Should Carter Accept?

Jeff Jacoby presents a case that former President Carter should not accept the Nobel Peace Prize.

During the runup to the Gulf War in 1990, in what even Brinkley [Jimmy Carter’s biographer] calls *the low moment* of his post-presidency, Carter actively tried to sabotage President George H. W. Bush’s efforts to win approval from the UN Security Council for armed action to liberate Kuwait. Without notifying Bush, he wrote to the heads of state of each member of the Security Council, urging them to vote against the US-drafted resolution.

*In his letter,” Brinkley found, ”Carter urged these influential world leaders to abandon US leadership and instead give `unequivocal support to an Arab League effort’* to link the Iraqi conquest of Kuwait with the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Lobbying foreign governments to subvert the diplomatic efforts of a sitting president is something ex-presidents simply do not do. But Carter did it.

If this is true… I’ve lost a lot of respect for Mr. Carter. Politics aside, he should have more respect for the office than that, and more respect for his successors. He knows how hard the job is, and he knows that since he’s no longer on the inside there’s quite a bit of information that he has no access to that influences things like the decision to enter the Gulf War.

I’m sure that President Carter wouldn’t have liked it very much had Presidents Johnson, Nixon or Ford tried to undermine his authority in trying to free the US hostages in Iran by encouraging Israel send in the Mosad to do what Jimmy couldn’t.