August 17, 2006
Carter, of course, brings up the usual canards of how President Bush has cut taxes to benefit the rich while the poor suffer and how Bush is breaking down that wall between church and state. He doesn't give specifics, however, telling readers that the details are in his latest book...the fact that most Germans won't bother to read the book and will be getting their information from this publicity stunt disguised as an interview notwithstanding. Of course, the Germans wouldn't find out from the book either that the administration is cutting taxes for those who pay the most of them. And a personal belief in God by the president is obviously a serious disintegration of the separation between church and state. Now you know!
Here's one of the more nauseating passages of the interview:
SPIEGEL: What makes you personally so optimistic about the effectiveness of diplomacy? You are, so to speak, the father of Camp David negotiations.
Carter: When I became president we had had four terrible wars between the Arabs and Israelis (behind us). And I under great difficulty, particularly because Menachim Begin was elected, decided to try negotiation and it worked and we have a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt for 27 years that has never been violated. You never can be certain in advance that negotiations on difficult circumstances will be successful, but you can be certain in advance if you don't negotiate that your problem is going to continue and maybe even get worse.
SPIEGEL: But negotiations failed to prevent the burning of Beirut and bombardment of Haifa.
Carter: I'm distressed. But I think that the proposals that have been made in the last few days by the (Lebanese) Prime Minister (Fuoad) Siniora are quite reasonable. And I think they should declare an immediate cease-fire on both sides, Hezbollah said they would comply, I hope Israel will comply, and then do the long, slow, tedious negotiation that is necessary to stabilize the northern border of Israel completely. There has to be some exchange of prisoners. There have been successful exchanges of prisoners between Israel and the Palestinians in the past and that's something that can be done right now.
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Carter blames Israel earlier in the interview (of course!) and thinks that if we all sit down for a cuppa and a nice long chat, we can sort out the differences. What he fails to address, however, is that Hezbollah and the Palestinians don't really want peace: what they want is the total annhialation of Israel. Nothing else will suffice. But his one success (bolstered by the fact that Israel and Egypt at the time were ready for negotiation no matter who brokered it) makes him an expert on every situation in the Middle East.
SPIEGEL: Should there be an international peacekeeping force along the Lebanese-Israeli border?
SPIEGEL: And can you imagine Germans soldiers taking part?
Carter: Yes, I can imagine Germans taking part.
SPIEGEL: ... even with their history?
Carter: Yes. That would be certainly satisfactory to me personally, and I think most people believe that enough time has passed so that historical facts can be ignored.
Because international "peace keeping" forces have been so successful in the past. And the Germans wouldn't take part anyway. They're too busy acting as though they're above the fray. (Here's an interesting bit of German and Muslim history that doesn't get talked about much these days.)
What really sticks out in this interview is how many times Carter refers to how things affect him: he's distressed, he'd be personally gratified, when he was president, blah blah blah.
Reading the whole thing is a great idea if you're dieting...it'll help to keep your appetite at bay.
Burnishing his reputation...
one interview at a time
Crossposted to Blogmeister USA
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