Saturday, May 19, 2007

Jimmy Carter, the Worst Former President of All Time

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Jimmy Carter, thirty years of stupidity and counting.
(This prescient cartoon from 1977 shows he didn't know anything then, and has continued to regress)

Former President Jimmy Carter, not content with being the worst president of the past century, has now claimed the title of Worst Former President of All Time.

The man whose only claim to fame was the ability to preside over a steeply and steadily declining domestic economy, featuring high unemployment, high inflation, high interest rates, and economic stagnation, while at the same time inflicting the international humiliation of the 444-day Iranian hostage crisis on an already suffering nation, now is an international embarrassment as he presumes to lecture George Bush and Tony Blair on leadership.

Both Bush and Blair can point to stewardship over thriving economies that equaled or bettered the previous best economic performances of both the United States and the UK, and continue to do so. All Carter can do is wish that for even a few months he had done half as well.

Carter’s reasons for attacking President Bush and Prime Minister Blair to me are obvious. “Peanut” Jimmy needs to distract attention from his misguided and fatuous book, “Apartheid,” which blames Israel for the daily Palestinian fiascos caused by the Palestinian’s total lack of leadership and desire for peace with Israel. Carter criticizes President Bush for having “zero peace talks” in Israel, while Hamas maintains total intransigence to peace efforts brokered by Saudi Arabia and other Hamas benefactors.

About now I would hope that someone in the mass media would have enough of a grasp on recent history to question Carter about his legacy of world peace. How many peace talks did he have with the Soviet Union to prevent its invasion of Afghanistan? How well did he perform as a peace broker between the opposing forces of the Shah of Iran and Ayatollah Khomeini? Where are the fruits of the seeds of peace Carter planted in the Camp David accords?

While president, Jimmy Carter certainly planted a lot of seeds. The humiliation of having our embassy in Iran seized and our embassy staff held hostage, with no response from the United States except a stupid and tragic botched rescue attempt, planted the seeds of contempt for the toothless American tiger that acted like a pussycat.

The seeds of our pathetic response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the quixotic boycott of the Moscow Olympics, grew into the mujahadeen that begat the Taliban, and fertilized soil for recruiting and training the noxious weeds that became Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida cadre.

Through it all, then-President Carter’s impotent leadership and incomprehension of domestic and international forces at play resulted in a weak and demoralized nation, a malaise that took President Reagan almost two years to discard.

Perhaps the greatest testament to President Reagan’s leadership was that he not only turned around the mess inherited from Carter, but during his eight years in office presided over the longest period of economic growth in America’s history, and also brought the Soviet Union to collapse shortly after his term as president ended.

Unfortunately, the damage inflicted on the prestige and respect for the United States in the Middle East could not be reversed, and the world continues to pay a heavy price for Carter’s legacy.

It is a fundamental mystery of life, that after all his failures, Jimmy Carter can still find fools to heed his tirades.

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