Q&A Friday #40: How Much Responsibility Does Jimmy Carter Bear For What’s Happening In The Middle-East?
Question: “Did the way Jimmy Carter handled the Iranian hostage situation have any influence on the events that are happening today in the Mid East?” — jcl
Answer: Maybe a small part. His decision to stand by while an American ally, the Shah of Iran, was overthrown by Islamofasicsts had a bigger impact.
If what you’re driving at is, “Why does Al-Qaeda think they can take us on,” the reason is simply that they think the West is weak and decadent and they may be able to defeat us. By the way, weaklings like Jimmy Carter have certainly contributed to that perception.
We may have the money and the military, but the terrorists believe that their ruthlessness and superior willpower can win out over time and allow them to gain in strength until, eventually, perhaps decades from now, they can defeat us outright. Defeating them requires disabusing them of that notion, preferably by making them dead.
On the other hand, if you’re talking about Iran specifically, I think they view the current crisis as a win/win/win situation.
#1) Their own people want democracy and may revolt and overthrow the government. Could be sooner, could be later. But, an American or Israeli attack would probably make the people more nationalistic and strengthen their hand.
#2) If there is no attack and Iran gets nukes, their situation gets stronger. They may use nuclear blackmail. They may invade other countries and use their nukes to keep the West off of their back. Also, as an added bonus, most foreign policy experts across the world tend to be stability fetishists. You add oil and nukes into the mix and many of the nations that might like to see the current Iranian government overthrown today might be less likely to support a revolution because they’ll be afraid of those weapons getting into the wrong hands.
#3) In the interim, whatever happens, all this talk about bombing Iran is driving the price of crude oil higher and increasing the amount of money flowing into Iran’s pocket (Incidentally, I wonder if that’s why Hugo Chavez keeps flapping his big yap so much).
Did a Jimmy Carter play a big role in how this has played out? Well, if it wasn’t for him, the Shah’s son might be ruling the country today instead of the nutjobs who are currently in power. At a minimum, Carter bears that much responsibility for the situation we find ourselves in today.