Friday, August 18, 2006

The Many Uses of Jimmy Carter

"There you go again."
Reagan to Carter during 1980 debate

Jimmy Carter is clearly handy to have around.

The Palestinians know Carter is always good for approving flawed elections.
The Nobel Prize committee know Carter is good for a slap in the face to Bush.
The Washington Post knows that Carter is good for an anti-Bush diatribe.
Der Spiegel knows a good thing and gets some good mileage out of Carter as well.
SPIEGEL: You also mentioned the hatred for the United States throughout the Arab world which has ensued as a result of the invasion of Iraq. Given this circumstance, does it come as any surprise that Washington's call for democracy in the Middle East has been discredited?

Carter: No, as a matter of fact, the concerns I exposed have gotten even worse now with the United States supporting and encouraging Israel in its unjustified attack on Lebanon.

SPIEGEL: But wasn't Israel the first to get attacked?

Carter: I don't think that Israel has any legal or moral justification for their massive bombing of the entire nation of Lebanon. What happened is that Israel is holding almost 10,000 prisoners, so when the militants in Lebanon or in Gaza take one or two soldiers, Israel looks upon this as a justification for an attack on the civilian population of Lebanon and Gaza. I do not think that's justified, no.
Entire nation...civilian population
Is Carter in the running for Secretary General of the UN?

10,000 prisoners?
Well, if terrorists are militants, I guess when captured they become mere prisoners.

when the militants in Lebanon or in Gaza take one or two soldiers...
Rockets, missiles, and threats to destroy Israel are irrelevant and need not be mentioned.

Not for nothing does Carter say:
I think most people believe that enough time has passed so that historical facts can be ignored.
True, past history--events--can be put behind us. If not, disagreements, conflicts and wars would never be brought to resolution.

But history cannot be merely ignored. And surely not historical facts.

Aside from history, it can easily be argued, based on Carter's general and context-free statements, that even contemporary events are beyond his grasp.

Worse, Carter believes that he has his finger on the pulse of Americans who have a similarly simplistic view of the world
I think I represent the vast majority of Democrats in this country. I think there is a substantial portion of American people that completely agree with me. I can't say a majority because we have fragmented portions in our country and divisions concerning gun control and the death penalty and abortion and gay marriage. [emphasis added]
I don't know how many people 'completely agree' with Jimmy Carter, but one thing is obvious--newspapers around the world adore him.

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