Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Jimmy Carter, Will You Please Shut Up and Go Away

Breaking with a long tradition, Jimmy Carter runs around the world bad-mouthing President Bush and the USA. He seems to think that those of us who were alive and conscious during his failed presidency have forgotten. I haven’t. I remember 15 to 20% interest rates at the same time that unemployment stood at 7%. I remember inflation at 12%. We invented a new term, the ‘misery index’ that added interest rates and inflation together. He seems to think we have forgotten his gutting of the military followed by the hostage crisis and the tragic and deadly fiasco in the desert. I haven’t forgotten, and neither has Victor Davis Hanson, one of this country’s foremost historians. From his weblog: (Excerpt)

Such a sad fellow, this Jimmy Carter

"Jimmy Carter, the subject of the last blog, almost immediately was back in the news claiming that the United States was one of the world’s great abusers of civil rights (I wonder how our internecine body count in Plains, Georgia stacks up with that in Rwanda, Kosovo, or Dafur?). He adds that all Presidents—except the current one—have been supporters of human rights.

In his dotage, Carter is proving once again that he is as malicious and mean-spirited a public figure as he is historically ignorant. And for all his sanctimonious Christian veneer, and fly-fishing, ‘aw shucks blue-jeans image, he can’t hide an essentially ungracious and unkind soul.

Does he have any idea of Lincoln and Andrew Johnson suspending habeas corpus and shutting down newspapers, Woodrow Wilson jailing political dissidents, FDR interning American citizens and executing German agents in secret military tribunals? Do we have currently a Nixon’s enemies list? And can Carter point to just one aspect of current American life where civil liberties are materially curtailed, in which an American can’t do what he wants? Getting on a plane without shampoo doesn’t count—or not having your family at the gate when you land either: all thanks to al Qaeda, not George Bush.

We are not free?

We are in a war at a time when Alfred A. Knopf freely published a novel exploring the idea of killing the Commander-in-Chief. A movie wins accolades for filming the same leftist dream of shooting George Bush. Bush as a “Nazi” is standard stuff these days in the media.

All such venom is voiced freely and without restrictions. Contrast our enemies: the pope, an opera, a novel, a cartoon, a film—all either muzzled or intimidated by the mere fear of Islamic violence. Carter should reread Aristotle’s Ethics and learn what true morality is: action to combat evil, not sermonizing from the Carter Center or campaigning for a Nobel Prize at a time of war by trashing his own government.

If he can’t name an example of federal overreach, I surely can: the current political indictment of Scooter Libby, who, we know now, was not the leaker of the supposedly “classified” status of the much public Ms. Plame. That hit job seems to be a very dangerous abuse of federal prosecutorial power, especially when we learn that it was long recognized that Richard Armitage was the font of the “leak”.

The Golden Years: 1976-1980?

There is another disturbing element to Cartesian maliciousness. He asks us to forget all the dilemmas of being President, the necessity of making bad choices when the alternative is usually worse. And, of course, he seems to have amnesia about his own failings that put this country in grave jeopardy. He sanctimoniously lectured us on our Cold War fixation on communism—and got a murderous Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He talked of a post-Vietnam reappraisal in the midst of the Cambodian Holocaust. “Human Rights” was an admirable banner, but did not include any such audit of Sandinista Communists.

He wept for the middle class, but adopted policies that led to double-digit interest rates and inflation, ensuring that only the upscale could borrow for a house or ensure their salaries would keep up with the cost of living. No need to mention his energy policy or gas lines.

Remember the genesis of the Great Satan?

Carter’s Waterloo, of course was the Iranian hostage crisis. It was not just that his gutting of the military helped to explain the rescue disaster. Far more importantly, we can chart the rise of radical political Islam with the storming of the American embassy in Teheran and the impotent response of Jimmy Carter.

Long before George Bush was elected to anything, crowds in Teheran gave us the genesis of the Great Satan and “Death to Carter”. Does he remember that so great was the Iranian Islamist hatred of him, that Iran deliberately delayed the brokered release of the hostages until he was out of office—a lesson that appeasement wins contempt as the additional wage of its failure.” Victor Davis Hanson

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