Truly, the most unkindest cut of all is delivered by the traitor’s hand.
A president who presided over the fall of the Shah of Iran and the capture of American embassy staff in Tehran, a global oil crisis, and Soviet incursions in Afghanistan, West Africa, and Central America is now taking full advantage of Barack Obama’s fumbles. Carter, a president whose approach to foreign affairs was once an interchangeable synonym with weakness, has taken to berating Obama over his own displays of impotence and vacillation in defense of America’s interests overseas.
“I noticed that two of his secretaries of Defense, after they got out of office, were very critical of the lack of positive action on the part of the president,” Carter recently told The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. And Carter, a president who might have lost his party’s nomination for a second term to Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), knows betrayal.
Carter added that he believes Obama’s mercurial approach to foreign affairs, particularly in the Middle East, is unpredictable and fosters instability as a result. “It changes from time to time,” Carter said.
But the 39th president’s most stinging criticism of Obama was centered on his reluctant approach to the ISIS threat.
“First of all, we waited too long. We let the Islamic state build up its money, capability and strength and weapons while it was still in Syria,” he said. “Then when [ISIS] moved into Iraq, the Sunni Muslims didn’t object to their being there and about a third of the territory in Iraq was abandoned.”
Carter sees some hope for the current American policy against ISIS in Iraq where troops on the ground will follow up after air strikes.
“If we keep on working in Iraq and have some ground troops to follow up when we do our bombing, there is a possibility of success.”
“You have to have somebody on the ground to direct our missiles and to be sure you have the right target,” Carter said. “Then you have to have somebody to move in and be willing to fight ISIS after the strikes.”
Carter also strongly criticized the president for executing drone strikes against American citizens suspected of fighting with Islamic militants overseas without due process. “To me, that violates our Constitution and human rights,” he said.
This is not the first time in recent memory that Carter has leveled severe criticism at both Obama and his team’s approach to foreign affairs. Burnishing his credentials as the broker of the Camp David Accords, the foundations of which have only begun to collapse in the wake of the Obama administration’s approach to the Egyptian coup and Israel’s handling of conflicts in Gaza, Carter scoffed at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s methods of diplomacy in April.
“[W]hen Secretary Clinton was secretary of state, she took very little action to bring about peace,” Carter told reporters with Time magazine. “It was only John Kerry’s coming into office that reinitiated all these very important and crucial issues.”
Carter praised Sec. John Kerry’s execution of his duties in office, but noted that “He has had a very difficult time operating pretty much on his own.”
“I know from experience that the best way to have the United States be a mediator is for the president himself to be deeply involved,” Carter said, in a not particularly subtle reference to his own performance as a mediator of Middle East conflicts.
Yes, this is all about Carter refurbishing his tarnished legacy – he is not even doing much to disguise that effort. The fact, however, that Carter’s gauche exertions are enjoying some success is testament only to the scale of the Obama administration’s myriad blunders.