Who’s To Blame for the Mess in Iraq? Jimmy Carter, Of Course


I’ll admit it: I sort of admire the mental gymnastics that conservatives are able to pull off in an effort to excuse the current administration for its failed policy in the Middle East. If it seems obvious that the current disaster in Iraq is the result of a poorly-planned, insufficiently justified, and terribly run strategy, that’s because you lack the long-term vision of conservatives. You see, the person responsible for the Iraq mess is Jimmy Carter, according to Andy Hammond.

It all started with Liberal President Jimmy Carter in the late 1970’s. I know I’m going back before most of you Liberal bloggers were born but it is important to understand how the actions of one Liberal President in four short disastrous years created the current situation in the Middle East that we are now living with and trying to clean up.

Short Version:

  1. We were allies with the Shah of Iran in the 1970s, even though he was the head of an oppressive regime.
  2. Jimmy Carter, insane liberal, demanded that the Shah of Iran allow such legal niceties as trials and free assembly
  3. Carter somehow caused the Iranian revolution, and tried to appease the new government.
  4. Ronald Reagan was forced to ally himself with Saddam Hussein as a result. Thus, the current Iraq War.

Let’s pretend for a moment that Mr. Hammond’s Sean Hannity and Chuck Morse inspired fantasy is true. Even if we concede the farcical basis of the claim that Jimmy Carter was responsible for what happened in Iran, rather than the Shah’s autocratic policies, the logic that follows is truly astounding. Reagan was forced to ally himself with Iraq?  Somehow, this support necessitated tactic acceptance of Iraq’s chemical weapons program?

But, for the sake of argument, let’s concede that specious claim as well. Instead, let’s think about more proximate causes for the mess we are facing in the Middle East:

  • The failure of the Bush Administration to secure the support of allies.
  • Donald Rumsfeld’s failure to send enough troops to win the war and manage “the peace.”
  • The Adminstration’s insistence that “not cutting and running” somehow constitutes a strategy.
  • The Administration’s insistence that invading Iraq was part of the war on terror, even though the invasion dramatically escalated the presence of Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in Iraq.

It’s unpleasant to admit that the President you support and the policies he has implemented have been abject failures, but people who are interested in real solutions to world problems do more than invent convoluted fantasies to justify alternate realities. It’s time for conservatives to admit failure and tell the truth: this President has failed the United States. Attacking Jimmy Carter for something that happened over 25 years ago might make you feel better, but it doesn’t make much of a difference.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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Clark Bar

If you buy the argument, it makes more sense to go back even further to Mossadeq’s (sp) democratic government being overthrown with CIA assistance for trying to nationalize petroleum production.

Matt Singer

I prefer this summary:

Encouraging liberalization of tyrannical regims: BAD

Invading tyrannical regimes and trying to create democracies: GOOD

Harry Bustin

I love the efforts you have put in this, appreciate it for all the great posts.

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