The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interréd with their bones,
So let it be with Carter…. The noble Bush
Hath told you Carter was irrelevant:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Carter answered it….
Here, under leave of Bush and the rest,
(For Bush is an honourable man;
So are they all; all honourable men)
Come I to speak on Carter’s relevance….
He was our friend, faithful and just to us:
But Bush says he was irrelevant;
And Bush is an honourable man….
Well now we have Jimmy Carter, former president of the United States, opining that halting reign of Bush the Lesser is the worst in history. The weight of truth and candor borne in these words is almost staggering:
“I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history,” …
“The overt reversal of America’s basic values as expressed by previous administrations, including those of George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and others, has been the most disturbing to me.”
He said this about the Iraq war:
“We now have endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that some time in the future our security might be endangered,” he said. “But that’s been a radical departure from all previous administration policies.”
Wow. But my favorite is what Carter said about Tony Blair:
“Abominable. Loyal. Blind. Apparently subservient.”
“And I think the almost undeviating support by Great Britain for the ill-advised policies of President Bush in Iraq have been a major tragedy for the world.”
Now comes Brutus, I mean Bush, stooping to argument ad hominem:
White House spokesman Tony Fratto shot back Sunday from Crawford, Texas, where Bush spent the weekend.
“I think it’s sad that President Carter’s reckless personal criticism is out there,” said Fratto. “I think it’s unfortunate. And I think he is proving to be increasingly irrelevant with these kinds of comments.”
I’ll you what’s relevant, gentle reader:
3422 Americans, dead (more than in 9/11 attacks)
148 British, dead
127 Other coalition of the Wasted, dead
3697 dead dead dead
Does that count the 15 killed over weekend? I don’t know.
Then we add in the Iraqi casualties. Oh yes, we really must. Iraqbodycount.org has them between 63929 and 70023. And of course, we’ve all seen other sources, such as the British medical journal The Lancet, that put the number much higher. Perhaps a quarter of a million people have died in Iraq because of this war. That’s approaching 4% of the pre-war population. Which would translate to roughly 12 million in the United States. Put them numbers in your wood chipper, George.
What’s relevant is the wave of resolutions to impeach Bush and Cheney, which is sweeping across the land. No kidding, here’s a list. And here’s the text of my favorite of all the resolutions of impeachment I found online. It’s a dandy.
What’s relevant is that Jimmy Carter is hardly an ambitious man. He is a thoughtful, deliberate and stable intellect, compared to any among the loyal bushies. He’s hardly rash, ever. Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. He is an elder statesman, which has largely gone out of fashion in modern times.
What’s relevant, and immensely ironic, is that George W Bush and Dick Cheney are the epitome of the bald and reckless imperial ambition of which Caesar was accused.
I resent that bald comment at the end. Don't lump me together with those two … oh, I get it. Yeah. Okay.
Carter equivocated on cross-examination. I watched a video of it, the day after. I've done that myself, spoken truth and then withdrawn a bit because the truth, still truth, was told too starkly for comfort the next day. That's why art exists, because a painting or a play or a novel is out there, is drama, is exposed. No day-after revision. The paint is dry, the words are written, spoken, irretrieveably. And so–write on, paint on, play on. And let slip the dogs of war.