The real Jimmy Carter

Vice President Al Gore has been the brunt of right-wing jokes dating back to the Bush-Clinton run for the White House.

Gore will donate the $1.5 million awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize to an environmental organization. He has been rewarded for dedication to a good cause.

Now, there is much speculation about whether Gore will enter the race for president. I submit that the people of this country will never elect a perceived “anti-war” president. The war Gore is fighting is not limited to the U.S. of A. But, that’s not the subject of this post.

Only three presidents and now one vice president of the United States have won the Nobel Peace Prize: “Teddy” Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter and Gore. (Charles Gates Dawes won the year before he began serving as vice president under Calvin Coolidge - for the Dawes Plan for Germany reparations after WWI.)

Let’s talk about Jimmy Carter, who has been under attack from the right-wing since he was awarded one of the world’s top distinctions over their man, George W. Bush. Bush was so ticked off he prevented Carter from attending the pope’s funeral.

The furor of the right ratcheted up over the title of Carter’s last book – “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.” Out came the “anti-Semitic” card. Apparently those raising hell never looked up the word “apartheid” in a dictionary.

Discord is bred in hunger and ignorance, and this country has no shortage of the latter.

With Carter’s recent criticism of the Bush administration – no matter how true - those on the right have gone ballistic. Their new catchprase for Carter is “senility.”

So, why DID Carter win the Nobel Peace Prize?

The answer is simple: for his altruism worldwide – you know, the rest of this Earth which lies beyond America’s borders.

Yet, the media prefer to focus on criticism rather than accomplishment, and the majority of Americans remain in the dark on what this man has done for the world.

The Carter Center, located just east of Atlanta, has a primary goal: the alleviation of human suffering.

Here are a few facts about the Center:

* Founded in 1982 by Jimmy and Rosalind Carter, its mission: helping those less fortunate in the world, promoting peace in the 21st Century and preventing human suffering.

Carter writes: "Preventable disease and suffering still cripple hundreds of thousands of lives each year, and forces of hate and violence still make freedom a distant dream in too many places. What's more, when conflicts erupt - whether in Kosovo, Macedonia, Rwanda, Liberia, the Middle East or anywhere in our world - for every soldier killed, nine civilians perish from stray bullets, bombs, landmines and deliberate deprivation of food and medical care.

"By preventing disease and suffering, promoting democracy and nurturing hope and freedom, The Carter Center makes the world a safer place."

* Within our own country and in other nations, The Carter Center forms partnerships with organizations, corporations, foundations, officials and individuals.

* The Carter Center has played both public and behind-the-scenes roles in conflict resolution in many countries.

* "In Haiti,” Carter writes, “my colleagues Gen. Colin Powell and U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn and I helped negotiate the departure of military leaders so Jean Bertrand Aristide could return as the nation's first democratically elected president."

* "Half a world away, in North Korea,” he continues, “the Center helped ease tensions over a probable confrontation on the Korean penisula and prepared the way for the first talks between the United States and North Korea in more than 40 years. Many of the relationships forged by our efforts can be important in resolving the current impasse."

* "The Center observes elections, helping to ensure that the democratic process is free and fair. In Nigeria and Indonesia, just two examples of election missions in more than 20 countries, the Center helped to end many years of dictatorship and let free people choose their own leaders."

* "In Sudan and Uganda, we and other partners are building on the momentum of a Center-negotiated agreement among factions that once refused even to talk to one another. The signing of an historic peace accord in Sudan on January 9, 2005, not only ends Africa's longest running civil war, but it also paves the way for global eradication of Guinea worm disease, enabling Carter Center health workers to reach areas previously inaccessible due to conflict."

* "In a number of African and Latin American countries, The Carter Center works to give people hope for a healthier future by preventing disease.

"A worldwide campaign, led by The Carter Center, has reduced the known cases of Guinea worm disease by more than 99.5 percent in less than 20 years. People become infected with Guinea worm when they drink water contaminated with microscopic larvae that migrate through the body and grow into worms up to three feet long. A year after infection, the worms emerge from the body through painful blisters, causing permanent scarring and, at times, temporary crippling.

"This horrible disease still affects people in 12 African nations. Though no cure exists, the disease can be prevented by teaching villagers how to filter their water to make it safe for drinking. As a direct result of Carter Center efforts, Guinea worm cases have fallen from 3.5 million in 1986 to fewer than 15,000 from January through November 2004 - a dramatic reduction in human suffering. We hope that with continued efforts Guinea worm will be the next disease eradicated from the earth."

* "The Carter Center also is playing a role in the fight against river blindness, a parasitic disease spread by bites from blackflies that breed in fast-flowing water. Victims experience chronic and severe itching, skin rashes and eyesight damage that can lead to permanent blindness.

"The World Health Organization estimates that 17.7 million people are infected and 120 million are at risk. In some communities, 15 percent of the population is blind and up to 40 percent of adults are visually impaired.

"In short, river blindness causes the social and economic fabric of entire communities to unravel. Agricultural production drops. Children must care for their sick parents, and adolescents concerned about the stigma associated with the disease and fearing they might become blind or disfigured, leave home.

"All of these ruinous outcomes can be prevented by giving people a single yearly dose of Mectizan, a drug donated by Merck and Co., that eliminates the terrible progression and symptoms of river blindness.

"The Carter Center has made distribution of this miraculous medicine the centerpiece of our assault on river blindness. So far, we have helped to provide more than 64 million treatments to people in Nigeria, Sudan, Cameroon, Uganda and Latin American countries. The Carter Center is the only non-governmental organization fighting river blindness on a global scale - an approach that's needed to combat this dreadful disease."

Carter concludes: "These are just a few of the ways The Carter Center wages peace, fights disease and builds hope for people in need. ,,, We will all benefit from a world filled with peaceful, healthy, hope-filled and productive people."

Does this sound like the work of a “whacko,” as the right-wing would have you believe? At least Carter is DOING something while those who denigrate him sit on their butts and let the likes of Coulter, Limbaugh, Hannty and O’Reilly do their thinking for them.


airth10 said...

Good post.

Carter is constantly being "swift boated". I wonder what swift boaters will do to the submarine named after him? Will they try to rub his name off it? ;->

Frodo said...

Frodo wanted to lecture Jimmy Carter. He wanted to tell him that the "three-martini lunch" wasn't as simple as he portrayed it. He wanted to tell him that while he sat in Camp David and considered the "Malaise," that all commercial airlines going into East Coast Airports had to adjust their flight patterns, and businessmen were hours late getting to-and-from their appointed rounds. He wanted to tell him that America needed a "cheerleader," not a therapist.

Frodo let him down. Jimmy Carter did not let Frodo down. He did his best, and it was not enough. He took what was left, and has done everything with it that he could. He never sacrificed on principle.

He did not let Frodo down. He taught Frodo a lesson.

Jan said...

Hmmmmmm. Wonder why Pres. Jimmy Carter and VP Albert Gore get Nobel Prize while the darling of the Republicans garnered only a funeral of another old Western movie cowboy riding off into a California sunset? Perhaps the radical right would like to explain that one.

Keep your ears tuned for the kudos they give Unky Ronnie Reagan!

Jan just gets these question attacks that demand answers.

Sean Hannity said...

Al Gore flies his own Gulfstream private jet, does he deserve to win the Nobel Prize? Whine, whine. Yassar Arafat and Mikhail Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize! Sputter, sputter. Look at clips of Gore at a MoveOn.org gathering: does this sound like a mna of peace to you? Gripe, gripe. Ronald Reagan didn’t win. Who would you rather have win: Ronald Reagan or Mikhail Gorbachev? Whine, whine. Jimmy Carter is anti-American. Ack. Ack. Liberals want to destroy America. Whine, whine.