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Monday, May 26, 2008

Does that make me a bad person?

There are very few people alive today on whom I would wish something truly horrible.  I figure the really evil people in the world are amassing their own heavenly Din V'cheshbon (judgment and accounting)... Karma... or however you believe one's long-term reckoning is handled.

But former US president Dhimmy Carter is a special case. 

I just read with horror that not only has Carter gone on record with The Times of London regarding Israel's [alleged] nuclear arsenal (a bit of highly classified information that he no doubt gained access to in his role as US Commander in Chief), but he also told the Guardian (another UK daily) that Israel's embargo of Gaza is "one of the greatest human rights crimes on Earth."  He went on to say that "Most families in Gaza are eating only one meal per day. To see Europeans going along with this is embarrassing,"

OK, let's parse these two incredible moves:

1.  All US presidents are continually briefed on highly sensitive information about both allies and enemies.  As Commander in Chief of the US armed forces it is assumed he needs to know who is capable of what in case of war. 

But that information doesn't magically become declassified when he leaves office.  By revealing his knowledge of Israel's alleged nuclear arsenal, he has deliberately abused his position in order to strip Israel of one of its greatest strategic and diplomatic tools; nuclear ambiguity.   Worse still... he has done so in an effort to assure the world that Iran can't possibly have a secret nuclear weapons program since Israel's 'secret weapons' are common knowledge.

2.  The current situation in Gaza is 100% the doing of Hamas.  They are responsible for the daily rocket and mortar fire into Israel.  They are responsible for the daily attempts to infiltrate Israel and smuggle arms into Gaza by sea and from Egypt.  They are responsible for the frequent attacks on the Gaza crossings through which all humanitarian supplies (including fuel, food and medicine) must flow... effectively blocking Israel's (and the world's) best efforts to supply Gaza with its ongoing needs.  And lastly, they are responsible for creating artificial shortages of fuel, and for shutting down power generation to create the impression that Gaza has exhausted its last supplies.

The people of Gaza may very well be eating only one meal per day, but it isn't Israel's hand witholding the food... it is Hamas'.  They are cynically starving their own people in order to try to garner sympathy from useful idiots like Carter. 

Now, I don't get a daily briefing on world events the way Carter does from his staff.  And yet with no effort at all I can come up with several human rights crimes in Africa and Asia that make Gaza look downright prosperous by comparison! Carter's accusatory statement is nothing less than a deliberate attempt to blame Israel for the crimes Hamas is committing against its own people.

So what do I wish on Dhimmy Carter?

In a perfect world I would like to see Carter tried on espionage charges in the US for revealing classified information, and have him spend his remaining days in prison.  But you and I know this isn't going to happen. 

I would also enjoy seeing Carter stripped of whatever protection former president's enjoy and have him targeted the way any of Israel's enemy militants, planners and agents are targeted.  But we all know this won't happen either as it might put a small crimp in US/Israel relations.

So my fall-back position is wishing for something truly horrible to befall this evil enemy of Israel. 

Ideally, I'd prefer that Carter's cosmic punishment be of biblical proportions... boils, wasting, being turned into a pillar of salt, etc..  But hey... I'm easy.  I'd settle for having him smitten (smited?  smoted? oh forget it, you know what I mean), by one of the old stand-bys; stroke or heart-attack. 

Does that make me a bad person?

Posted by David Bogner on May 26, 2008 | Permalink

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Sorry david, but yes it does make you a bad person, but only in this particular post.
Your reaction is too extreme and thus bad.

But Carter is also a bad person. And entirely wrong.

Posted by: chris dorward | May 26, 2008 12:50:11 PM

Carter was president something like 30 years ago - does he still, to this day, receive information such as the number of nuclear bombs that Israel possesses?

Posted by: Lena | May 26, 2008 1:05:09 PM

chris dorward... And his punishment should be...?

Lena... No, I doubt he is briefed by the US government anymore. His knowledge of Israel's alleged arsenal comes from his days in office. But he has a large staff that certainly keeps him up to date on world news and events.

Posted by: treppenwitz | May 26, 2008 1:10:03 PM

Nothing good comes off Jonny Demme, for a troubled 84 year old man marked ‘loser’ by history, desperately trying to re-enact a positive world image. He recites a hanky-panky script, the least we can do is hope the play ends well.

Posted by: Rami | May 26, 2008 2:03:13 PM

He was one of the worst presidents in US history and is trying to make up for it by showing his true liberal, anti-Israel (the "acceptable" anti-semitism) colors.

But don't worry Dave, how much longer can the man have?

I'm more worried about what's coming down the pike (Baruch Obama?)

Posted by: Baila | May 26, 2008 2:24:54 PM

I never understood (and still don't) the sacred-cow of nuclear ambiguity. Wouldn't it be better to say we have it, even if we don't, save the money (schools, hospitals) and headaches (guarding, leakage). In any case, after a "nucular" war, the survivors will envy the dead, and it was Pershing (I think) who said that, not me.
Maybe Vanunu was a plant, employed to spread the word that Israel has the Bomb?
Doctor Strangelove (how I learnt to stop worrying and love the Bomb) would have loved this.

Posted by: asher | May 26, 2008 2:25:34 PM

I think that it is safe to say that Israel probably has double of the things that Carter said they have 150 of...

If I am not mistaken, aren't all past presidents given the option of reading some sort of daily intelligence briefing?

Posted by: harry | May 26, 2008 3:07:26 PM

David, Israel's nukes are the worst kept military secret on Planet Earth. Unless Carter released specific information about Israel's capabilities, he hasn't done any harm by proclaiming that Israel has nukes. As for his support for Hamas, et al....I couldn't agree more.

However, you calling curses down on him is a bit much. Despite all his meddling, Carter has little influence on world affairs and he doesn't rate all the attention you're giving him. It's not worth the aggravation.

Posted by: Karl Newman | May 26, 2008 3:22:57 PM

Rami... Sadly this isn't a play and the ending has real-life consequences.

asher.. Nuclear ambiguity is crucial because once Israel 'officially' has the bomb the US (and other members of the nuclear club) have no excuse for excluding other countries in the region. So long as Israel maintains plausible deniability the 'balance' in the region is conventional. It's like the whole F-16 thing. The US couldn't sell Israel F-16s without also giving almost everyone else in the region the same plane (with minor modifications, of course). The point is that once Israel is forced to relinquish nuclear opacity, nobody else in the region who wants nuclear arms can reasonably be denied.

harry... They do get a general briefing delivered to their staff (from what I've heard), but it is probably just enough to keep them an hour or two ahead of the news cycle so they can talk intelligently if interviewed. I doubt there is much classified stuff.

Karl Newman... I'll admit to over-reacting in calling down fire and brimstone on Jimmy... but I maintain that it would be a big mistake to underestimate his influence on like-minded Israel haters who are itching to re-establish contacts with Hamas and wish away the Iranian nuclear program.

Posted by: treppenwitz | May 26, 2008 3:35:57 PM

Well, if it makes you a bad person, then I guess I'm one, too. There aren't too many people on whom I'd wish some horrible fate, but Dhimmi is always on my list. I think it would be fair for him to be kidnapped by Hamas...and be fed only one meal a day.

And I'm with Baila- Barak "Iran is a tiny country" Obama scares the hell out of me.

Posted by: RR | May 26, 2008 3:50:42 PM

What strikes me these days is that many people don't realize when it's time to stop being in politics. It's a bit like stubborn old people who refuse to hand in their drivers license because they factually represent a danger to public when driving their cars.
If he has to have his hands in politics, then why not do so by, say, sending peanuts gift baskets to Deorge Bush?

Posted by: a | May 26, 2008 4:21:12 PM

Dhimmi Carter should stick to what he was doing last week. It makes for a better world. He was on the Mississippi Gulf Coast with his Habitat for Humanity and they had a massive build to replace 200 of the 65,000 homes on the Mississippi Gulf Coast destroyed during Hurricane Katrina.

Personally, I feel Carter is an anti-Semite. He judges and condemns Israel based on his very flawed understanding of Judiasm. That may have something to do with the millions and millions of dollars his Center for "Peace" receives from governments and individuals who are very hostile to Israel.

I think all of us at one time or another have wished for the vengence of HaShem to visit those who have harmed or are still harming our loved ones. We may keep those thoughts to ourselves most of the time, but they are there.

Posted by: shira0607 | May 26, 2008 4:27:19 PM

An extraordinary rendition to a dark hole somewhere in the far reaches of the galaxy would be appropriate. If that's undoable, a permanent vacation to one of Israel's special prison's would do.

Posted by: Allan | May 26, 2008 5:34:49 PM

i once thought that Jimmy Carter was just a good man who was elected to a position beyond he capabilities.

After his presidency I thought he was simply misguided.

Today I see him as a force for the promotion of evil in the world.

MC

Posted by: mostly cajun | May 26, 2008 7:15:25 PM

It makes you a bad person according to Christian morality.

In Judaism there is no "turn the other cheek," "love your enemy" etc. Wishing harm upon your enemy is not amoral according to the Jewish set of values. For example, very many psalms include prayers to God to harm or destroy ones enemies.

Posted by: avi | May 26, 2008 7:35:30 PM

I am sure it just makes you a typical, run-of-the-mill bad person with occasional honest and evil thoughts -- which (you will notice) another part of you calls into question. Is that other part evil or good?

So goes the fun part of being a "part-animal, part-spirit." The animal part wants nothing more than to have Mr. Carter on a "fact-finding" tour in Iran or Syria when the bombs start to be traded back-and-forth,

:oD

but the spiritual part says, "now, now' G-d will sort it out in the end."

Luckily for us, in the Jewish tradition(s) I am sure there is some sort of way to make up for your evil thoughts; and in the Christian tradition, we hope that He Himself has found a way to make up for our evil thoughts.

Mr. Carter has been given much more than you or I, in a political sense; he ought to know that to whom much has been given, much is required.

It just goes to show that clumsily plodding around the world and sticking our feet into it, is not solely the province of the Right-Wingers here in the US. Seems to be endemic on both sides of the house.

Posted by: Wry Mouth | May 26, 2008 7:47:58 PM

'So what do I wish on Dhimmy Carter?'

Being Reincarnated as the 5th wife of a high ranking official in Saudi Arabia's Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

That should do it.

Posted by: Bat Melech | May 26, 2008 8:41:26 PM

Hi David,

Well, I didn't read your post line-by-line in detail so I'm not sure if you wished death upon him. For me, that would be going to far.

I also don't like to wish harm upon others no matter how much they deserve it.

The solution that I've found is to wish justice (...preferably poetic justice) upon such evil folks (...what else do you call a guy who encourages such open murderers as HEZBOLLAH and HAMAS?).

By wishing justice upon them, you let the big guy, Hashem, make the decision of which form it will come in.

Another thing I wish upon such evil folks is that they receive the same fate as their victims. Someone else mentioned Carter being reincarnated as the fifth wife of a Saudi Minister of Morality... yup, that ought to do it. Still, it seems a bit cruel... maybe justice is better! LOL ;o)

However, mostly it's better rather than to wish such things upon evil people, to wish good things on good people. It's a better use of time and far more positive!

Blessing upon you and your family, David!

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

Posted by: Maksim-Smelchak | May 26, 2008 9:29:01 PM

Can say Pulsa D'Nura.
Carter and Olmert. Get rid of two enemies of Eretz Yisrael with one curse.

Posted by: Bro in-law d'elisson | May 26, 2008 9:53:42 PM

Bro-in-law d'Elisson, I've heard that Pulsa de-Nura can be risky for the one who invokes it, particularly if one's intentions aren't absolutely pure, concentration slips for an instant, and so on.

Not worth the risk, in my opinion, just to stick it to Dhimmy. I'll stay with asking God for justice.

Posted by: Rahel | May 26, 2008 10:38:50 PM

Are you a bad person for wanting something unpleasant to happen to someone who should know better, who is scooting around the globe burbling losh about your nation, giving aid and comfort (and legitimacy) to terrorist organizations, and giving away old and obvious state secrets? No. I don't think so. I wouldn't mind kicking him in the rear myself. And if he got turned into a pillar of salt, or all his crops were eaten by mice--or if he were eaten by mice--I wouldn't be at all distressed.

I honestly don't know what's wrong with Carter. He was having a perfectly fine career as a retired president, volunteering and such, and then he went berserk.

Posted by: balabusta in blue jeans | May 26, 2008 10:47:45 PM

Carter has clearly lost his grip.

Posted by: Jack | May 27, 2008 4:23:10 AM

I fully concur with your estimate of that silly little man, but since you were the first to mention Karma, I must ask, "How did your family vote in the 1976 Presidential election?" (Seems I remember something somewhere about the "sins of the fathers...")

Posted by: Bob | May 27, 2008 6:06:40 AM

I haven't wished death, now, for Carter only because "Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord". He is truly a force for evil in the world, for all the world. I remember as a very young woman when he first ran for the presidency and I knew even then he was evil, never understood why anyone was fooled by him then or later by his phony "piousness" and "good works". It infuriates me when he is received courteously by any government.

Posted by: peggy | May 27, 2008 6:56:56 AM

the larger the donation from his rich Arab friends...the larger the lie...what do you expect from a man who has "sold his soul" for cash... we even enjoy such a "plonker" as prime minister of Israel!!!

Posted by: anthony | May 27, 2008 9:52:40 AM

in reply to "chris dorward... And his punishment should be...?"

He should have no punishment. Live and let live. Some people are bad people, some people are good.

Posted by: chris dorward | May 27, 2008 12:54:08 PM

It would have been a much more interesting read if you hadn't done the intentional misspelling of his name. Turned me off and made me tune out. Although I want to read your perspective (regardless of my level of agreement), sometimes you choose a delivery that leaves a bad taste in my mouth and reduces the validity of your post for me. Just an observation.

Posted by: nrg | May 27, 2008 1:27:14 PM

Avi--

That "Turn the other cheek" quote from the New Testament Bible is roundly misappropriated by pacifists.

The Christian is commanded to "turn the other cheek" to attacks against himself, but at the same time he is commanded elsewhere to protect the children. If the two statements conflict, then protecting the weak overrides the other.

MC

Posted by: mostly cajun | May 27, 2008 3:33:59 PM

Carter likes the privileges of being ex-president - the guarantee of a reception by governments friendly and hostile to the US, the certainty of press coverage if he says something important. But he refuses to accept the MINIMAL obligations of this role, namely, maintaining silence about matters affecting US security and that of friendly countries, and respecting current US foreign policy, such as no talks with Hamas, even if he disagrees with it.

He is a disgrace.

Posted by: Lisa | May 27, 2008 8:00:35 PM

We don't have to wish evil on Carter if indeed we believe in Hakadosh Baruch Hu who will take care of these things once Carter leaves this world. Perosnally, I had him in mind at the seder when we said Shfoch Hamoscho...at his age, Carter won't be around forever, let's just plan a big wake and celebrate his exit..

Posted by: Marsha in Stamford | May 28, 2008 3:32:31 PM

I feel so betrayed by Carter and additionally, how he has infected his center and it's reputation with hatred and poison. As a person who feels strongly about social and environmental causes, 15 years ago, I would have love to been able to work at the Center or for one of his many projects.

I remember when Carter and Amy were promoting their book about a boy in a wheelchair, and they both were on the Phil Donahue show. Carter kept referring to the child as the 'crippled' and it sounded so politically incorrect and bizarre coming from him, who we all expected to be more sensitive than that.

Now we see the real truth.

Posted by: jaime | May 29, 2008 4:19:36 PM

As someone who says a prayer every Sunday to bless all the good people of Israel, I ask you to repent this thing.

Posted by: rammer | May 30, 2008 7:07:21 AM

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