Jimmy Carter & the Problem of Embracing Evil
The Road to Gehinnom Is Paved With Good Intentions.... or Pretensions of.
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.”
To understand Jimmy Carter and Western Civilization as a whole, we need to understand Esav, their Biblical embodiment. Let us start in the obit pages from back in the days:
Today, we seek to remember the long life of our beloved Patriarch Esau, son of Isaac, brutally murdered at the tender age of 147. Anyone who knew him can testify; no man ever fulfilled the commandment of honoring your parents as he did! The Sages themselves testified it was so. This is not where the praise of our Sages for Esau ends, either, for they mention that it was evident to anyone who looked at him that he was steeped in good deeds, comparing him to an animal showcasing his split hooves to display its kosher status. Despite their disagreement, we all remember how he sent his son after his brother when he left home and how many tears Esau shed on his shoulders when he returned. He was a terrific hunter who doubled as a very pious man, constantly asking his father how to tithe even the most minor, valueless articles!
Cherished by everyone, his memory is sure to be a blessing for all those who emulate his ways.
- New York Times Obituary, 1506 BCE.
Talk about fake news…
Indeed, while our Sages did say that no one ever showed the same honor to their parents the way Esav did, the Midrash disclosed that:
Why does he compare it [Esav/the Roman State] to a swine? For this reason: when the swine is lying down it puts out its hoofs, as if to say, "I am clean," so does this wicked State rob and oppress, yet pretend to be executing justice. So for forty years Esau used to ensnare married women and violate them, yet when he attained forty years he compared himself to his father, saying, "As my father was forty years old when he married, so I will marry at the age of forty." (Bereishit Rabbah 65:1)
When Esav sent his son as his brother departed, it was to murder Yaakov (Rashi on Bereishit 29:11); when he cried after their reunion, it was due to his inability to kill Yaakov (Ibid. 78:12). The reason why he constantly asked questions on religious minutiae to his father was to fool him, to cloak himself in false piousness. At the same time, he spent his days worshipping idols, raping or seducing married women, and killing men (often their husbands).
In death, Esav gives us the biggest key to understanding his character and, thus, the entire history of the Western World:
"The Midrash relates that when Jacob's funeral procession reached the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron, the burial place of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, they found Esau and his henchmen barring their path. Esau claimed that the sole remaining plot was his by inheritance, after Jacob had already taken his share when he buried his wife Leah in the cave. When Jacob's children maintained that their father had bought out his brother's share, Esau denied this. The transaction had been put in writing, but the deed was back in Egypt, and fleet-footed Naphtali was dispatched to retrieve it. Chushim, the deaf son of Dan, asked what the commotion was all about, and was incensed to learn that Esau had halted the funeral of his revered grandfather. With a mighty blow of his sword, Chushim severed Esau's head, which rolled into the Cave of Machpelah and came to rest in Isaac's lap, where it remains to this day. Thus it came to pass that "Esau's head lies in the bosom of Isaac."
The Tragicomedy of Esav’s Progeny
The tragedy of Western Civilization is that it's based on such beautiful ideas. Liberty! Fraternity! Equality! Human Rights, the Free Exchange of Goods, Democracy, Free Press, Individualism, the Rule of Law, the marriage of Enlightenment, Science, and Biblical Values.
The problem is that if you do not truly believe in what you're saying and are not living up to them, these beautiful concepts become beautiful slogans. Empty of life, but so attractive to the ear. Unsurprisingly, our Sages described the Greek Civilization as its apogee as a beautiful exterior and a hollow interior. The predecessor of Rome, and thus the West today, was always a hollow shell of slogans. Do as I say, not as I do!
This is what the head of Esav resting in the Cave of the Patriarchs represents. Esav had great ideas. He even wanted to live up to them! The problem was the disconnect between desires and actions, between intellect and activities.
Throughout the history of the West, how many people have been bombed, killed, or robbed of their youth or opportunities in the name of Freedom? In the name of spreading 'Western Values'?
That is not to say, of course, that the West is alone in this. Islamic imperialism, of course, was just as barbaric and murderous as Western Imperialism. The difference lies that when the Mohammedan herds swooped in on a new conquest, they did not do it under the pretense of civility and goodness. They both wanted to collect booty, enslave the natives, and extend their power. It's just that the Islamic invaders didn't put a PR spin on it.
And quite a PR spin it is.
Now that Jimmy Carter has been transferred to a hospice and is nearing the end of his life, we are witnessing the beatification and canonization of a man who was not only the furthest thing from a saint but truly a modern Esav and one of the worst Western foes that Israel ever faced.
Thanks to the Free Press, the newer generations know Jimmy Carter as an adorable peanut farmer, a doddering older man who talks about Green Energy, helped Habitat for Humanity build houses, and really cares about human rights and justice.
I hear he even asked Habitat for Humanity organizers whether he should tithe the nails he used!
Bloody Khmer Rouge
Before discussing his decades-long fight against Israel, we would be remiss not to point out that for Former President Carter, the praise of evil is not simply a pattern but a way of life. He never met a dictator or butcher he did not praise.
The communist revolutionary Khmer Rouge, under Pol Pot, slaughtered close to a third of the Cambodian population during a three-year genocide, with nearly 2.5 million victims. The Killing Fields of Cambodia stands as one of the most ignominious post-Holocaust genocides.
It only took Vietnam 17 days to remove the Khmer Rouge from power and stop the genocide. The Carter Administration reacted by imposing more sanctions on Vietnam and blocking their loans from the IMF. They also supported giving the Khmer Rouge a seat in the UN until 1982. A Wikileaks dump of over half a million US diplomatic cables from 1978 shows that while the Carter administration was outraged by the genocide happening, they were far more worried about Vietnamese influence over Cambodia, and, in the words of Kissinger, they were willing to close their eyes and as far as the Khmer Rouge's actions. They "tolerated it."
The Carter Administration considered the Khmer Rouge the rightful government of Cambodia in exile even after they were ousted in the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia, urging China to provide them military support through Zbigniew Brzezinski. He also began a program that sent them over $15 million annually after their exile.
So what is it that Sainted Jimmy Carter was willing to close his eyes on, and tolerate, in order to prevent Vietnamese control of Cambodia? Once the Khmer Rouge was in power, they proceeded to immediately start arresting and executing:
Anyone who was part of the former government Anyone suspected of being part of the former government Anyone suspected of connections to the former government Anyone suspected of connections to foreign governments Professionals (Business men, Doctors, Lawyers, etc.) Intellectuals (Academics, Students, etc.) Ethnic Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, or Cham Cambodians Xians and Buddhist Monks
The net cast on its victims was so wide that even people wearing glasses or who spoke more than one language were classified as "intellectuals" and executed.
Children were some of the favorite combatants and executioners of the Khmer Rouge, as they could be indoctrinated to follow orders without asking questions. Even after they fell from power in 1979, they continued to forcibly recruit children to do their bidding until at least 1998, a practice they started to discontinue after Pol Pot's death.
Over half of the victims were buried in mass graves; today, these are called 'the Killing Fields' of Cambodia. It is estimated at least 1.37 million are buried in them. The Khmer Rouge itself admitted to 2 million deaths, but claimed that these massacres had been committed by the Vietnamese during their 17-day invasion of Cambodia.
Prowl, Great Cain
To understand the horrible reality of life (and death) under the Khmer Rouge, here is an illustration of what happened multiple times every day:
As a farmer, most of your crops have been seized by the communists. Since you are a kulak, you are already suspect in the eyes of the Angkar (communist government). It has become known to the local authority that you've traded some grain for foodstuff. Or maybe a Western missionary gave you the gift of bread, and your neighbor reported your bourgeois feast to said Angkar. You are told to confess; the Angkar will forgive you and "wipe the slate clean." Under armed guards, you break down in tears and admit your counter-revolutionary meal. You spoke to a foreigner and accepted his loaf of bread. You only receive a warning. The problem is, it's your second warning. You already received one for being a kulak. Time for re-education!
All your neighbors know it's time to bid you farewell because you won't come back, but no one shows up to see you go. No one will even acknowledge you, as they don't want to receive a warning for being connected to you or your family. You are going to Choeung Ek or maybe Tuol Sleng to be re-educated. Thankfully, you won't be re-educated alone, as your entire family will come along.
Your education will mostly of torture until your death. When you're not in indescribable pain, you will hear patriotic songs and communist propaganda blasted on the speakers, as much to cover the sound of your screams as it is to benefit those who live in the surrounding area.
It was widespread for prisoners to be entirely unaware of why they had been arrested; the only answer they received from their jailers and executioners was that "the Angkar never makes mistakes."
The forms of torture used on the prisoners were so extreme that the Khmer Rouge quickly learned they had to tie the prisoners' hands tightly behind their backs so they would not be able to succeed once they inevitably tried to commit suicide. Bread can be spared, but not pain. I will spare you the details, but a simple, quick read of the "medical experiments" of the Khmer Rouge will immediately cement their horribleness next to anything Mengele or Japan's Unit 731 ever committed.
After you’ve been tort- I mean, experimented on, it’s time to die. Your entire family has to die as well since, as Pol Pot said, "If you want to kill the grass, you also have to kill the root."
Ammunition is very costly when you're a communist regime. Instead of a quick merciful headshot, your death will come through ingesting deadly chemical products or rusty farm equipment. This is still a much better end than what will happen to your children. While an adult might be killed with a scythe, a knife, or a sharp bamboo stick if he lucks out, the children and infants were bashed to death on surrounding Chankiri trees; their bodies then disposed of in the same pits their parents will join them in later, or are already waiting for them. Those pits were, of course, dug up by their occupants beforehand.
Today, if you decide to visit Cambodia, you will be able witness some of the extant mass graves while walking around the countryside. Dozens are visible above ground. After heavy rains, bones and items of clothing often surface, and it's common for those visiting memorial sites to find remains of its victims dislodged by the unruly weather. When found, tourists are asked to make sure to mention it to a park officer or tour guide. This might seem like a ghastly sight for our western sensitivities, but that's the point.
Cambodia wants you to know what happened. The most prominent Choeung Ek memorial consists of a tower-style building filled with 5,000 human skulls that tourists can visit. In fact, the Cambodian government strongly suggests that all tourists make sure to only leave the country after first visiting Choeung Ek.
Keep in mind this is the short and sanitized description of the events. The reality is much more brutal than what I’ve written.
After Presiding over and allowing 2.5 million people to be murdered in such a brutal fashion, it would make sense to say that afterward, Jimmy Carter decided to turn his life around and dedicate himself to doing as much good as he could to make up for his knowing inaction (in 1978 he declared that they were the "worst human rights abusers today" and proceeded to keep tacitly supporting them).
Yet, far from it. If anything, Jimmy Carter doubled down, embracing evil before, during, and after the Cambodian Genocide.
A Dictatorial Greatest Hits
The Cambodian Genocide was not the only one Jimmy Carter facilitated either. When the Suharto dictatorship in Indonesia carried out their genocide in East Timor, he refused to withdraw his support. Two hundred thousand died as a result by the time Carter left office, and hundreds of thousands suffered torture and non-lethal starvation.
He provided aid to President Mobutu, the dictator of Zaire (how he renamed Congo), to crush South African liberation movements. In 1977, Mobutu was almost ousted, but he stayed in power thanks to the CIA and Carter administration. As a result, he presided over a country where 20% of children died before their first birthday. He died in exile in Morocco, worth 5 billion dollars.
He financially supported the Guatemalan military junta (and asked for Israel to provide them with weapons and training as well). He then asked Congress to suspend military aid to Guatemala but ensured that Israel also filled in the need there. Training of Guatemala's death squads moved to Chile and Argentina but continued under Carter's watchful eyes. These same death squads waged a genocidal campaign against anyone who opposed their regime; their trademark was the burning alive of their victims.
When the South African Defense Forces of Apartheid South Africa bombed a refugee camp in Angola and killed over 600 refugees, he refused to condemn or even entertain the idea of sanctioning them. He declared, "we hope it's just a transient strike in retaliation, and we hope it's all over." Rather than stopping apartheid, it's estimated the support of the Carter Administration helped prop up their government for another 15 years.
He purposely provided financing and armed the Mujahadeen of Afghanistan to destabilize the country, prompting the Russian invasion, and the consequences of these actions can be felt today.
The Carter Administration provided President Ferdinand Marcos billions of dollars to prop up his regime in military aid, despite the flagrant and open human rights violated by his government.
He gave aid to the military dictatorship in El Salvador and its death squads, despite the public pleas from its citizens not to do so. Said government-backed death squads assassinated them.
Jimmy Carter supported the Somoza Regime of Nicaragua and ensured that when the new government replaced it, most of the institutions and its leaders would be members of the Somoza regime. Meet the new boss, the same as the old boss.
In South Korea, the Carter administration supported the coup led by General Chun Doo Hwan and expressed that it was crucial to avoid chaos in the region. Hence, they endorsed his use of the military to consolidate power. The Carter Administration even told Chun that they would not object to their use of the military to stop the large-scale student protests all over the country. Even though his coup would ultimately fail, his troops massacred up to 2,300 civilians, though the murderers claimed a mere 165.
Discussing Nicolas Ceausescu, he exclaimed, "Our goals are the same: to have a just system of economics and politics." It didn't matter how many people he tortured to death because, after all, "We believe in enhancing human rights." I supposed Nicolae's enemies were not human in Mr. Carter's either. It's estimated the Romanian communist regime he headed killed anywhere between 500,000 and 2,000,000 over its existence.
He described Marshal Joseph Tito as "a man who believes in human rights." He personally went to pay his respect to his tomb after his funeral and laid a wreath. His regime is responsible for killing at least 500,000 people.
Six days before the beginning of the Iranian Revolution, Carter was received by the Shah, toasted him as a great man, and said that Iran was "an island of stability in one of the most troubled area of the world." While friendly with Western powers, the Shah was yet another dictator who employed death squads and tortured his subjects.
What did Carter have to say about his successor, Ayatollah Khomeini? A "holy man." His ambassador to the United Nations predicted he would go down in history as "a saint." His Iranian ambassador described Khomeini as "a Gandhi-like figure." His adviser declared he was a man of "impeccable integrity and honesty."
Thanks to Carter's response, the Shah was deposed, Khomeini took over, tens of thousands were purged after the revolution, hundreds of thousands died in the Iran-Iraq war and untold casualties around the globe due to Iran becoming the world's number one terrorism sponsors. This includes thousands of American soldiers and civilians all across the world.
Carter's "holy man" used children to clear minefields or to attack Iraqi tanks, often unarmed. "Now, why wouldn't you use grown men with training to do this," you might think. I am not saying they went around disarming the mines. I'm saying they were given sleeping bags, told that paradise waited for them, and then told to roll over the mines to clear paths for the tanks.
Why the sleeping bags? To make it easier to bury their bodies afterward.
Lost the Birthright, but it's Still Mine.
Carter praised Kim Il Sung and said he was "vigorous, intelligent," a man "in charge of the decisions about his country." He added that he did not see North Korea as "an outlaw nation." Thanks to his involvement in the Korean Crisis in 1994, North Korea was able to develop its nuclear weapons due to the agreement he negotiated unilaterally and forced on the Clinton Administration. A deal they called 'near traitorous,' and Carter himself admitted that his goal was to force the American government to bend to his will instead of taking other actions he feared would lead to war. It sounds like he had a grand time, as well: "After Carter and Kim's formal work was done, they cruised the Taedong River together on the dictator's yacht, exchanging compliments and hunting stories, toasting one another with costly wines. Most striking was the obvious mutual attraction between Carter and a pariah who killed his own people in forced labor camps — and warmly talked of God and peace to a visiting American."
This was far from the only time he tried to bypass the American Government; for example, getting involved during the first 1991 Kuwait Invasion, contacting world leaders in an attempt to dissuade them from getting involved in the coalition that President Bush was attempting to form to liberate Kuwait back from under Saddam Hussein's boot. He tried to justify Saddam's invasion and occupation of Kuwait by saying that it was no different than Israel in regard to its disputed territories. He even went further and justified was Saddam by saying that the other Arab leaders were all corrupt (unlike Saint Saddam) and that the Arab street was sick of them. He blamed Kuwaiti intransigence and refusal for bending to his demands for the necessity of the invasion. He continued by saying that, really, America was the bad actor, not Saddam. 'We're the ones who sent troops to Lebanon. We're the ones who bombed Tripoli. We're the ones that invaded Grenada. We're the ones that invaded Panama. We're the ones that orchestrated the Contra war to overthrow the Sandinistas." Notice he managed to avoid mentioning any of his own evil actions and policies, which included attempting to prevent the Sandinistas from getting in power by funding death squads in the first place.
He famously told Haitian dictator Raul Cedras he was "ashamed of what my country has done to your country." He was criticized for once again trying to subvert American diplomacy and force the Clinton Administration to bend to his will at the time.
He praised Fidel Castro in interviews as "intelligent, dynamic still, popular" and took the side of Cuba in a dispute between his regime and America. On the issue of the Cuban Embargo, he once again tried to bypass the American Government to get it lifted, to no avail, for decades. Castro's regime is said to have brutally murdered up to 144,000 and tortured far more. Castro personally ordered the execution of children, while others were killed so their blood could be harvested and sold. After his death, his statement read: "Rosalynn and I share our sympathies with the Castro family and the Cuban people on the death of Fidel Castro. We remember fondly our visits with him in Cuba and his love of his country. We wish the Cuban citizens peace and prosperity in the years ahead."
In 1977, when asked whether the United States had a moral obligation to help Vietnam recover from the war, Jimmy Carter declared that "the destruction was mutual. You know, we went to Vietnam without any desire to capture territory or to impose American will on other people. We went there to defend the Freedom of the South Vietnamese. And I don't feel that we ought to apologize or to castigate ourselves or to assume the status of culpability."
To this day, people die from American land mines left behind in Vietnam. (Over 105,000 injured or killed, on average 2,500/year). 4.8 million were exposed to Agent Orange, and 400k death and disabilities as a result, with more than half a million children born with congenital disabilities.
So much for the tender-hearted, human rights-focused Carter. Much of Carter's support of the Khmer Rouge was as revenge for the humiliating American retreat a few years prior.
The Cave Is Mine
As this is not a book cataloging all of the horrible things Jimmy Carter did during his public life in his official capacity, I will stop here. Yet, there's still far more to be written, but I'll leave that to others. We still have to deal with his horrific history of antisemitism and treatment of Israel and Israelis in the next installment.
Still, surely he has since repented from all this, right? Apologized for some of the things he did or allowed to happen? Gained some humility and perspective?
Not at all.
In true Esavic fashion, he proclaimed he was superior to all other ex-presidents because of his "humanitarian effort." Discussing the one "major failure" of his political life, he did not highlight the genocides he helped perpetrate, the dictators he propped up, allowing North Korea to develop Nuclear weapons, or the many other horrible things listed. He declared: "It's a total incapacity to deal with the American press, particularly the White House press, when I was in office." He said there have been studies showing "I was treated more negatively by the press than any other president in this century."
As Esav cloaked in his false piousness, Jimmy Carter was the real victim all along. It's the press that didn't report on all the great things he did wondrously and turned his record into something negative. His second and third major professional failures were apparently that he was "too much of a perfectionist" and "worked too gosh darn hard." He would have given the journalist more, but his dog ate his prep work.
As we see in part 2, much like Esav, he also believes his brother Israel is really to blame and the source of all evils in the world.
Thanks for writing this. It needed to be said.