Carter blasts Bush, Blair over Iraq war

Abraxis Axis

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http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/05/19/carter.blair.ap/index.html

May 20, 2007

Britain's support for the war in Iraq was a "major tragedy" for the world, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said Saturday, as he criticized Tony Blair's unwavering support for President Bush.

Asked how he would judge Blair's support of Bush, Carter said: "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," Carter told British Broadcasting Corp. radio.

Carter also told an American newspaper that Bush's administration is "the worst in history" in international relations, taking aim at the White House's policy of pre-emptive war and its Middle East diplomacy.

Blair was in Baghdad Saturday morning for what will be his last trip to Iraq as British prime minister. Last week, Blair announced that he would step down June 27, making way for treasury chief Gordon Brown.

The war in Iraq has been the defining foreign policy issue of Blair's premiership, and the decision to join the U.S.-led invasion was an unpopular one at home. So far, nearly 150 British service personnel have died in Iraq.

Carter told the BBC that Britain's support made it more difficult for critics of the war, and that things could have been different if Britain spoke out against the 2003 invasion.

"I can't say it would have made a definitive difference, but it would certainly have assuaged the problems that arose lately," said Carter, who was U.S. president from 1977 to 1981 and has been a critic of the war.

"One of the defenses of the Bush administration, in the American public and on a worldwide basis -- and it's not been successful in my opinion -- has been that, OK, we must be more correct in our actions than the world thinks because Great Britain is backing us.

"And so I think the combination of Bush and Blair giving their support to this tragedy in Iraq has strengthened the effort, and has made opposition less effective and has prolonged the war and increased the tragedy that has resulted."

It's not the first time Carter has criticized Britain. Last year, he said he was disappointed with "the apparent subservience" of the British government to Washington on issues such as Iraq and last summer's Israel-Hezbollah conflict.
'Worst in history'

The criticism of Bush from Carter, which a biographer says is unprecedented for the 39th president, also took aim at Bush's environmental policies and the administration's "quite disturbing" faith-based initiative funding.

"I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history," Carter told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in a story that appeared in the newspaper's Saturday editions. "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."

Carter spokeswoman Deanna Congileo confirmed his comments to The Associated Press on Saturday and declined to elaborate. He spoke while promoting his new audiobook series, "Sunday Mornings in Plains," a collection of weekly Bible lessons from his hometown of Plains, Georgia.

"Apparently, Sunday mornings in Plains for former President Carter includes hurling reckless accusations at your fellow man," said Amber Wilkerson, Republican National Committee spokeswoman. She said it was hard to take Carter seriously because he also "challenged Ronald Reagan's strategy for the Cold War."

Carter came down hard on 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."

Carter, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, criticized Bush for having "zero peace talks" in Israel. Carter also said the administration "abandoned or directly refuted" every negotiated nuclear arms agreement, as well as environmental efforts by other presidents.

Carter also offered a harsh assessment for the White House's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, which helped religious charities receive $2.15 billion in federal grants in fiscal year 2005 alone.

"The policy from the White House has been to allocate funds to religious institutions, even those that channel those funds exclusively to their own particular group of believers in a particular religion," Carter said. "As a traditional Baptist, I've always believed in separation of church and state and honored that premise when I was president, and so have all other presidents, I might say, except this one."

Douglas Brinkley, a Tulane University presidential historian and Carter biographer, described Carter's comments as unprecedented.

"This is the most forceful denunciation President Carter has ever made about an American president," Brinkley said. "When you call somebody the worst president, that's volatile. Those are fighting words."
 
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9sublime

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Asked how he would judge Blair's support of Bush, Carter said: "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," Carter told British Broadcasting Corp. radio.

Now here's a real, honest president who knows whats going on, and doesn't mince his words.
 

top gun

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Now here's a real, honest president who knows whats going on, and doesn't mince his words.

Good for Jimmy! And it's worth remembering that countries in the Middle East did everything that they could to try and make President Carter look bad and also disrupt the flow of oil to the United States.

So I'm sure if President Carter didn't really believe our current policy was tragic he would not be speaking out. If anything he'd have an ax to grind against the Middle East.
 

jb_1430

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Carter is an idiot. He thinks the Presidents job is to win an international popularity contest. MARK
 

vyo476

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As well alot of IDIOTS speak in favor of the Shrub

Most of the people who speak in favor of President Bush are idiots. I've occasionally defended him against what I saw as unjust accusations, but if I've said one positive thing about him or his presidency than I did so accidentally.

The man isn't as bad as some people say, but he sure as hell isn't very good either.
 

9sublime

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What Carter has said here is absoloutley right. Especially in regards to Britain. It wasn't our war, and if we had been attacked by terrorists pre-twin towers I wonder how much America would have helped us out.
 

9sublime

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America wouldn't have helped us out because it wouldn't have been in their national interest. It would only have increased their chance of getting attacked by terrorists, cost money and risked important links (as I'll call them) with the Middle East. However, when its the other way round, Blair blindly jumps in and guess what happens:

We get half the world hating us.
We get our tubes blown up.
We loose lots of money.
 

jb_1430

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What Carter has said here is absoloutley right. Especially in regards to Britain. It wasn't our war, and if we had been attacked by terrorists pre-twin towers I wonder how much America would have helped us out.

We would have lead the charge. Wouldnt have been able to sustain it for this long. The American people would have bailed a year or two earlier. MARK
 

9sublime

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thats just wrong.

If you guys got invaded at 8AM, we'd have you liberated by lunch.

I'm talking pre-twin towers. You havent had a proper terrorist attack. You don't fear the terrorists that much. Most people don't know who Bin Laden is. Then, the tubes in Britain get blown up by some religious nutter. Britain declares war on Afghanistan. America wouldn't do anything, they wouldn't have risked it. The public wouldn't back it, because of the risks it carried for THEM, and back then Bush and Blair weren't bumboys.
 
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jb_1430

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I'm talking pre-twin towers. You havent had a proper terrorist attack. You don't fear the terrorists that much. Most people don't know who Bin Laden is. Then, the tubes in Britain get blown up by some religious nutter. Britain declares war on Afghanistan. America wouldn't do anything, they wouldn't have risked it. The public wouldn't back it, because of the risks it carried for THEM, and back then Bush and Blair weren't bumboys.

Well, as many Americans that have died defending Britain and defeating their enemies, I would have to say %*#$ OFF ya limey Brit. MARK
 
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