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April 27, 2007

Comments

Brett Nemeth

Can't he just leave us alone and build houses? I can't think of any former president who was more clueless on foreign policy. There's not even a close second.

Brett Nemeth

DanC

Matt - you demonstrate how little people remember Carter's significant foreign policy accomplishments.

Carter received accolades for championing international human rights. His major achievements were on the more pragmatic level of patient diplomacy. In 1977 he obtained two treaties between the United States and Panama that gave the latter control over the Panama Canal at the end of 1999 and guaranteed the neutrality of that waterway thereafter. In 1978 Carter brought together Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at the presidential retreat in Camp David, Maryland, and secured their agreement to the Camp David Accords, which ended the state of war that had existed between the two countries since Israel's founding in 1948. The difficult negotiations—which lasted 13 days and were salvaged only by Carter's tenacious intervention—provided for the establishment of full diplomatic and economic relations on condition that Israel return the occupied Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. On January 1, 1979, Carter established full diplomatic relations between the United States and China and simultaneously broke official ties with Taiwan. Also in 1979, in Vienna, Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev signed a new bilateral strategic arms limitation treaty (SALT II) intended to establish parity in strategic nuclear weapons delivery systems between the two superpowers on terms that could be adequately verified. Carter removed the treaty from consideration by the Senate in January 1980, however, after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. He also placed an embargo on the shipment of American grain to the Soviet Union and pressed for a U.S. boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics due to be held in Moscow.

I would take Jimmy Carter over George W. Bush any day.

Andy Favor

Can someone correct me if I am wrong, but am I not correct in that it was Jimmy Carter who orchestrated the plan to give North Korea food and fuel so they could continue their nuclear arms program?

All foreign aid should be privatized!

Hahahaha

The treaty with Panama is a major accomplishment for Jimmy Carter.

That was one of the biggest debacles in US Foreign Policy ever.

Breaking off ties with Taiwan isn't necessarily a great accomplish either.

I'm hoping you are joking because if you aren't, you are smoking some serious stuff.

redperegrine

"I can't think of any former president who was more clueless on foreign policy"

Very clever, Brett - exclude the present occupant of the White House!

Long-time politico

Perhaps this will offer former President Carter an opportunity to at last explain what he was thinking when he pulled support from Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, so that the Islamic Revolution could take over that once proud nation. This foolish action was the single most disastrous mistake of U.S. foreign policy in the 20th century. It created an implaccable foe of the West and set Iran up as the primary funding source of Islamic radicalism and the terrorism associated therewith. This man has never apologized for that mindless move; perhaps now he will finally come clean and admit his culpability.

Brett Nemeth

redperegrine,

Nice attempt to play with my words. President Bush definitely deserves our support. And I doubt he will be going around the world after his presidency making excuses for terrorists.

Brett Nemeth

James Shin

Carter went to North Korea to stage a photo op with Kim Il Sung. His goal was Nobel Worthless Peace Prize. Dictators like Kim are his favorites because he can't talk straight with any decent men. He fantasizes all those Playboy bunnies. On his visit to North Korea, he tried to convert Kim to Christianity. What an idiot!

Jubal

I would take Jimmy Carter over George W. Bush any day.

Which just goes to show how far out of the mainstream you are, Dan.

Art Pedroza

Is Carter any worse than Jim Silva? One grew peanuts for a living and the other one likes to feed the to squirrels...

"President Bush definitely deserves our support."

Really Brett? Why? Because of huge deficits? Because of a vast expansion of government and police state empowerment of that government? Because of a convoluted, everchanging explanantion for a war that has created a spawning ground for our enemies? What a stellar conservative record. Sort of like his old man - on freak-out steroids.

Vivian

Humm...I can't say much about Jimmy Carter speaking at UCI because I work there. But I didn't vote for the guy, and was beyond extremely disappointed when he (1) gave away the Panama Canal control and (2) Hung out the Shah of Iran to dry. Both debacles. (Did I say I wasn't going to say much?...).

At any rate, UCI has a plan for Excellence over the next decade which includes making giant inroads to the hearts and minds of the people of Orange County. My comments included that I didn't think UCI fully understands that they are in the midst of the most conservative county in the U.S. and until they adjust some thinking to that their success is going to be limited.

They have a nice "Research Park" with all kinds of businesses on the property which is drawing more funding for UCI through contracts and grants. They have a nice plan but I'm not sure how successful it can be without the conservative side of OC accepting that UCI can be a great asset to the county. Of course the invitation of Jimmy Carter to speak will appeal to the left side of the county. But wouldn't it be nice to get the REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES (THE SECOND AND THIRD ROUNDS WHEN IT GETS SERIOUS) at the BRENS EVENTS Center? Or Barclay Theater? Think that could happen?

Pat

DanC,
You're kidding, right?

Carter respected the "human rights" of everybody except, well, how about the American hostages taken by Iran from our very embassy? He indeed was very "patient" with the young Islamists, which gave them the time to firm up their new state, kicking off the age of jihad. And about that war he "ended" between Palestine and Israel--what exactly is all the bombing and gunfire over there about then? He caved in to Russia and was then shocked, shocked I tell you, that they double crossed him and invaded Afghanistan, setting the stage for another jihadi state.

redperegrine

"He caved in to Russia and was then shocked, shocked I tell you, that they double crossed him and invaded Afghanistan, setting the stage for another jihadi state."

Pat, what in the world are you blathering on about? The Russians went into Afghanistan to protect a puppet client state. The jihadists that haunt your convoluted thinking were supported by the good ole USA - complete with Stinger hand held surface to air missile systems. C'mon now; you really do remember, don't you?

Vivian, you accuse Jimmy of hanging the Shah (the CIA parked his imperial behind on the "Peacock Throne") out to dry. Apparently you missed Jubal's entry:

"A reader alerted me that every foreign tyrants' favorite ex- U.S. President, Jimmy Carter"

Well, which is it? Nobody elected the Shah.

American politicians of both parties have made a bad habit over the years of supporting "tyrants" - those supported by economic interests throughout Latin America, Asia and the Middle East to the detriment of our own long term interests.

If anything, Carter should be blamed for the creation of "human rights" as a guiding US foreign policy - a theory that was conveniently appropriated by Bush II (after the WMDs failed to show up) as reason to invade Iraq.

Sad. Very sad.

"Which just goes to show how far out of the mainstream you are, Dan."

Jubal,

I think most people would rather have hostages in Iran, long gas line, hyper inflation than military sons and daughters in Iraq and Afganistan, threatening high gas and shortages concerning middle east problems and housing inflation.

What's 12(?) hostages compared to thousands of military soldiers?

duplojohn

Brett,

You remind me of many OC Republicans I've encountered.

You are either too young or too ignorant to understand Carters attempts at Mid East peace.

Certainly, Jimmy carter was better educated than the Presidents surrounding him (exceping Clinton) and he most definately did more to contribute to Mid East peace and American stability than the current administration.

You ought to try helping someone.

Jubal

I think most people would rather have hostages in Iran, long gas line, hyper inflation than military sons and daughters in Iraq and Afganistan, threatening high gas and shortages concerning middle east problems and housing inflation.

You've gotta be kidding me. I would love to put that to a national referendum and ask the American people if they'd take two low intensity conflicts with casualty rates that are, historically speaking, very low and happening amidst great prosperity, and trade them for:

- 18% inflation

- 21% interest rates

- Gasoline rationing and long lines

- The Soviet Empire at its aggressive high tide, expanding its nuclear and conventional forces like there was no tomorrow and openly contemptuous of a weak, vacillating American president

- NATO allies losing faith in American leadership.

- The United States absolutely paralyzed for 444 days by a fanatic Imam who seized 44 hostages.

- American irresolution in support of American allies, to the point where the joke was "the only thing more dangerous than being American's enemy is being America's friend."

Why do you Carterphile amnesiacs think the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" was such a huge thing? After all, the American hockey team beat the USSR at the 1960 Olympics -- but no one talks about that. The 1980 victory over the Soiviets was so enormous precisely because American power, prestige and self-confidence had sunk to such a nadir that beating the Soviets in hockey became more than just a great athletic win -- it was a huge psychic boost. We reacted as if we'd won a war.

Yeah...I'm sure the American people would trade what we have now for what we had during the late 1970s.

Jubal

You remind me of many OC Republicans I've encountered.

You are either too young or too ignorant to understand Carters attempts at Mid East peace.

Certainly, Jimmy carter was better educated than the Presidents surrounding him (exceping Clinton) and he most definately did more to contribute to Mid East peace and American stability than the current administration.

Lay off Brett, duplojohn. You want ignorant -- read your above comment.

The Camp David accords were a significant accomplishment, but they're just one success in a miserable failure of a presidency.

And let's put those accords in perspective for all you deluded Jimmy Carter apologists who seem to have taken amnesia pills. The stage for Egyptian-Israeli peace was set by the remarkable early military success of Egyptian forces in the Yom Kippur War, which restored Egyptian pride and allowed Anwar Sadat to pursue negotiations with Israel from a stronger position.

You might also recall the key role played by Sadat's 1977 visit to Israel, the result of Israeli-Egyptian talks that Carter knew nothing about.

And let us not forget the billions of U.S. dollars Carter promised Egypt (and ISrael) is they signed the peace treaty. It was as much the color of money as it was the pruity of Jimmy Carter's heart that secured the Camp David Accords.

Jubal

On January 1, 1979, Carter established full diplomatic relations between the United States and China and simultaneously broke official ties with Taiwan.

Whether one agrees with that action or not, Carter just tied the bow on the present Nixon had purchased and wrapped.

Also in 1979, in Vienna, Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev signed a new bilateral strategic arms limitation treaty (SALT II) intended to establish parity in strategic nuclear weapons delivery systems between the two superpowers on terms that could be adequately verified.

But it actually locked in the Soviet's newly-acquired superiority in nuclear weapons, especially with their massive SS-18s with 10 MIRV warheads. Why do you think Leonid Brezhnev was all smiles at Vienna?

Carter removed the treaty from consideration by the Senate in January 1980, however, after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.

That was an empty gesture, Dan. SALT II was dead. Carter hadn't brough ti to a vote because he knew the Senate would reject it because it was a fatally flawed treaty that was unverifiable and locked in Soviet superiority in land-based missiles. Don't try to paint Carter's withdrawal of SALT II as something it wasn't -- that's blatant historical revisionism.

He also placed an embargo on the shipment of American grain to the Soviet Union and pressed for a U.S. boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics due to be held in Moscow.

And that really had Brezhnev shaking in his boots, didn't it?

I will give Jimmy Carter credit for belatedly reversing the decline in defense spending begun under Nixon and initiating, late in his term, a modest defense build-up that Ronald Reagan greatly amplified.

And I give Carter great credit for deregulating the airline and trucking industries.

Jubal

"He caved in to Russia and was then shocked, shocked I tell you, that they double crossed him and invaded Afghanistan, setting the stage for another jihadi state."

Pat, what in the world are you blathering on about? The Russians went into Afghanistan to protect a puppet client state.

Redperegrine, what Pat is "blathering about" is recent history, about which a surprising number of otherwise intelligent people seemed to have developed selective amnesia.

Carter was stunned by the Soviet invasion. Don't you remember his public confession of how hurt he was the the Soviets had lied to him? How he was beginning to understand that lying, cheating and expanding is what the Soviets were all about?

Why did the Soviets feel they could invade a neighboring country with impunity? Afghanistan's government was in the hands of Soviet-supported Communists who'd seized power in 1978 and were close to being toppled by anti-Communist rebels by December 1979, when the Soviets invaded.

A puppet though Taraki was, the Soviets wouldn't have invaded a sovereign country next door to Iran and brining Soviet forces hundreds of miles closer to Mideast oil fields unless they were confident America would do nothing. And they thought that because they had concluded Jimmy Carter to be a naive weakling.

Does anyone honestly believe the Soviets would have invaded Afghanistan if Ford had been President?

And Pat is correct in noting the Soviet invasion set the stage for a jihadi state -- the Taliban and Bin Laden.

Jubal

Vivian, you accuse Jimmy of hanging the Shah (the CIA parked his imperial behind on the "Peacock Throne") out to dry. Apparently you missed Jubal's entry:

"A reader alerted me that every foreign tyrants' favorite ex- U.S. President, Jimmy Carter"

RP, that's not what I was referring to. I was referring instead to Carter's M.O. as an ex-President of jetting around the world and embracing every thug dictator he can put his arms around.

And Carter did fail to strongly back the Shah, which only served to embolden the Shah's opponents. But in fairness the Shah did much more to undercut himself by alienating conservative rural Iranians -- the natural base of support for a king -- with his Six-Year Plans for rapidly turning Iran into a modern nation.

Pat

"I think most people would rather have hostages in Iran, long gas line, hyper inflation than military sons and daughters in Iraq and Afganistan, threatening high gas and shortages concerning middle east problems and housing inflation."

You are willfully ignoring the continuum of history. Our passivity strengthened the Tehran regime (as well as the Baath regimes) which became the source for money and logistical support for jihad in the ME, Europe and America. If we had attacked a weak new Tehran regime after they invaded our embassy, clearly an act of war by any standard, things might have been different. Instead Carter mounted one late, badly planned rescue mission which made us even further a laughing stock.

"What's 12(?) hostages compared to thousands of military soldiers?"
Feeding the crocodile again, hoping he won't eat you? And, hey, what about the human rights of the embassy staff--or do human rights apply to detainees in Gitmo?

The rebuttal to the rest of your points were ably covered by Jubal.

redperegrine

Why pick on Carter at all? Seems like a bit of a red herring issue to me. If he wants to peddle his wares at UCI to like minded boohoos, who cares?

Carter had many faults and was manifestly unfit to be president in my opinion (an opinion that covers many of our boys in the Oval Office; and he wouldn't have been elected at all if it weren't for Nixon's felonious behavior in the WH). However to blame him for the Iranian Revolution/hostages (52 right?)ordeal is pretty unfair. The Shah managed to undermine his own regime pretty effectively. More American "support" - what, more F-15s? - wasn't going to save Humpty Dumpty up on his throne.

Blaming Carter's "weakness" in re: Afghanistan and the Soviets for the creation of a Taliban state 15 years later is also pretty unfair - especially since there were three Republican presidential terms in between, plus Clinton.

I wonder if the supporters of the Bush invasion of Iraq will be applying the same standards to him down the road.

Jubal

Why pick on Carter at all?

Because people forget, as evidenced by some of the comments on this post, and we need to remember what an awful president he was an an anti-dote to extending credibility to his current policy pronouncements.

And neither me nor Pat are holding Carter directly responsible for the Taliban. We're pointing out that his weakness -- or if one likes, his perceived weakness by the Soviets -- helped set in motion the chain of events leading to the creation of the Taliban state and their haven for Bin Laden.

Stronger U.S. support for the Shah may or may not have saved his throne. But when his opponents know U.S. support for the Shah is uncertain and believe the U.S. will do nothing to support him, it emboldened them to think continued unrest and rioting will bring the Shah down.

Pat

"Why pick on Carter at all?"

I wouldn't, had his weakness not reaped such terrible consequences. I can't provide a link, but apparently the Islamic "students" also stormed the Russian embassy in 1979, and were promptly shot in the face. Plan B? Attack the US Embassy. The rest is history.

Carter, Clinton, Reagan, even Lincoln--all presidents are fittingly judged by history. That's why I don't particularly judge presidents at the time of office. I didn't hate Carter and I don't hate Bush. But the verdict is now in on Carter: his pacifism in 1979 helped usher in the age of global terrorism. Yes, all presidents subsequent share some blame, but this was a turning point. How shameful and cowardly that he now sells his "history" by answering only prescreened questions by gullible UCI profs and students and refuses to debate a Dershowitz because he might look bad!

P.S. I knew I was no longer a liberal when I looked at and acknowledged the truth about the historical record of both Carter (Mr. Nice) and Reagan (Mr. Scary Republican).

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