“In the Carter years, the United States was an international laughingstock. . . . It was because, whether in Afghanistan, Iran, or Iraq—still the source of so many of our woes—the Carter administration could not tell a friend from an enemy. His combination of naïveté and cynicism—from open-mouthed shock at Leonid Brezhnev’s occupation of Afghanistan to underhanded support for Saddam in his unsleeping campaign of megalomania—had terrible consequences that are with us still. It’s hardly an exaggeration to say that every administration since has had to deal with the chaotic legacy of Carter’s mind-boggling cowardice and incompetence.” —Christopher Hitchens
Outlining the Carter Legacy
It was Jimmy Carter who created the situation in the Middle-East that gave rise to al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, which, by turns, led to the attack on the World Trade Center, on 9-11-2001.
It was Jimmy Carter who would betray the Shah of Iran in a move that would lead to the institution of an Islamic Iranian juggernaut, now on the verge of becoming the first megalomaniacal state-sponsor of nuclear terror in world history.
And it was Jimmy Carter, embarrassed by an Iranian hostage crisis, who did nothing to restrain Saddam Hussein from prosecuting the Iran-Iraq war, subsequently leading to Saddam’s acquisition of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs)—the existence of which was recently confirmed by the New York Times —that would require a US invasion, in order to secure them.
The Bush Blame-Game
The liberal mainstream media—who take their talking points from the Obama White House, via Media Matters, these days—are reluctant to address the seminal facts of Carter’s incompetence. (You can always see the latest Obama-Administration talking points on display at the Media Matters web site; this is why CBS, NBC, ABC, and CNN all use the same key words and phrases.) The media, instead, incessantly repeat the Big Lie that George W. Bush is to blame for everything that has gone awry in the Middle-East.
And, while Bush was far from an ideal president, to be sure, he did act in the best interest of our country on 9-11, showing exemplary leadership that was approved by 90% of Americans in the wake of the attack. Bush took decisive action to close airports and tighten security at government buildings and military installations.
Also, based upon correct intelligence, when it came to protecting America and the Middle-East from Saddam’s stockpile of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), Bush was right to invade Iraq. (Read the original New York Times article.) Obama, the Democrats, and left-leaning journalists seem to have forgotten that Congress voted overwhelmingly that the intelligence should be accepted and that the president should be authorized to take military action, if doing so would serve the best interest of the country. (Even John Kerry and Hillary Clinton voted for invasion, and thus were apparently no different from Bush in their judgment of the matter.)
Carter Creates a Foreign-Affairs Debacle
Carter made several ill-advised moves during his administration that were disastrous for America and her ability to project power in ways that could promote peace through strength. Carter gave away the American Panama Canal, without negotiating much in return for it; Carter expressed a desire to remove US troops from South Korea, although the Republic of Korea was still under threat from the North; and Carter invited the Communist Sandinista leaders of Nicaragua to the White House, giving them $118 million dollars, regardless of their anti-Americanism and deplorable record on human rights.
All of these actions sent a signal of American weakness: 1) to the Russians, who felt their invasion of Afghanistan would be free from consequences with Carter in the White House; 2) to the Iranians, who felt nothing would happen to them as a result of taking American hostages; and 3) to the Iraqis, who decided they could attack Iran and obtain WMDs with impunity.
The Consequences of Carter’s Middle-Eastern Fecklessness
No longer wishing to fight the Cold War—and declaring a policy of permanent détente—Carter sat by, dumbfounded, as the Russians marched right into Afghanistan, after having concluded the SALT II strategic arms treaty with them. The Russians would stay in Afghanistan for a decade, setting events in motion that would create the conditions for the future jihad murders of nearly 3,000 Americans in the World Trade Center.
After the Shah refused to go along with Carter-Administration corruption, in business dealings that would have illegally rewarded Carter’s friends , Carter abandoned the Shah of Iran, instructing his ambassador to call Ayatollah Khomeini, the exiled jihadist leader, “some kind of saint”, a signal of approval that precipitated the jihadist’s return to Iran and the resultant overthrow of the Shah. The fleeing Shah’s subsequent entry into the US for cancer treatment brought about the taking of 52 American hostages by Iranian followers of Khomeini, in November 1979. These hostages would not be released until the very day Ronald Reagan became president.
Carter lent legitimacy to the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein and did everything but actively green-light the Iraqi invasion of Khomeini’s Iran. In order to bolster his war effort, Saddam obtained weapons of mass destruction from the Russians, which President George W. Bush would later feel compelled to secure through invasion. (Read more about Iraq’s WMDs here.)
We would not be arguing about ratification of a nuclear deal with Iran or Iran’s intentions to use nuclear weapons for the purposes of Islamic jihad, except for the fact that Jimmy Carter single-handedly brought about the rise of a jihadist/terrorist Iran as the hegemonic power of the Middle-East. And, while Obama has certainly exacerbated matters to an incredible extent, the fact remains that, without Jimmy Carter’s Act I, Barack Hussein Obama’s Act II may never have existed.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com