Monday, November 14, 2005

This isn't the real America

By Jimmy Carter
Los Angeles Times IN RECENT YEARS, I have become increasingly concerned by a host of radical government policies that now threaten many basic principles espoused by all previous administrations, Democratic and Republican.

These include the rudimentary American commitment to peace, economic and social justice, civil liberties, our environment and human rights.

Also endangered are our historic commitments to providing citizens with truthful information, treating dissenting voices and beliefs with respect, state and local autonomy and fiscal responsibility.

At the same time, our political leaders have declared independence from the restraints of international organizations and have disavowed long-standing global agreements — including agreements on nuclear arms, control of biological weapons and the international system of justice.

Instead of our tradition of espousing peace as a national priority unless our security is directly threatened, we have proclaimed a policy of "preemptive war," an unabridged right to attack other nations unilaterally to change an unsavory regime or for other purposes. When there are serious differences with other nations, we brand them as international pariahs and refuse to permit direct discussions to resolve disputes.

Regardless of the costs, there are determined efforts by top U.S. leaders to exert American imperial dominance throughout the world.

These revolutionary policies have been orchestrated by those who believe that our nation's tremendous power and influence should not be internationally constrained. Even with our troops involved in combat and America facing the threat of additional terrorist attacks, our declaration of "You are either with us or against us!" has replaced the forming of alliances based on a clear comprehension of mutual interests, including the threat of terrorism.

Another disturbing realization is that, unlike during other times of national crisis, the burden of conflict is now concentrated exclusively on the few heroic men and women sent back repeatedly to fight in the quagmire of Iraq. The rest of our nation has not been asked to make any sacrifice, and every effort has been made to conceal or minimize public awareness of casualties.

Instead of cherishing our role as the great champion of human rights, we now find civil liberties and personal privacy grossly violated under some extreme provisions of the Patriot Act.

Of even greater concern is that the U.S. has repudiated the Geneva accords and espoused the use of torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, and secretly through proxy regimes elsewhere with the so-called extraordinary rendition program. It is embarrassing to see the president and vice president insisting that the CIA should be free to perpetrate "cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment" on people in U.S. custody.

Instead of reducing America's reliance on nuclear weapons and their further proliferation, we have insisted on our right (and that of others) to retain our arsenals, expand them, and therefore abrogate or derogate almost all nuclear arms control agreements negotiated during the last 50 years. We have now become a prime culprit in global nuclear proliferation. America also has abandoned the prohibition of "first use" of nuclear weapons against nonnuclear nations, and is contemplating the previously condemned deployment of weapons in space.

Protection of the environment has fallen by the wayside because of government subservience to political pressure from the oil industry and other powerful lobbying groups. The last five years have brought continued lowering of pollution standards at home and almost universal condemnation of our nation's global environmental policies.

Our government has abandoned fiscal responsibility by unprecedented favors to the rich, while neglecting America's working families. Members of Congress have increased their own pay by $30,000 per year since freezing the minimum wage at $5.15 per hour (the lowest among industrialized nations).

I am extremely concerned by a fundamentalist shift in many houses of worship and in government, as church and state have become increasingly intertwined in ways previously thought unimaginable.

As the world's only superpower, America should be seen as the unswerving champion of peace, freedom and human rights. Our country should be the focal point around which other nations can gather to combat threats to international security and to enhance the quality of our common environment. We should be in the forefront of providing human assistance to people in need.

It is time for the deep and disturbing political divisions within our country to be substantially healed, with Americans united in a common commitment to revive and nourish the historic political and moral values that we have espoused during the last 230 years.


Blogger G_in_AL said...

Please for the love of all that is good, stop using Carter as any kind of example. This idiot came in, destroyed America's standing in the world, and our ability to conduct anything near foriegn affairs on our own terms, blew the economy, made friends with every tyrant and despot in the world, then slipped out of office only to keep preaching as if he actually got anything done with these ideals that fail in the real world.

This is like asking "Barney" how he would approch China. "I love you, you love me, we're a great big family"....

November 14, 2005 7:28 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

G , in my view , it is not that carter is saying this that is the point , it is the words themselves that matter , and the thousands of people who keep adding their names to the list

this is not america , your government has lost contact with american values and is becoming sick

it lies
it tortures
it believes in premetive strikes
it attacks soverign nations
it doesnt accept international law
such as the geneva convention
it continues to break the nuclear agreements made with the world
its government is out of touch on the environment
its people are controlled and supressed by the patriot act

who cares what carter did , or anyone else , i am just pleased he has joined the side of good

and i am just delighted that the american population is slowly joining us in the fight agaisnt hypocracy and lies

November 14, 2005 7:41 pm  
Blogger G_in_AL said...

Really? So anyone that says things, fitting your agenda are alright in your book?

How about them white supremisists here in the US that say our government is illegal and were lock step with Cindy Sheehan?

All governments lie, its called security usually.

it tortures no one per the definition, aside from isolated cases in which they are prosecuting.

it believes in premetive strikes - duh?

it attacks soverign nations - is there any other kind of nation?

it doesnt accept international law
such as the geneva convention - your right, especially those conventions they didnt sign. International concensus does not equal law.

it continues to break the nuclear agreements made with the world - No, it just isnt following it's nuclear agreements with the now disbanded USSR... (oh, and that treaty was agreed upon by ... Carter!)

its government is out of touch on the environment - As is China, UK, France, Russia, Germany, Japan, India, or any other country that likes to have an economy that is post-Industrial revolution (ref: Kyoto)

its people are controlled and supressed by the patriot act - I have not been controlled or opressed, and I'd bet you cant find a single citizen that hanst broken a real law who has been.

The patriot act is spooky, and it is a good thing it is under vote every couple of years. Oh, and you mean like France's Emergency Powers? Now thats oppression.

November 15, 2005 6:31 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

I agree on some of what you say but not on other points

you said "it tortures no one per the definition, aside from isolated cases in which they are prosecuting."

and i dont really understand what you mean , what definition are you applying ?

it believes in premetive strikes "

yes , no other country has a policy to attack another country that is not an imiediate threat to itself or others

it is in the UN charter you signed , now the US alone has backed out

the US is also the ONLY county on planet earth that reserves the right to use nuclear weapons agaisnt non nuclear states

we dont
the chinese dont
the russians dont
the israelis dont
pakistan doesnt
india doesnt
france doesnt

but somehow the US thinks it is fair enough to nuke someone who is not a threat to your nation

there are many factors of the geneva convention the US did sign , and now breaks , so what difference does it make if you sign or not , you dont keep your word on the laws you accept

"it attacks soverign nations"

yes something you agreed never do to unless given UN security council authority , thats what you agreed to do when you joined the UN

finally you said "I'd bet you cant find a single citizen that hanst broken a real law who has been."

erm G , you had to go past the post on jose padillia to get to this one , wow , still you only see what you want to see

November 15, 2005 7:23 pm  

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