quinta-feira, julho 01, 2004
Na Weekly Standard Noemie Emery escreve sobre a, recentemente publicada, biografia do ex-presidente americano Jimmy Carter.
Carter is surely one of the worst failures in the history of the American presidency, but he is a failure of a special sort: He did not overreach, as did Lyndon Johnson, or seek to deceive, as did Richard Nixon. Rather, like Herbert Hoover, he seems a well-meaning sort overcome by reality. But while Hoover was blindsided by the depression, Carter failed on a broad range of matters and faced few crises he didn't first bring on himself. Most presidents, even the good ones (sometimes especially even the good ones) leave behind a mixed record of big wins and big errors, but with Carter, the darkness seems everywhere: He is all Bay of Pigs and no Missile Crisis, all Iran-contra and no "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."
EVEN CARTER'S MUCH VAUNTED human-rights effort, which gave some people hope he would use it as a moral weapon against the Soviet Union, quickly lost much of its power and luster when it became evident that he intended to use it less against Communists than against the more marginal despots in the non-Communist orbit. Thus he embraced Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev at the 1979 arms-control summit and assured an assemblage of East Europeans that "the old ideological labels have lost their meaning," even as they remained under the Soviet boot. In Carter's State Department, the Sandinistas were thought to be moderates and the Ayatollah Khomeini a saintlike figure surrounded by "moderate, progressive individuals" with a notable "concern for human rights."
Carter's meddling in Central America led to a civil war that killed 40,000 people, left 100,000 homeless, and installed a Soviet-supported totalitarian government that for ten years was a source of unrest in the region. On November 4, 1979, a group of Khomeini's progressive moderates stormed the embassy in Tehran and held Americans hostage for the next fourteen months. The regime that replaced the disposed shah became a major backer of the fundamentalist terrorist movement. As a reward for his efforts to wind down the arms race, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan--astounding the president, who nonetheless told a group of moderate Democrats that current events would do nothing to alter his policies. Carter had done more in three years to weaken the country and destabilize the world than all the other presidents since the Cold War had started. It was Senator Moynihan who gave him his epitaph: "Unable to distinguish between our friends and our enemies, he has adopted our enemies' view of the world."
posted by Miguel Noronha 6:07 da tarde
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