If America must be reminded of just how bad things could get under the leadership of a wholly incompetent president, it needs only to recall the disgraceful and humiliating four years of the Carter Administration, beginning in January of 1977. Within the span of a single presidential term, Carter managed to thoroughly decimate the U.S. military, while simultaneously telegraphing the nation's vulnerability along with his absolute reluctance to exercise American power to defend American interests.
The real "Carter Doctrine," a wretched mix of appeasement and capitulation, demonstrated his weaknesses of character so flagrantly that the entire world lost any respect for, or fear of this nation. It was really no surprise then that while the militant Islamists who overtook Iran in 1979 declared war on the entirety of the civilized world, it was Carter's America that they felt sufficiently emboldened to attack.
Repairing the mess created by Carter required the inspiration leadership and unshakable commitment of his presidential successor, Ronald Reagan. Much work was needed to undo the damage that had been wreaked during Carter's single term in office. But blinded by an unfounded faith in the moral superiority of his insipid political beliefs, Jimmy Carter is chronically incapable of coming to grips with his own incompetence and moral confusion, or the damage they inflict on America. As a result, he has remained active since leaving office, which has only meant continuing harm to the country.
His latest escapade in the Middle East, and the resultant political damage being done to both the United States and Israel, is infuriatingly typical of the former President. Were Carter's true goals to thoroughly debase Israel and disgrace his own country, he could hardly improve on his current results. Those who doubt that he is essentially inciting militancy among the radical Muslims of the region that will likely lead to escalated tensions and possible bloodshed should consider a few examples.
While in the West Bank, an area controlled by the terrorist organization Hamas, Carter publicly embraced Nasser Shaer, a leading Hamas figure. During the embrace, Carter asked the terrorist leader what he could do "to achieve peace between the Palestinians and Israel," a question any savvy American or Israeli could properly answer with "Shut up and go home." But clearly having learned nothing in the past three decades, Jimmy Carter still clings to the naive notion that he can make nice with murderous thugs to the general benefit of all.
Seeking for some perverse reason to bolster the standing of one of the most thoroughly discredited figures in history, Carter had earlier placed a wreath on the tomb of Yasser Arafat, once the head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and kingpin among Middle-Eastern terrorists. Militant Islamists who hope to establish a Palestinian "State" through the dismantling and eventual annihilation of Israel, could not have asked for any greater endowment to the momentum for their cause.
Carter's track record on international bungling is indeed consistent. It was Carter who hammered out a treaty with North Korea, at the bidding of the Clinton Administration, that paved the way for that nation, at the direction of its dangerously unstable leader Kim Jong-Il to develop nuclear weaponry. And it was Carter who in a 2006 editorial in the British Sunday Telegraph condemned then British Prime Minister Tony Blair specifically for his support of the United States efforts in Iraq.
Throughout his political career, Carter has remained consistently on the wrong side of the issues, offering cajoling and placating words to the venomous enemies of the United States, while showing his fangs only to real America and its reliable allies such as Israel. This last week's visit is proving to be no exception.
With his typically brilliant (at least in his own mind) analytical skills, Carter assessed the "peace process" this way: "Since Syria and Hamas will have to be involved in a final peace agreement, they have to be involved in the discussion that leads to final peace." Sadly, the nation has not heard the last of the banalities and platitudes that defined his flimsy and lackluster administration.
The axiom of experience being the best teacher does not seem to apply here, giving cause to wonder if it is really beyond Jimmy Carter's mental capacities to understand that Syria and its Hamas surrogates are themselves the reason why peace in the region is impossible.
Jimmy Carter will no doubt continue to remain in his convoluted fantasy world where evil people might be pacified through fawning verbal exchanges and political concessions.
Moreover, his current boondoggle does not appear nearly as bizarre to the general public as it should, since much of his "peace" agenda is being regularly echoed by both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and on too many occasions, even Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
While the venom and hatred toward all things western has remained philosophically consistent among such organizations as Hamas over the years, the reach of militant Islamists has clearly expanded, as was starkly proven to America on September 11, 2001. Now, Americans face the reality of suffering directly from the short-sighted and simple minded policies of such as Jimmy Carter.
The time for playing dicey games with international policy is clearly over. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9-11, America needs to wake up and realize that such uninformed policy as that proposed by Jimmy Carter is no longer an option the nation can afford.
Copyright ©2008 Christopher G. Adamo