Matthew Reid: "Carter In '04"
EDITOR'S NOTE: Introducing New Columnist Matthew Reid
Scoop's newest columnist is sure to raise a few eyebrows among the Scoop readership. His views- as he says himself - tend to be, " in diametric opposition to most of what is published on scoop.co.nz." But Scoop is a very big tent and our editorial view is that it always helps to understand the views of others. His first column (Below) is a narrative painting a very different picture of the February 15th protestors than that most readers will be accustomed to here, he goes on to express some trenchant views on former President Jimmy Carter. Matthew is intending to write weekly for Scoop on a Tuesday, so please keep your feedback to him civil. Welcome to Scoop Matthew! – The Scoop Editor
Carter In '04
by Matthew Reid
That's one of the slogans I was exposed to today when, in an act of self-torture, I drove past the gathering of America-haters doing their small part to undermine our nation under the auspices of "promoting peace".
The signs were everywhere I looked as I journeyed through downtown San Francisco. "Drop Bush, Not Bombs", read one held up by an aging hippie. A not as innocent as Britney Spears, not as jaded as Alanis Morissette type carried a red octagon shaped sign that read "Stop Bush!" There were placards that read, "Regime change begins at home!" "Stop Killing Iraqi Kids" and the ubiquitous, "No Blood For Oil."
None of the accusations are accurate, of course, but that doesn't appear to be of concern to these folks. Witness the fact that hundreds of Iraqi exiles, men and women who escaped the tyranny of Saddam Hussein and have observed his brutality first-hand, rallied in Washington, D.C., Michigan, San Francisco and elsewhere across the world to show support for America's desire to oust that evil regime; yet the, "peace-protestors", insist they know better.
Scanning the crowd, I saw the composition you'd expect at this sort of assembly; what I call the operatives, the dupes and the tag-a-longs.
The operatives are the professional protestors. They're on somebody's payroll. Saddam? Castro? The Democratic Socialist Party of America? Somebody is underwriting their activities. These are the true believers, the solidarity-types, the fellow travelers -- all working to undermine this nation at every turn. They're the IMF / World Bank hoodlums, eco-terrorists and a consortium of America-haters. ( Recent exposés by David Horowitz , and others, have revealed the identities and backgrounds of the top dogs at A.N.S.W.E.R. to include longtime Socialists, Marxists and members of the Workers World Party. No attempt to refute these allegations has been made.)
Then there are the dupes. This group consists of generally well-intentioned, idealistic, if naive people who just want to make a difference. They put their money and, more importantly, their energy where their mouths are. They are made aware of a social ill or some unacceptable condition or situation in the world and they don't sit around waiting for someone else to do something. Unfortunately, they are easy marks for the Anti-Western con and end up doing more harm than good. The propaganda they're exposed to is powerful; it's well crafted and carefully targeted to reach a specific audience and it works.
The other personality type you'll find at these demonstrations is the tag-a-long. These include the friends, neighbors, roommates, co-workers, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives and domestic partners of operatives and dupes as well as loners, losers and other miscellaneous victims of peer pressure. The common denominators running through these characters are terminal ignorance and a desire to look intelligent.
Take away the dupes and tag-a-longs and a good eighty percent of the protestors disappear. What's left is a pretty scary looking bunch. The normals having departed, it's much easier for the 10 o'clock News viewers to see the crowd for what it really is.
Back to that sign in the crowd that read, "CARTER in '04." Below the large letters that made up that headline, the poster had a drawing of former President Carter with a gold medal around his neck that read, "Nobel Prize" and underneath the picture the words, "THANK YOU, JIMMY." The college aged girl carrying the placard was likely a dupe or tag-a-long, but the sign was, no doubt, strategically placed in her hands by an operative.
But any objective, reasonably informed American would not think to thank President Carter. Maybe call for his belated impeachment or at the very least deportation, but certainly not thank him.
What exactly did Jimmy Carter do for his country? Under his watch, we signed the SALT I treaty, a foolhardy arms reduction agreement, which we followed to the letter while the Soviet Union fully disregarded it. The ineptitude of Mr. Carter's foreign policy, which facilitated the Soviet invasions of Nicaragua, Grenada, Yemen and Afghanistan, not to mention the nuclear blackmail Western Europe was subjected to with the newly developed triple war-headed SS-20 missiles Russia had pointed at them.
Just this year, Mr. Carter criticized President Bush's reference to Iran, Iraq and North Korea as an "axis of evil." Carter characterized that comment as, "overly simplistic and counterproductive," and the ex-president continued to break 225+ years of precedent with further criticism of the current Commander-In-Chief, saying he thought it would take years to repair the damage done by that statement. Meanwhile, for the past 22 years, America has been trying to repair the damage done by that guy.
And the foreign policy blunders, which also included the captivity of 52 Americans for over 14 months in Iran, the failed mission to rescue those hostages, and the giveaway of the most strategic waterway on the planet, were only equaled by his domestic failures.
The Carter Presidency gave us an unprecedented decline in the growth of the gross national product, mile long gas lines and a nearly 3 to 1 ratio of Americans who saw the future as pessimistic vs. optimistic. As President Carter pointed out in a speech to the nation on July 13, 1979, "For the first time in the history of our country a majority of our people believe that the next 5 years will be worse than the past 5 years."
When Carter left office the Prime Interest Rate was 21% (today it's 4.75%), unemployment was through the roof and the inflation rate was almost higher than his approval rating. This is not an exaggeration, at 21% in 1980, his approval rating was the lowest ever recorded by a president; while during the same period, the rate of inflation was an unheard of 15%.
So forgive me for not finding "solidarity" with my "sister" who carried that sign. Mr. Carter may be a nice guy, but he's delusional and naive at best, and at worst, a socialist sympathizer. He is certainly a friend of the tyrant, with a long history of appeasement and acquiescence. But don't take my word for it.
Recall the voice of the American people, as illustrated by the results of the 1980 election where Carter suffered one of the worst defeats in U.S. Presidential history. In terms of electoral votes, Reagan won 489, ten times as many as Carter's 49; and in the state by state contests, Reagan carried 44 states to Carter's 6. America repudiated Jimmy Carter and his failed policies by a sweeping majority.
Yet Jimmy never seemed to get the message.
To this day, he meddles in the affairs of this nation; regardless of who's in the White House. During the last administration, Carter caused more trouble for Bill Clinton than anyone other than Kenneth Starr. Remember Haiti? Carter made one of his infamous unsolicited interventions; publicly offering a diplomatic solution that was in direct conflict with Clinton's stated position. Worse, he embarrassed Clinton through the media, another trademark Carter move.
Carter caused further consternation for the Clinton crew with Jesse Jackson style, self-aggrandizing missions to various hotspots around the globe. In 1994 alone, in addition to the aforementioned Haiti trip, Carter inserted himself into the North Korean matter, where he sold a plan that tracked well off the stated Clinton course, and ultimately, as evidenced by the recent disclosures from Pyongyang, proved worthless. Later that year Carter also took it upon himself to visit Bosnia, where he negotiated a cease-fire that ended by about the time his plane was halfway back to Georgia.
Most recently, Carter was given the Nobel Peace Prize. Yet, even while being honored, Carter manages to exhibit unequivocal dishonor. The Norwegian committee removed any doubt about the motivation behind awarding this highly political prize to Mr. Carter, during a press conference announcing the award, when the chairman notified the world that, yes; they were making a statement about President Bush's foreign policy.
Mr. Carter should have immediately said something along the lines of, "President Bush and I have our differences on many issues, however, I will not be used as a pawn by anti-American forces that want to use this occasion to embarrass the President of the United States. And while I appreciate the sentiments behind this gesture, and I am committed to continue fighting for the cause of peace throughout the world, I cannot and will not accept this award under these circumstances."
But, clearly the man with no clue has no class.
Jimmy Carter not only failed as a president, he continues to fail; and not even the full stable of history re-writers employed by the re-education establishment can fix this guy's reputation. Now if only I could get that to fit on a poster board.
Matthew Reid is an internationally syndicated radio host and freelance journalist based in San Francisco, CA. He's broadcast in Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., as well as hundreds of cities across the globe on the SupeRadio Network. He is also the editor of www.Rice2008.com. Mr. Reid can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.