Thursday, April 17, 2008
From Babylon & Beyond, the blog of the correspondents of the Los Angeles Times in the Middle East, an account of Jimmy Carter's visit to Cairo that so completely speaks for itself that commentary would only detract:
His white eyebrows bright in the spotlight, Carter spoke to students and faculty at the American University here after talks with President Hosni Mubarak and a separate three-hour meeting with Hamas officials. The Bush administration and Israel have set rules not to talk to the militant Palestinian group but, Carter said, “I consider myself immune” from such restrictions.
He added that he wasn’t acting as a negotiator or mediator, but hoped that he “might set an example to be emulated” by others. The former president’s meetings with Hamas officials in recent days have outraged Israelis, but Carter was undeterred, even suggesting that his recent book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," was aptly named because apartheid “is the exact description of what’s happening in Palestine now.”
He played to a mostly appreciative audience, except for one American student from Amherst who suggested that by meeting with Hamas, Carter was giving legitimacy to terrorists. A murmur went through the crowd. Carter paused, and said: “My daughter was (once) arrested in Amherst.”
This bit, though, is so disingenuous that it shall not pass this blog unmolested:
The former governor from Georgia [Bwahahaha! - ed.] said he told Hamas officials that “the worst thing” they’re doing to their cause is firing rockets into Israel, which he called "abominable and an act of terrorism.” Before the college student could grin in agreement, Carter did the mathematics of bloodshed. He said that for every Israeli killed in the conflict, 30 to 40 Palestinians die because of Israel’s superior military and “pinpoint accuracy.”
Actually, since Yasser Arafat ordered up the current intifada on September 29, 2000, 4,604 Palestinian Arabs have died compared to 1,033 Israelis (figures through February 2008). That's according to the manifestly anti-Israeli IfAmericansKnew.com. So while any politician can manipulate statistics and I am sure Jimmy Carter could cherry-pick some period of time in which "30 to 40" Palestinians died compared to a single Israeli, in the sweep of this war the ratio is more like 4.6 to 1. Carter essentially lied, certainly within the political blogger standard for the term. Anybody have a problem with that?
I'm glad we're not the only ones troubled by Carter's insanity. Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich) is introducing the "Coordinated American Response to Extreme Radicals Act (CARTER Act)" which would block fed funding of the Carter Center for Jimmy's dalliances with the devils. I'm not sure that this will have traction with the Dems, but it may deliver a message just in time for the next election. Check it out here:
The breathtaking grandiosity of a person who considers himself immune from the common restrictions of the country that he led - he is so certain of his righteousness that he can set the standard himself.
I am trying to think of a prominent conservative, or even a Republican who has engaged in public diplomacy in defiance of the duly-elected government, merely because he thought he knew better.
I am deeply offended by your attacks on Carter. Civilized folks would understand a poor old senile man whose brain was ravaged by years of syphilis and silent drug use. The liberal and sensitive among us knew that when Carter was attacked my a giant rabbit, something was wrong, very wrong. Carter's book sales were terrible and, unlike Willy who has made millions, Carter is near broke. Let a poor old, sick man make a couple of oil dollars. Where is your humanity?
I am trying to think of a retired senior government official who has wandered farther from the reservation (if you'll pardon the term, to the extent it can be considered politicaly incorrect), and all I can come up with is Ramsey Clark, who was AG under LBJ. Now Clark is well beyond Carter in terms of absolute distance, but if you weight it by the fact that Carter was POTUS, a much more important position -- the most important one -- I think we are getting close to a dead heat.
On one issue there can be no doubt - Carter is a fanatic antisemite who hates Jews with a passion. I saw him once being interviewed by Bill Moyers. He made mocking references to Jews as the "Chosen People", his voice and manner dripping with derision, venom and contempt like David Duke at a Nazi rally. Another time he called for a "final solution" to the Mideast conflict. NO WAY did he not understand the horrible implications of that phrase and it is certain he used it out of sheer malevolence.
Carter's hatred, though, does not stem from any phony sympathy for the Palestinians. He and his flunkys blame Jews for his loss in the 1980 Presidential election. Never mind the hostage crisis, double-digit inflation, or the fact that the stereotypical "Reagan Democrat" was a blue-collar Catholic. Carter is a classic antisemite - a born loser who can't own up to his own failures and shortcomings so he blames everything on the Joooos.
I also consider Ex-President Carter's conducting his own foreign policy to be an abomination. However, as regards the 40-1 kill ratio, could it simply be that was the figure after September 2005, when Israel withdrew from Gaza and the rockets started raining down?
I agree with anonymous that within the context of talking about the harmfulness of Hamas's rocket-shooting it is possible he is referring to the death ratio since the Gaza withdrawal. I don't know that his numbers are correct there either but I think they would be closer.
Your main point is a rather weak assertion. There are many ways to count even such grisly things as death tolls. Which addition formula counts only direct targets killed? Which also include collateral damage? Which also include figures calculated by the local press? by hospitals? by foreign aid agencies? By the Israeli government? Which include indirect deaths due to poor sanitation, lack of water resources? Which include those already vulnerable, such as the ill, and the elderly, whose health was prejudiced by dust and toxins from explosives? Surely you can't be definite in asserting Carter's figure is inaccurate just because someone else is able to say "since 2000" such and such a number of Israelis "has died". Surely you see the possibility that the two statistical sources were using different yardsticks. You are just a blogger, and he is a Nobel laureate. You think you have convinced me? Think again.
You are just a blogger, and he is a Nobel laureate.
I would put that a bit differently: our host is a blogger, and a contributing member of society, while Carter is a despicable, anti-semitic discredited politico. Just the sort to whom a Nobel is given, in other words.
I don't recall that Carter's Nobel was in mathematics or the sciences - or in fact, any field of study. The thought that because he has won a Peace Prize, therefore...
Ooh, ooh, wait! Why don't we dig up what Yassir Arafat's estimates were? He was also a Nobel laureate, so his numbers must be accurate, right?
Space Commando, may I offer a slight revision to your comment? As any gardener would tell you, your food chain should read:
Blogger > Blog Commenter > Earthworm > Anonymous Blog Commenter > Nobel Laureate
At least earthworms are useful.
And as for Jihmay, I think Representative Myrick is on the right track:
“Today, Rep. Sue Myrick (NC-9) called on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to revoke former President Jimmy Carter’s passport. This is in response to the former President traveling to Syria to meet with Hamas, an organization officially designated by the United States as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.”