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Carter's Appease Prize
By: Lowell Ponte
Wednesday, October 16, 2002


If we judge a tree by its fruits, then we must judge Mr. Carter’s four years in the Oval Office by the toxic fruit it produced and seeds of violence it sowed that continue to poison our world.

JIMMY CARTER on Friday won the Nobel Peace Prize that he had lobbied for relentlessly for more than 20 years. (This column has seen no reports that Mr. Carter, 78, hired the two Norwegian public relations firms paid by America’s only other living former Democratic President Bill Clinton to privately lobby committee members to give Clinton the $1 million Peace Prize.)

Mr. Carter’s prize and the statements by the Nobel Peace Prize committee chairman have caused widespread controversy and disgust, as we shall recount in this column. But a bigger issue has largely been ignored — whether the supposedly-idealistic-if-incompetent Jimmy Carter should be regarded as a “man of peace” at all, or as a man responsible for mass murder and today’s climate of terrorism.

If we judge a tree by its fruits, then we must judge Mr. Carter’s four years in the Oval Office by the toxic fruit it produced and seeds of violence it sowed that continue to poison our world.

Jimmy Carter has on his hands the blood of more than 600,000 people — at least as many as died in America’s Civil War. Among recent consequences of Jimmy Carter’s arrogance and stupidity are the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, on the Pentagon and World Trade Center that murdered more than 3,000 Americans.

Let’s map a few of the milestones on Jimmy Carter’s road to this hell, a road paved with his “good intentions” (which may or may not be as noble as he would have us believe).

Jimmy Carter, upon taking office in 1977, declared that advancing “human rights” was among his highest priorities. Because America’s ally the Shah of Iran was torturing approximately 3,000 prisoners (many of them agents for Iran’s bordering neighbor the Soviet Union), Mr. Carter ostentatiously withdrew U.S. support from the Shah.

Mr. Carter ordered the Central Intelligence Agency to stop paying $4 million per year in bribes to the religious Mullahs to tone down their rhetoric. Many of these Muslim leaders disliked the Shah not because he was dictatorial but because the Shah was secular, pro-Western, and expanding the rights and equality of women.

Because Mr. Carter withdrew U.S. support and unleashed Mullah fury, the Shah was toppled. Did this liberate the 3,000 political prisoners? No. The new theocratic dictatorship of the Ayatollah Khomeini put many of these “godless Communists” up against walls alongside more than 20,000 pro-Western Iranians and liquidated them all by firing squads. Women were sent back into servitude. Citizens were arrested merely for owning satellite dishes that could tune to Western programs. And, of course, American diplomats were taken hostage.

The Soviet Union, seeing President Carter’s indecisiveness and incompetence, took advantage of the chaos he had caused to invade Iran’s eastern neighbor Afghanistan, a power grab calculated to open the way for eventual Soviet takeovers in Iran and pro-Western Pakistan.Jimmy Carter’s manly response to this outrageous Soviet aggression was to withdraw our athletes from the 1980 Olympics so that, as in Afghanistan, the Soviets could win without our opposition.

The struggle against the Soviets in Afghanistan, and the defeat of this invading Superpower (by U.S. Stinger missiles supplied by Mr. Carter’s successor, the decisive Nobel Peace Prize-deserving President Ronald Reagan) radicalized and trained in the ways of sabotage many Muslim zealots, including Osama bin Laden.

Within a year of the Shah’s ouster, Iran on its western flank was locked into the Iran-Iraq War. Just as the U.S. had sided with Stalin to defeat Hitler, in this war the U.S. sided with secular Iraq and its military dictator Saddam Hussein to quarantine Islamist fanaticism’s contagious potential to infect a fifth of the world’s population.

The Iran-Iraq War would never have occurred had Jimmy Carter not toppled the Shah. This conflict cost the two nations more than 500,000 lives, including thousands of Iranians killed by Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons.

This costly war encouraged Hussein to acquire an arsenal capable of stopping future “human wave” invasion by his much more populous neighbor Iran. It also laid the groundwork that in 1990 led to Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait and, months later, to Desert Storm. One reason that during that war the U.S. did not depose Saddam Hussein was concern that the resulting “power vacuum” would be filled by Iran’s Ayatollahs.

To summarize, we have Jimmy Carter to thank for more than 600,000 deaths, Iran’s rule by Ayatollahs, the Iran-Iraq War, Iraq’s Invasion of Kuwait and Desert Storm, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and the mass murder of Americans and destruction of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001.

Does this sound like the handiwork of someone who deserves the Nobel Peace Prize?

But I hear you say “Lowell, Jimmy Carter didn’t mean for all these things to happen. He merely wanted to free 3,000 political prisoners and advance human rights. He may be inept, but he meant well.”

If Jimmy Carter were consistently idealistic this might seem plausible. We could reduce the charge against him from murdering 600,000 people to the “negligent manslaughter” of 600,000 through his stupidity and incompetence.

But two things weigh against such exoneration. The first is that Jimmy Carter has never shown remorse, taken responsibility or even acknowledged that his shortsighted simple-minded policies led to these horrors — which are human rights violations many magnitudes greater than anything the Shah of Iran ever came close to committing.

The second is that only months ago Jimmy Carter was in Havana kissing Marxist dictator Fidel Castro on the lips and giving propaganda aid and comfort to this mass murderer who had far, far more than 3,000 political prisoners at the time of Carter’s visit. (Fidel, of course, applauded his comrade Jimmy’s Peace Prize.)

In his world travels since his 1980 removal from office by American voters, editorialized even the liberal Washington Post, Jimmy Carter’s “willingness to engage with any dictator, no matter how odious, has at times been discomfiting.”

What the Post failed to mention is that Jimmy Carter embraces only Marxist, anti-Semitic and anti-American dictators, such as Venezuela’s Marxist thug Hugo Chavez who uses brownshirt street gangs to murder citizens who dare to rally against him.

Too bad for the Shah of Iran that he was pro-American and, during Arab oil embargoes, the chief oil supplier to Israel. If the Shah had instead been a Marxist friend of the Soviet Union and renamed his nation the Peoples Socialist Republic of Iran, Jimmy Carter would instantly have ceased all criticism of the Shah’s political prisoners and other human rights violations. Jimmy Carter has a very selective, pro-socialist definition of “human rights.”

Let’s be frank. If President Jimmy Carter had been a secret Soviet agent he could scarcely have done more to harm America than he did as a Leftist “idealist.” His every effort since being thrown out by the American people has also been to harm our nation’s friends and give aid and comfort to America’s enemies.

During his first term Jimmy Carter destroyed half the life savings of every American in what should be remembered as the greatest act of theft in human history. When he took office every dollar in your life savings was worth one dollar. When Carter left office after helping cause the highest inflation since the Civil War, every dollar had lost more than half its value, its purchasing power.

At its recent political conventions even his own Democratic Party has kept its former President Carter and his pictures away from stage center, making him virtually a “non-person” so as not to remind Americans that this worst, “smallest” and most embarrassing President in our history is a Democrat.

Had Jimmy Carter won another four-year term in 1980, the American economy would probably have been destroyed. Economies run on confidence, and Jimmy Carter’s example of “malaise,” weakness, incompetence, fear and retreat were destroying confidence in America both at home and abroad.

Mr. Carter gutted America’s national defense and our terrorist-fighting intelligence community. He personally overthrew our and Israel’s strongest ally in the Persian Gulf. He schemed, as Toronto Sun columnist Peter Worthington wrote on October 12, to unilaterally withdraw U.S. troops from South Korea, stopping only when his plans came to light. His weakness encouraged the Soviet Union to run amok, from Afghanistan to Angola (with Cuban surrogate troops).

Had Jimmy Carter won another term as President in 1980, the Soviet Union would probably have won the Cold War….because Mr. Carter would have thrown the game.

We must never forget that before he could defeat the Soviet Union and send it into the garbage disposal of history, Ronald Reagan had to defeat another major de facto threat to America’s health and survival, Jimmy Carter.

The Nobel Peace Prize committee, however, credited Mr. Carter with one major accomplishment — brokering the 1978 Middle East Peace agreements between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

Sadat and Begin shared the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize but Jimmy Carter, wrote Associated Press reporter Doug Mellgren, “was left out due to a technicality — he was not nominated in time.”

But is this true, thereby making Carter’s 2002 Peace Prize the mere correction of a past oversight? Both Sadat and Begin were courageous statesmen who risked much to make this peace agreement. Begin angered his own political base by returning the battle-won Sinai to Egypt. Sadat, as he knew likely, would be assassinated for making peace with Israel. By comparison Jimmy Carter risked nothing and did almost nothing, except serve beverages and snacks to two great statesmen who had come to Camp David already determined to make peace.

Why should the Nobel committee have diluted and cheapened its 1978 Peace Prize by awarding a third of it to the guy who merely supplied the meeting place and little more? Should we honor as a great peacemaker the guy who lent his house at Appomattox for the surrender that ended the Civil War? Should Christians today include in their worship the person who lent Joseph and Mary the stable at Bethlehem? Jimmy Carter was not nominated for the 1978 Peace Prize for an obvious reason: nobody except Jimmy himself thought he deserved it.

And apparently the five members of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize Committee scarcely thought Carter deserved it this year. Honoring Carter, said Committee chairman Gunnar Berge, “should be interpreted as a criticism of the line that the current [Bush] administration has taken. It’s a kick in the leg to all that follow the same line as the United States.”

“A ‘kick in the leg,’” reported Reuters journalist Alister Doyle, “is a Norwegian phrase meaning ‘a slap in the face.’” So the prize was intended not to honor Jimmy Carter so much as to insult and slap in the face the current American President George W. Bush for not following Carter’s policies of weakness, vacillation, and appeasement towards Leftist and other anti-American forces in the world. It should not be called a peace prize, opined the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto, but “The Nobel Appeasement Prize.”

“Gunnar the Red” Berge is a far-Left former Labour Party cabinet member whose party in Norway’s parliament had the largest voice in picking members of the Peace Prize Committee. His term ends this year, and Berge apparently decided to go out with a splash of self-publicity and anti-American ideology.

Fellow Prize committee member Gunnar Staalsett, the Leftist Lutheran Bishop of Oslo, loudly applauded Berge. Last spring Staalsett told reporters that he wished the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres could be withdrawn -- not the part awarded to Arafat but the portion given to Peres. Concerning the Carter Peace Prize and word that it was given to denigrate President George W. Bush’s pro-Israel, anti-Iraq policies, editorialized the otherwise-liberal New York Daily News, “Excuse us if we detect a whiff of anti-Semitism wafting from Oslo. It wouldn’t be the first time, Norwegian Nazis having happily collaborated with Hitler.”

Knowing that he was awarded the Peace Prize not out of merit so much as by way of making ideological war against his own nation’s elected President and a majority of the American people, Jimmy Carter has already proudly said he will accept it and the $1 million.

Jimmy Carter by refusing to refuse this tainted prize makes himself an accomplice to, and collaborator with, an act of ideological warfare against the American people and our elected government. This warfare is also aimed at both Republican and Democrat lawmakers who just voted to authorize the use of force against Iraq, a resolution Carter says he would have voted against. But Jimmy Carter has taken the enemy’s side many, many times before against America. No wonder the envious, America-hating Euro-Left loves him.

But if in this Orwellian double-speak world the Peace Prize (endowed by the war-profiteer creator of dynamite Alfred Nobel) is itself now used as a weapon of war, should this increasingly-surreal prize be scrapped?

Yes, argues Wall Street Journal writer Tunku Varadarajan, who proposes replacing it with a more honest and salutary Nobel Most Evil Award. “Imagine the debate” each year, he writes. “Will [the winner] be Robert Mugabe or Kim Jong Il?” This is the award Jimmy Carter deserves to win.


Mr. Ponte co-hosts a national radio talk show Monday through Friday 6-8 PM Eastern Time (3-5 PM Pacific Time) on the Genesis Communications Network. Internet Audio worldwide is at GCNlive .com. The show's live call-in number is 1-800-259-9231. A professional speaker, he is a former Roving Editor for Reader's Digest.