanation. Besides, when does America’s wealth and prosperity infringe on another group’s ability to achieve their own slice of a limitless pie?

    Switching topics to nuclear disarmament, Carter said, “”The major powers need to set an example.”” He goes on, “”I think quite often the big countries that are responsible for the peace of the world set a very poor example … we … have to be willing to make some sacrifice on our own part.””

    I wonder what Carter would say when we are subsequently blown to bits by Iraq, al Qaeda, North Korea, or any other nation or group that wants to see our demise, the result of Carter’s unilateral American disarmament. The world is a dangerous place; in the imminent face of danger only the irrational puts down his weapon, hoping that the opposition won’t take advantage.

    But what has caused the increasing number of assaults on Bush’s policy by Carter? Carter’s winning of the Nobel Peace Prize wouldn’t have anything to do with it, would it? In October, it was announced that Carter would be the latest recipient of the prize, the third U.S. president to be so named. But did Carter receive the prize on merit alone?

    “”[The Nobel Peace Prize] can and must also be seen as criticism of the line the current U.S. administration has taken on Iraq,”” said committee chairman Gunnar Berge, referring to Carter’s opposing positions.

    Admittedly, since the Nobel Peace Prize Committee wholeheartedly agrees with the war-is-never-needed premise — after all, it’s in their name — one would expect them to support Carter. But what happens when it’s at the expense of the integrity of the prize? It does nothing except cheapen a prize that is losing merit every year as not being congruent with reality. (May I remind you that even Yassar Arafat won a Nobel Peace Prize?)

    This, coupled with Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle’s constant “”Bush is politicizing everything”” rhetoric, leads to the logical conclusion that the only politicization of war this time around is coming from the left.

    Some parting wisdom: Reagan once said, “”Despite our repeated warnings, Qaddafi continued his reckless policy of intimidation, his relentless pursuit of terror. He counted on America to be passive. He counted wrong.”” Despite the fact that Reagan was speaking more than a decade ago, about different terrorists, his timeless wisdom lives on, more than I can say about certain living ex-presidents.

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