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CUCULLU Carter Off The Rails – Again
by Gordon Cucullu 9/19/06 

“You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” Leon Trotsky

In a stunning interview given by former President Jimmy Carter to Der Speigel magazine the world was once again exposed to the embarrassing spectacle of a man who once led the free world reduced to disjointed, illogical, bitter rambling. If there are such critters as historical psychiatrists I would leave it to them to analyze and dissect the anger that seems to posses the man. Meanwhile, we have to deal with the fact that once he put down his Habitat for Humanity hammer and began to yap about world affairs he has been a train wreck. It is almost as if he has internalized his failed policies enacted while president and morphed them into a philosophy of life, a credo by which he defines all behavior and pronouncements.

Gordon Cucullu

Former Green Beret lieutenant colonel, Gordon Cucullu is now an editorialist, author and a popular speaker. Born into a military family, he lived and served for more than thirteen years in East Asia, including eight years in Korea. For his Special Forces service in Vietnam he was awarded a Bronze Star, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and the Presidential Unit Commendation. After separation from the Army, he worked on Korea and East Asian affairs at both the Pentagon and Department of State as well as an executive for General Electric in Korea. His first major non-fiction work, Separated at Birth: How North Korea became the Evil Twin, is based in large part on his extensive experience in Korea and East Asia as a governmental insider and businessman. [website] [go to Cucullu index]

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At root his ideology seems bizarre: an anti-democratic, anti-American advocacy for any individual tyrant or repressive movement regardless of brutality. North Korean dictators, Iranian theocrats, thuggish autocrats like Castro and Chavez, and blood thirsty terrorists – Carter seems to love them all. This from a man who in 1976, as an avowed liberal, ran on a platform of America supporting human rights for the world. That, again, is an issue for skilled analysts to address, but perhaps as P.J. O’Rouke notes, “it takes a serious therapy to be a liberal.” At root, it seems, may be a lack of moral courage. While at times Carter seemed to assume great moral courage – when he told the Delta Force commander that he alone was responsible for any failure of the Eagle Claw mission to free American hostages in Iran, for example. But he never seemed to have faith in the goodness of America and the American experience. As a consequence his self-anointed status as arbiter of the morally correct was severely undermined by his own lack of personal confidence and confidence in his country.

When America began to unravel economically he spoke of a “malaise” that seeped into our national consciousness, in fact blaming the American people first. His constant use of moral equivalence was indicative of his worldview. Carter spared no pains to find an American fault when discussing our enemies. When the Soviet Union’s gulag was revealed, Carter’s UN Ambassador Andrew Young said while traveling abroad in Africa that “America has political prisoners too.” Carter backed his ambassador’s egregious statements.

Most revealing of his moral flabbiness was that whenever he promoted his vaunted “human rights for all the world” campaign he picked his targets cynically. Walking on eggs around the world’s most egregious human rights violators, the Soviet Union and the Peoples Republic of China, Carter instead focused on flawed allies of America who were “our SOBs” in the Cold War vernacular. With cold, deliberate actions he destabilized Iran under the Shah and Nicaragua under Somoza. He came dangerously close to knocking Park Chung Hee in South Korea which would have provoked a second Korean War. In no case did he make any attempt to replace an authoritarian leader with democratic institutions, but rather cut the incumbent leadership off at the knees and tossed the remains to whatever revolutionary sharks swam in the water. As a consequence we saw a quick rise of a radical Islamic mullocracy in Iran and a communist-led takeover by the Ortega brothers in Nicaragua.

The damage he did with a “break but don’t fix” policy was sufficiently severe that we are fighting the results today in the resurgent communism of Central and South America, and most tellingly in the war against Islamofascism which gained a huge amount of credibility by defeating Carter during the Iranian hostage crisis. Refusing to accept any personal responsibility for the war that now extends into the 21st century, Carter has instead inexplicably placed himself on the side of defending the horrid rogue regimes that sponsor or carry out terrorism throughout the world. He spares no criticism for America, Israel, or the UK all of whom are fighting the enemy that his irresponsibility helped create. In fact, Carter refuses to even acknowledge the presence of a fight.

He continues to rationalize away any evil done by America’s enemies (and in fact, adamantly rejects use the word “evil” unless, possibly, when applied to George Bush), and minimizes any good that America does, particularly through force of arms. Most unsettling, in his Der Speigel interview was the feckless moral equivalency with which he addressed problems. Never would he even acknowledge that America was in a war, rather that all our present troubles are a result of the Bush administration “just refusing to talk to someone who is in strong disagreement with them.”

This he oddly attributes to Bush’s “fundamentalism” which Carter speculates means that he “can’t bring himself…to negotiate…because the process itself is an indication of implied equality.” In other words, he rejects any of the months of overtures made directly to Saddam Hussein, through the UN, or by involved third parties. As David Limbaugh pointed out, “leave it to [Carter] to believe the worst about ‘fundamentalist’ Christians and the best of Islamofascist terrorists.” Perhaps it is part of Carter’s mindset that, as he told the Speigel interviewer, “I think that most people believe that enough time has passed that historical facts can be ignored.” Ignoring facts is his strongest characteristic.

Whenever the interviewer tossed him a softball to hit, Carter used the opportunity to bash America. Referring to the “coalition of the pious” the Speigel interviewer unctuously asker Carter about the “moral catastrophes like the Iraqi prison scandal in Abu Ghraib and torture in Guantanamo.” Quite unsettling was that Carter never challenged this bald lie. Instead he launched into a rambling attack on the president as a “fundamentalist” and then justified his comments by equating the Bush administration through implication with the Islamofascist terrorists worldwide.

Carter is in a position to review classified information on a range of topics, receive briefings, and participate in official and unofficial visits if he chooses. Instead he prefers a calculated stance of feigned ignorance. He could have had access to the Peers and the Schlesinger reports on Abu Ghraib, both of which were critical of leadership at the prison. They found that bad behavior is intolerable and must be punished but does not equate to torture or reflect national policy. Furthermore, both commented positively on the highly effective, humane treatment meted out at Guantanamo. Nor has Carter bothered to visit Guantanamo to see for himself, preferring to sit within his ideological comfort zone and shoot barbs at a president who he seems to want to fail along with American foreign policy.

“Unfortunately after September 11 there was an outburst in America of intense suffering and patriotism,” Carter pontificated. Unfortunately there was patriotism? Perhaps we ought to have engaged in more of Carter’s patented blame-America-first policies capped by ineffectual negotiations with the killers? Carter would seem to agree. “You never can be certain in advance that negations on difficult circumstances will be successful.” [emphasis added] But that ought not deter us from talking with our killers because “if you don’t negotiate … your problem is going to continue and maybe even get worse.” Gee, what pain we could have saved if we’d just negotiated with Hirohito after Pearl Harbor. I’ll just bet things would have improved immediately.

Carter takes pains to identify himself with mainstream America, at least with the Democrat Party. “I think I represent the vast majority of Democrats in this country,” he says with vintage Carter modesty. We assume that he means America, though the interview was held in Germany. Maybe not. His attitude and moral stance has more in common with soft-on-terror European-appeasers-in-denial than it does with Americans who are cognizant of the stakes of this fight. Those who share his attitude may not be interested in war with the Islamofascist terrorists. But the terrorists are definitely interested in war with them.

Tellingly, Carter gets angry not at attacks on America but on a perceived implication that his failed presidency was, well, failed. Reacting to a Speigel comment that his “performance was often criticized,” Carter angrily reacted. “I had four years in the White House – it was not a failure. For someone to serve as president of the United States you can’t say it is a political failure.” On the contrary we can, and have, and will continue to recognize failure and call it by its proper name as long as Jimmy Carter represents the interests of the enemies of the United States more than those of the country that once mistakenly chose him as its leader. CRO


copyright 2006 Gordon Cucullu




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