Jimmy Carter's heart of dorkiness; Update: Dork interviewed by Al Jazeera

The latest provocative, three-quarters-baked missive from Spengler at the Asia Times. Dedicated with love to all our southern readers:

After Iran let the diplomats go, the provincial peanut farmer who stumbled into the presidency flew to the US air force base in Germany to meet them. He asked the Central Intelligence Agency psychiatrists who were debriefing the hostages, “Didn’t the Iranians know what they were doing was wrong?” Call it the heart of dorkiness: Carter was so horrified by the Iranians’ capacity for evil that he could not absorb the information, even when it grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and threw him out of the White House…

The former president is hard to read without taking into account the southern US context. A partial explanation for his see-and-hear-no-evil view of the world can be found in southern guilt over the maltreatment of blacks. Carter’s chief of staff, Hamilton Jordan, heard his first briefing on the Middle East in 1977 and offered, “I get it: the Palestinians are the niggers.”

Jimmy Carter knows better than that: the Palestinians are not in the position of southern American blacks, but rather of southern American whites, the exemplar of a self-exterminating people in the modern period. That is why Carter identifies with them. Apart from modern Palestine, there are very few cases in modern history in which a militant population showed its willingness to fight to the death. The US south sacrificed two-fifths of its military-age men during the Civil War of 1861-65, a casualty rate matched only by Serbia during World War I. Southern blacks, by contrast, were pacific, Christian, and long-suffering in their hopes for eventual deliverance.

The Palestinians are not an oppressed people, but rather the irreconcilable remnants of a once-victorious but now defeated empire, living in an irredentist dream world in which a new Salahuddin will drive the new Crusaders into the sea. Pour a few bourbons into the average white citizen of the US state of Georgia, and the same irredentist fantasy will bubble up: “The south shall rise again!”

Update: MEMRI goes dumpster-diving and comes up with this clip that aired on Al Jazeera two days ago. What’s more offensive: his refusal to label the firing of rockets into population centers “terrorism;” his concern for how Palestinian terrorism hurts … Palestinians; or his apparent belief that any regime that’s democratically elected should not only be accepted by the international community but subsidized by it if need be?

Click the image to retch.

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