Jimmy Carter Blasts Obama Foreign Policy Without Mentioning President By Name Once

Former Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jimmy Carter took to the op-ed page of the New York Times to blast violations of human rights caused by policies continued, ramped up or introduced by fellow former Nobel Peace Prize laureate Barack Obama.

The former president managed to do so without referring to Barack Obama by name at all, and referring to the president’s roles only tangentially (e.g. “Recent legislation has made legal the president’s right to detain a person indefinitely on suspicion of affiliation with terrorist organizations or ‘associated forces,’ a broad, vague power that can be abused without meaningful oversight from the courts or Congress”)

The thrust of Jimmy Carter’s argument is that anti-terror policies pursued by the U.S. over the last decade have eroded America’s legitimacy as an advocate for human rights on the international arena. From his Times op-ed:

Despite an arbitrary rule that any man killed by drones is declared an enemy terrorist, the death of nearby innocent women and children is accepted as inevitable. After more than 30 airstrikes on civilian homes this year in Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai has demanded that such attacks end, but the practice continues in areas of Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen that are not in any war zone. We don’t know how many hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed in these attacks, each one approved by the highest authorities in Washington. This would have been unthinkable in previous times.

These policies clearly affect American foreign policy. Top intelligence and military officials, as well as rights defenders in targeted areas, affirm that the great escalation in drone attacks has turned aggrieved families toward terrorist organizations, aroused civilian populations against us and permitted repressive governments to cite such actions to justify their own despotic behavior.

Meanwhile, the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, now houses 169 prisoners. About half have been cleared for release, yet have little prospect of ever obtaining their freedom. American authorities have revealed that, in order to obtain confessions, some of the few being tried (only in military courts) have been tortured by waterboarding more than 100 times or intimidated with semiautomatic weapons, power drills or threats to sexually assault their mothers. Astoundingly, these facts cannot be used as a defense by the accused, because the government claims they occurred under the cover of “national security.” Most of the other prisoners have no prospect of ever being charged or tried either.

At a time when popular revolutions are sweeping the globe, the United States should be strengthening, not weakening, basic rules of law and principles of justice enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But instead of making the world safer, America’s violation of international human rights abets our enemies and alienates our friends.

As concerned citizens, we must persuade Washington to reverse course and regain moral leadership according to international human rights norms that we had officially adopted as our own and cherished throughout the years.

Carter managed not to mention George W. Bush by name or his role in all this either, but replace the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with the Constitution, ignore the “making the world safe" clap-trap, and there’s a decent point there. 

Reason coverage of drones, the war on terror and Jimmy Carter

H/T Lord Humungus via the A.M. Links

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  • tarran||

    Well, I guess you can take the peanut farmer out of Georgia, but you can't make him stop being a racist... ;)

  • kinnath||

    I've had a love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with Jimmy since the late 70s'. On the one hand, you had deregulation and the legalization of home brew beer. On the other hand, you have just about everything else (can you say "misery index"?).

    It would have tipped the scales in his favor, if he would have bloody-well spoken Obama's name.

  • John||

    That is because it wasn't Obama who did those things. It was someone else. Carter just doesn't want to say who.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Mistakes were made. Errors occurred. Republicans were involved.

  • Brutus||

    Passive voice implicated.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Words were spoken.

  • Paul.||

    Guns went off. People were hurt.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Drones were launched. Things happened afterwards.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Things were made to happen afterwards.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Shit was fucked up.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Explain why he didn't mention Bush II either.

    It's an unwritten rule that an ex-prez doesn't criticize the current prez directly.

  • ||

    "... ignore the “making the world safe" clap-trap, and there’s a decent point there. "

    Yep. It makes me wince, but I agree with Carter. Just this once....and goddamit if y'all tell anybody about this I will deny it and call you liars.

  • Almanian...still||

    I also agreed with him on the whole "deregulating reducing airlines regulations" and "removing restrictions on home brewing" things, too, when we was Prez.

  • Loki||

    Broken clock... twice a day, etc.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    I'm sorry that Carter referred to the UN Declaration of Human Rights instead of the Constitution, especially as the US government is legally bound to obey the latter, and it guarantees all PERSONS -- not just citizens or people in US territory -- due process and other protections BEFORE a US government can act to deprive them of life, liberty, or property. The declaration of war is considered due process, as is the issuance of Letters of Marque and Reprisal. But the AUMF is not a declaration of war, and our actions taken under this "authorization" have far exceeded what might reasonably be acceptable under Letters of Marque and Reprisal. What's left is for the government to follow the highest law in the land. I wish Carter had said something like that.

  • gaoxiaen||

    HE'S the one that murdered the rabbit with a canoe paddle!

  • Kantofang||

    Whoa I didnt know that old geezer was still with us! Wow.

    www.Dot-Anon.tk

  • ||

    Yeah, bot. His face is becoming one big liver spot lol

  • ||

    I dunno - he's aging a lot better than Clinton.

  • Paul.||

    Hillary?

  • Sudden||

    That's just because Clinton's post presidency activities have caused some blindness...

  • ||

    You sayin ol' Willy can't get laid now that he's a run-of-the-mill lawyer in NYC?

  • Concerned Citizen||

    I think he was disbarred

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I know, right? Wow. Do you remember the Carter administration, too anonbot? I was just a little kid, and we had just moved from Texas to Indiana. My parents had a subscription to Time magazine. I remember as a little kid, I would read Time and I was interested in current events and politics. From about 10 years old, I wanted to be a journalist. Then I went to J-School, which pretty much made me hate writing, and journalism.

    What did you want to be when you were a little kid, anonbot?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm thinking an operating system.

  • ||

    HA! I went to international relations skool, which pretty much made me hate diplomats and foreign policy.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Funny how school can do that. Finally got my Finance degree, and love it! Of course now I'm thinking law school....

  • Pro Libertate||

    You'd better love the law like a woman, because graduating lawyers are having a bitch of a time finding work.

  • Paul.||

    How's the heating grate market in your area?

  • Sudden||

    You'd better love the law like a woman women.

    Considering over half of law school grads nowadays are women, I specifically chose not to pursue a legal education. No offense to the two or three libertarian sisters on this page, but I can't stand working with women.

    I really should've gone into engineering.

  • CockGobbla||

    Diff. Eq. scare you away, dude?

  • Paul.||

    No offense to the two or three libertarian sisters on this page, but I can't stand working with women.

    Wait... and I apologize if I should know this, Sudden (I do read your posts) but... are you a woman?

    Because I've worked mostly with women my entire "career" and I largely enjoy it.

    However, a not-insignificant number of women I've worked with openly claim they don't like working with other women and much prefer men.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Almanian...still||

    So how's the illegal education going?

  • ||

    I also had the (mis)fortune of being in college exactly as the Cold War ended. Our curriculum was still focused entirely on Cold War-related topics, so my expensive degree was nice n' antiquated even as I walked down the aisle to get the piece of paper. I was lucky in that I astutely chose to focus my studies on the Middle East (although I did not study Arabic). Most of my fellow students spent their 4 years diligently studying Russian, the poor saps.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I can relate. I wanted to get a degree in Urban Planning. However, shortly after graduating, I became a libertarian. So much for that.

  • kinnath||

    You could go in undercover -- infiltrate the organization and bring it down from within.

  • Paul.||

    Aren't those schools a lot like the military? You're essentially fighting the previous war?

  • R C Dean||

    Of course now I'm thinking law school....

    Keep thinking. New grads have very poor prospects. Outside the top ten schools, anyway.

  • Randian||

    Seriously, don't go to law school. Ever.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Someone's afraid of competition.

  • Paul.||

    HA! I went to international relations skool, which pretty much made me hate diplomats and foreign policy.

    Is that one of those places where they teach you to walk with books balanced on your head, put the salad fork on the right etc., but for politicians?

  • ||

    Nah, it's where they teach you to work with douchebags in Embassies and NGOs and the CIA.

  • Paul.||

    I'd rather do the one with books on my head. Seems less douchey.

  • ||

    It probably is less douchey. I got out of the biz solely because the douche factor was way too high.

  • Loki||

    What did you want to be when you were a little kid, anonbot?

    Skynet.

    This comment does seem to imply a small step toward self awareness. Just don't pull the plug in a panic when it happens. That'll only piss it off.

  • BarryD||

    Carter's unwillingness to use military force in response to an act of war against the United States is a good part of what made him a laughingstock worldwide, and caused him to be laughed out of office in the 1980 landslide election.

    Carter may have a point, in the same way that a 5-year-old might say something sensible by accident (and if taken in isolation, with a few words changed to fit the listener's desires to hear what he wants to hear).

    I.e., I'm no fan of Obama, but Carter's rants about this stuff aren't worth the electrons to put them on a screen.

  • Pro Libertate||

    To be fair, no one was sure how the Soviets would act if we took any major military action in the region. However, I doubt they'd have gone to war with us over a completely justifiable act to free the hostages, if it had occurred.

  • BarryD||

    Had they gone to war with us over that, it would have been for one reason and one reason only: they would have believed, beyond a doubt, that Carter would have allowed them to nuke the US without retaliation.

    During the later Cold War, the one country LEAST likely to go to war with the US was the USSR, and vice versa.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I think the fear would've been that an action by us would get them more involved in the region, not that we'd get directly attacked or, worse yet, nuked.

    The Cold War was a time of very complex and often contradictory thinking. Because we could get the population massacred if we screwed up.

  • jasno||

    Was nuclear war ever likely? I seriously doubt the leaders on either side would be willing to trade their state dinners and vacation homes for life in a bomb shelter.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Who knows? Freaky times.

  • Paul.||

    During the Cuban Missile Crisis, yeah, nuclear war was likely. But in the ensuing years, yeah, what you said about state dinners and vacation homes.

  • BarryD||

    And arguably, even the Russian leaders had more to gain by keeping their population in fear of US nukes, than by attacking the US, EVEN IF they were thoroughly convinced they could get away with it.

  • kinnath||

    Yes

  • Paul.||

    Plus he boycotted the Olympics, politicizing an event which was, by its own definition, supposed to be a non-political event.

    As a result, many an athlete was more than upset with Mr. Carter.

  • BarryD||

    It also made him look impotent as a leader.

    The reason was to protest the USSR's war in Afghanistan. Superpowers don't "protest". They put up, or they shut up. I don't say that because I wanted WW III. It just violates the "speak softly and carry a big stick" principle. Only the weak "protest" when they have no intention of actually DOING anything.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Personally, I'm thrilled by the boycott. Because the Soviets followed suit and counter-boycotted Los Angeles, which resulted in me eating at McDonald's for free for most of the 1984 Summer Olympics.

  • Paul.||

    I'm not sure what the Soviet followup to the Carter boycott has to do with your getting free lunches... you'll have to spin that tale.

  • Pro Libertate||

    McDonald's had a scratch-off game where you could win free food if the U.S. won a medal in the event--say, a Big Mac for a gold, fries for a silver, coke for a bronze. I don't remember the details of the contest, but we won a boatload of medals in Los Angeles, and I got a lot of free fast food that summer.

  • Paul.||

    Oh shit I remember that.

    *blushes*

    I mean, I think my dad told me about that!

  • Pro Libertate||

    I was a kid then, so the "free" was actually more of an issue for my parents. Though I was old enough to have benefited directly a few times.

  • Tulpa the White||

    "I'm gonna personally spit in every tenth burger!"

  • gaoxiaen||

    And cheat 90% of the customers?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I don't know about the U.S. being the champion of the Declaration of Human Rights, which isn't really consistent with our view of civil liberties, but I agree that we should be behaving legally, not blowing the shit out of people because it's okay if a drone does it.

  • niobiumstudio||

    He only didn't mention Obama by name because his senile ass couldn't remember his name... Can't blame a guy for forgetting the name "Obama" when he can barely remember to pull his zipper down when he takes a piss.

  • Spartacus||

    Wait, you're supposed to pull your zipper down when you take a piss?

    Well, that explains a lot.

  • Brutus||

    Cementing his reputation as, if not History's Greatest Monster, certainly as History's Greatest Douchebag.

  • ||

    If he had any balls whatsoever, he'd refuse to endorse The Obama for re-election. But we all know that despite writing an entire NYT Op Ed about how this prezznit has committed atrocities using drones in several countries, he'll stick to Team Bleu! no matter what. Fucking hypocrite.

  • Bill Brasky||

    ACK ACK ACK BLARGLE BLARGLE BLARGLE

    Beijing is the capital of Japan and dolphins are fish!!!

    AAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!! BLARGLE BLARGLE BLARGLE!!!

  • ||

    what is this i don't even

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    That's the most intelligent thing o3 has written in months.

  • ||

    Oh, well that explains it.

    Well done, o3.

  • Sudden||

    NEEDZ [MOAR] BRACKETZ and jooz

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    The Urinals: Ack, Ack, Ack, Ack

  • Hugh Akston||

    Carter's just pissed that Obama is angling for his place as History's Greatest Monster.

  • CockGobbla||

    You can't really be "History's Greatest Monster", when the best part of the Star Wars saga came out in your single term.

  • Finchster||

    I'm not much interested in the opinions of a man who was a huge fan of Arafat and who sent condolences to the North Koreans on the death of Kim Jong-il. Here's Jimmy on his visit to North Korea in 1994:

    People are busy. They work 48 hours a week. ... We found Pyongyang to be a bustling city. The only difference is that during working hours there are very few people on the street. They all have jobs or go to school. And after working hours, they pack the department stores, which Rosalynn visited. I went in one of them. It's like Wal-Mart in American stores on a Saturday afternoon. They all walk around in there, and they seem in fairly good spirits. Pyongyang at night looks like Times Square. They are really heavily into bright neon lights and pictures and things like that.

    When he visited again in 2011, he took the opportunity to denounce the "human rights violations" of the U.S. and South Korea in withholding food aid.

  • Sudden||

    After lavishing praise on their thriving consumer culture, it seems a bit ironic to rail against other countries for denying food aid to said thriving consumer culture.

    Does Jimmy think we should be buying food for Norwegians too?

  • Finchster||

    If you can get a copy, check out "Utopias Elsewhere" by Anthony Daniels (out of print). He was in that same "department store." It's a Potemkin Village for Western idiots, along with the hospital, schools, etc. on the official tour.

  • ||

    The Vice Guide also does a nice job of showing the sham bullcrap put on for foreigners. Makes Jimmy look like a fucking gullible, willfully ignorant rube (which I'm sure he is).

  • LibertyWolf||

    Whenever I get to the tea shop girl segment of that vice guide, my heart sinks. For some reason, she's even more sad to watch than the kids being paraded out in the play. She's just there to be a prop and nothing more. Sad stuff.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I just hope no one in NK saw that, because she could get blamed for the video.

  • nonluddite||

    They seem to be made to suffer. It's their lot in life.

  • ||

    Yeah, because the Norks would never stage anything just for the benefit of a visiting former U.S. President! Everything he saw was totally, 100% real-life in North Korea!

    What a fucking clueless imbecile.

  • ||

    I remember when he was giving the damn panama canal away and people like me were saying the russians or the chinese will end up with it. We were foo foo'ed and told that that was ridiculous.

    Holy fucking shit I almost forgot how much I hate Carter. Thanks for reminding me commentariat.

  • Paul.||

    When he visited again in 2011, he took the opportunity to denounce the "human rights violations" of the U.S. and South Korea in withholding food aid.

    A country with bustling department stores like WalMart doesn't need food aid.

  • Paul.||

    Or... what sudden said.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    , the United States should be strengthening, not weakening, basic rules of law and principles of justice enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    Guess what, Carter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights isn't "universal" because your boys in the Organization of the Islamic Conference had a hissy fit because the document mentioned things like the freedom of religion, assembly, association, consensual, the requirement of free consent to marriage, the right to a fair trial, the rights of prisoners, the rights of minorities (religious or otherwise), the right to a nationality, or suffrage. Instead coming up with the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam that declares all human rights coming from the universality of the One True Religion and Sharia, thus allowing "the right to take a life, inflict bodily harm, that the education of children be in accordance with sharia, that there are rights that can be claimed from children or kin, restriction on freedom of movement and the ability to deny refugees protection whenever permitted by sharia."

  • Michael||

    That's some mighty fine alt-textin' there, Krajewski.

  • ||

    Former Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jimmy Carter took to the op-ed page of the New York Times to blast violations of human rights caused by policies continued, ramped up or introduced by fellow former Nobel Peace Prize laureate Barack Obama.

    Why didn't Reagen get the Nobel Peace Prize for his part in ending the cold war?

  • Paul.||

    Reagan and Nobel Peace Prize are not allowed to appear in the same sentence. A scandanavian hit squad is closing in on your location now.

  • Bill||

    Because he had already done it. They only award the peace prize for things you might do in the future. Really GOOD things.

  • Tulpa the White||

    It's a well known, unwritten rule that ex-presidents don't directly critique the current president. As you note, he didn't mention GWB either so it's not a partisan thing.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Don't think Clinton read that rule.

  • Tulpa the White||

    He didn't read a lot of them.

  • MWG||

    Um... Carter was a vocal critic of the Bush admin on many occasions.

    "I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history."
    http://www.commondreams.org/ar.....05/19/1305

    "Carter told reporters on a stopover in Brussels that "profligate spending," massive borrowing and dramatic tax cuts since President George W. Bush took office in 2001 were behind the market turmoil and economic crisis.

    "I think it's because of the atrocious economic policies of the Bush administration," said the 84-year-old..."
    http://www.reuters.com/article.....TS20081010

  • Tulpa the White||

    Maybe someone made him aware of it in the interim.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Not to be a pedant, but while you can say someone is a "former President" because he once was and is not now, I don't think you can say "former Nobel laureate," unless, for some reason, the committee rescinded the prize. I don't remember that happening to Mr. Carter. But then again, I had forgotten that he ever won a Peace Prize in the first place.

  • Tejicano||

    Carter quote on the Holocost Museum in DC : "...we must forge an unshakeable oath with all civilized people that never again will the world stand silent, never again will the world...fail to act in time to prevent this terrible crime of genocide...."

    Sept. 1979 - while at the same time Pol Pot was having a blood fest of his own. I guess brown people don't count for this peanut fuk. I was a Marine Infantry squad/section leader in the Pacific wondering how he could say such things while the 3rd Marine Division sat idly just over the horizon from the scene of the crime.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Anyone else notice that Jimmy cites the "universal declaration of human rights" (which has no legal force in the USA at all, and not the US constitution (which is the entirety of the legal basis for the federal government's very existence)?

    -jcr

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