Jimmy Carter’s Legacy
The fact is the Shah of Iran was the lynchpin of United States influence in the Middle East. He was a strong ally, and because we supplied Iran with the latest in weaponry, other nations in the vicinity of Iran kept their anti-Israel and anti-US intentions under control. Moreover, while Iran was not democratic under the Shah, it was the most modern country in the Middle East, outside of Israel.
Our approach to the Middle East prior to Jimmy Carter was not pie in the sky. We didn’t talk about democratizing the Middle East. Does anyone really think that’s possible? Rather, our approach was pragmatic—we supported the Shah because it kept the lid on the Middle East cauldron and during the Cold War it successfully countered the attempts of the USSR to bring the Middle East fully into their orbit. It wasn’t a perfect solution, but it was a practical one that worked. The Shah wasn’t perfect, but compared to the lunatics in Iran and other parts of the Middle East today, he was a saint.
When we kicked the legs out from under that table, we destabilized the entire Middle East. The result is the mess we face there today.
By the way, Jimmy Carter did the exact same thing in Nicaragua. When he kicked out Omar Trujillo, he exchanged a strongly pro-US tin horn dictator for the Ortega brothers, much more dangerous and with a much more repressive, soviet style régime. Once again, he destabilized an entire region of the world because he was either too naïve or ill informed to understand the consequences of his actions.
Now Carter praises Caesar Chavez, a Fidel Castro wannabe. Chavez, the communist despot in Venezuela who has seized control of the news media, demolished the country’s economy and killed off his enemies, seems to be some sort of hero to former President Carter.
I won’t even get into his foolish visit to North Korea and his praise of
Kim Jong Il (who truly is ill). One only wonders what Mr. Carter would be saying of Joseph Stalin or Adolph Hitler if they were still alive today.
For his ill advised words and actions in the Middle East, in Latin America and around the globe, Jimmy Carter deserves a dunce cap, not a Nobel Prize.