Pres. Carter on Iraq

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by Madison, Sep 5, 2002.

  1. The Troubling New Face of America
    By Jimmy Carter
    Thursday, September 5, 2002; Page A31

    Fundamental changes are taking place in the historical policies of the United States with regard to human rights, our role in the community of nations and the Middle East peace process -- largely without definitive debates (except, at times, within the administration). Some new approaches have understandably evolved from quick and well-advised reactions by President Bush to the tragedy of Sept. 11, but others seem to be developing from a core group of conservatives who are trying to realize long-pent-up ambitions under the cover of the proclaimed war against terrorism.

    Formerly admired almost universally as the preeminent champion of human rights, our country has become the foremost target of respected international organizations concerned about these basic principles of democratic life. We have ignored or condoned abuses in nations that support our anti-terrorism effort, while detaining American citizens as "enemy combatants," incarcerating them secretly and indefinitely without their being charged with any crime or having the right to legal counsel. This policy has been condemned by the federal courts, but the Justice Department seems adamant, and the issue is still in doubt. Several hundred captured Taliban soldiers remain imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay under the same circumstances, with the defense secretary declaring that they would not be released even if they were someday tried and found to be innocent. These actions are similar to those of abusive regimes that historically have been condemned by American presidents.

    While the president has reserved judgment, the American people are inundated almost daily with claims from the vice president and other top officials that we face a devastating threat from Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and with pledges to remove Saddam Hussein from office, with or without support from any allies. As has been emphasized vigorously by foreign allies and by responsible leaders of former administrations and incumbent officeholders, there is no current danger to the United States from Baghdad. In the face of intense monitoring and overwhelming American military superiority, any belligerent move by Hussein against a neighbor, even the smallest nuclear test (necessary before weapons construction), a tangible threat to use a weapon of mass destruction, or sharing this technology with terrorist organizations would be suicidal. But it is quite possible that such weapons would be used against Israel or our forces in response to an American attack.

    We cannot ignore the development of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, but a unilateral war with Iraq is not the answer. There is an urgent need for U.N. action to force unrestricted inspections in Iraq. But perhaps deliberately so, this has become less likely as we alienate our necessary allies. Apparently disagreeing with the president and secretary of state, in fact, the vice president has now discounted this goal as a desirable option.

    We have thrown down counterproductive gauntlets to the rest of the world, disavowing U.S. commitments to laboriously negotiated international accords.

    Peremptory rejections of nuclear arms agreements, the biological weapons convention, environmental protection, anti-torture proposals, and punishment of war criminals have sometimes been combined with economic threats against those who might disagree with us. These unilateral acts and assertions increasingly isolate the United States from the very nations needed to join in combating terrorism.

    Tragically, our government is abandoning any sponsorship of substantive negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis. Our apparent policy is to support almost every Israeli action in the occupied territories and to condemn and isolate the Palestinians as blanket targets of our war on terrorism, while Israeli settlements expand and Palestinian enclaves shrink.

    There still seems to be a struggle within the administration over defining a comprehensible Middle East policy. The president's clear commitments to honor key U.N. resolutions and to support the establishment of a Palestinian state have been substantially negated by statements of the defense secretary that in his lifetime "there will be some sort of an entity that will be established" and his reference to the "so-called occupation." This indicates a radical departure from policies of every administration since 1967, always based on the withdrawal of Israel from occupied territories and a genuine peace between Israelis and their neighbors.

    Belligerent and divisive voices now seem to be dominant in Washington, but they do not yet reflect final decisions of the president, Congress or the courts. It is crucial that the historical and well-founded American commitments prevail: to peace, justice, human rights, the environment and international cooperation.

    Former president Carter is chairman of the Carter Center in Atlanta.

    © 2002 The Washington Post Company

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A38441-2002Sep4.html
     
  2. he is as wishy washy and inneffective now as he was when he was the president. I truly think he is a good person, and a smart person, but he was a complete failure when dealing with the middle east. Remember the hostage crisis? I would be inclined to use him as a contrary indicator when looking at the middle eastern problems.
     
  3. Taking advice on the middle east from our most incompetent former president would be like appointing Bill Clinton to head a commission to restore respect for the Presidency. For those who were not around, this ineffectual idiot basically turned Iran, a staunch ally, over to the fanatical Islamists who control it to this day. His administration acted behind the scenes to prevent the Iranian military, which was very pro-US, from thwarting the rise of the medieval mullahs to power. Many of those officers who were loyal to us were subsequently executed. It is not a stretch to say that Carter is personally responsible for much of the terrorist threat we now face. The only positive result of his disastrous four years in office was the election of Ronald Reagan.
     
  4. riggz

    riggz

    i would say that almost all living former presidents have been pretty incompetent, not only carter.

    1) gerald who?
    2) reagan, incompetent, but popular
    3) bush, sr. , incompetent
    4) clinton, incompetent, but had a strong economy
    5) bush jr., following his father's footsteps
     
  5. bullshit! on what basis was he incompetent???
     
  6. Reagan was the best president this country has had in quite some time. The White House was dignified and respected, our military might was feared by our enemies. We were a proud country and Reaganomics was the real start of economic prosperity.

    President and Mrs. Reagan were a model First couple, not a national embarrassment.
     
  7. i would say that almost all living former presidents have been pretty incompetent,
    not only carter.

    1) gerald who?
    2) reagan, incompetent, but popular
    3) bush, sr. , incompetent
    4) clinton, incompetent, but had a strong economy
    5) bush jr., following his father's footsteps


    #6 riggz, M~O~R~O~N
     
  8. Rather than blame the presidents totally, you should also understand that the true follies might just belong to the congressional bodies that were around for each of them.

    Ford's bunch were not under any direction and were playing the game as it always was played. Pork was king. It was flowing everywhere and all was politically good in their minds.

    Regan had an agenda and he muscled his plans through to start the beginning of a change. One that allowed many to profit and benefit from the shifts in government policies. And whether or not you agreed with the changes, the shifts allowed a change of the playing fields. And changing government policies are when profits are at their best. This is when the economic engine gained its true momentum.

    Bush Sr. came in and sort of floundered as congress wrested some power back and began to try to start all new pork directions. The goal was to get back to business as past. There was no real economic agenda from the leader though and the economy continued under its own momentum. Fortunately, we were still gliding forward. But without focus, the ocean liner was starting to slow.

    Clinton, what a joke. Congress switched parties and the republican agenda was solid. Whether it was the correct one or not is not the issue, there WAS a definite direction and that allowed everyone to posture for profits. The economic momentum continued to increase.

    But as the agenda was partially accomplished, there again was no clear policy direction/posture uttered from the top. The boat again began to slow and the momentum again echoed. The last three years of his presidency were a joke in more ways than one.

    Now we have the real ego hounds, Carter and Clinton, who both exhibited lousy international policies needing legacy attention. Interestingly both of these guys were "carismatic - feel good about them" presidents elected because the public felt good about them. Neither of them really accomplished any of their OWN personal policy plans while in office. Carter still holds the record for high interest rates if I can remember correctly.

    Ironically, both of these guys had failed military actions and now desire to give "expert because I was there in the office before" military advice. Both are now running around the country telling everyone what they think we should do. The sadder part is that anyone is seriously listening. Read their histories in military successes first I say.

    Right now, we are waiting for some direction to be undertaken by either George W. Bush or the congress and there is none discernable on the immediate horizon. We are really in a true speculation mode so no definite posture is needed. No domestic policy is being stated or followed. Internationally, war does seem imminent.

    At its outset, the market will react to correctly adjust for the wartime conditions. And profits will be made and lost. But without a domestic policy anchor of some kind we will continue to ebb and flow in the markets. Because of the last momentum, we are drifting forward still but not with any great determination.

    I can only hope that I can stay focused, see what's coming and posture correctly. History will definitely judge correctly. Hopefully Clinton will understand that you can't change the past with just statements to the contrary of facts (I doubt it, he still is a liar to his core). AND HOPEFULLY I'LL NEVER HAVE TO TRY. :)
     
  9. canyonman,

    I don't think I could have said it any BETTER!!

    GreatReading....thanks!!!

    But, ...and you knew that was going to happen...

    Re:Bush42

    "Right now, we are waiting for some direction to be undertaken by either George W.
    Bush or the congress and there is none discernable on the immediate horizon. We are
    really in a true speculation mode so no definite posture is needed. No domestic policy
    is being stated or followed. Internationally, war does seem imminent."


    I, IMHO, think W has direction....if we (republicans) can hold the house and once again control the senate...we will see some unbelievable strides in Foward "Direction" as you call it.

    I don't agree with ALL of W's AssKissing ways ...

    ...maybe he knows something...I DON'T!!!


    ;~}


    -------------------

    AmericaNeedsLeaders/NotLiars
     
  10. Isn't it amazing how such a feeble minded president can garner the respect of those with such short term memories. God bless the souls of those Marines who lost their lives in Beirut, Lebanon because of feeble minded arrogance.
     
    #10     Sep 7, 2002