Thursday, August 17, 2006

But we can't ignore HIS ignorance

I'm posting these excerpts of a Jimmy Carter interview third hand, but I just couldn't resist:
SPIEGEL: Should there be an international peacekeeping force along the Lebanese-Israeli border?

Carter: Yes.

SPIEGEL: And can you imagine Germans soldiers taking part?

Carter: Yes, I can imagine Germans taking part.

SPIEGEL: ... even with their history?

Carter: Yes. That would be certainly satisfactory to me personally, and I think most people believe that enough time has passed so that historical facts can be ignored.

So, what exactly does it take to apply the "Let's ignore historical facts" rule? Sadly, I'd say not much for democrats, as they seem to do it often.

In fact, the Carter comments earlier in the interview ignore some historical facts that aren't even that historical:
SPIEGEL: You also mentioned the hatred for the United States throughout the Arab world which has ensued as a result of the invasion of Iraq. Given this circumstance, does it come as any surprise that Washington's call for democracy in the Middle East has been discredited?

Carter: No, as a matter of fact, the concerns I exposed have gotten even worse now with the United States supporting and encouraging Israel in its unjustified attack on Lebanon.

SPIEGEL: But wasn't Israel the first to get attacked?

Carter: I don't think that Israel has any legal or moral justification for their massive bombing of the entire nation of Lebanon. What happened is that Israel is holding almost 10,000 prisoners, so when the militants in Lebanon or in Gaza take one or two soldiers, Israel looks upon this as a justification for an attack on the civilian population of Lebanon and Gaza. I do not think that's justified, no.

First, Carter incorrectly characterizes the US as "encouraging" Israel in it's "unjustified" attack. The US did no such thing, we simply said Israel had the right to defend herself, with which I can't imagine Carter would disagree. Or maybe he would - since it's Israel. Maybe Israel isn't allowed to defend herself, being Israel and all...

But THEN he gives the same line that I heard from the Syrian Ambassador time and again just after the fighting started: What happened is that Israel is holding almost 10,000 prisoners, so when the militants in Lebanon or in Gaza take one or two soldiers...
Okay, there is a difference between prisoners and kidnappees. The Lebanese prisoners in Israel are in jail, they were arrested for crimes committed in Israel - they are not Soldiers captured in their own country like the Israelis are. This comparison is not valid and I wish people would Just. Stop.

It's amazing really, as one goes through this interview, how Carter is just wrong on so many things.
Here he is alleging that the Media has been a pawn of the Bush Administration:
SPIEGEL: So how does this proximity to Christian fundamentalism manifest itself politically?

Carter: Unfortunately, after Sept.11, there was an outburst in America of intense suffering and patriotism, and the Bush administration was very shrewd and effective in painting anyone who disagreed with the policies as unpatriotic or even traitorous. For three years, I'd say, the major news media in our country were complicit in this subservience to the Bush administration out of fear that they would be accused of being disloyal. I think in the last six months or so some of the media have now begun to be critical. But it's a long time coming.

Huh. "The last six months?" So...the media wasn't critical of the Administration during the '02 midterms? Or the '04 election? Or after the '04 election? Carter is really out on a limb here, catering to the conspiracy theorists.

And then here he is being wrong about Cuba:
SPIEGEL: You sought to normalize relations with Castro, but that never happened. Has anything been achieved through Cuba's isolation?

Carter: In my opinion, the embargo strengthens Castro and perpetuates communism in Cuba. A maximum degree of trade, tourism, commerce, visitation between our country and Cuba would bring an earlier end to Castro's regime.

"A maximum degree of trade"? Seriously? With a regime whose oppressed peoples would rather risk their lives floating to America in bread baskets than stay there?

Just before that, Carter showed his hypocrisy as well:
SPIEGEL: You've written about your meeting with Fidel Castro. He appears seriously ill now and Cuban exiles are partying already in the streets of Miami. You are probably not in the mood to join them.

Carter: No, that's true. Just because someone is ill I don't think there should be a celebration of potential death. And my own belief is that Fidel Castro will recover. He is two years younger than I am, so he's not beyond hope.

Now, I agree that celebration in the streets over "potential" death is a bit uncouth - but I would like to see Carter follow it up with a condemnation of those in the Arab street who celebrate over the actual deaths of thousands of Americans.

The vast amount of wrongness displayed by Jimmy Carter is quite astounding. I have to hand it to Spiegel though, they didn't make it easy on him, multiple times implying that he stunk at Middle East Peace negotiations and even flat out asking if his presidency was a failure. Now, if only they had asked him about Iran....

(Via Heavy-Handed Politics & LittleGreenFootballs