Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Necessary Evil

War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn to live together in peace by killing each other's children. - Jimmy Carter

Recently McCain compared President Obama to Jimmy Carter. 

I have never seen anything like this in my life. I thought Jimmy Carter was bad, but [Obama] pales in comparison to this president in my view. - John McCain

Being part of the Arizona voting constituency . . .

WHEN Arizona is allowed to vote . . . 

Because who could have known opening a little more than 1/4 of the polling places for the Arizona primary would lead to ridiculously long lines and a voting cut off before a substantial portion of voters were allowed to vote? 

The best quote from the subsequent public hearings . . .

"We stood in line long enough to order pizza . . .

TWICE before we went home." 

Maricopa county recorder Helen Purcell, who unfortunately has the decisional capacity to determine polling locations, was interviewed:

Interviewer: Who is to blame? 

Purcell: Well the voters for getting in line. I think we have seen the heights of the candidates coming here and we haven't seen that in the past. They stirred things up. 

Interviewer: How could this be prevented?

Purcell: I have no idea. 

Interviewer: Is this going to be a failure of your office? 

Purcell: I don't think so. When you get people out to vote? Is that a failure? 

YES you incompetent bureaucrat, when 1/3 of the people who tried to vote don't get to vote, then YES, I'm going to call that a failure. 

Back to the other Arizona bureaucrat.

Being part of the Arizona voting constituency and working with local veterans, it is fair to say I am not a fan of the politically entrenched McCain.

Jimmy Carter's responded to McCain's criticisms with a few facts.

That's a compliment to be coming from a warmonger. I was lucky enough, when I was president, to keep our country at peace and provide peace for others. I was lucky enough to go through my four years — we never dropped a bomb, never fired a missile, we never shot a bullet. - Jimmy Carter

If you weren't around to watch the news in 1979, and you didn't pay attention in foreign policy class (I didn't either), and you skipped the movie Argo, Iran was not particularly pleased with America. 

Our leaders decided that 
a) Iran had oil
b) Americans like oil
c) the Iranian leader at that time was more concerned with the well-being of his people than providing Americans with oil and 
d) America would therefore have to change Iran's leaders. 

America backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and not all Iranians, particularly the religious leaders, were happy with the change. 

The Shah was eventually overthrown. Carter allowed him into the US for medical care which was a mistake. 

The fanatical religious leader, Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran and systematically removed everything that was Western.

A group of Iranian students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking more than 60 American hostages. 

They were held in captivity for 444 days and coincidently released on the day Ronald Regan was inaugurated and . . .

Coincidently, Reagan's Vice President, George H W Bush had been the director of the CIA during the hostage crisis and . . .

Coincidently, the Iran-Contra Affair, the secret and illegal selling of weapons to Iran with the intent of bolstering the Nicaraguan Contras, was exposed indicating the Reagan / Bush presidency had no qualms making backdoor deals with really horrible rulers and . . .

Coincidently those indicted during the scandal were pardoned in the final days of George H. W. Bush presidency. 

Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter were recently asked why armed intervention in Iran wasn't initiated. 

I could have been reelected if I would have taken military action against Iran. . . . I could have wiped Iran off the map with the weapons that we had, but in the process a lot of innocent people would have been killed probably including our hostages. - Jimmy Carter

We knew he would probably not be reelected. . . . Peace is very difficult, war is very popular in our country. - Rosalynn Carter

Someone compiled a list of all the countries John McCain has wanted to bomb, arm, attack or invade since he became a politician.

If [Bosnians] were equipped,especially with TOW missiles, some heavy armor, some tanks, then I think that we could foresee a stable situation. - John McCain

The list includes Syria, Iraq, Russia, North Korea, Libya, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Nigeria, Iran, Georgia, Sudan, Mali and China.

I would arm, train, equip, both from without and from within, forces that would eventually overthrow the [North Korean] governments and install free and democratically-elected governments. - John McCain 

Jimmy Carter was at the United States Naval Academy during World War II. He served stateside and Sea duty during the Korean War.

As many of you may know, my first chosen career was in the United States Navy, where I served as a submarine officer. At that time, my shipmates and I were ready for combat and prepared to give our lives to defend our nation and its principles. At the same time, we always prayed that our readiness would preserve the peace. - Jimmy Carter

During his presidential campaign, Jimmy Carter promised to pardon Vietnam draft dodgers as a way of "putting the war and the bitter divisions it caused firmly in the past." 

In his first year as president, he granted unconditional pardons to a total of 209,517 formally accused draft dodgers. (An additional estimated 360,000 were never formally accused.)

John McCain, a son and a grandson of Admirals, was a Navy pilot doing the Vietnam war. After being shot down, he was held prisoner in Hanoi for 5 1/2 years. His captors, recognizing him as a high value prisoner, called him The Prince.

In 1973 the State Department, reported that 1,622 soldiers remain MIA. The also reported that the list of known prisoners was starkly incomplete. Nevertheless, President Nixon informed the nation that, "All of our American POWs are on their way home."

Holding a national office since 1982, McCain vigorously opposed The Truth Accountability Bill. The bill would release documents about American prisoners of war with the intent of providing information to the families and possible evidence or confirmation of other POWs. McCain then helped enact the Missing Service Personnel Act, a statute making that information classified and unaccessible.

Thank God for our form of government. The media won't let there be any cover-up. - John McCain

McCain was placed on a committee hearing families of MIA soldiers requesting and frankly pleading, that the information be released. McCain often hijacked the hearings, called the families, "professional malcontents, conspiracy mongers, con artists and dime-store Rambos who attend this issue." 

One irate committee staff investigator said, "I can say we are sick and tired of this investigation being controlled by those we are supposedly investigating."

Carter pushed for and passed the 1980 Veterans Rehabilitation and Education Amendment. Increased funds were made available for job training, education and rehabilitation programs. 

No steps we take can undo all the damage done by the war. There is no legislation that can bring those who died back to life, nor restore arms, legs, eyes to those who lost them in service. What we can do is to acknowledge our debt to those who sacrificed so much when their country asked service of them, and to repay that debt fully, gladly, and with a deep sense of respect. - Jimmy Carter

The Disabled American Veterans and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America have been critical of McCain's poor voting record on
veterans’ issues. 

He has voted against funding for VA health care to keep up with inflation, funding for additional body armor, funding for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury screening and treatment, funding for automatic annual cost-of-living adjustments, funding for the 21st Century GI Bill and funding for the Veterans Job Corps Act.

I know the veterans, I know them well, and I know that they know that I’ll take care of them, and I have been proud of their support and their recognition of my service to the veterans. - John McCain

Each year since 1984, The Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project engages in a one week building "blitz" with Habitat for Humanity. Volunteers come from around the world to help build and repair homes. 

By 2013, 89,000 volunteers had helped more than 3,800 families in 14 countries.

America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense human rights invented America. - Jimmy Carter 

The recent VA scandal and governmental scrutiny started with a whistle blower at the Phoenix VA medical center. McCain responded with outraged, denied having any knowledge of the issues and blamed Obama. He then made a statement indicating that he was aware of the issues but remained outraged, blamed Obama and deny his culpability.

While allegations that employees at the Phoenix VA Health Care System (PVAHCS) have been ‘cooking the books’ are relatively new, the challenges that our veterans have been facing in receiving quality and timely care, are not. My office has been, and will continue to be, here to help America’s veterans – throughout the ongoing investigations into PVAHCS and long after the issue is resolved. – Senator John McCain

Two of many social media responses:

This particular scandal occurred at the Phoenix VA hospital, which implicates Arizona’s senators and
congressional delegation. 

Arizona’s angry old man John McCain, who has been in Congress for 30 years, says the President is to blame. 

McCain on VA crisis: Obama responsible. 


This is the nineteenth inspector general report since 2005. What has Sen. McCain and Arizona’s
congressional delegation been doing about the problems at the VA since 2005?

The crisis with the VA hospitals came to light because of problems in Phoenix. . . .

So is it fair to ask: Where was John McCain when these problems were developing?
He’s a senior senator. He’s the state’s highest ranking federal official. . . .

He is deeply concerned with veterans issues. Shouldn't he or his staff have a strong connection to the local VA? Given that, does McCain feel as if HE bears any responsibility for not recognizing a problem? Are not veterans a key element of that constituency? 

I get the idea that the buck stops with the president. It should. But shouldn’t there be a few stops along the way with members of Congress?

Carter was able to negotiate The Camp David Accords, a peace agreement between Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. 

The 2002 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Jimmy Carter "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development."

The best way to enhance freedom in other lands is to demonstrate here that our democratic system is worthy of emulation. - Jimmy Carter 

John McCain along with his fellow Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, were responsible for the governmental sale of 2,400 acres of Apache holy land to Rio Tinto, a foreign copper mining company with ties to Iran. The company had spent years pushing for the sale and a former State Representative went to prison for 3 years related to the company's illegal actions. 

McCain and Flake slipped legal justification into the National Defense Authorization Act just prior to the vote. McCain’s political contributions from the mining industry nearly doubled in the last election cycle.

It’s never good to see big packages with so many things in them — that’s what we want to get away from, but it’s been very difficult to move individual pieces of legislation over the last few years. - Jeff Flake

Ummm Jeff, is that really the message you want to put out? It is too difficult to get what your political donors want so screw democracy?

The problem... is that most members of Congress don't pay attention to what's going on. - John McCain

Well that is pretty damn obvious. 

The Carters established The Carter Center in Atlanta to advance human rights and alleviate human suffering. The center works to improve global health through the control and eradication of diseases.

The center has also monitored 96 elections in 38 countries and resolved conflicts in Haiti, Bosnia, Ethiopia, North Korea and the Sudan.

It is difficult for the common good to prevail against the intense concentration of those who have a special interest, especially if the decisions are made behind locked doors. - Jimmy Carter

When John McCain was shot down, Carol McCain, John first wife, became an advocate in the MIA movement. During that time she was in serious accident requiring hospitalization for six months. Carol had been a runway model for Jantzen swimwear but after 23 surgeries, she was disfigured and 5 inches shorter. Businessman and POW advocate Ross Perot paid for her medical care.

John McCain, after having several affairs, divorced Carol and married Cindy Hensley, a young heiress.

To her credit, Carol remains supportive of her ex-husband but believes his five-year captivity in Vietnam had left him wanting to "make up for lost time".

Ross Perot was more critical. "After he came home, he walked with a limp, she [Carol McCain] walked with a limp. So he threw her over for a poster girl with big money from Arizona [Cindy McCain, his current wife] and the rest is history."

During his 1992 Senate bid, McCain was joined on the campaign trail by Cindy. At one point, in front of the press, she playfully twirled McCain’s hair and said, "You’re getting a little thin up there." McCain turned red and shot back "At least I don’t plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you c*nt." 

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary last year.

From an interview with Oprah:

"[After our first date, my mother] said, 'What did you think of Rosalynn?' I said, 'She’s the one I’m going to marry.' . . . I knew that she was quiet, she was extremely intelligent... beautiful. There was just something about her that was irresistible."

"You’re blushing!"

"I can’t help it!"

So, back to the disparaging comment. Carter has been open about the national issues during his presidency. 

I can't deny I'm a better ex-president than I was a president. - Jimmy Carter

However, I'm going to say that NOT starting a war with Iran was a better choice than starting a war with Iraq. 

Carter has been critical of Obama for not keeping his pledged to close Guantanamo, for continued sanctions of human rights abuse and for "unprecedented violations of our rights to privacy through warrantless wiretapping and government mining of our electronic communications."  

"Our actions are similar to those of abusive regimes that we have historically condemned." - Jimmy Carter 

Instead of honoring the historic restraints, our political leaders decided to violate them, using the excuse that we are at war against terrorism. It is obvious that the Geneva Conventions were designed specifically to protect prisoners of war, not prisoners of peace. -  Jimmy Carter 

Do I want to return to Carter's presidency? Nope. There were multiple issues for multiple reasons. 

BUT do I want national leaders with enough self control to consider NOT bombing the hell out of every country as the first step of conflict resolution?


No comments :