Speaking at a conference of Baptists in England, former President Jimmy Carter said
"I think what's going on in Guantanamo Bay and other places is a disgrace to the U.S.A.," he said at a news conference at the Baptist World Alliance's centenary conference in Birmingham, England. "I wouldn't say it's the cause of terrorism, but it has given impetus and excuses to potential terrorists to lash out at our country and justify their despicable acts."
He went on to call the President a liar
"I thought then, and I think now, that the invasion of Iraq was unnecessary and unjust. And I think the premises on which it was launched were false"
I wonder what it was that Carter's Administration did to give impetus and excuses to the terrorists that took over US Embassy in Tehran. And given that situation, it would seem that Carter is the last person to be giving advice on how to deal with terrorism given his complete impotence when he was in charge.
Al Jazeera is lovin' it
“What has happened at Guantanamo Bay ... does not represent the will of the American people,” Carter said. “I’m embarrassed about it.”
Actually, Jimmy, it does represent the will of the people. Not only was Bush re-elected (hey! It's still Democracy even when you don't agree with the results) but the People's House (of Representatives) recently passed an Amendment to HR 2601 where in it is stated that
the capture, detention and interrogation of international terrorists are essential to the successful prosecution of the Global War on Terrorism and to the defense of the U.S., its citizens, and coalition partners from future terrorist attacks; and that the detention and lawful, humane interrogation by the U.S. of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is essential to the defense of the U.S. and its coalition partners and to the successful prosecution of the Global War on Terrorism.
This is how the people's will is expressed in this country. I note that in this same way, it was also the people's will to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe it wasn't Carter's will but hey, in a Democracy you don't always get what you want. But it's still the people's will. When Carter was President, he was my President even though I didn't vote for him or agree with most of his policies. And that's Democracy too.
Carter said that terrorist acts cannot be justified, and that while Guantanamo "may be an aggravating factor . . . it's not the basis of terrorism."
Now I can't find the text of the speech so I don't know if President Carter did offer his thoughts on the "basis of terrorism". However it seems to me that an Andrew Cochran post over that the Counterterrorism Blog may contain a large part of the answer. He interviewed
Pierre Rehov, a French filmmaker who has filmed six documentaries on the intifada by going undercover in the Palestinian areas. Pierre's upcoming film, "Suicide Killers," is based on interviews that he conducted with the families of suicide bombers and would-be bombers in an attempt to find out why they do it. Pierre agreed to my request for a Q&A interview here about his work on the new film.
And the answers are enlightening.
What insights did you gain from making this film? What do you know that other experts do not know?
I came to the conclusion that we are facing a neurosis at the level of an entire civilization. Most neuroses have in common a dramatic event, generally linked to an unacceptable sexual behavior. In this case, we are talking of kids living all their lives in pure frustration, with no opportunity to experience sex, love, tenderness or even understanding from the opposite sex. The separation between men and women in Islam is absolute. So is contempt toward women, who are totally dominated by men. This leads to a situation of pure anxiety, in which normal behavior is not possible. It is no coincidence that suicide killers are mostly young men dominated subconsciously by an overwhelming libido that they not only cannot satisfy but are afraid of, as if it is the work of the devil. Since Islam describes heaven as a place where everything on earth will finally be allowed, and promises 72 virgins to those frustrated kids, killing others and killing themselves to reach this redemption becomes their only solution.
It seems that Mr Rehov and I came to similar conclusions. Read the whole thing, President Carter.
You know, not even President Clinton has done what you've done. You think Gitmo and the war in Iraq are disgraceful?
I think you're actions are disgraceful.
And dangerous to American servicemen and women.
But for you, that's nothing new.