Read the rest. Carter's self-righteousness and self-importance, in the face of such consistency in incompetence, demonstrate to anyone bothering to watch what a complete fool he is and has always been. Hell, I'm glad he endorsed Barack Obama, as did Carter's "soulmate" Louis Farrakhan. The more anti-Semites that endorse "Obama Bin Laden", the better. One of these days, Jewish voters are going to recognize that they have much more in common with Conservatives who hold Judeo-Christian values than they do with the Marxist Israel-haters. I relish the day when this happens.
Former President Jimmy Carter has an interesting way of saying more than he intends. He lusts in his heart. He turns to his 13-year-old daughter for foreign policy wisdom. He titles a book, "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid." What Mr. Carter means to say is that he is a flesh-and-blood human being, a caring father, a missionary for peace. What he actually communicates is that he is weirdly libidinal, scarily naive and obsessively hostile to Israel.
Now the 2002 Nobel laureate is in reprise mode. "In a democracy, I realize you don't need to talk to the top leader to know how the country feels," he said over the weekend, responding to a question from an Israeli journalist who noted that Mr. Carter had been snubbed by most of Israel's top leadership and reprimanded by its president, Shimon Peres. "When I go to a dictatorship, I only have to talk to one person and that's the dictator, because he speaks for all the people."
Mr. Carter is on a tour of the Middle East, the most newsworthy aspect of which is a scheduled meeting in Damascus with Khaled Mashal, the head of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. More on that below. For now, ponder what he could possibly have meant by this statement. On a charitable view, what Mr. Carter had in mind is that in a democracy it is the people who ultimately make the policy, whereas in a dictatorship it is only the dictator's opinion that counts. Or as W.H. Auden put it, "Only the man behind the rifle [has] free will."
That's not quite what Mr. Carter said, however. He said the dictator "speaks" for "all" the people, just as the people in a democracy speak for themselves. Taken at face value, this is a reflection of every dictator's conceit: that his will is also the general will, whether the people agree with him or not. This is what Fidel Castro meant when he praised Cuba's elections, in which only the Communist Party is on the ballot, as "the most democratic in the world." Perhaps Mr. Carter has harbored similar views about the relative merits of his opinion versus the people's since he was turned out of high office by 44 states.
Yet a dictator does not speak for the people. Properly speaking, a dictator speaks for none of the people. A dictator speaks only for himself, while "the people" are transformed, through force and fear, into an abstraction, an instrument, a rhetorical trope. On the contrary, it is only in a democracy where the government can morally and lawfully be said to speak for the people, since it was morally and lawfully chosen by the people to speak for them. Which means that Mr. Carter has matters precisely backwards: It is in democracies such as Israel where the views of the leadership matter most, and in dictatorships such as Syria where they matter least. ...
Remember, Carter is the man who brought the world: a meeting which produced so-called "detente" with Brezhnev (only to have the Soviet leader turn on him and invade Afghanistan two months later); spending and tax raises during a recession which caused the days of "malaise" and 21% interest rates; a "deal" with North Korea (for the Clintons) which the Koreans promptly violated; impotence during the Iranian Hostage Crisis; and who personally legitimized Hugo Chavez' stolen election. Never have so many failures been so flagrant with so little impact on a person's ego.
If there is a better example of the failure of appeasement and "soft power" since Neville Chamberlain, I would like to see it.