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A few days ago, I asked the following question of former President Jimmy Carter:

Dubai Ports deal and allies in the middle east (3+ / 0-)

I was dismayed by the way in which the Democratic establishment seized upon the Dubai Ports World deal as a means to burnish their foreign policy credentials at the expense of the Bush Administration. If we are to reform the Arab world, it will require building long-lasting economic links between our societies, and making common cause with political moderates against the Islamists. As has been noted, the Islamophobia evident in the reaction to the DPW deal (which was largely fueled by the Democrats, it must be noted) has had serious consequences. What is President Carter's position on the DPW deal and what strategies does he support for reaching out to the moderates in the middle east?

by azizhp on Mon Jun 26, 2006 at 10:50:35 AM CDT

Today, President Carter did me the immense honor of replying. Read on...

President Carter's reply to me:

Answer to azizhp: In an interview on CNN, I publicly supported the DPW as
soon as the issue arose. My agreement with President Bush on the issue was
highlighted that evening by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. There was no
threat to U.S. security, and it was a false and demagogic issue.

I asked a follow-up question, but really I am quite satisfied to have had a reply - especially the right reply.

Originally posted to Aziz Poonawalla's Amazing Dkos Diary on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 08:19 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Aye, Good on Jimmy (6+ / 0-)
    Netroots have gone over the counterreactionary edge, letting their perceived enemies determine their opinions for them.

    None Dare Call It Stupid!

    by RonK Seattle on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 08:22:31 AM PDT

  •  my intentions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    subtropolis, lgmcp

    are to combat what happenned to Howard Dean. Dean was seen as some kind of anti-war messiah. And his campaign - a centrist, rational, idealistic campaign became a one-note strawman in the media because the people who supported him loudest insisted that their views were his views.

    Well, it is my mission to point out that the standard bearers of the Democratic party - the real ones - are not who the masses say they are.

    I earlier pointed out that Gore was not in favor of a timetable-based withdrawal from Iraq. And now I have pointed out that Carter thought the DPW issue to be demogogic. I need to continue to provide SOME evidence like this when I can because I am fighting an uphill battle.

    I hope that there are other liberals here who will agree with what I am trying to do. I am making Nation-Building a meetin  place of sorts for this strain of thought within the Left. I hope others join me.

    Dean Nation is now Nation-Building : Purple politics, muscular liberalism, principled pragmatism

    by azizhp on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 08:29:20 AM PDT

  •  Why, exactly, does this deserve it's own diary? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jonah in nyc, Catte Nappe, lgmcp

    You are just quoting a current diary and adding nothing else.

    Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space because there's bugger all down here on Earth.

    by bawbie on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 08:30:14 AM PDT

    •  Probably because Carter's diary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      subtropolis, Cat Whisperer

      will inevitably be a (well-earned) lovefest, and not go into a lot of detail on this particular issue.  Revisiting this issue in light of the ex-President's position is of interest, at least to me and probably a few others.

      However, areed that the diarist might have done well to embellish with some additional discussion, and/or maybe a peek back into the archives on DPW, since I'm sure there were many fervent and competing diaries back in the day.

      The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function -- Edward Teller.

      by lgmcp on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 08:35:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgmcp

        i think that the reply itself is novel enough information that it needs its own space. After all, this diary is not going to get recommended - it will be gone in 10 minutes. So far its attracted 15x the quality of discussion on the topic at hand than the diary with the President's replies did. So it's a success in my book.

        Dean Nation is now Nation-Building : Purple politics, muscular liberalism, principled pragmatism

        by azizhp on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 09:03:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Of all President Carter's responses (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2nd balcony, rapala

    I did notice that was basically the only one that defied recent lefty positions. I'm not as certain about it as Mr. Carter and the diarist.  But it did feel weird to join in the demagogery of reflexive anti-Arab sentiment.  

    On the other hand, the Republicans are so maddeningly, staggeringly hypocritical on just about everything including national security.  How could we NOT demand that they at least be consistent to their own (flawed) premises?  

    The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function -- Edward Teller.

    by lgmcp on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 08:31:06 AM PDT

    •  Republican positions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp

      Many R's were extremely angry about the deal and probably influenced the outcome more than any of our opinions. Don't confuse Republicans in general with Bush+admin and tone-deaf decisions on some things like this one.
      Immigration is another issue with a similar split. Lots of Republicans very unhappy with the Pres. on that one. There is also a split here among Dems. What is really odd is when some of our posters who support immigration rights bash Bush reflexively.

      Revolutionary words start revolutions

      by Catte Nappe on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 09:34:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  strongly disagree (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jank2112, lgmcp

    My reason for disagreeing is not specific to the Dubai Ports deal.  I firmly believe that critical infrastructure should not be owned by foriegn interests.  I feel that way about utilities, power grids, communications and yes, anything related to borders (ports, airports, border security).

    I don't care if the company is owned by England, Saudi Arabia or France.  When it comes to critical infrastructure, control should be kept within US control.  Thnk of the energy crisis Enron manufactured in California, then imagine it being caused by a foriegn owned company. How much more difficult would it have been to stop Enron?

    •  I tend to agree, my (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brighton, lgmcp

      reason for not wanting the Dubai Ports deal was, as you say, the problem of keeping critical infrastructure within US control.  I'm assuming that Mr. Carter would be aware of this concern; I wish he had addressed it.  Although I certainly agree that the issue seemed also to be driven by a "reflexive anti-Arab sentiment, as lgmcp says above.

      •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe, lgmcp, Cat Whisperer

        While there definately were large numbers spewing anti-Arab venom on this issue, I think you will find most of it came from the right.

        I think overall the objections to the ports deal were seeded in lack of trust of the Bush administration, and overall realization that the administration has time and again used poor judgement.  

        Whenever impeachment is mentioned on Dailykos, someone will respond that Democrats need to take the higher road, and not be vengeful for Clinton's impeachment.  I don't get it.  Revenge has nothing to do with it.  I want Bush impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, for failure to protect the constitution, and for selling out our country.  It has nothing to do with Clinton, but is all about Bush and his imperial presidency.

        Same here.  I am not anti-Arab, yet am extremely opposed to the Dubai deal.  

        •  Agreed except for the impeachment (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brighton

          part because it would leave us with Dick Cheney and if both, then what Hastert?  I do see your higher moral point here; my reasons for not favoring a pursuit of impeachment is simply practical.

          •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lgmcp, Cat Whisperer

            VERY GOOD POINT!  

            On the other hand, I was just using this as an example of motivating factors.  A large number of supporters of the Dubai deal have said/implied/criticized opposition to the deal as motivated by anti-Arab sentiment.  While true of some, not true of many others. There are very good reasons that have nothing to do with being anti-Arabe to oppose the deal.

            Same with the impeachment-for-revenge argument.  It fails to recognize very reasonable cause for impeaching Bush, and makes an automatic assumption that it is motivated by a drive to get even for Clinton.

    •  I agree with this to some extent (4+ / 0-)

      but we need to be careful sliding too much into protectionism mode.  My real disagreement with the Ports Deal was not who would run it, but that it was another example of the Bush administration bypassing current procedures to give a contract to a crony.  I DON'T TRUST THEM.

      I don't blame many of hte Dems for objecting to the deal based on the less nuanced approach of Foreign Powers controlling our ports.  We complain all the time that they have trouble making their message heard and scoring political points with rhetoric, which they were able to do in this case.  I did not, however, here the Dems use any of the racist undertone language that I heard coming from some on the right.

      Make a neocon cry, buy un::Conventional - the YearlyKos experience in words and pictures.

      by ETinKC on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 08:51:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  carter's answer is half an answer... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brighton, lgmcp

    yeah, it probably was no real threat.  but the key to the ports deal, the real insight that it could've exposed to "we the people" is that the "war on islamofascist terror"  is a cynical political marketing ploy being bankrolled by our money and the blood of our military and iraqi's who are caught in the middle (as opposed to effective multi-facited, counter-terrorism activities, which are by definition semi-secret and non-partisan, and so not a vehicle for demogogary.)

    people might have begun to understand that the world's movers and shakers, globally, are comfortable and cooperative with each other, and that uber nationalism is for domestic political convenience only.  we couldn't get obl when he was hunting w/ the emir & co. near kandahr.  the colateral damage might've been "important people";  sadam is being tried for well-publicised atrocities which happened two years before those famous photos of adolph rumsfeld shaking his bloody hand were taken.  america's ally sadam.

    it pisses me off that carter would leave it that he supported bush on the ports deal while leaving out the infinetly more signifigant and destructive flip-side.  

    we'll stand him up against a wall and pop goes the weasel /rufus t. firefly

    by 2nd balcony on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 09:29:05 AM PDT

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