Jimmy Carter

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Jimmy Carter

Post by Amskeptic » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:05 am

I find myself a little panicky at his cancer diagnosis. I don't want to see this world without Jimmy Carter.
I think it is an indictment of who we have become as a nation that he was so virulently discredited and mocked by . . . well, guess who . . . we have lost an aspect of our character when we do not respect a man, and President, of his caliber.

Jimmy Carter, may your last chapter here be as comfortable as possible.
Colin
Jimmy Carter’s Unheralded Legacy
by Stuart E. Eizenstataug
The New York Times

August 25, 2015

WASHINGTON — AS Jimmy Carter moves into the twilight of his life, it is enormously frustrating for those of us who worked closely with him in the White House to witness his presidency caricatured as a failure, and to see how he has been marginalized, even by his fellow Democrats, since he left office in 1981.

His defining characteristic was confronting intractable problems regardless of their political cost. His closest aide and confidant, Hamilton Jordan, ruefully joked that the worst argument to make to President Carter to dissuade him from action was that it would hurt him politically.

A former one-term governor of Georgia, Mr. Carter won with a colorblind campaign, and in office he stayed faithful to his message of uplifting the poor of all races at the risk of losing his white Southern base.

Mr. Carter understood that, after Watergate, trust in government needed to be restored. He imposed gift limits and financial disclosure rules on his appointees; slowed the revolving door of officials departing to lobby their former departments; and appointed inspectors general to root out fraud and mismanagement.

Mr. Carter established the Department of Education and increased college tuition grants for needy students. He ended federal price regulation of trucking, interstate buses, railroads and airlines.

America’s energy outlook would not be as bright as it is today were it not for his dogged determination to awaken the American public and Congress to the dangers of our growing dependence on foreign oil. He broke a quarter-century impasse and began to phase out federal price controls for natural gas, and then crude oil; created the Department of Energy; and began tax incentives for home insulation and for solar energy.

He created the modern vice presidency, making Walter F. Mondale a full partner, and giving him an office close to his own, access to classified documents and involvement in every major decision.

Mr. Carter’s greatest achievements lay in foreign policy, in the humbling aftermath of Vietnam. In an extraordinary act of diplomatic negotiation that he personally conducted at Camp David, Md., Mr. Carter produced the first Middle East peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. It remains a touchstone of United States security policy in the region.

In Asia, he took on the Taiwan lobby to establish full diplomatic relations with China, completing the opening begun by Richard M. Nixon. In Latin America, he began a new era of mutual respect by turning over the Panama Canal to local control, and limiting arms sales to military dictatorships. His administration began the unraveling of the Soviet Union by embracing human rights and introducing intermediate-range missiles in Europe.

Given these lasting achievements, why is the Carter presidency viewed with such disdain by so many? The answers lie in two areas, one in his style of governing and his unbending character, and the other in external events. Losing a fight for a second term in a landslide automatically casts a cloud. President Ronald Reagan’s positive, hopeful approach also contrasted with Mr. Carter’s penchant to be the bearer of unpleasant truths, to ask for sacrifice in a way that shaded into the image of a public scold. Trained as an engineer, he sought comprehensive solutions to fundamental challenges through a political system designed for incremental change; his significant successes never quite seemed to match the ambition of his proposals.

Early in his presidency, when he was trying to manage the White House on his own, without a chief of staff, Mr. Carter sent Congress a blizzard of controversial legislative proposals. By his own admission, this overloaded the congressional circuits with too many competing initiatives. What came back paled in contrast to his excessively broad goals and confused the public. Some presidents have an indefinable quality of making half a loaf seem like a victory, but Mr. Carter did not really recognize politics as the art of the possible. When he won, he looked as if accepting compromise was a loss. Mr. Carter did what he considered “the right thing” for his country, and let the political chips fall where they may.

The fruit of some of Mr. Carter’s greatest achievements came only after he left office. The most painful example was his reining in the ruinous inflation that had bedeviled his predecessors even before the first oil shock of 1973. Over the objection of almost all his advisers, Mr. Carter appointed Paul A. Volcker chairman of the Federal Reserve, knowing he would raise interest rates to squeeze inflation out of the system. He told us that he had tried two anti-inflation czars, jawboning, voluntary wage and price guidelines, and an austere budget policy; that nothing had worked, and that he would rather lose the 1980 election than leave ingrained inflation to the next generation.

To this day, there is a myth — which Mr. Carter himself has not tried to dispute — that if only he had dispatched more helicopters, our attempt to rescue the American hostages held at our embassy in Iran would have succeeded. (Military commanders, in fact, argued that additional helicopters would have compromised the secrecy of the mission.)

For many it became a metaphor for a failed presidency. The withdrawal of Iranian oil from the world market meanwhile sent oil prices soaring, produced double-digit inflation, and left millions angrily waiting in lines at the gas pump, just as Mr. Carter sought re-election. The American public saw the entire country held hostage by a second-rate power in the agonizing 444 days that our diplomats and employees were held captive.

After almost 40 years, these failures — and all presidents suffer from them — should be weighed against this good man’s major accomplishments. Another Democratic president who left office widely unpopular, but who in the cold light of history is seen as a paragon of honesty, decisiveness and achievement is Harry S. Truman. He was an idol of Mr. Carter, who put a plaque with Truman’s slogan on his Oval Office desk: “The Buck Stops Here.” Their plain-spoken decency, integrity and courage are too often lacking among political leaders today.
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Re: Jimmy Carter

Post by wcfvw69 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:07 pm

I have to agree with you Colin. Mr. Carter clearly has not gotten a fair shake by the historians. In all likelihood, as the decades pass and his life is judged, he will be viewed more in a positive light.

I think we all know that his failure in letting Iran bully us for 444 days was his ultimate down fall. While he didn't need to start WWIII over the hostages, he could of clearly leveraged our military advantage in resolving and freeing the hostages. I remember vividly that when Regan was elected, the Iranians knew he would take a much more aggressive stance. History remembers the Iranians freeing the hostages as Regan came into office as a last, embarrassing fuck you to Carter. They were clearly bitter over Carter allowing their former Shah into the US for cancer treatment.

What's even more ironic or moronic? It's how history repeats itself. Carter will always be viewed in a negative light over the hostages and needing to being more aggressive in resolving it. Here we are now, 35 years later, with a group of IS murderers, having free will to destroy history. They murder thousands, have caused one of the biggest vast exoduses of people trying to escape their reign of terror, all the while the US and the rest of it's NATO allies sit back and use the region as target practice for our air forces. Obama is also going to be viewed negatively by history and will be seen in the same light as Carter over his lack of leadership in this matter.

Why on earth the wests leaders are not putting a coalition (to include participants from this region) together to rid the world of this group from the region, is beyond me. All the leaders that are blindly looking the other way are a travesty. I hope history rips them apart. Anyone remember Neville Chamberlin and how he so wonderfully handled Hitler in the 30's when he was "annexing" countries? Yea, that worked well.
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Re: Jimmy Carter

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:25 am

wcfvw69 wrote: I think we all know that his failure in letting Iran bully us for 444 days was his ultimate down fall.
But do we know that Reagan had engaged in secret negotiations with the Ayatollahs to keep the hostages until after the elections?
The New York Times (1987)
WASHINGTON, Jan. 10— A retired Central Intelligence Agency official has confirmed to the Senate Intelligence Committee that on the secret mission to Teheran last May, Robert C. McFarlane and his party carried a Bible with a handwritten verse from President Reagan for Iranian leaders.

According to a person who has read the committee's draft report, the retired C.I.A. official, George W. Cave, an Iran expert who was part of the mission, said the group had 10 falsified passports, believed to be Irish, and a key-shaped cake to symbolize the anticipated ''opening'' to Iran.
wcfvw69 wrote:he could of clearly leveraged our military advantage in resolving and freeing the hostages. I remember vividly that when Regan was elected, the Iranians knew he would take a much more aggressive stance.
No, it was not fear of Reagan and potential military might. Reagan baked a damn cake for the Ayatollah and sold arms to Iran so we could covertly finance the contras in Nicaragua against congressional wishes. Truly, far more sordid than we allow in our conventional conservative retelling of Saint Reagan's tenure.
wcfvw69 wrote:What's even more ironic or moronic? It's how history repeats itself. Carter will always be viewed in a negative light over the hostages and needing to being more aggressive in resolving it. Here we are now, 35 years later, with a group of IS murderers, having free will to destroy history. They murder thousands, have caused one of the biggest vast exoduses of people trying to escape their reign of terror, all the while the US and the rest of it's NATO allies sit back and use the region as target practice for our air forces. Obama is also going to be viewed negatively by history and will be seen in the same light as Carter over his lack of leadership in this matter.
Only at home. Internationally, Carter and Obama are seen as rational and diplomatic.
Colin
wcfvw69 wrote:Why on earth the wests leaders are not putting a coalition (to include participants from this region) together to rid the world of this group from the region, is beyond me. All the leaders that are blindly looking the other way are a travesty.
There are far greater and more intractable difficulties in regards to ISIS. It would do us well to apply a more nuanced understanding of our capabilities, our culpabilities, and our very real limitations in regards to an area half way around the world where we have so severely botched the good will we once (may have) had. You need to understand that our corporate and military footprint there has never given a half a damn about the good of the people, the citizens of those countries. WE have been instrumental in militarizing all sides of ancient conflicts. I appreciate Carter's deeply human efforts at arriving at diplomatic solutions, and I appreciate Obama's skilled efforts at creating coalitions devoted to diplomatic solutions.

I am so damn done with military violence as any sort of solution. We could help the young men of that region invested in participating in the local economies (like we could help our young dispossessed become invested in ours), before their desperation and bleak outlooks make them turn to identifying with those who are so angry that they commit terrorism (here, we call it gang violence).
wcfvw69 wrote:All the leaders that are blindly looking the other way are a travesty.
I see travesties all over. Usually, it is because there are secret financial advantages to the status-quo. All over . . . here and abroad.
Colin
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Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 93,996 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: Jimmy Carter

Post by zabo » Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:18 pm

i think this was the last time a president ever spoke to america like this.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCOd-qWZB_g[/youtube]
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Re: Jimmy Carter

Post by wcfvw69 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 4:11 pm

Colin-

I'm certainly not a proponent of war or "military conflicts". There will always be legitimate arguments that the only benefactors of war are the industries (and the politicians who support them) that produce the war materials. I'll agree that in all cases, diplomatic efforts should always be exhausted before shots are fired.
History has many examples where diplomatic efforts failed miserably, to include Chamberlin's efforts in negotiating with Hitler. I love the picture where Chamberlin declares "victory" during his "peace in our time" speech after his return from meeting with Hitler in 1938 and appeasing Hitler's expansion goals. I often wonder what Chamberlin thought about his successful negotiating with Hitler in 1940 as German bombs rained down on London.

At what point do the world's leaders recognize that they have a moral responsibility to step in militarily to stop ISIS? When is there the "right" justification for war? We've clearly learned that there's no diplomatic solution with extremists. Wasn't NATO's established to protect countries from this sort of aggression and protect the little guys?
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Re: Jimmy Carter

Post by dingo » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:33 pm

'79 was reaction to '53 CIA coup and resultant puppet governments...no-one mentioned it back then nor hardly now. We created the Iran of that era, much like we created ISIS..and by further military flaying around, just seed the next generation of brewing hatred. Three guys on a French train probably did more for US foreign policy than decades of munitions and bomb droppings...
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Re: Jimmy Carter

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:31 pm

dingo wrote:'79 was reaction to '53 CIA coup and resultant puppet governments...no-one mentioned it back then nor hardly now. We created the Iran of that era, much like we created ISIS..and by further military flaying around, just seed the next generation of brewing hatred. Three guys on a French train probably did more for US foreign policy than decades of munitions and bomb droppings...
=D> =D> =D>
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 93,996 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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