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Former President Carter Blasts Bush


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (May 19) - Former President Carter says President Bush 's administration is "the worst in history" in international relations, taking aim at the White House's policy of pre-emptive war and its Middle East diplomacy.

The criticism from Carter, which a biographer says is unprecedented for the 39th president, also took aim at Bush's environmental policies and the administration's "quite disturbing" faith-based initiative funding.

"I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history," Carter told the Arkansas Democrat -Gazette in a story that appeared in the newspaper's Saturday editions. "The overt reversal of America's basic values as expressed by previous administrations, including those of George H.W. Bush  and Ronald Reagan  and Richard Nixon and others, has been the most disturbing to me."

Carter spokeswoman Deanna Congileo confirmed his comments to The Associated Press on Saturday and declined to elaborate. He spoke while promoting his new audiobook series, "Sunday Mornings in Plains," a collection of weekly Bible lessons from his hometown of Plains, Ga.

"Apparently, Sunday mornings in Plains for former President Carter includes hurling reckless accusations at your fellow man," said Amber Wilkerson, Republican  National Committee spokeswoman. She said it was hard to take Carter seriously because he also "challenged Ronald Reagan's strategy for the Cold War."

Carter came down hard on the Iraq  war.

"We now have endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that some time in the future our security might be endangered," he said. "But that's been a radical departure from all previous administration policies."



Carter, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, criticized Bush for having "zero peace talks" in Israel. Carter also said the administration "abandoned or directly refuted" every negotiated nuclear arms agreement, as well as environmental efforts by other presidents.

Carter also offered a harsh assessment for the White House's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, which helped religious charities receive $2.15 billion in federal grants in fiscal year 2005 alone.

 "The policy from the White House has been to allocate funds to religious institutions, even those that channel those funds exclusively to their own particular group of believers in a particular religion," Carter said. "As a traditional Baptist, I've always believed in separation of church and state and honored that premise when I was president, and so have all other presidents, I might say, except this one."

Douglas Brinkley, a Tulane University presidential historian and Carter biographer, described Carter's comments as unprecedented.

"This is the most forceful denunciation President Carter has ever made about an American president," Brinkley said. "When you call somebody the worst president, that's volatile. Those are fighting words."

Carter also lashed out Saturday at British prime minister Tony Blair . Asked how he would judge Blair's support of Bush, the former president said: "Abominable. Loyal. Blind. Apparently subservient."

"And I think the almost undeviating support by Great Britain for the ill-advised policies of President Bush in Iraq have been a major tragedy for the world," Carter told British Broadcasting Corp. radio.


Entry #1,137


Comment by jim695 - May 21, 2007, 10:11 am
Well, Mr. Carter was just on the Today Show, explaining that what he said isn't what he meant. When he said that Bush's administration would be recorded as the worst in history, everyone should have realized that what he meant was that Nixon had the best foreign and international trade policies.
     Okay ... boy, do I feel stupid ... I don't know how I could have missed that.
     Personally, I wish he'd have stuck to his guns.
     This is not to say that I agree or disagree with his comments. I just wish some of these politicians would grab their packages and say what they mean to say, without feeling the need to apologize later. Even ex-presidents are entitled to their opinions. Eventually, this practice would lead to accountability in government, which is something we are sorely lacking these days.
     Going off-topic for a moment, I saw another newscast which reported that a woman was arrested and charged with multiple felony counts of lying about where she lived in order to enroll her children in a better school district. I can't recall where this happened, but she faced up to 80 years in prison if she was convicted. Thankfully, the jury aquitted her of all charges after deliberating for less than an hour. I found some striking similarities between her case and the ridiculous criminal charges I recently faced. Our elected officials and police officers seem to be preying on innocent people more and more often. We're forced to deplete our savings, to endure the sideways glances and hushed whispers in the grocery store or diner, and also to suffer the embarrassment of having been an inmate. After all this, once we've proven our innocence in a court of law, we're told to suck it up; there's no remedy available, because prosecutors and police officers have total immunity from the laws they're charged with enforcing. If they want to charge you with a crime in order to fill an empty bunk in their state's privately-run Supermax prison, well, you'll have very little to say about it, if you know what's good for you.
     We elect these people to represent US, not the lobbyists who finance their campaigns, which brings me back to the topic at hand.
     When I heard Carter's comments, I thought to myself, "Finally, a politician is standing up and speaking out with no apparent benefit to himself or to his party." I found it refreshing, to say the least. But then he went and caved, and ruined my whole day. I was so upset, I couldn't even finish my oatmeal (it was good, too; the kind with the little pieces of dehydrated apple in it).
     This isn't the first time a politician has spoiled my breakfast, but I really thought Carter might just start a new trend in politics.
     Apparently, when it comes to our government, honesty is not the best policy, whether that policy governs foreign or domestic affairs or international trade.
     There must be some method of taking our country back from the people we elect to lie to us but, for the life of me, I can't think of what it might be ...
Comment by DoubleDown - May 21, 2007, 4:14 pm
Very similar ( if you are a Nascar fan) to the comments Tony Stewart made last month, then got called on the carpet and recanted all of them..
Rick GComment by Rick G - May 21, 2007, 8:03 pm
This reminds me of the fable about the emperor and his new clothes. Everyone was afraid to tell him he was "naked as a jaybird".

Carter was just the boy who said what the whole crowd was thinking.
Rick GComment by Rick G - May 21, 2007, 8:57 pm
It must be something in the air...I was just watching a debate on the Commie News Network (CNN) and the same allegory I used forty minutes ago in my post above (the emperor and his new clothes) was applied to what Ron Paul said during the Republican debates.

At least a couple leaders have the 'nads to tell it like it is. Everyone hates the messenger, but sticking your head in the sand doesn't make you a smart ostrich.

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