Here we go again. Former President Jimmy Carter just can’t say anything nice about America. (We’ll give him a pass on criticizing Barack Obama, since he’s right for once. Well, at least on foreign policy.)
In the midst of an appearance at the Aspen Institute last week, the old peanut farmer had nothing good to say about Barack Obama’s foreign policy performance as Occupier of the Oval Office. His points are largely correct:
- The United States does not have any relationships with other countries that are better now than they were when Obama took office.
- Our prestige in the world is significantly diminished.
- ISIS was allowed to build up its armaments and forces under Obama’s watch (they are no longer the JV squad).
Back in his usual form, though, Carter DID praise John Kerry as “one of the best secretaries of state we’ve ever had” completely ignoring James Baker, Henry Kissinger (despite his Rockefeller ties), George Schultz and John Foster Dulles. Then he all but congratulated Obama on domestic things, like healthcare, but not before talking about how America’s place in the world has “evolved.”
“The historical trend is for the United States to relinquish its unquestioned domination of the world’s politics and economy and cultural influence… I think it can be a good thing…China is rising, Russia is going to come back. And other countries also. Brazil is increasing its influence. India is increasing its influence compared to what it was ten years ago. I can’t say I can blame President Obama for it. I think its an inevitability. And now the thing to do for President Obama and the next president, is how can the United States fit in and still accomplish our goals of promoting the elements of a superpower.
“What are the elements of a superpower? This is may be preaching a little bit, but I think a superpower should not only be a top country as far as military power is concerned, which we are going to continue to be, but I think that the American superpower goal should be to be the champion of peace. And to be the champion of human rights. And to be the champion of the environment. And to be the most generous nation on earth. Those are the elements that I hope eventually the United States will set as goals.
“We are the most war-like country on earth. We are laggard in addressing the problem of global warming, for instance, and we are now violating about ten of the thirty paragraphs of the universal declaration of human rights. And I think this is something we should find as opportunities and duties for the future.”
We could begin a critique of Carter’s soliloquy with the question, “Who let the Iran genie out of the bottle?” followed by “Ever hear of the time the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan?” and “Who’s National Security Advisor created Al-Qaeda?” but that would be rather rude, wouldn’t it. Never mind that the United States IS the most generous nation on earth, and that we have done more to clean up our own environment and bring our contaminated rivers back from death than any other country, or that peace is achieved when American might flexes its muscles. No other superpower can claim that.
Also, the old man apparently forgot that we beat Russia in a previous form in a war that had no real battles. And that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is violated by far more countries than this one, where most of it sits in law.
And yet, Jimmy Carter thinks our goal should be to fit in as a superpower. Superpowers rule by example. Guess that slipped his mind.