Every President since Jimmy Carter left office has had reason to wish that Jimmy Carter had left the planet, too, perhaps to colonize Mars for future peanut farmers. Even Bill Clinton ended up tripping over Carter’s idiotic intervention in North Korea, which let Kim Jong-il off the hook that Clinton had carefully crafted. Now Barack Obama gets to enjoy his predecessor’s political interventions, in this case aimed at Obama specifically:
A former U.S. president is accusing the current president of sanctioning the “widespread abuse of human rights” by authorizingdrone strikes to kill suspected terrorists.
Jimmy Carter, America’s 39 th president, denounced the Obama administration for “clearly violating” 10 of the 30 articles of theUniversal Declaration of Human Rights, writing in a New York Times op-ed on Monday that the “United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights.”
“Instead of making the world safer, America’s violation of international human rights abets our enemies and alienates our friends,” Carter wrote.
The op-ed itself is rather bizarre, including this statement:
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.
Er, what? No one has ever suggested that people other than terrorists don’t get killed by drone strikes, and there is no “rule” that declares all the dead as terrorists — although I’m sure that some would like to believe it. But that’s the nature of any kind of bombing, not just those conducted by drones. Arguably, drone strikes can limit the “collateral damage” of other bombing techniques with hyper-accurate targeting and stealthy approaches, which is not to say mistakes aren’t made. The US and Pakistan got into a row over the deaths of two dozen Pakistani soldiers from a misdirected strike last year, for instance.
Why conduct the bombing at all, if civilians are at risk? For the past eleven years, the US position has been that terrorist networks declared war on the US, and that we will pursue them militarily and economically, using all tools at our disposal. We further warned nations that shelter terrorist networks (willingly or unwillingly) that we would not respect their sovereignty when used as a shield to hide these combatants in a war they declared on us. Civilian deaths occur in every war (in other words, “inevitable”), but they result in these cases from the nature of the terrorists, who hide among civilians while conducting their war against us. The only other option in that case is to do nothing, a policy which anyone familiar with Carter’s presidency will recognize. This, by the way, is the true definition of the Bush Doctrine, which Obama has followed.
Don’t like drone strikes? Get rid of your terrorists. Otherwise, we intend to defeat the terrorist networks that declared war on the US and succeeded in murdering nearly 3,000 Americans on 9/11. Those networks grew into lethal form long before we stated targeting them with drone strikes, something that Carter’s trite and insipid argument that “the great escalation in drone attacks has turned aggrieved families toward terrorist organizations” ignores. In fact, it’s a lot more true that Carter’s year-long demonstration of impotence at the hands of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini boosted jihadi recruitment a lot more than drone strikes ever did.
Thankfully, Carter’s fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner doesn’t appear inclined at this point to adopt Carter’s idiotic foreign policy.