Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Like A Bad Penny Our Worst President Keeps Popping Up

Editorial: Carter removing all doubt
The Washington DC Examiner Newspaper, The Examiner
Dec 18, 2006

WASHINGTON - There appears to be no bottom to the pit of specious vacuity in which former president Jimmy Carter has been falling since his massive repudiation by voters in his 1980 election loss to Ronald Reagan. Carter’s latest book — “Palestine: Peace, not Apartheid” — poses a ridiculous argument and commits unforgivable intellectual sins while doing so.

The ridiculosity underlying Carter’s book is his assertion that Israel is imposing apartheid on the Palestinians by such measures as constructing the West Bank fence intended to keep suicide bombers and other terrorists from crossing into Israel to kill and maim.

Carter clearly doesn’t care that Israel remains the sole true democracy in the Middle East and affords Arabs living within its borders voting rights and economic privileges unknown anywhere else in the region.

To classify anti-terrorist measures as forms of apartheid is to indicate a complete lack of understanding of the reality facing Israel every day.

Since Carter’s book appeared, it has sparked heavy and unrelenting criticism from thoughtful people across the political spectrum, as well as the resignation of Dr. Ken Stein, one of the nation’s most respected Middle East scholars, from a Carter-led academic institute at Emory University.

At the root of Carter’s Middle Eastern perspective, of course, is his unalloyed blindness toward the Palestinians in particular and the political Muslim world’s long-running antipathy towards Jews. It is that blindness that prevents him, as The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Goldberg noted in a recent review in The Washington Post, from recognizing and accounting for “the fact that the Arabs who surround Israel have launched numerous wars against it, all meant to snuff it out of existence.”

But policy blindness is at least understandable. What is not is Carter’s intellectual dishonesty, as described by Stein in his recent letter of resignation: Carter’s latest tome is “replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions and simply invented segments.” Stein further claims that “aside from the one-sided nature of the book, meant to provoke, there are recollections cited from meetings where I was the third person in the room, and my notes of those meetings show little similarity to points claimed in the book.”

Everybody is entitled to their opinion, just not to their own set of facts. That observation has particular relevance for Carter because, as Stein noted in his letter, “being a former president does not give one a unique privilege to invent information or to unpack it with cuts, deftly slanted to provide a particular outlook.”

Carter would do himself and his countrymen a favor by permanently resisting the urge to offer any further commentary on world affairs. Examiner

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. If he would follow the traditions of all previous presidents and just shut up, I would let the Habitat work gradually push aside all those bad memories (I was operating a small business during his awful Presidency), but he won’t.

Why won't Carter debate his book? (Excerpt)
By Alan Dershowitz | December 21, 2006

“YOU CAN ALWAYS tell when a public figure has written an indefensible book: when he refuses to debate it in the court of public opinion. And you can always tell when he's a hypocrite to boot: when he says he wrote a book in order to stimulate a debate, and then he refuses to participate in any such debate. I'm talking about former president Jimmy Carter and his new book "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid."
Carter's book has been condemned as "moronic" (Slate), "anti-historical" (The Washington Post), "laughable" (San Francisco Chronicle), and riddled with errors and bias in reviews across the country. Many of the reviews have been written by non-Jewish as well as Jewish critics, and not by "representatives of Jewish organizations" as Carter has claimed. Carter has gone even beyond the errors of his book in interviews, in which he has said that the situation in Israel is worse than the crimes committed in Apartheid South Africa. When asked whether he believed that Israel's "persecution" of Palestinians was "[e]ven worse . . . than a place like Rwanda," Carter answered, "Yes. I think -- yes." Alan Dershowitz


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At 7:14 PM, Anonymous Joe Alves Jr. said...

Jimmy Carter was not only a horrible president, but according to my Uncle Bill Smith, who was a Sheriff for 40 years in a small town in Georgia, Carter was also a horrible governor of the State of Georgia. Jimmy Carter was to Georgia, that Mike Dukakis was to Massachusetts, a miserable failure!

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Robert Hume said...

The column ignores the fact that Palestine is filled with settlements (illegal under the Geneva Convention) in which non-Jews cannot live, connected by roads on which non-Jews cannot drive and roadblocked by soldiers there to protect these illegal settlers.

Carter is very clear in his book that this is what he means by apartheid. He is not as clear as he could be that this occupation by a foreign democracy's army of a different religion engenders suicide bombing worldwide; as, for example in Sri Lanka where Hindu suicide Tamil Tiger bombers target Buddhist Sinhalese whose army is occupying the Tamil's homeland.

Christian Americans must become involved in this issue; it is not a parochial Jewish issue, because our tacit unqualified support for the settlements has inspired the suicide bombers to come after us and the result is 9/11 and the war in Iraq where our Christian occupying army is generating even more suicide bombers to strike the US, next time perhaps with nuclear bombs. See "Dying to Win" by Prof. Robert Pape of U. Chicago

At 9:58 AM, Blogger RussWilcox said...

After five, no six now, wars of attempted extermination and various intifadas by Arabs, the results of Oslo have convinced me to support whatever steps the Israelis deem necessary to protect themselves and carve out more defensible borders. Even a moron can tell when turning the other cheek becomes a spinning top, and 9/11 would have occurred if Israel did not exist.


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