Trunk, thanks for posting Lowell Ponte’s piece on Jimmy Carter this morning. It seems harsh to blame Carter for 600,000 deaths, most of which resulted from the Iran-Iraq war. But ideas have consequences. And the foreseeable consequence of Carter’s idea not to support the authoritarian but relatively progressive and staunchly pro-American Shah against the religious Mullahs was considerable mayhem and bloodshed.
Ponte actually goes easy on Carter in discussing the Camp David accords. The problem with giving Carter credit for this deal is not just that Begin and Sadat reached it without any significant assistance from Carter. Although few remember this, Carter was actually opposed to any settlement that did not involve his friend Arafat. Thus, if Begin and Sadat had taken Carter seriously (admittedly a virtual impossibility, no one else did), they would never have negotiated the “separate peace” that they later asked Carter to seal.
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