Jimmy Carter on Tony Blair

President Jimmy Carter

Former US President Jimmy Carter's comments on Tony Blair in an interview in yesterday's Sunday Telegraph are, or should be, compulsory reading.  It's fashionable nowadays to dismiss Carter as an insignificant figure, even to laugh at him, but for my money he's greatly underrated, and I believe that history will take a much more positive view of him (not just because of his opinion of our prime minister). 

Perhaps the most perceptive thing Carter is quoted as saying about Blair is this:

Asked why he thinks Mr Blair has behaved in the way that he has with President Bush's belligerent regime, Mr Carter said he could only put it down to timidity.

That really rings bells.  Blair is generally criticised for many failings, but his timidity is rarely one of them.  In fact it's evident in many of the otherwise inexplicable things he has done, as well as his failure to lay down stiff conditions for his support of the US attack on Iraq:  his repeated premature dismissals of close political allies on inadequate evidence, for fear of facing accusations of cronyism in the Tory press;  his extreme reluctance to stand up to the demands of the police and the security services for ever more powers;  his fear of incurring the hostility of The Sun newspaper and other Murdoch organs; his prolonged reluctance to go ahead with reforms of the House of Lords and the Lord Chancellorship;  even his preoccupation with strong leadership — the stress on being decisive even when wrong.  Old Jimmy has hit a vital nail on the head.


3 Responses

  1. Brian,

    Jimmy moves up a gear from "timidity".

    "We now have a situation where America is so unpopular overseas that even in countries like Egypt and Jordan our approval ratings are less than five per cent. It’s a shameful and pitiful state of affairs and I hold your British Prime Minister to be substantially responsible for being so compliant and subservient."

  2. his extreme reluctance to stand up to the demands of the police and the security services for ever more powers;

    Is it possible that Blair is asking the police and security services to demand more powers?  It won’t surprise you to hear that I am of the opinion that the police lobbied MPs about 90-days detention without trial on the orders of the government.

    It’s good that Carter is speaking out. 

  3. john says:

    Mr Blair lied to the electorate and should be held accountable to those lies and thier consequences.He justified the invasion of Iraq on the basis that the regime of Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that it was working hand in hand with Osam bin laden.

    As we now all know both assumptions were obvious lies and at that time such people of high moral standing as Robin Cook the foreign secretary resigned.

    Mr Bliar was also warned by the British military  that the toppling of Hussein would lead to an aftermath of civil conflict and terrorism in Iraq…longterm.

    His missleading the people of the UK has led to deaths of British servicemen and the deaths of many innocent women and children in Iraq.He should face criminal charges regarding his deception of the british people and the horrendous consequences.

    We should really be ashamed of those actions in representation of our country.Thousand of  women and children in Iraq killed by our weapons.Some of these weapons also using depleted uranium.Our servicemen suffering and dieing in a war that was not neccessary started by Blair and Bush based on lies.