JIMMY CARTER REALITY CHECK
By Geoff Metcalf
April 28, 2008
“Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true.” --Demosthenes
When I accused former President Jimmy Carter of a synthesis of “stupidity and vanity,” I understated his mendacity.
Carter has a history of revising facts in evidence to accommodate his own self interest that rivals Bill Clinton’s definition of the word ‘is’.
Once upon a time, despite Carter’s unbridled praise for his CIA chief Stansfield Turner, it was Turner who eviscerated the CIA, cutting some 820 human intelligence positions. It was that lousy decision that forced Langley to rely on the intelligence agencies of foreign governments. THAT was the cause of all the post 9/11 angst over our lack of human Intel assets and overall crummy intelligence gathering.
As a result of the inevitable ‘garbage in/garbage out’ decision, on New Year’s Eve 1977, Carter toasted the Shah’s Iran as “an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world…[due] to the respect, admiration and love which your people give to you.”
However, a mere eight months later, the CIA issued a fatally flawed report in which Carter’s CIA surmised, “Iran is not in a revolutionary or even a ‘pre-Revolutionary’ situation.” Whoops!
When things went rapidly from bad to worse, Carter withdrew U.S. support from the Shah, turning Iran into a refuge and nexus of hope for jihadists around the world. THEN, before accepting the exiled Shah to America, Carter accepted Iranian guarantees they could secure our embassy. THAT, in and of itself, was one of the costliest miscalculations in the history of American foreign policy. Whoops again!
Please note this is the same myopic self promoter who now says Hamas is prepared to make nice with Israel, notwithstanding overwhelming historical and empirical evidence to the contrary.
Please see ‘The Scorpion and the Frog’.
The 14-month hostage crisis was Christmas, Easter, Purim and the Fourth of July for jihad central. American reversals in Beirut and Somalia may have jazzed and emboldened al Qaida, but it was the Iranian hostage crisis that poured gasoline on their fire.
Carter ultimately agreed to pay a ransom of $8 billion (of which, Iran netted $3 billion), although it was ultimately Ronald Reagan’s toughness and resolve that was the decisive cure to Carter’s incompetence that ended the crisis.
Carter’s selective memory losses and revisionist rewrite of historical
fact, without Carter’s policies:
• The Iran-Iraq war would not have raged for nearly a decade.
• The United States would not have had to form an unsavory alliance of convenience with Saddam Hussein, in order to mitigate the mullahs
• Hezbollah would not receive $100-$200 million a year from Tehran’s coffers
• al-Qaeda would not have received training in Iran in 1992
• Iran’s nuclear ambitions, if they existed, would be of no consequence to the West whatsoever.
The lowest point of American international prestige in modern history occurred under the squire ship of Jimmy Carter’s presidency. The bonehead mistakes he made during those crucial, precarious years watered the seeds of jihadist dream quests and continue to threaten the United States and the West.
Contrary to convention of providing past presidents the courtesy and gravitas they assume for having resided in the oval office (notwithstanding performance) Carter has routinely and chronically abused his elder statesman status, and has earned the contempt and condemnation of his myriad critics.
It is an international embarrassment that anyone anywhere gives any credence to the ill informed, ego motivated ramblings of a sad old man still trying to polish his tarnished record into a glittering fiction. Then again, those same ‘anyones’ seem intent on listening to Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson despite Tawana Bawley and the Duke Lacrosse embarrassments.
Jimmy Carter is a private citizen and enjoys the same protections under the First Amendment we all do. However, despite his ability to speak and act like a fool, we should not be compelled to provide him any credibility and ‘someone’ somewhere should impose some appropriate restrictions to prevent his wonton violation of The Logan Act and simultaneously embarrassing the country, undermining diplomacy of the real professionals, and giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
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Carter’s defense of the indefensible is to call Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a liar. David Welch is the Foggy Bottom suit who actually spoke to Carter prior to his trip and he is in the unenviable position (even for a life long Foreign Service officer) of not wanting to have to call a former President a liar.
However, more than a week before Carter even left for the Middle East, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack publicly stated that State did not want Carter meeting with Hamas “because it is not in the interests of our policy or in the interests of peace to have such a meeting.”