Today on Blogcritics
Home » Ex-Pres Carter Thinks American Revolution Was “Unnecessary!”

Ex-Pres Carter Thinks American Revolution Was “Unnecessary!”

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. 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!

David Flanagan
Viewpointjournal.com

Powered by

About David

  • http://xrrf.blogspot.com simon hb

    That’s the worst thing I’ve ever heard. Matthews really called himself “an” historian?

    As for the Carter quote, it doesn’t seem to be that controversial – if Britain had played a better hand of politics, it could have avoided the revolutionary war. Not only is that not wrong, it’s true of every war, ever, isn’t it? Hence the “continuation of politics by other means” saw, surely? The problem isn’t that Carter’s wrong, it’s that he was just a bit lame.

    It’s akin to “Had the ocean not been there, we could have walked to Spain.”

  • http://www.viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    Good analogy Simon. Carter’s whole opening statement is so senseless. The British DID have their own legitimate grievances in the buildup to the American Revolution, one of which was the fact that they had spent huge sums to secure most of North America from the French.

    It was a world war fought in many venues but, ultimately, Americans reaped a great deal of benefit from the war and King George expected his subjects to help pay for some of the cost. Besides, if the King and Parliament could not levy a modest tax on their subjects without their subjects forcing them to repeal it, what did it say about their ability to rule their colonies across the globe? At best, it would set a bad precedent that might cause major and minor rebellion elsewhere.

    So the British were in a bad spot and the colonial leaders did not seem to think this through in their heated attempt to throw off the taxes being levied on their goods.

    Overall, it was poor communication and stubborness from both sides which helped start the war, but the world overall benefitted HUGELY from the formation of our democracy and our nations have long been the closest of allies.

    Despite the bad then, a helluva lot of good came out of this conflict and dismissing all of that and calling the American Revolution “unecessary” just sounded to me like some kind of conversation you might hear at some liberal high society dinner party.

    Thanks,

    David

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    ‘U-n-n-e-c-e-s-s-a-r-y.’

    I’m sure President Carter’s words are purposely being misinterpreted and/or taken out of context. And, I suspect he can spell ‘unnecessary.’

  • http://www.viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    Thank you Mac. :-) I hate it when I do that!

    As for taking President Carter’s words out of context, please feel free to follow the link and read the whole transcript. If you feel I’ve been unfair, then I would welcome your comments.

    Regards,

    David

  • Debbie

    It’s akin to “Had the ocean not been there, we could have walked to Spain.”

    Yes, and it’s also true that if pigs had wings they could fly!!!

  • http://www.viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    Debbie,

    Whats your point? By the way, Penguins have wings… They can’t fly. If pigs had wings, they probably wouldn’t fly either.

    Thanks,

    David

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Jimmy Carter: America’s most pathetic President

  • bob2112

    Don’t go there, RJ! A hostage situation doesn’t com close to this crap we live in today. Bob Jones Kool Aid! Yum, yum!

    I waited in a long line for gas the other day. You can’t spin that in your favor. You can’t spin 9/11 in your favor. You can’t spin 2000+ US troops dead to 1100 & make it look good. Stop it already!

    The Iraq war is crap. Saddam is an American friend gone bad, & you don’t want him talking or ‘good”people’ will be brought up on war crimes! Our Kurdish mass graves are crap we already knew about. It doesn’t make Saddam more evil or capture Osama BinLaden! I hate this crap!

    It’s not any of you people’s fault that you fall for this Bushit! You want to believe that the president is not a liar. Well after Nixon, Clinton, & both Bush’s you all should know by now. Regan could not be a liar, as an empty shell who didnt know any better.

  • algor

    Bob, its ok…it will be alright…you should be peaking in an hour or so…just breathe deep…that’s it…here-take a hit of this.

    Feelin any better?

  • Mack the Knight

    While I agree with the intent of your diatribe your arguments fail to hold water — please read:
    1. 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.

    I’m afraid I can’t agree with that. The tug-of-war between federal vs. states powers had never been on the table at that point. Their established governance WAS the colony. That’s why the US was normally referred to as a conferderacy in the beginning and until the Interstate Commerce Commission the feds controlled almost nothing. The colonies were fighting for themselves and not ALL colonies were in favor of a break with the British (which was in their mind a foreign power).

    2. 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.

    Don’t forget at that time each colony was required by the British Crown to maintain a militia for their own self defence. The overarching idea behind that was the perceived lack of support the colonists gave the British army during the Seven years war/French & Indian war. Every colony was required to have some militia and arms at the ready. And lastly, whatever Saddam is, the region WAS very stable under his rule. Realize these are not a unified people, the Iraqis [they’re kurds, shite, sunni, afghani, sumer, assad, mede and tribal…]. Oh yeah, the US appointed Somoza to do the same thing…

    3. 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.

    This over simplifies and is dead wrong. We don’t know Saddam sponsored terrorism! We know Syria does but we haven’t attacked them. Ireland sponsors terrorists against foreign rule [but that’s too close to American’s heart – on both sides]. The plan was NEVER to build a democracy but to remove Saddam, ONLY. The rest was an afterthought. If you don’t believe that look at Bush’s original declaration He said he’d attack if Saddam and Sons didn’t leave the country — NOT if the country didn’t become a democracy!
    As for the British: they sponsored most of the new arrivals and the creation of the colonies… and defended them from outside attacks. It was a commonwealth not a dictatorship.

    4. 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.
    5. 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.

    I’m afraid you’re unaware of the NEW face of armies. NO ONE, at present, would face down an American army or US trained force. They don’t need to. They only have to frustrate their enemy to lash out in acts of violence that effect innocent bystanders. Remember My Lai? That was a culmination of a perfectly executed campaign of terror and hit and run tactics — were did they learn such stuff? The colonial armies and the southern Civil War generals like Quantrell.
    Once again: the colonies were required to field militia for self defense AND the colonial army ALMOST walked off the field when congress couldn’t come up with money to pay them. Remember your history? Washington gave that great speech from his horse and they stayed.

    6. 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.

    Even the Army of the Potomac was primarily a forage army until the final couple of years of the Civil War. AND Green’s army, which included “Light Horse Harry,” was also a forage army. The difference was: Greene gave colonist’s colony script for their losses while the Brits gave royal script and some merchants were reluctant to take it for fear they would be burnt out by non-tories… Then it was a 50/50 split. In Iraq it’s a much smaller number that is vying to retain power. Take a look at the maps: almost all of the other muslem nations were Shite. Iraq stood out as the exception, because Saddam was Sunni

    7. 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.

    We don’t know the numbers! And anyone who tells you they do is lying!

    8. 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?

    You need to explain why colonists (not American yet) saw a threat to their standard of living. The richest men in the colonies made a large portion of their money from smuggling. The crown turned a blind eye so that the colonists COULD enjoy a high stand of living. But the Brits were trying to pay for their [numerous and continuous] wars with France and so they taxed the colonists and shutdown a great deal of the smuggling in order to collect the tax.
    This is very big!!!
    In Iraq: insurgents are fighting to keep minority rule ONLY. The shites may get in power, voted in, and declare women as second-class citizens. If that happens and American forces return we will have justified ALL the anti-American rhetoric the Muslim clerics have uttered to this point. THIS IS their religious edict… if we try to change that then we ARE anti-Muslim. Now maybe you can see why some of us felt Iraq was a VERY bad idea. There are few win-win scenarios and lots of lose-lose

    9. 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.

    Saudi Arabia is also willing to cut off people’s head!!! The princess lost hers because she committed adultry. You have to stop applying Muslim actions to Bathist actions. This isn’t about some yayhoo that might be in charge for a one term… this is their religous believe (BOTH sides). The clerics tell their followers America wants to destroy Islam — then you spout about the evils of their religion under the guise of Bathist/Saddam hatred. Wake up, Sleeping Beauty. They have pulled us into the quagmire and no matter what we do we WILL look bad doing it!

    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.

    Lastly, if “Knowledge is Power” Matthews couldn’t light a cigarette but the comparison is a non sequitor at the very least.
    Matthews went after Bill Mahr raving about W. being a jet jock who flew at Mach 2 — I sent a response to correct the conservative gift for self-delusion. The F-102 only flew at Mach 1 and ONLY made that after a HUGE federal input of cash. If W did fly at Mach 2 he was going Mach 1 before he climbed into the cockpit.

    David Flanagan
    Viewpointjournal.com