Breaking tradition, Carter Rips Bush’s Policies

November 7th, 2005 - by admin

Chuck Raasch / Gannett News Service – 2005-11-07 08:44:44 2005-11-03-carter-bush_x.htm

Breaking tradition, Carter Rips Bush’s Policies
Chuck Raasch / Gannett News Service

WASHINGTON — Former President Jimmy Carter said Thursday that “fundamentalism” under George W. Bush has resulted in a “dramatic and profound and unprecedented change” in American policy that threatens the United States at home and abroad.

Carter, who is promoting a new book critical of Bush, faulted the Bush administration for “an unprecedented and overt … merger of the church and state, of religion and politics.”

At a breakfast with reporters sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Carter, 81, diverged from a time-honored practice in which ex-presidents refrain from criticizing those currently holding the office. He acknowledged making mistakes when he was president from 1977-81, and at one point declared: “I can’t deny that I am a better ex-president than I was a president.”

But he said Bush has made such significant changes to US foreign policy and human rights doctrine, resulting in precipitous declines in the country’s standing abroad, that he felt compelled to write “Our Endangered Values.” It is Carter’s 20th book since he was defeated for re-election by Ronald Reagan in 1980.

Carter was especially critical at the breakfast meeting of Bush’s decision to invade Iraq and cut taxes and of what Carter said is the administration’s dismissal of international arms and human rights agreements.

He said the natural “arrogance” of second-term presidents is exacerbated by a fundamentalism under Bush that causes many of his supporters and those who work in his administration to believe that “I am right because I am close to God (and) anybody who disagrees with me is inherently wrong, and therefore inferior.”

Carter acknowledged that both he and Bush proclaim their Christian faith as part of their governing philosophy, but the similarity ends there.

“I don’t have any doubt that he is very sincere about his Christian faith,” Carter said of Bush. “There are some differences in interpretation. … I have a commitment to worship the Prince of Peace, not the prince of pre-emptive war. I believe that Christ taught us to give special attention to the plight of the poor.”

Bush, he said, “has committed himself to extol the advantages of the rich.”

Bush and his allies credit tax cuts for lessening the effects of a recession and for helping the economy recover from the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The president has defended his decision to invade Iraq as a pre-emptive strike on a gathering threat under Saddam Hussein. And he has said that Sept. 11 fundamentally changed the way the United States should respond to such threats.

But Carter, who supported the invasion of Afghanistan, said public opinion in the Arab world has turned strongly against the United States since the invasion of Iraq, creating a deep impression among Muslims that the U.S. is on a “crusade” against Islam.

Carter said Arab leaders he regularly consults with believe the United States intends to maintain permanent military bases in Iraq irrespective of how that country’s transformation to self-rule plays out. Removing U.S. forces from Muslim nations could reduce “95 percent” of the terrorist threat from Islamic fundamentalism, Carter said.

Carter also aims heavy criticism at fellow Democrats. He said John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign ignored the concerns of the “very religious” and that his party has overemphasized abortion rights.

“I have never been convinced … that Jesus Christ would approve abortion,” Carter said, adding that as president, “I did everything I could under Roe vs. Wade … to minimize the need for abortion.”

But many Democratic leaders today “are overemphasizing the abortion issue,” Carter said.

“Many Democrats like me have some concern, say, about late-term abortions where you kill a baby as it is emerging from its mother’s womb,” he said. “And to make that a litmus test of democracy, I think, hurts our party.”

Nov. 9th Deadline Act Now To Expose the War Lies!

Wednesday, Nov. 9th Deadline/Act Now To Expose the War Lies! Pass this
along ASAP to everyone you know!

Rep. Kucinich’s Resolution of Inquiry (H. Res. 505) would require release of key documents from the White House Iraq Group (WHIG). The House International Relations Committee, (H.I.R.C.) will vote on H. Res. 505 at 10:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, November 9th.

Our highest priority is to contact Democratic Members of the House International Relations Committee who haven’t co-sponsored, but EVERY co-sponsor adds significant weight, so please call your Congress member today at: 888-818-6641 and strongly urge him or her to co-sponsor (not just “support”) H. Res. 505

Democratic House International Relations Committee members who haven’t cosponsored as of this writing:

• Tom Lantos (ranking Dem.) California, 12th District,
• Howard L. Berman California, 28th District,
• Adam B. Schiff California, 29th District,
• Dennis A. Cardoza California, 18th District
• Brad Sherman California, 27th District,
• Robert Wexler Florida, 19th District,
• Ben Chandler Kentucky, 6th District,
• William D. Delahunt Massachusetts, 10th District,
• Shelley Berkley Nevada, 1st District,
• Robert Menendez New Jersey, 13th District,
• Eliot L. Engel New York, 17th District,

It’s extremely important that all of these Democrats step up tocosponsor and vote for H. Res. 505

• View current co-sponsors by going to:

If your Congressperson is on this list, be sure to call or write them tothank them. If not, strongly urge them to cosponsor (not merely
“support) this critically important resolution.

The stakes are very high. If the IR Committee passes this Resolution, it would compel key administration officials to deliver “all documents, including notes from meetings, memos, telephone and electronic mail records, logs and calendars, and records of internal discussions” — in short exposing the “White House Iraq Group” (aka “WHIG”) and its machinations which drove
us into war.

Members of the “WHIG” — Karl Rove, Andrew Card, Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin, Nicholas E. Calio, James R. Wilkinson, Condoleezza Rice, and Stephen Hadley — could join their cohort I. Lewis Libby in deep legal trouble. You know what that means for the upcoming 2006 elections.

• Current Co-sponsors:

• Talking points on the Resolution of Inquiry:

• More about the ROI here:

This is the Resolution:

>b?109th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. RES. 505

Requesting the President of the United States and directing the Secretary of State to provide to the House of Representatives certain documents in their possession relating to the White House Iraq Group.


(October 20, 2005) — Mr. KUCINICH submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on International Relations

Requesting the President of the United States and directing the Secretary of State to provide to the House of Representatives certain documents in their possession relating to the White House Iraq Group.

Resolved, That the President of the United States is requested and the Secretary of State is directed to provide to the House of
Representatives, not later than 14 days after the date of adoption of this resolution —

• (1) all documents from 2003 pertaining to the taskforce organized by Andrew Card, consisting of Karl Rove, Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin, Nicholas E. Calio, James R. Wilkinson, Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Hadley and I. Lewis Libby, known as the White House Iraq Group;

• (2) all drafts of all white papers on the topic of Iraq’s nuclear threat assembled in 2003 by the White House Iraq Group; and

• (3) all documents, including notes from meetings, memos, telephone and
electronic mail records, logs and calendars, and records of internal discussions in the possession of the President or the Secretary of State relating to the White House Iraq Group.

• Online PDF here:

• Talking Points:

• Contact your local media through links on the PDA Web site (click on tools, then click on media) to ask them to cover this important vote.

Congressman Adam Smith’s (D-WA) has also been leading on this effort both with a guest OpEd in the Seattle P.I. and with a joint ‘Dear Colleague’ letter with Reps. Tauscher, Lee, and Kucinich.

The Backbone Campaign and After Downing Street Coalition are asking their members, allies, and all US citizens to urge your Congress Member to Co-Sponsor Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s Resolution of Inquiry.

Mike Hersh ( is Chairperson of Maryland’s Montgomery County Progressive Alliance (
and Maryland State Coordinator for Progressive Democrats of America

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