It’s official; I now take back anything and everything good I’ve ever said about former president, Jimmy Carter. Has he done some good things in his life? No doubt, but the stuff he’s been spouting these past few years defies both logic and sanity. Here is what our former prez said Monday on “Hardball With Chris Matthews:”
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you the question about – this is going to cause some trouble with people but as an historian now and studying the Revolutionary War as it was fought out in the South in those last years of the War, insurgency against a powerful British force. Do you see any parallels between the fighting that we did on our side and the fighting that is going on in Iraq today?
CARTER: Well, one parallel is that the Revolutionary War more than any other war until recently has been the most bloody war we’ve fought. I think another parallel is that in some ways the Revolutionary War could have been avoided. It was an unnecessary war. Had the British Parliament been a little more sensitive to the colonial’s really legitimate complaints and requests the war could have been avoided completely and of course now we would have been a free country now as is Canada and India and Australia, having gotten our independence in a non-violent way. I think in many ways the British were very misled in going to war against America and in trying to enforce their will on people who were quite different from them at the time.
My God the man’s a loon! If the British Parliament had been more “sensitive?” If Carter is the historian he thinks himself to be, he’d know that King George had basically stacked the deck against the Americans by pulling political strings to see to it that his desire to crack down on the colonies received overwhelming support in Parliament.
Both sides had legitimate grievances and, unfortunately, events were what they were and the war happened. Besides, which, it didn’t really address the question given by Chris Matthews in the first place!
The question from Matthews was, “Do you see any parallels between the fighting that we did on our side [in the South during the American Revolution] and the fighting that is going on in Iraq today?” Never mind the fact that Matthews is comparing Iraqi terrorists with American revolutionaries, the question offered to former prez Carter has nothing to do with the answer he gives.
So, since the former prez couldn’t seem to gain enough focus to answer what to me is a very simple question, I thought I’d do it for him. the answer, in a nutshell, is NO!
There is NO legitimate comparison between the war in the South during the American Revolution and terrorists in Iraq today. Here’s why:
- During the American Revolution, the American colonies were rebelling against their own established government, not a foreign power. In Iraq, the insurgents/terrorists are trying to destabilize American and Iraqi efforts to establish a democratic government.
- The Brits didn’t launch their southern campaign until almost four years into the war, and did it in hopes they could pacify the South, then use it as a base of operations against the colonial army. Overall, though, the Brits were fighting against individual colonies that were cooperating via the Continental Congress and local elected officials, not a preexisting government with a standing army and storehouses of weapons. In Iraq, US forces first toppled the existing government, then appointed an interim government made up of Iraqis, and is now acting to insure, as much as possible, a trouble-free democratic election that will increase Iraq’s stability and independence.
- In Iraq, the US invaded a nation to topple a ruthless dictator who was sponsoring terrorism and was arrogantly threatening our nation. The plan has always been to build a democratic nation, not to annex Iraq and make it a US colony. This is the exact opposite of what the British were trying to accomplish in America over 200 years ago.
- The southern campaign was launched in the hopes of gaining some kind of long-term victory against the Americans who, despite losing more than they had won in terms of battles on the field, had managed to frustrate British efforts to bring the American colonies back into the British fold.
- In Iraq, insurgent/terrorist forces cannot in their wildest dreams hope to field an army capable of taking on even the newly trained Iraqi forces, much less the overwhelmingly powerful American military. During the American Revolution, colonial forces were able to field an army from almost the first major campaign.
- Though, the Colonial Army in the South, commanded by Nathanael Greene, lost most engagements with the British, ultimately, the Brits’ need to live off the land as they chased Nathanael Greene’s army across the South alienated many who had originally supported their mother country and made their attempts to pacify the South almost hopeless.
- During the American Revolution, the British were incredibly frustrated with their inability to pacify the colonies. In Iraq, at least 75% of that nation is pacified and ready to assume self-rule, while the insurgent/terrorist strongholds are mainly concentrated in two areas and are slowly being squeezed by American and Iraqi forces.
- Americans in the mid 1700s already enjoyed the highest average standard of living of any nation in the world. Americans were partly motivated, then, to fight for what they saw to be a direct threat to that standard of living. In Iraq, what are the insurgents/terrorists fighting to keep? Dictatorial rule? The right to force women out of the workplace and into homes where their best hope is to become the property of a reasonable husband?
- In Iraq, the insurgents/terrorists are willing to saw off the heads of innocent people in public and blow up or shoot up children in public places rather than see Iraq become a democracy. In America, well, it was a different story.
And I could go on like that for another couple of pages but, ultimately, the bottom line is that comparing the resistance of colonials during the American Revolution to insurgents/terrorists in Iraq today is, to say the least, stretching it a bit. Any comparisons offered are, at best, likely to be superficial. At worst… Well, just try imagining Chris Matthews attempting to compare George Washington to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Really, this is one of those situations where common sense dictates the philosophy of “don’t go there!” Besides, I thought liberals were trying to stick to the Viet Nam comparison. I guess it was just too thoroughly debunked.
Regardless… Bad comparison by Matthews during his “Hardball” segment and AWFUL reply by the former president.
Next thing you know, Carter will be on air somewhere telling us that it’s a shame the US was not more “sensitive” to Tojo and Hitler before WWII began. Yeesh!