The Return of Carterism

The Return of Carterism
By: P. David Hornik
Wednesday, June 17, 2009

 


Echoes of Carter-style moral blindness in Obama’s Middle East policies.

On June 4, at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Barack Obama told a vast television audience that the “only resolution” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was “through two states…. That is why I intend to personally pursue this outcome with all the patience that the task requires.”

 

On June 14, at Bar-Ilan University near Tel Aviv, Binyamin Netanyahu said that “if the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state, we are ready to agree to a real peace agreement, a demilitarized Palestinian state side by side with the Jewish state.”  

 

In 2002—consistent with his view throughout his career—then-Member of Knesset Netanyahu had said: “On the day that we sign an agreement for a state with limited authorities, what will happen if the Palestinians do what the Germans did after World War I, when they nullified the demilitarized zone? The world did nothing then, and the world will do nothing now as well…. the bottom line is that saying ‘Yes’ to a Palestinian state means ‘No’ to a Jewish state, and vice versa.”

 

There is no reason to think Netanyahu has changed that realistic outlook. Brazen Palestinian violations of their obligations—whether systematic incitement against Israel to the point of instilling a terrorist culture, the bringing in of proscribed weapons, the refusal to amend the Palestinian National Charter, and so on—have to date done nothing to weaken worldwide and, particularly, U.S. administrations’ advocacy of their cause and pursuit of statehood for them.

 

What has changed is the vehemence with which the Obama administration has embraced that cause, regarding, particularly, the “two-states” and “settlements” issues. On Sunday night, Netanyahu conceded to Obama on the former while holding firm on the latter, saying he would not put an end to construction in existing settlements. That he couched his concession in a stirring speech that affirmed Jewish rights to the land of Israel, and rightly put the onus for the lack of peace on the Palestinian and Arab side, did not mitigate how dramatic, historic, and potentially dangerous a concession it was.

 

Why, then, the relatively subdued response in Netanyahu’s coalition, including its more right-wing elements? The affirmative nature of the speech had something to do with it, including Netanyahu’s support for the settlement population whom he called “a pioneering, Zionist, principled sector… our brothers and sisters.” But more important, the coalition—like Israel in general—is aware of the severity of Obama’s pressure on Jerusalem and the need to seek harmony with him at a time when Israel faces a growing, unprecedented threat from Tehran.

 

Obama has shown the world, then, that he can be tough and get results—when it comes to a democratic ally, Israel. Many, though, including Charles Krauthammer, Ralph Peters, Barry Rubin, and others, have noted that when it comes to nondemocratic rivals and outright enemies, Obama is much softer—and gets no results at all.

 

That holds true whether it’s Moscow’s rebuff of the U.S. offer to drop missile defense plans for Eastern Europe in return for cooperation on Iran, Pyongyang’s ongoing contemptuous saber-rattling and defiance of the latest Security Council resolution condemning it, or Tehran’s apparent rigging of an election in favor of the most radical candidate and brutal crackdown on protest—while continuing to dismiss Obama’s earnest entreaties for “dialogue.”

Obama’s harshness toward an ally and gentleness toward foes is, indeed, disturbingly reminiscent of an earlier U.S. president known for that malady, Jimmy Carter, who happens this week to be making the rounds in Israel. In a visit on Sunday to the Gush Etzion settlement bloc south of Jerusalem, Carter seemed to strike a surprisingly conciliatory note when he said that “This particular settlement area is not one I ever envision being abandoned or changed over into Palestinian territory…. I think [these settlements] will be here forever.”

But the author of Palestine Peace Not Apartheid and relentless champion of all anti-Israeli terror organizations was back in form on Tuesday. In a visit to Gaza—including talks with Hamas, which are banned by the U.S. government, and a reported assassination attempt—he said he had to “hold back my tears at seeing the destruction that was inflicted on your people” in Israel’s Operation Cast Lead.

As Yigal Walt of ynetnews noted,

It is indeed an irony of fate that [Carter’s] comments coincide with the post-election unrest in Iran, as brave civilians in Tehran and elsewhere are being shot on the streets…. Is Carter crying for them too?  

After all, the Iranian revolution that brought the Ayatollahs to power occurred on Carter’s watch. Moreover, the Islamic revolt in Tehran, attributed at least in part to the former president’s actions and misdeeds, epitomizes the grave implications that policies adopted by leaders of Carter’s ilk may bring to the region.

Leaders of—judging by the record so far—Obama’s ilk, too? Except that now the stakes are even higher and the damage could be much greater.


P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Tel Aviv. He blogs at http://pdavidhornik.typepad.com/. He can be reached at pdavidh2001@yahoo.com.

The Joke Is On Us

Absolutely the funniest joke ever……ON US !!!
Let it sink in.
Quietly we go like sheep to slaughter. Does anybody out there have any memory of the reason given  for the establishment of the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ….. during the Carter Administration?  

Anybody?  
Anything?
No?  
Didn’t think so ! Bottom line .. we’ve spent several hundred billion  dollars in support of an agency …

the reason for which not one person who reads this can remember.

Ready?

It was very simple…. and at the time everybody thought it very appropriate

 
The ‘Department of Energy’ was instituted on

8- 04-1977
TO LESSEN  OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL.

 
Hey, pretty efficient, huh?

AND NOW IT’S 2009,

32 YEARS LATER

AND THE BUDGET FOR THIS

NECESSARY DEPARTMENT IS AT $24.2 BILLION A YEAR IT HAS

16,000 FEDERAL EMPLOYEES
AND APPROXIMATELY 100,000 CONTRACT EMPLOYEES

AND LOOK AT THE JOB IT HAS DONE!

THIS IS WHERE YOU SLAP YOUR FOREHEAD AND SAY ‘WHAT WAS I THINKING?’ Ah, yes, good ole bureaucracy..


And NOW we are going to turn the Banking System, health care & the Auto Industry over to them?

Jimmy Carter’ tag has Obama wincing


Jimmy Carter’ tag has Obama wincing

Republicans are fighting back by branding the president as naive abroad and wasteful at home, like one of his party’s predecessors

Sarah Baxter, Washington

LESS than two weeks into his administration, President Barack Obama is being portrayed by opponents as a new Jimmy Carter – weak at home and naive abroad – in an attempt to dim his post-election glow and ensure that he serves only one term.

The charge has stung because it was made privately by Hillary Clinton supporters during a hard-fought primary campaign and plays to fears about Obama’s inexperience.

He is engaged in early trials of strength with Republicans in Washington and critics of the United States around the world – not least Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president. Obama faces battles to talk Wall Street into giving up its addiction to large bonuses and US banks to start lending again.

“Barack Obama thinks he can charm his adversaries into changing their ways but his personality can’t change the dynamics,” said Tom Edmonds, a Republican consultant.

“Carter [president from 1977 to 1981] had the same belief in naive symbolism. Their styles are very different but the political similarities are there.”

The Republicans are in fighting mood after Obama failed to secure a single vote on their side for his $819 billion financial stimulus package in the House of Representatives, despite intensive wooing.

The bill came laden with spending on Democratic pet projects, including $50m for the arts and $400m for global warming research that critics said had little to do with boosting the economy. It also contains “buy American” protectionist provisions that have alarmed trading partners, including Britain.

Obama is striking back with an audacious bid to acquire a “liberal super-majority”, giving the Democrats untrammelled power in the White House, the Senate and House of Representatives. He hopes to appoint Judd Gregg, a Republican senator, as commerce secretary, leaving Gregg’s Senate seat at the disposal of the governor of New Hampshire, a Democrat.

If Gregg is appointed and Al Franken wins a disputed Senate recount battle in Minnesota, as seems likely, the Democrats will attain a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the Senate, allowing them to push through policies without obstruction.

“This is about as strong a power play as you can make in politics,” said Tad Devine, a Democratic consultant. “It would give Barack Obama the political dominance that Karl Rove talked about the Republicans achieving.”

A Diageo/Hotline poll last week found that 75% of voters are “confident” that Obama will bring “real change to the way things are done in Washington” – a rise of nine points since the election.

“He is no Jimmy Carter,” said Devine, who added that Clinton supporters had made the same mistake of underestimating Obama.

However, Republicans believe he could be ejected in four years if they can portray him as the creature of spendthrift Democrats, with an ineffectual plan for dragging the US economy out of recession.

“This is the Republicans’ way back. They have to return to their core values of cutting spending and taxes,” said Edmonds. “If the stimulus package doesn’t work, it is Obama’s failure. It’s got his name on it.”

Obama continued his charm offensive with Republicans this weekend by inviting a group of senators and congressmen from both parties to the White House to watch the Super Bowl – the biggest match in American football.

Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate last year, was due to share his spotlight last night at the Alfalfa dinner, a black-tie affair where business leaders and politicians exchange jokes and insults.

Palin said Obama’s presence had drawn her to the event: “How often will I have an opportunity to have dinner with the president? I will take up that offer to do so.”

Peggy Noonan, the conservative commentator, warned that Obama’s star power was being overplayed. “He is never not on the screen. I know what his people are thinking. Put his image on the age. Imprint the era with his face. But it’s already reaching saturation point,” she wrote in The Wall Street Journal.

Obama runs the risk that every rebuff is regarded as a personal setback. His first full week in power has been clouded by the farcical presence of Rod Blagojevich, the impeached former governor of Illinois, and revelations that Tom Daschle, his choice for health secretary, had failed to pay more than $128,000 in taxes.

The president’s foreign policy offensive also got off to an uncertain start. Critics claim there are too many czars and special envoys at the White House and State Department, who will end up fighting rather than problem solving.

George Mitchell’s first foray into the Middle East as special envoy last week was greeted by the Israeli bombing of tunnels on the Egypt-Gaza border.

America’s European allies, including Britain, have shown little interest in helping to close Guantanamo Bay by taking detainees, nor in stumping up the money and troops for a surge in Afghanistan. At home there has been an outbreak of nimbyism over the housing of Guantanamo detainees at US mainland prisons.

Obama’s offer of talks with Iran in his first interview as president on al-Arabiya, an Arab television station, prompted a demand from Ahmadinejad that America apologise for its “crimes”.

Michael Rubin, an expert on Iran at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington, said Obama’s approach to Iran was similar to that of Carter, who wrote a personal letter to Ayatollah Kho-meini after a term of office marred by the storming of the US embassy in Tehran and a failed attempt to rescue 52 diplomatic staff held hostage.

“It is a little bit naive. The problem hasn’t been a lack of dialogue or the policies of George W Bush. It’s not all about us,” said Rubin.

A foreign policy expert who has advised Obama said the president was being challenged on “multiple fronts” – from Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan to Iraq and Iran: “It is a test of his strength and wisdom. The Republicans found a way to posture against the stimulus bill and it’s even easier to posture against his foreign policy. There is pressure to craft his foreign policy so that it is not seen as weak.”

According to the adviser, the public offer to talk to Iran has given opponents such as Ahmadinejad the opportunity to grandstand. “It would be helpful to begin talks privately, as Henry Kissinger did with China before [President Rich-ard] Nixon’s visit,” he said.

In the months to come, this may be the course that Obama takes as he switches out of campaign mode and begins governing. The first lesson will be that he cannot please all the people all the time.

Drug arrest

The half-brother of Barack Obama has been arrested in Kenya for possession of marijuana and resisting arrest, writes Sarah Baxter. George Obama, 26, will appear in court in Nairobi tomorrow. Police claim he was found with one joint.

Obama told CNN from behind bars that he was innocent. “They took me from my home. I don’t know why they are charging me,” he said.

Election ’08 Backgrounder

  

Financial Crisis | Iraq | Defense | Background & Character | Judges & Courts | Energy

 

FINANCIAL CRISIS

Quick Facts:

  • Democrats created the mortgage crisis by forcing banks to give loans to people who couldn’t afford them.
  • In 2006, McCain sponsored a bill to fix the problems with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Barney Frank and other Democrats successfully opposed it.
  • Obama was one of the highest recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac donations in Congress.

Related Editorials

 

IRAQ


Quick Facts:

  • When the U.S. was on the verge of losing in Iraq, McCain chose to stand and fight.  Obama chose retreat.
  • Even after the surge succeeded, Obama told ABC’s Terry Moran he would still oppose it if he had the chance to do it all over again.

Related Editorials

 

DEFENSE

Quick Facts:

  • Obama has promised to significantly cut defense spending, including saying “I will slow our development of future combat systems.”
  • John McCain has vowed: “We must continue to deploy a safe and reliable nuclear deterrent, robust missile defenses and superior conventional forces that are capable of defending the United States and our allies.”

Related Editorials

Obama Video: Watch Now

 

 

BACKGROUND & CHARACTER

Quick Facts:

  • Obama voted “present” 135 times as a state senator, and according to David Ignatius of the Washington Post, “gained a reputation for skipping tough votes.”
  • McCain has taken stances unpopular with his own party and/or the public on controversial issues, including immigration, campaign finance reform, judicial nominations, the Iraq War and more.

Related Editorials

 

 

JUDGES & COURTS


Quick Facts:

  • In a 2001 interview, Obama said he regretted that the Supreme Court “didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution.”
  • In the same interview, Obama criticized the Supreme Court because it “never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.”
  • Obama has focused on empathy, rather than legal reasoning and restraint, as his basis for appointing judges, saying, “We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy…to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old.”
  • McCain opposes judicial activism, saying, “my nominees will understand that there are clear limits to the scope of judicial power.”

Related Editorials

Obama 2001 Interview: Listen Now

 

ENERGY


Quick Facts:

  • McCain has proposed building 45 new nuclear plants by 2030 and is in favor of drilling in sectors of the Outer Continental Shelf.
  • Obama has refused to take a stand, saying only “we should explore nuclear power as part of the energy mix” and he will “look at” drilling offshore.

Related Editorials

»
McCain: The Energy Candidate

» McCain On Nukes: Yes We Can
» Breaking The Back Of High Oil

 

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Can America Afford Another Jimmy Carter?

Can America Afford Another Jimmy Carter? Print
Friday, 10 October 2008
The current presidential election is reminiscent of the presidency of Richard Nixon; one cannot help but be reminded of the Watergate Scandal, the biggest political scandal in American history. Watergate caused the American public to lose faith in the presidency and especially the Republican Party. As a result, in 1977 Democrats and some conservative Christian voters rushed to the polls to elect a virtually unknown political figure outside of Georgia and one of the most unqualified liberal presidents in the history of America, Mr. Jimmy Carter. 
“Carter began the race with a sizable lead over Ford, who was able to narrow the gap over the course of the campaign, but was unable to prevent Carter from narrowly defeating him on November 2, 1976. Carter won the popular vote by 50.1 percent to 48.0 percent for Ford and received 297 electoral votes to Ford’s 240.”

During the Watergate crisis, the American public’s faith in the government had been severely tarnished and reduced to its lowest level and the work of many federal agencies had been disrupted by the Nixon impeachment fiasco.

Ironically, history seems to be repeating itself. Again, after 30 years or so, we are faced with a similar dilemma. By now, many Americans believe that President Bush’s two terms in office have been a profound failure. For months, Bush’s approval ratings have hovered around 30 and now at 24 percent, the same as President Nixon when he left office.

Once again, as a result of these approval ratings, the Democrats are tripping over each other to put another highly unqualified man, Senator Barack Hussein Obama, into the White House. Ironically, with his past ties to racism, terrorism and hating America, America’s survival remains at peril.

Currently, the foremost topic on the mind of the voter is the economic mess. Finger pointing goes in all directions without a clear understanding of who is to blame. Some goodhearted, naïve Americans again think that Democrats can indeed be the answer. Unfortunately, their answer, most likely, will be disastrous and will lead America to the biggest quagmire in its entire history. We do well to recognize that shortsighted people with short memories are prone to make terrible choices, even when they have the best of intentions.

Therefore, we want to refresh the voters’ memory and help them in making wise decisions. The vote you cast will not simply replace one politician with another. Today, every vote has great existential implications. The economic crisis aside, whether we like it or not, we are truly in a war of survival with Islamofascism and Mr. Obama is not the man who can defend this country.

Now, is all the above just fear-mongering and Democrat-bashing at election time? You are free to see it that way. Nevertheless, it is always more prudent to go with the facts than fiction. In order to understand Obama, we must first re-examine the king negotiator with the dictators and terrorists, Mr. Jimmy Carter.

In short, Mr Carter and his wife Rosalyn would do well to return to the retirement in Plains that the voters intended for them when they voted him out of office.

Mr. Carter’s history of promoting anti-American dictators is no secret. As Stephen Hayward noted in a column in Front Page, “among his complex motivations is his determination to override American foreign policy when it suits him.” As he rotates from North Korea to Venezuela to Cuba from friendships with Hugo Chavez, Cindy Sheehan, Howard Dean, Michael Moore, and Kim Jung Il and many other controversial figuers, Mr. Carter appears to damage the credibility of the United States every time he opens his mouth.

Let us briefly outline the results of Jimmy Carter’s misguided liberal policies. The Islamic Revolution in Iran, Soviet invasion of Afghanistan 1979, the takeover of the American embassy in Iran by the fanatic Muslims and holding of hostages, a failed rescue attempt of the hostages, serious fuel shortages in America, a return of the Panama Canal Zone to Panama, double-digit inflation, the birth of Osama bin Laden, the Iran-Iraq War, which cost lives of millions dead and wounded thousands, 9/11 attack, and yes, the present war on terrorism and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

When former President Carter took office in 1977, the Shah of Iran was a staunch ally of the United States, a mainstay in our standoff with the Soviet Union, thwarting the dream held since the time of the czars of pushing south toward the warm waters of the Persian Gulf.

Former President Carter’s human rights deal, gave rise to one of the worst rights violators in history — the Ayatollah Khomeini. Thanks to Jimmy and company, Khomeini’s successors are preparing for nuclear war with Israel and the West. When President Carter threatening the use of military force, he was mocked by Khomeini with the response: “U.S. cannot do a damn thing.”

Iran, being a great ally of the U.S. during the Cold War, constantly became a target for Soviet subversion and espionage. Just like the U.S. war on terror, few people were arrested in Iran and many were incarcerated, many who threatened its sovereignty and existence, mainly Marxists and Soviet agents and their collaborators.

This action did not appease our former peanut farmer, who, on taking office, declared that advancing “human rights” was among his highest priorities, with the Shah of Iran as his prime target. It is necessary to be reminded and never forgotten, that it was Jimmy Carter and the British Government that masterminded the Ayatollah Khomeini’s rise to power in 1979 and are the sole reason for today’s Islamic Terrorism around the world.

William H. Sullivan says that he recalls the U.S. national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski (the same man behind the rise of , Senator Barack Hussein Obama) “repeatedly assured Pahlavi that the U.S. backed him fully. However these reassurances would not amount to substantive action on the part of the United States.” It seems as though it is 1979 all over again and the Democrats, blinded by Obama’s evangelical speech from teleprompter, expect him to solve America’s problem.

Americans, out of resentment, made a huge mistake in electing an inexperienced idealist, Jimmy Carter, simply because they were unhappy with the Nixon scandal and the Republican Party in general. That naïve decision lead us to where we are today. Mr. Carter’s belief that every crisis can be resolved with diplomacy – now permeates the Democratic Party. Unfortunately, Carter was wrong. There are times when evil must be openly confronted and defeated.

Jimmy Carter, the self-appointed touring ambassador of bad-mouthing America, must be rejoicing at the prospect of Mr. Obama’s presidency. Mr. Obama holds the promise of not only carrying on the Carterian misguided policies, but also taking them to their very ruinous end. Most liberal Democrats live in a delusional reality based on denial. As a result by definition, most of the Democrats are in fact “sheeple.”

Again, history is about to repeat itself. While the ever-contrite ambassador of apology, Carter, cavorts with the officially designated terrorist Hamas, bestowing legitimacy on the thuggish Islamists, Mr. Obama is promising to outdo his idol Jimmy by engaging in negotiations or discussions with the “loveable” president Ahmadinejad of the IRI, a sort of tête-à-tête of two heads of states to settle things amicably. Doesn’t that sound lovely and a sure vote getter? But, I am troubled and I have serious concerns.

My fellow Americans, please ask yourself if disliking George W. Bush’s policy is reason enough for you to repeat history again. Mr. Obama, in his meteoric rise to power and with a victory lap around Europe, found it expedient to throw his wonderful grandmother under the bus, so to speak. He readily discarded the Reverend Wright, the man he emulated and held as his revered spiritual mentor for 20 years.

Senator Obama can neither deliver what he captiously preaches, nor can he be your savior. Our future and the future of our children and this country will rest in your hands.

THE FRIENDS OF BARACK OBAMA, PART 1, DEMOCRATIC WAR, ANATOMY OF THE DONKEY

Israel Says Carter Effort At Cease-fire With Hamas FAILED!

Rice says Carter was warned against meeting with Hamas

Washington Post catches Carter in a lie

Washington Post catches Carter in a lie

Thomas Lifson

Jimmy Carter’s campaign to ensure he goes down in history as the worst ex-president ever continues, with even the Washington Post noticing he is lying about Hamas and its supposed willingness to negotiate. A commendable editorial today makes this point:

 

… actors such as Mr. Carter…  portray Hamas as rational and reasonable. Hamas is “perfectly willing” for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “to represent them in all direct negotiations with the Israelis, and they also maintain that they will accept any agreement that he brokers with the Israelis” provided a referendum is held on it, the former president told the newspaper Haaretz. Compare that claim with Mr. Zahar’s own words on the opposite page. In fact, Mr. Zahar has called Mr. Abbas “a traitor” for negotiating with Israel — a label that is, in the Palestinian context, an incitement to murder.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

Breaking: Carter Denied Entry Into Gaza