Tess Koppelman / Fox 4 News & Louis Charbonneau / Reuters – 2005-11-14 23:28:03
Jimmy Carter: Bush not in line with American Values
Tess Koppelman / Fox 4 News
Kansas City, MO (November 11, 2005) — President Jimmy Carter says President Bush’s policies conflict with American values. More than a thousand people packed into Unity Temple on the Plaza for the former president to sign a copy of his new book Our Endangered Values.
Reviews call the book biting political commentary, despite the fact that there’s an unwritten rule in American politics that former presidents do not criticize current ones. Carter says he wrote this book reluctantly, but did so because he just couldn’t stay silent anymore.
“In the last 5 years there’s been a dramatic and disturbing and radical change in the values of this country,” Carter said. For example, he says peace is an American value, not pre-emptive war: “we don’t wait until our country is threatened,” Carter said, “we publicly announced our new policy is to attack a county, invade a country, bomb a county.” He says another American value is human rights.
For decades the US has supported the Geneva convention saying we won’t torture prisoners, but he says now “our senators are voting to keep torture. It’s inconceivable this would happen in the United States of America.” Carter also says American politics is being infused with what he calls “fundamentalist” religion.
Carter, who is a born-again Christian, says blurring the line between church and state is dangerous. Carter says he’s not in politics anymore, and his new book is not partisan. He criticizes Democrats for being out of touch on the abortion issue.
“I don’t think the Democratic party ought to identify itself with freedom of choice, with abortion,” he said, “it’s a litmus test for many people and I have a problem with abortion.” Carter hopes his book helps Americans debate these issues and decide on election day what America’s future will look like.
Carter’s own presidency was controversial, but since then his humanitarian efforts in the world earned him a Nobel Peace Prize.
Tess Koppelman, Fox 4 News
French Official Says US Iraq Presence Fuels Radicals
Louis Charbonneau / Reuters
BERLIN (November 10, 2005) — Some Muslims in Europe are going to Iraq to fight US-led forces because they see the situation as similar to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, a top French anti-terrorism official said on Thursday.
Jean-Louis Bruguiere also said Europe ran the risk of being struck by a new wave of terrorism, urging greater cooperation by intelligence agencies to stamp out more attacks like the March 2004 Madrid bombings and the July attacks in London.
The Iraqi situation had “greatly increased the influence of radical Islamist ideology”, said Bruguiere, one of Europe’s leading anti-terrorism investigators.
“The tendency is to leave Europe, not only France, (for) Iraq to fight the U.S. troops and the others,” he told Reuters at a conference on weapons of mass destruction organized by Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service.
Bruguiere said this was similar to the jihad, or holy war, waged by Muslim fighters in Afghanistan against the Soviet occupation between 1979 and 1989.
“That’s the same phenomenon we saw before with Afghanistan, with Kosovo, Bosnia or Chechnya,” said Bruguiere.
The most well-known Muslim fighters in Afghanistan were the mujahideen and many were foreigners, including Saudi-born al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
September 11 Attacks
After the Taliban took power in the 1990s bin Laden used Afghanistan as his main base to launch attacks elsewhere in the world. But the September 11 attacks on the United States prompted US President George W. Bush to help oust the Taliban.
A small number of Muslim fighters from Europe have been identified among insurgents in Iraq, and some have been killed.
European intelligence officials have frequently voiced fears that those who return may later carry out attacks on home soil.
“Europe runs the risk of being badly struck by a new terrorist wave,” Bruguiere said in a speech to an audience of mostly politicians, security experts and intelligence officials.
Asked if al Qaeda’s leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, might be attempting to organize attacks in Europe, Bruguiere said he had no evidence of this.
“The threat is more globalize. What is worrying is the capacity of these groups to be more scattered, more mutating,” he told Reuters.
“It looks like a virus. It’s like the AIDS virus. You have groups, you try to grasp them but you can’t grasp them any more.”
This was why it was vital for the world’s intelligence agencies to cooperate and share information, said Bruguiere.
“And we have to be flexible, because they are flexible,” he said.
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