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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 25, 2007 / 8 Sivan 5767

Look in the mirror, Jimmy Carter

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Gracious as ever, Jimmy Carter says that when it comes to international relations, the presidency of George W. Bush has set an all-time low. "I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world," Carter told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette last week, "this administration has been the worst in history."


Former presidents don't usually insult their successors quite so overtly, and Carter's slur, not surprisingly, drew international attention. Whereupon he claimed that his remarks had been "maybe careless or misinterpreted" and insisted: "I was certainly not talking personally about any president." No, of course not.


If "Pot Calling a Kettle Black" were a category in the Guinness Book of World Records, Carter would be a shoo-in for the upcoming edition. History's ultimate judgment on Bush may not be known for some time, but its verdict on Carter, who vacated the White House 26 years ago, seems clear enough. And that verdict is: Well, let's just say he would be well advised not to toss around phrases such as "worst in history" when the conversation turns to presidential performance.


Christopher Hitchens this week recalled arguing with Eugene McCarthy, a lifelong liberal who had voted for Ronald Reagan in 1980. McCarthy was unapologetic. Carter, he said, "quite simply abdicated the whole responsibility of the presidency while in office. He left the nation at the mercy of its enemies at home and abroad. He was the worst president we ever had."


The worst of the 20th century, at any rate. During the Carter years, America's international standing went into freefall. The 39th president entered the White House as the tide in the Cold War was turning in the Soviet Union's favor. Vietnam and Cambodia had fallen to the communists, and Marxist governments had seized power in Mozambique, Angola, and Ethiopia as well. Yet the new president went out of his way to dismiss principled anticommunism as foolish paranoia: "We are now free of that inordinate fear of communism which once led us to embrace any dictator who joined us in that fear," he said 30 years ago this week. Instead of acting forcefully to block any further expansion of communist power, Carter sought to appease it.


Before long, he was slashing billions of dollars from the defense budget, cancelling the B-1 bomber program, and ordering US missiles removed from South Korea. He welcomed the Sandinista takeover of Nicaragua and provided the junta with $90 million in aid. He initiated diplomatic relations with Fidel Castro's dictatorship, unperturbed by the thousands of Cuban troops fighting with Marxist forces in Africa. As Moscow engaged in a vast military buildup and cultivated an international network of terrorists, the Carter administration sliced hundreds of intelligence positions at the CIA.


Not until the Soviets invaded Afghanistan did the scales finally fall from Carter's eyes. Moscow's naked aggression, he said, "made a more dramatic change in my opinion of what the Soviets' ultimate goals are than anything they've done in the previous time I've been in office."


Toward those who warned that American weakness was dangerously provocative, Carter was scornful — "simplistic," he said of Reagan in October 1980, "jingoistic . . . shooting from the hip." Toward tyrants and goons, on the other hand, he was creepily unctuous. "A great and courageous leader" who "believes in human rights" was Carter's description of Yugoslav dictator Marshal Tito. To Romania's brutal Nicolae Ceausescu, the president fawned : "Our goals are the same . . . to let the people of the world share in growth, in peace, in personal freedom . . . in enhancing human rights." His sycophancy in the face of malevolence was memorably captured in photographs that showed him kissing Soviet ruler Leonid Brezhnev in 1979, a few months before the invasion of Afghanistan.


Worse yet was the administration's supine response to the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran later the same year. When Carter hinted that he might use military force to end the crisis and free the 52 US diplomats being held in captivity, he was mocked by the Ayatollah Khomeini. "He is beating on an empty drum," Khomeini sneered. "Neither does Carter have the guts for military action nor would anyone listen to him."


The fruits of Carter's spinelessness, says scholar Steven Hayward, have been bitter. The fall of Iran, he observes, "set in motion the advance of radical Islam and the rise of terrorism that culminated in Sept. 11." By doing nothing to prevent the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Carter invited an evil from which grew the jihadist violence that is such a menace today.


It took Americans only four years to realize what a disaster Carter had been; they booted him out in 1980 by a 44-state landslide. "The worst in history," he says of Bush. Look who's talking.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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