I see that Jimmy Carter has felt it appropriate to declare that war with Iraq would not fit his interpretation of the "just war" doctrine. While I regard anything he says as a reliable contrary indicator, I think he has crossed an important line here. It has long been the tradition that ex-presidents did not directly criticize theri successors and refrained from meddling in policy, particularly foreign policy, after they were out of office. Of course, Bill Clinton has failed to adhere to this tradition, but no one expects him to act in an honorable manner after having tarnished his office for 8 years. Carter is another matter, as he has often been cited as the ideal ex-president because of his relatively innocuous activities and avoidance of scandal. For those too young to remember, our current probelms in the Middle East are largely due to his disastrous incompetence as president from 1976-80. He greased the skids for an important though flawed ally, the Shah of Iran, to be replaced by a motley collection of murderous Islamic radicals who imposed a repressive dictatorship on Iran. To this day they support the most extreme terrorism and are a charter member of the axis of evil. With this record one would think Carter would have reservations about offering any opinions on the Middle East. Apparently the attraction of strutting on the world stage and moral posturing for the benefit of european america-haters is too great to pass up. So Jimmy Carter, a word of advice--do the one thing even you can't foul up and shut the fuck up.