Jimmy Carter says President Bush is exploiting the suffering of Sept. 11 and has turned back decades of efforts to make the world a safer place.

Let me say this: If I had any doubts about Bush’s efforts in Iraq, they would be gone the minute Jimmy Carter attacked them.

Jimmy Carter has, to my knowledge, never been right about any foreign policy moves in his long political life – and certainly not as president.

Let me tell you about what Jimmy Carter knows first-hand about political exploitation of suffering and making the world a safer place.

A new documentary, “In the Face of Evil,” shows just how Carter himself, as president, tried to exploit the power of his office and the suffering of hundreds of millions living under the iron hand of Soviet oppression to undercut his challenger in 1980 – Ronald Reagan.

Carter, according to the movie’s Soviet sources, tried to get Leonid Brezhnev to help him defeat Reagan. He sought the help of this foreign totalitarian – a murderer and a tyrant – because he feared the loss of the White House.

He told Brezhnev that Reagan was a risk to begin a nuclear war if he won the presidency – an irresponsible, treasonous statement that surely brought the world closer to nuclear war.

It’s a shocking story – and just one of the explosive revelations of this magnificent movie now playing in select theaters in New York and Washington.

Carter was an appeaser unlike any previous U.S. president.

He signed one agreement after another with the Soviet Union that served only to diminish U.S. power in the world because we lived up to the agreements and the other side didn’t.

He had no problem destroying the ability of the U.S. military to fight because he didn’t trust American arrogance.

He told us we had to co-exist with what his successor would call “The Evil Empire” and accept that those under its dominion would be slaves for the rest of their lives.

He told Americans they had an unwarranted fear of communism.

And that’s why he served one disastrous term.

Carter was bad for the economy. He was bad for the military. He was bad for America. He left the country in a shambles – demoralized, broke, directionless.

Carter must be hoping the majority of Americans have forgotten what life was like under his presidency. For those of you who don’t remember, life was not good by any measure. We waited in gas lines for fuel. America was on the retreat around the world. The Soviet Union was advancing on all fronts.

Even Carter seemed to grasp that something was wrong toward the end of his first term. So he famously blamed Americans rather than himself. He told us we were living in a “malaise.” He didn’t understand that he was the primary cause of that malaise.

Nor has his understanding of politics improved any in the last 24 years.

Someone once said charitably that Carter was a great “ex-president.” But that was a long time ago. That was when he was building homes for the poor through Habitat for Humanity. Lately, he has joined the chorus of the most radical wing of his shameless, treacherous, un-American party.

The truth is, Carter is no better as an “ex-president” than he was as a president.

He’s an embarrassment. He’s a clown. He’s a joke.

It’s almost difficult for some of us who survived his presidency to believe we once elected this Georgia peanut farmer to the highest office in the land. I was one of the idiots who voted for him – twice. Believe me, it’s not easy to admit it.

But Carter’s advice does, perhaps, serve a useful purpose: We should listen carefully to what he says – and always do the opposite.

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