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Jimmy Carter Calls Out Blair

I saw this article this weekend in the British press. Carter takes Blair to task.
"I have been surprised and extremely disappointed by Tony Blair's behaviour," he told The Sunday Telegraph.

"I think that more than any other person in the world the Prime Minister could have had a moderating influence on Washington - and he has not. I really thought that Tony Blair, who I know personally to some degree, would be a constraint on President Bush's policies towards Iraq."
He's probably right about that. I've never understood the Labor Party leader's (sort of the British version of the Dems) standing by Bush all these years. To the point of being labeled "Bush's poodle" in the press. The only way I can understand his support of Bush's illegal pre-emptive war on Iraq is that the United Kingdom has had a long time interest in the area, since before WW1. I mean, remember Lawrence of Arabia? They've been wanting that oil for a good, long time and probably don't want to lose out now to the Yanks. They gambled their empire on their Mid-East policy and well, lost their empire. So, now that the area is up for grabs again and they want a piece of it. I'm sure Blaire's financial backers made that perfectly clear to him.
At 81, Mr Carter - the 39th American president, from 1977 to 1981, and the winner of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize - plainly has no intention of sitting on his porch and nodding quietly away as the sun goes down over his peanut farm. He has just published a book, Faith and Freedom, in which he savages the American administration for leading the country into insularity and intolerance.

"We've never before had an administration that would endorse pre-emptive war - that is a basic policy of going to war against another country even though our own security was not directly threatened," he said. In his book, President Carter writes: "I have been sorely tempted to launch a military attack on foreigners."

But had he still been president, he says that he would never have considered invading Iraq in 2003.

"No," he said, "I would never have ordered it. However, I wouldn't have excluded going into Afghanistan, because I think we had to strike at al-Qaeda and its leadership. But then, to a major degree, we abandoned the anti-terrorist effort and went almost unilaterally with Great Britain into Iraq."

This, Mr Carter believes, subverted the effectiveness of anti-terrorist efforts. Far from achieving peace and stability, the result has been a disaster on all fronts. "My own personal opinion is that the Iraqi people are not better off as a result of the invasion and people in America and Great Britain are not safer."
I'm glad he's speaking up. I wonder what the fallout will be? The right-wing seem to think they have so discredited Carter as a person that there will be none. Carter may be Christian, Southern, white, and well-heeled Greatest Generationite, but he does not speak to their base and that is the only way they would view him as a threat. Hopefully, he represents a large segment of the Christian moderates who are finally getting outraged enough by the excesses of the religious right to get organized to reclaim their religion and our political system from the neoconservative agenda. Remember what a big help they were and what a force of positive change when they joined the Civil Rights movement. Even for the American Indian Movement, it was the National Council of Churches that helped pay the legal fees of many AIM leaders. Now, religious right groups fund Lakota traditionalists to pass anti-abortion laws and remove female leaders from power.
Jacqueline Keeler
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