James Earl Carter has been saved from having the reputation as our worst President ever by the Administration of Barack Obama; you’d think that he’d be more grateful!
By Jimmy Carter | Published: June 24, 2012
The United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights.
Revelations that top officials are targeting people to be assassinated abroad, including American citizens, are only the most recent, disturbing proof of how far our nation’s violation of human rights has extended. This development began after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and has been sanctioned and escalated by bipartisan executive and legislative actions, without dissent from the general public. As a result, our country can no longer speak with moral authority on these critical issues.
While the country has made mistakes in the past, the widespread abuse of human rights over the last decade has been a dramatic change from the past. With leadership from the United States, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948 as “the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” This was a bold and clear commitment that power would no longer serve as a cover to oppress or injure people, and it established equal rights of all people to life, liberty, security of person, equal protection of the law and freedom from torture, arbitrary detention or forced exile.
The declaration has been invoked by human rights activists and the international community to replace most of the world’s dictatorships with democracies and to promote the rule of law in domestic and global affairs. It is disturbing that, instead of strengthening these principles, our government’s counterterrorism policies are now clearly violating at least 10 of the declaration’s 30 articles, including the prohibition against “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Our 39th President is just beside himself with grief over the fact that, in the war against the Islamists,1 the United States is exploiting its technical advantages wherever possible, including the use of unmanned drones to strike the Islamist leadership far behind anything resembling the “front.”
Somewhere between 2.8 and 5.5 million German soldiers were killed in World War II,2 before Der Führer finally decided to commit suicide. Somewhere between 1 and 2½ million more German civilians, men, women, boys, and girls, the elderly and infants, really just anyone who happened to be around when the bombs fell, were killed as well, because we were not able to send an unmanned drone or successful covert action squad to kill off the Nazi leadership. Your Editor wonders just how it was more moral to not target the Nazi leadership directly, but have to wade through millions of Germans with fire and steel, to finally end the menace posed by the Third Reich.
Of course, President Carter became former President Carter four years earlier than he planned precisely because he was so tremendously inept at foreign policy, at understanding our enemies. The Iranian government allowed a group of “students” to invade our embassy in Tehran,3 seize our diplomats, Marine guards and other Americans, and hold them hostage for over a year, and President Carter’s response was weak, vacillating and totally ineffective; he had the tools of force at his disposal as commander-in-chief, but was too weak-willed to use them, and allowed the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khoumeini to utterly humiliate him. And now, 32 years after his landslide defeat by Ronald Reagan, Mr Carter has demonstrated that he still doesn’t understand that not everybody is a nice and reasonable guy.
In 1979 and 1980, the Ayatollah played our President for a fool; in 2012, our former President has proved, yet again, that he never learned from that lesson.
- Your Editor does not use the mealy-mouthed term “war on terror.” Terrorism is simply a tactic, a particularly repugnant one, but one which is used because it has proved to be effective. The “terrorists” we are fighting are the people who wish to impose an Islam-based fascism, Islamism for short, and we ought to be honest enough to admit that. ↩
- There are widely divergent numbers given, depending upon the source. ↩
- An embassy is the legal territory of the nation whose embassy it is. ↩