Talk about bad pennies always turning up; Jimmy Carter's at it again.
It would be easy to blame the 83-year-old former one-term president's frequent excursions into irrational behavior on senility were it not for the fact that he appears to have been senile most of his public life.
Any recitation of his frequent excursions into his personal Land of Oz where the good guys are bad and the bad guys are good sounds like a litany of Carter-esque fantasies. His one-time White House chief of staff, Hamilton Jordan, once spoke about what he called Carter's "weirdness factor."
If he hadn't just happened to be the leader of the most powerful nation on the face of the earth and the sole bulwark against the expansion of Soviet tyranny, his weirdness wouldn't matter in the scheme of things, but he was; and much of what he did — and continues to do today — brought disastrous results for his nation and the world.
No one should be surprised at his recent hobnobbing with the terrorist leaders of Hamas. During his four years in the White House he showed a unique ability to reward the enemies of human freedom while punishing some of America's strongest supporters.
Anyone shocked by Iran's troublemaking, including training and arming the terrorists killing American troops in Iraq, can thank Brother Carter for conspiring to drive out the Shah, a fervent supporter of the United States, and seeing him replaced by the mullahs who repaid his kindness by taking nearly 70 Americans hostage and holding most of them for an astounding 444 days.
He withdrew U.S. support and the Shah was toppled, more than 20,000 pro-Western Iranians were killed, women were sent back into servitude and citizens were arrested merely for owning satellite dishes that could tune to Western programs. And, of course, American diplomats were taken hostage.
This is the same James Earl Carter whose feeble attempt to rescue the hostages turned into a deadly farce in the Iranian wastelands. The same Jimmy Carter whose presidency saw long lines at the gas pump, the same Jimmy Carter who gave away the Panama Canal thus enabling China's Hutchison Whampoa to eventually control both ends of Theodore Roosevelt's "big ditch."
One of his legacies is one Robert Mugabe, the homicidal dictator of Zimbabwe now brutally suppressing his rivals who apparently won in an election to replace him. Under Mugabe the formerly prosperous Rhodesia now suffers famine, the white farmers whose abundant crops once fed the nation have been were killed or driven from their land, and so-called enemies of the regime butchered in waves of mass murder.
This is the Robert Mugabe who Jimmy Carter hosted at the White House in 1980, proclaiming that he had watched happily as Mugabe emerged victorious in his election campaign for the presidency. He pledged to use similar tactics in his own re-election campaign.
On his own, Carter went to North Korea and struck a deal on nuclear arms with dictator Kim Jong Il to which the Clinton administration acquiesced. North Korea then secretly violated the deal and went on to build the nuclear weapons that threaten world peace.
Since leaving the White House, Carter has embraced the likes of Fidel Castro and Venezuela's communist dictator, the virulently anti-American Hugo Chavez, putting his stamp of approval on the rigged election that kept him in power.
Carter's obvious antipathy toward Israel and his chumminess with Palestinian militants puts him squarely on the side of the Palestinian militants. In his book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," Carter claims Israel has been the principal obstacle to peace, charging that Arab leaders have long sought peace while Israel insists on keeping what he calls "Palestinian land" over achieving peace. He says that there would be peace if only Israel would "[withdraw] to the 1967 border as specified in the U.N. Resolution 242 . . ."
Senile or just incurably weird? It makes no difference. In any sense, James Earl Carter is an embarrassment to the United States and a danger to global stability.
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