Former President Jimmy Carter has set the standard for today’s liberal left when it comes to shifting focus away from terrorists and onto America’s perceived wrongs. When he appears in concert with terrorist leaders in the Middle East, it must surely make their activities seem acceptable. Norman Podhoretz wrote “Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot also had their apologists who saw them as ‘nationalists’ with ‘legitimate grievances.’” Carter’s stance was never more obvious than the meetings between him and Hamas leaders in April 2008. Fox News reported:
Hamas official Mushir Masri … said the meetings with Carter were proof that Hamas was not a terrorist group, but a national liberation movement.
After Carter’s election, Ebrahim Yazdi, one of the Ayatollah Khomeini’s supporters urged him to “begin to think of the ‘new possibilities’ that the expected rift between Tehran and Washington might offer.” Yazdi, an Iranian-born American citizen, wrote to him in Iraq that “the shah’s friends in Washington are out. … It is time to act.” Circumstances dictated that “having picked Khomeini to overthrow the shah, Carter and the French had to get him out of Iraq, clothe him with respectability, and set him up in Paris,” wrote Amir Taheri in “Nest of Spies.”
Soon thereafter, Khomeini left Iraq for Paris. There his visitors totaled more than 1,000 per day; the French blessed this, or at least, turned a blind eye. His disciples, including a number from American universities, were not coming just to sit at the feet of the “Teacher”; their money-lined pockets were empty when they left Khomeini’s presence. Some estimates place the contributions at approximately 20 million British pounds.
The Ayatollah’s compound was reportedly surrounded by representatives of covert agencies: the CIA, Britain’s MI-6, Russia’s KGB and the French intelligence organization, SDECE.
CIA memoranda regarding Khomeini seem to have either been deliberately ignored by the Carter administration or lost in the great governmental paperwork shuffle. One memo flatly stated, “Khomeini is determined to overthrow the shah and is unlikely to accept compromise. … He has cooperated in the past with Islamic terrorist groups.”
Carter viewed Khomeini as a religious holy man in a grass-roots revolution rather than the founding father of modern terrorism. U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young said, “Khomeini will eventually be hailed as a saint.” Iran Ambassador William Sullivan, said, “Khomeini is a Gandhi-like figure.” Adviser James Bill proclaimed in a Newsweek interview in 1979 that Khomeini was not a mad mujahid, but a man of “impeccable integrity and honesty.”
In the fall of 1978, President Carter appointed diplomat George Ball to do an independent, classified study on the shah and make recommendations to Carter. While formulating his report, Ball met with Israeli ambassador to Iran Uri Lubrani and Security Council member Gary Sick. Sick and Ball were most interested in Lubrani’s sources for a report on Iran which he had forwarded to Moshe Dayan. Lubrani later told me Carter was to blame, to some extent, for the current state of affairs in Iran.
Ball’s assessment of the shah’s precarious position was underlined by such inclusions in his report as: “We urgently need to open a disavowable channel of communication with [Khomeini] or his entourage.”
In the midst of the turmoil in Iran, Carter asked for a meeting on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. Invitations were issued by French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing to West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and British Prime Minister James Callaghan.
Giscard d’Estaing related to me: “Carter told us suddenly that the United States had decided not to support the régime of the shah anymore.” Giscard expressed his shock at Carter’s lack of regard for a country that had been a close ally for decades:
“We were humanly shocked by the way Carter spoke because we knew at the end it would lead to the torture or the killing of the shah. … [Carter] was a bastard of conscience, a moralist, who treats with total lightness the fact of abandoning a man that we had supported together.”
With the shah’s departure from Iran, Khomeini’s entourage prepared to return to Tehran. A jumbo jet was chartered from Air France for $3 million plus an undisclosed sum to cover insurance for the aircraft. The crew was comprised of volunteers.
On the plane with Khomeini and a contingent of terrorists were dozens of journalists, including a young ABC reporter, Peter Jennings. During the flight Jennings, is said to have asked the imam, “What do you feel [about returning to Iran]?” Khomeini replied, “Nothing” – a strange answer from a man whose life had been consumed with overthrowing the shah.
Khomeini’s coup d’état turned out to be the incarceration of 52 American hostages for the final 444 days of Carter’s term. During marathon negotiating sessions in the wee hours of Jan. 20, 1981, Carter made a last-ditch effort to secure the release of the hostages. Finally, the Bank of England was approved as the repository of escrow funds. Shortly after 4 a.m. on Inauguration Day, the Carter administration relinquished $7.977 billion to the Iranians. Sources say the transfer required 14 banks and the participation of five nations acting concurrently.
It was thought U.S. aid to the Afghanistan Mujahedeen was initiated in 1980. Not so; according to a document declassified on March 4, 2004, President Carter signed the directive on July 3, 1979, approving covert assistance to anti-Soviet rebels in Kabul. In 1980 the Afghan rebels received a $30 million infusion from the Carter administration. The ante was raised in Carter’s 1981 budget to $50 million. It marked a rise in significant aid for the resistance from international sources.
Liberal Democrat Jimmy Carter apparently believes evil really does not exist. Terrorist organizations are simply human rights movements; people are basically good; and America should embrace the perpetrators while castigating the victims.
As president, Carter loved to talk to America’s enemies; he still does. His mating dance with terrorists, while ascribing to them altruistic acts, legitimizes terrorism and those who carry out such heinous attacks.
Jimmy Carter is among the number clamoring to change the worldview of terrorists from mass murderers of the innocent to “insurgents” or “liberation movements.” He is quick to indict the U.S. at every opportunity and to champion the downtrodden suicide bombers as “martyrs.”
Now the trillion-dollar question has become: Will President Obama become another Jimmy Carter?