By Oliver North
The Washington Times
April 20, 2008
Your strength can compensate for my weakness, and your wisdom can help to minimize my mistakes.
— Jimmy Carter, Inaugural Address, Jan. 20, 1977
More than 31 years after he uttered those words, America is still trying to compensate for and minimize Mr. Carter’s mistakes and weaknesses — the greatest of which appears to be hubris. This week, our much-traveled 39th president ventured as a “private citizen” to the Middle East on a self-described mission “exploring possibilities for peace.”
Regrettably, what citizen Mr. Carter has succeeded in doing is to encourage our nation’s adversaries, lend credibility to terrorists who have killed our countrymen and disparaged a beleaguered ally.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, right, is greeted by Jordanian foreign Ministry secretary general Khaldoun Talhoni, left, at Queen Alia International airport in Amman, Jordan, Sunday, April 20, 2008. On his Middle East tour Carter has met exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in the Syrian capital despite strong opposition from Israel and the White House. (AP Photo/Jamal Nasrallah. Pool)
Mr. Carter’s current sojourn in personal diplomacy is just his most recent foreign foray in post-presidential folly since being voted out of office in Ronald Reagan’s 1980 landslide. During his global quest for relevance, he rarely missed an opportunity to denigrate our country’s interests, helping him to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. But this week’s expedition to Jerusalem, the West Bank, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia may prove to be the most damaging excursion yet.
Despite his claims, Mr. Carter is no “neutral observer.” In June 1994 the former president went to Pyongyang to broker a failed nuclear disarmament deal with North Korean despot Kim Il-jung. In 2002, he deigned to dignify the brutal, bearded butcher of Havana — Fidel Castro. While in the “island paradise” he disparaged America’s commitment to human rights and praised Cuba’s education and health-care systems.
In 2006, he and his self-appointed “impartial arbiters” declared “legitimate” the Palestinian elections that brought Hamas to power in Gaza. Later that same year in his book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” — he declared “Israel’s continued control and colonization of Palestinian land have been the primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land.”