Skip to comments.Acts that don't deserve the prize
Posted on 10/20/2002 1:38:27 PM PDT by CHACHI
Acts that don't deserve the prize
By Jeff Jacoby, 10/17/2002
AS A PATRIOT and a man of honor, Jimmy Carter should refuse the Nobel Peace Prize. That act of integrity would win him more respect than anything he has done in the past two decades.
The Nobel Peace Prize committee has sometimes shown disturbingly bad judgment, but never before has it awarded the prize with the explicit purpose of castigating the United States. That new low was achieved last week, when the Nobel Committee chairman, Gunnar Berge, emphasized that the award was meant as a denunciation of US policy toward Iraq.
''It should be interpreted as a criticism of the line that the current administration has taken,'' Berge said. ''It's a kick in the leg to all that follow the same line as the United States.'' Gunnar Staalsett, another committee member, confirmed that the award was intended as a condemnation of US policy. And the Nobel secretary, pointing to the language of the citation - which implies criticism of President Bush for creating ''a situation currently marked by threats of the use of power'' - remarked, ''There can't be much doubt about the intention of that.''
No, there can't: A smug little group of Norwegian politicians chose Carter for the Nobel Peace Prize in order to take a slap at a superpower willing to go to war, if necessary, to depose a vicious tyrant. Carter should be livid at this attempt to use him to discredit his country and embarrass President Bush and should turn the prize down.
But he won't. There are many things of which Carter disapproves, but slaps at the United States and digs at other presidents are not among them. On the contrary, they are something of a Carter specialty.
Consider, for example, his first meeting with Yasser Arafat in 1990, an event described by historian Douglas Brinkley in his admiring biography of Carter, ''The Unfinished Presidency.''
''There was no world leader Jimmy Carter was more eager to know,'' Brinkley wrote. Carter ''felt certain affinities with the Palestinian'' and wanted the feeling to be reciprocated. When Arafat complained about the ''betrayals'' of the Reagan administration, Rosalyn Carter (who was taking notes) exclaimed, ''You don't have to convince us!'' This, Brinkley reported, ''elicited gales of laughter all around.'' Carter sympathetically ''agreed that the Reagan administration was not renowned as promise keepers.''
Ronald Reagan would never have attempted to curry favor with an odious terrorist by mocking and deriding his successor. Or, for that matter, his predecessor.
Bad enough that Carter would run down another president in a conversation with the head of the PLO. Worse was his behavior last May, when he went to Cuba and implied that the US government lied.
Shortly before Carter's trip, Undersecretary of State John Bolton had warned of Cuban involvement in developing biological weapons. ''The United States believes that Cuba has at least a limited offensive biological warfare research and development effort,'' he said, and ''has provided dual-use biotechnology to other rogue states.''
But during a visit to a Cuban biotech facility, Carter claimed that US briefers had assured him that there is no evidence Cuba has done any such thing. Secretary of State Colin Powell reiterated Bolton's warning and said that Carter was mistaken, but the damage had been done: To lend support to Castro's dictatorship, Carter had purposely undermined US policy and labeled the administration dishonest.
Yet even that isn't the worst instance of Carter's willingness to undercut his successors.
During the runup to the Gulf War in 1990, in what even Brinkley calls ''the low moment'' of his post-presidency, Carter actively tried to sabotage President George H. W. Bush's efforts to win approval from the UN Security Council for armed action to liberate Kuwait. Without notifying Bush, he wrote to the heads of state of each member of the Security Council, urging them to vote against the US-drafted resolution.
''In his letter,'' Brinkley found, ''Carter urged these influential world leaders to abandon US leadership and instead give `unequivocal support to an Arab League effort''' to link the Iraqi conquest of Kuwait with the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Lobbying foreign governments to subvert the diplomatic efforts of a sitting president is something ex-presidents simply do not do. But Carter did it.
Lately, Carter has been harshly denouncing the current president's policy toward Iraq. America is in no danger from Baghdad, he declares, and war talk from the administration's ''belligerent and divisive voices'' must be resisted. Naturally he has no intention of muffling his own belligerent and divisive voice. But then, why would he? It has just won him a Nobel Prize - which he fully intends to keep.
Jeff Jacoby's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story ran on page A15 of the Boston Globe on 10/17/2002. © Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.
ahhh...reassurance from the man that brokered the "Korean" deal.
My answer to my previous question is "ALL THREE""!!
Jimmy Carter has done irreparable damage to this country.