Saturday, June 07, 2008

Obama Another Jimmy Carter? Absolutely

Although most of us are sick and tired of the Obama-Clinton talk that constantly fills the cable channels, I felt this piece from an English newspaper worth considering. The reason is that I still have nightmares about the disastrous presidency of Jimmy Carter. His economic policies led to a combined 16+% unemployment and inflation rates (the term, “misery index”, was invented then), 15% interest rates and an energy crisis beyond belief. It was the Carter policy that inspired the first, real act of Islamic terrorism since the Barbary Pirates: the takeover of our embassy in Tehran and the kidnapping and imprisonment of our embassy personnel; as Carter publicly wrung his hands and begged, and we were humiliated until Reagan took over.

Jimmy Carter pledged to reform US foreign policy... and look what happened

By Con Coughlin 06/06/2008 UK Telegraph

Over the course of the primary season, Barack Obama has demonstrated an unerring ability to reach out to all Americans, irrespective of ethnic background or social status. He is a black man who was born on the wrong side of the tracks, but his campaign has been refreshingly devoid of the divisive race agenda that characterised the bids of black politicians such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton in the 1980s and 1990s.

His simple promise to undertake a radical change in the way the country is run has struck a chord with a nation that has become disillusioned with the Bush Administration's reputation for deceit and arrogance, particularly with regard to the war on terror.

Americans have, of course, been here before: in 1976, sickened by Watergate, they elected a naïve and inexperienced peanut farmer from Georgia to clear away the cynicism that came to define the Nixon era. From the moment he took office in January 1977, President Jimmy Carter made it clear that he wanted to make a new start in America's relations with the rest of the world. Gone was the hard-nosed Realpolitik of Henry Kissinger. Mr Carter transformed US policy by insisting that human rights be placed at the top of the agenda - with disastrous results.

The main reason the Shah of Iran, a key ally in Washington's attempts to keep the Soviet Union at bay in the Gulf, had managed to survive was the ruthless efficiency of his CIA-trained Savak security service. But after Mr Carter hosted a state visit in Washington for the Shah and Empress of Iran in November 1977, the Pahlavi dynasty was encouraged to release hundreds of political prisoners, with the result that, two years later, the Shah was overthrown by Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic revolution. We are still trying to come to terms with the consequences.

One of the less appealing aspects of Mr Obama's campaign has been the support he has attracted from Mr Carter who, seemingly oblivious to his handling of the Iran debacle (which culminated in 66 Americans being held hostage in Tehran for 444 days), has not been shy about offering his advice. Mr Carter was at it again this week, counselling Mr Obama against making Hillary Clinton his running mate.

Like Mr Carter, Mr Obama is an outsider who was relatively unknown before he decided to make his run for the White House. And like Mr Carter, Mr Obama appears determined to undertake a radical change in the way Washington does business with the outside world; changes that could have the same disastrous consequences for America and the rest of the world as Mr Carter's policy.

Take Mr Obama's attitude towards Iran. Until this week, Mr Obama consistently argued that Iran poses no more of a threat than countries such as Venezuela or Cuba, and that the controversy over Tehran's uranium enrichment programme could easily be resolved by the simple expedient of sitting down and talking to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mr Obama might not know it, but this is precisely what Europe has been trying to do these past four years. The so-called EU3 - Britain, France and Germany - has done nothing else but talk to Mr Ahmadinejad's regime in an attempt to negotiate a solution to the nuclear crisis.

Alas, these painstaking negotiations have been to no avail. Having exploited the West's good intentions for nearly four years, the Iranians simply tore up all the agreements and resumed uranium enrichment which, at the current rate of progress, could give them enough fissile material for a nuclear warhead next year.

Mr Obama's approach to Iraq is equally ill-considered. Having opposed the campaign to remove Saddam's regime from the start, Mr Obama wants to withdraw the 200,000 or so American troops currently deployed at the earliest opportunity - 18 months is the most likely time-frame.

But undertaking a unilateral withdrawal at precisely the moment the country is starting to recover from the trauma of the past five years would hardly be in America's interest. Just as the military surge orchestrated by General David Petraeus has succeeded in destroying the power base of the insurgent groups that have tried so hard to provoke all-out civil war, Mr Obama would be abandoning Iraq to the very groups that want to destroy it.

Mr Obama's policies are not just naïve; they are unworkable, a fact he now seems belatedly to have taken on board. Addressing the annual conference of AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby group, in Washington on Wednesday night, Mr Obama declared that he would do "everything in my power" to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.

Even if he was vague about precisely how he intends to do this, it is a welcome improvement on his previous policy statements on Iran. But if he really wants to reassure the American public, and the wider world, that he has the credentials to be an effective world leader, he needs to give a lot more thought to how he will tackle the great security challenges of our age, whether it be protecting us from the designs of Islamist terrorists or the nuclear ambitions of crazed dictators.
Otherwise, I fear that Osama bin Laden and his chums will be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of Mr Obama becoming the 44th President of the United States of America.

Among the dozens of flip-flops the inexperienced Obama has made, one good move is his decision to honor our flag for a change.


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At 12:17 AM, Blogger John Carey said...

Russ: Excellent! John Carey
Peace and Freedom

At 4:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You nailed him Russ! Nobody could have said it any better. If the people in America elect this fool, we're all doomed to repeat the same mistakes that Carter made under his inept deplorable administration. I couldn't care less about his color. It's just his stupid naive Liberal ideas that I don't like about him. If he gets elected, he'll run this country right into the ground. Surely, our forefather's the signers of the Declaration of Independence had to have made provisions to protect our country from an inept fool such as Barack Obama!

At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't really looked it up in the Bible, perhaps a Christian friend with specific knowledge about this topic can explain to me if my idea could be correct.

Is it possible that Obama could be the so called "Anti Christ", the one that the masses are meant to fall for and put into power as one who professes to save the world, but in reality,......

Someone tell me if this thought is moving in the right direction of possiblity

At 9:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carter is not right about much, but he is right that Obama should not choose Hillary...nor will he.



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