May 19, 2007

Carter: Bush is the "Worst in History"

AP photo of former President Jimmy Carter by Charles Dharapak

Former President Carter told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that President Bush’s administration has been “the worst in history” with regard to international relations, in particular criticizing its policy of pre-emptive war and the poor results achieved in Middle East diplomacy.

Carter also excoriated outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair's support for Bush's policies, which he described as "Abominable. Loyal. Blind. Apparently subservient."

Strong words from the former President, whose public stature as a statesman has risen since his own term in office as the 39th American chief executive. I have to admit, though, that I find it hard to disagree with Carter's assessment of the damage that the Bush administration has wreaked on the international reputation of the United States.

With the continued phasing out of British troops this year, the U.S. will soon be standing almost alone in what remains of the Coalition of the Willing, unless you count such military powerhouses as Albania (120 troops) and Mongolia (100 troops) to be making a significant contribution to the pacification efforts.

And, for those who thump their chests and argue that international opinion of the United States is unnecessary, remember that U.S. citizens make up about 4.5 percent of the world's population. That's a whole lot of "dem" and not so many "us," dudes.

The ill-planned and poorly-reasoned invasion of Iraq in 2003 has been an abject failure, and has brought only death to innocent Iraqis and Coalition troops. Yet Bush stubbornly continues to push his "New Way Forward" (read: troop surge) as the only option for an American nation - his last pocket of international support - that is increasingly unwilling to foot the bill for what is widely viewed as one of the biggest debacles in modern history.


MP said...

After 9/11, Bush squandered a level of U.S. sympathy that had been higher than, probably, at any point in history.

Because of what can only be labeled "gross mismanagement" by Mr. Bush, there will be absolutely no healing process between the U.S. and other nations so long as he is in office.

And for those "patriots" who repeatedly say, "Who needs the rest of the world," please consider that likely over half of any products that you use on a daily basis contain parts or are completely manufactured in another country.

-Sepp said...

The road to war just like hell was paved with good intent.

microdot said...

Thank you Mr. Sepp! The only part of your great phrase I dispute is the good intent part.
The consequences that America will be paying for many years to come from this war go a lot further than money.

This was pure folly on a historical level.

The March of Folly by Barbara Tuchman should be a must read for any political science student!

Maggie Thurber said...

Actually, I looked at the comments a bit differently...I don't care what your opinion of the war and the job the president is doing. It's been a long-accepted policy that prior presidents don't criticize their successors. There are so few individuals in this particular position, that the 'polite' thing to do is to let them make their own decisions and to allow them to live with the consequences - good or bad.

Carter certainly enjoyed the ability to serve without his predecessors second-guessing and publicly criticizing...I wish he would grant the same consideration to his successors.

Besides - there are ways to disagree without being disagreeable. I think Carter crossed the line in this regard. And as much as I disliked Clinton's decisions, I think he's an example Carter could follow when it comes to this.

To be quite honest, considering some of the things Carter's said and written lately, I worry about him...

Maggie Thurber said...

Carter is now saying that his remarks were misinterpreted.

Whether they were or not, I appreciate that he's clarifying his position and backing off, somewhat, on criticizing his successors.

Helps to restore my belief that he's a good man even when I strongly disagree with his positions.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Although speaking ill of fellow current/past presidents breaks an unwritten cardinal rule, Peanuts is within his rights as an American citizen.

My opinion? Peanuts would be better off sticking with pounding nails; at least there, he earned a reputation for accomplishing something useful.

Mad Jack said...

I agree with Jimmy Carter. GWB will probably be remembered as one of the worst presidents the country has ever had.

As for past presidents criticizing the current president, I'm reminded that the Watergate scandal was a real ground breaking first as well. Maybe it's time that past presidents started to speak up.