Monday, December 10, 2007

The Similarities of Jimmy Carter and bin Laden (Aug. 15, 2007)

A most unlikely match most would say; certainly ex-President Carter’s supporters would wax eloquent on the patent absurdity of this suggestion. Look at the comparison a little more closely and surprising similarities spring forth, mostly centering around the single-minded, zealous self-righteousness of both men that manifests to such a degree as to blind them both to all moderate alternatives and promotes indifference to the plight, humanity and needs of those who differ from the hallowed paths chosen by these two unexpected “comrades in arms.”

Carter sought to weaken the American military and handcuff its security institutions – so does bin Laden. Bin Laden seeks to further humiliate the conservatives, the republicans and the patriotic in America – so does Jimmy Carter.

Jimmy Carter’s dislike of George Bush seems to know no bounds, so much so that he has significantly diverged from tradition and every president before him in openly and internationally criticizing Bush and his administration – bin Laden’s antagonism to Bush, his nemeses, his primary opposition, has been profusely evident in his many pronouncements and writings.

Bin Laden’s radical fundamentalist style demands blind obedience from his cohorts and manifests a preference for adoring acolytes – Carter’s intolerance for dissension and normal ideological variation is also well known.

The latter’s propensity for half truths and selective memory to better serve his self-righteous machinations has caused a flight of professionals from the Carter Foundation – Al Queda’s founder is also a past master at turning defeat into a propaganda victory (Afghanistan), adapting narrowness reminiscent of the Dark Ages into popular culture and catalyzing moderates into legions of self-destructive radicals.

Bin Laden vies for the affection and support of tyrants around the world – Carter, with incredible copycat passion, traipses around the globe paying self-serving accolades to Hugo Chavez, Bashar al-Assad, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and assorted other anti-American, anti-democratic, anti-Semitic and nihilistic dictators.

Carter has conceivably been the most destructive US president of all time: consider the Iranian debacle and his many less than memorable non-accomplishments (even unaffiliated Merv Griffin once remarked that he believed Carter was absolutely the worst of all American presidents) – bin Laden has single-handedly helped push Afghanistan back to the 7th Century, is likewise doing his best with Iraq and Pakistan and hopes to wring destruction out of Saudi Arabia and assorted other Arab potentates.

And they both fervently believe they will get a special place in heaven for their zealous efforts (72 docile virgins notwithstanding).

An unlikely match made in heaven?

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