With the debate over the question of whether President Barack Obama should be able to take credit for the death of Osama Bin Laden and use it in the upcoming campaign, we have heard the name “Jimmy Carter” constantly brought up in a derisive manner by Mitt Romney, John McCain and other Republicans, and it makes one want to scream!
Jimmy Carter is very proud of the fact that we did not go to war in his administration; that he helped to negotiate a long lasting agreement, the Camp David Accords, between Egypt and Israel; that he successfully negotiated an agreement to give back the Panama Canal to that nation’s control; promoted human rights, setting a standard principle which has been utilized as a principle of American foreign policy since; and had the courage to take strong action to try and rescue American hostages in Iran, the failed mission occurring in April 1980.
Yes, the rescue mission failed, but Carter could take the credit for the fact that all of the hostages came home, upon the inauguration of Ronald Reagan. The problem was that all of the good that Carter did in foreign policy, as well as domestic policy, was overshadowed by the Iran crisis, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the economic recession that occurred, including an oil embargo that raised gasoline prices.
Carter was the victim of circumstance, but deserves much better treatment and respect, as the only other President so attacked on a regular basis after his Presidency as incompetent, who was Herbert Hoover.
It is ironic that these two Presidents, educated as engineers, both brilliant in intellect, both one term Presidents soundly defeated for re-election, ended up having longer retirements than any other President, with Hoover’s thirty one and a half years in retirement to be passed by Carter on September 8, 2012, just four months from now.
Hopefully, when he reaches that milestone in September, we will see the country celebrate Carter’s longevity, and celebrate his contributions to the country, instead of constant ridicule and disrespect.
But, if anything, Carter’s failure to rescue the hostages probably led to his defeat in 1980 by Ronald Reagan, and that makes Barack Obama’s gamble on Osama Bin Laden, and his courage and decisiveness in the matter, even more impressive, and means everyone should be willing to applaud Obama, and give him the right to use it as an issue in the Presidential Election of 2012!
One can be sure a Republican President would use it as a campaign issue, and we all know that George W. Bush politicized the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to his political advantage!