The perfidy of ex-presidents
By Alan Caruba
We are in a new era of ex-Presidents. Having been the most powerful leader in the world, accepting either defeat at the polls or the finality of a second term, we now have two former Democrat Presidents, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, who will not get off the world stage, nor restrain themselves from the criticism of the current President.
It is worse than unseemly, it is the kind of backstabbing behavior that betrays them for the kind of people they were while in office, i.e., petty, vindictive, arrogant, et cetera.
Most recently, it was reported that former President Clinton told an audience in the Middle East that, while getting rid of Saddam Hussein was a good idea, the invasion of Iraq was "a mistake." And he said this while we have our armed forces there!
I have lived long enough to see a dozen Presidents in office and I cannot recall any but these two behaving in this fashion.
Carter cannot seem to restrain himself from pontificating with opinion editorials that are dutifully published in liberal mainstream daily newspapers. His most recent opus was a litany of criticisms of the Bush administration including the assertion that "top U.S. leaders" are seeking to "exert American imperial dominance throughout the world."
From the earliest days of our history, America has stood virtually alone among nations in its avoidance of imperial behavior. The most recent territory we acquired in combat was Iraq and we restored sovereignty to an interim government as fast as we could!
To accuse America of imperialism is to echo every Communist that ever walked the Earth as it is their favorite charge. Why should this surprise us? Carter has shown an affection for despots such as Fidel Castro and Kim Jung Il.
Carter is upset that "our political leaders have declared independence from the restraints of international organizations." Presumably he is referred to the United Nations that not only dawdled for years as Saddam ignored their endless resolutions following the first Gulf War and then engaged in a massive looting of the UN "Oil-For-Fuel" program intended to provide food and medicines for the Iraqi people. Yup, that's the kind of international organization by which I want to be restrained.
Of course, Carter's latest blizzard of opinion editorials may have something to do with his latest piece of deathless prose, a book entitled Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis. Despite 9-11, he's all upset about the Patriot Act, treatment of enemy combatants, and, of course, the environment.
Clinton isn't peddling a book these days and for that we should be most grateful, but he is peddling his opinions on the conduct of the war in Iraq and for that he should be severely condemned. I cannot help suspect that this latest opinion was bought and paid for somewhere in the Middle East.
Despite Esquire Magazine declaring him "president of the world", Clinton is not the president anymore and, when he was, his response to al Qaeda attacks on the Twin Towers in 1993 and subsequent attacks on US embassies, and the USS Cole only convinced Osama bin Laden that America was run by weaklings. Osama was wrong and so is Clinton.
Those of us who still love our nation enough to want to protect it against all enemies and who support our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan need to begin to loudly protest these perfidious former Presidents.
Alan Caruba writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs", posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center. © Alan Caruba, December 2005
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