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As Long as We Remember...

November 15, 2005

Trust Carter to Save France

Edward Lulie III

Just as the Oil for Food scandal began to make headlines, it was swept off the front page by the news of car-burning mobs rioting across France. The topic of whether French officials had been taking lucrative bribes and circumventing United Nation sanctions was - for the moment - ignored.

While the topic of Oil for Food fraud continues to spoil dinner parties in Paris, the rioting is not a welcome diversion but a troubling sign that the fabric of civilization, in this self declared capital of the world, is frayed and weakened.

France, preeminent authority on history and culture, prefers to judge other countries rather than examine its own flaws. Questions about the continued progress of democracy inside France apparently remain to be answered.

For the moment Paris would prefer to lead a chorus of leftist criticism over American efforts at nation building in Iraq. It firmly believes that history will judge the United States invasion and attempted transformation of Iraq into a modern democracy as a horrible mistake.

Who else thinks that establishing a modern democratic government in Iraq was a bad idea? Former President Jimmy Carter. Mr. Carter has some credentials in the transforming national governments category; consider Carter's record of "accomplishment" in Iran.

Back in the early 1970s there was another society entering the modern age, Iran. Under the Shah, the people were being taught western values and the economy was flourishing.

The Shah embraced western culture and actively sought to transform Iran into a modern nation, a world leader. Women were being liberated to walk with men rather than 10 paces behind them. They were throwing away their veils, getting jobs and teaching.

Learning and reading books was encouraged as was ending the repressive religious controls on the populace. This is precisely the behavior that was condemned by the Taliban's like minded religious extremists in Afghanistan. It was condemned then in Iran as well, and there were violent attempts by religious fanatics to stop it and overthrow the Shah.

The Shah was able to stop the violence by resorting to his secret police. The tactics they used were effective, but widely condemned across the globe. Particularly they were attacked by the allies of the Soviet Union since the Shah was a staunch ally of the United States.

When Jimmy Carter was elected as president in 1976, he pledged to continue to support the Shah. He broke his pledge, betrayed the Shah and assisted in the return of the Ayatollah Khomeini (who was, of course, being sheltered in France).

President Carter didn't like the Shah's secret police and always worried about offending the allies of the Soviet Union. Religious fanatics led by Khomeini then overthrew the Shah while the United States watched and did nothing.

Later Iranian operatives, pretending to be students, invaded our Embassy in Tehran and took hostages; this is unquestionably an act of war. Mr. Carter ignored this act of war, and blundered about ineptly in response.

Of course, the oath he'd taken on entering office (to preserve, protect and defend) was forgotten. In a final betrayal President Carter sought to buy the freedom of the hostages with military parts until the story was leaked. American voters responded to Carter's brand of "leadership" by electing Ronald Reagan in 1980.

President Carter's policies were fundamental in reversing Iran's progress and restoring it to the religious control of medieval zealots under the Ayatollah Khomeini. That set the stage for a war between Iraq and Iran which probably never would have happened under the Shah. Millions did die. Mr. Carter did lie. Apparently that's good enough for a Nobel Peace prize these days - if you are a good socialist.

Now France is being ripped apart by riots. Who better to send in to fix things than Jimmy Carter? He could begin by blaming the United States; quickly re-establishing his credentials with the French. Then he could search among the extremists to find a new Ayatollah to support; someone that Carter could help bring to power and bring France under the same enlightened regime that was established in Iran.

After all, these rioters are really just misunderstood victims of French intolerance and oppression. Jimmy Carter could preach socialism at the French government until they feel properly guilty. Of course a proper socialist apology would include an offer to share power with the abused and oppressed rioters.

President Carter will probably insist that true power sharing should include joint control over the nuclear weapons that France possesses. That would empower them and establish their credentials across the globe with leftist radical groups, who would all certainly offer to lend their support and help share the heavy burden of controlling those nuclear weapons.

Mr. Carter should also insist upon the elimination of French as the national language; a simple step to remove an element of continuing divisiveness that alienates so many new immigrants moving into France. It is common for new immigrants to be scorned and traumatized by selfish Frenchmen who callously insist that everybody must learn to speak French. How unfair that new citizens of a progressive paradise insist on using an old and outdated language once prized by imperialistic royals! What gaul to demand that new immigrants abandon their own language just to live in France.

President Carter, with his entourage of European admirers, could travel around the country and dispense his unique wisdom while making gratuitous criticisms of the United States and George Bush. He'd provide Europe with days of fresh video condemning the United States and lauding the terrorists..ah I mean the misunderstood and oppressed.

Certainly Jimmy Carter has the status as a world leader to explain the errors of French ways and allow France the opportunity to publicly repent. Perhaps France could atone by granting generous parcels of land and money to those victims forced by cruel French traditions and culture to riot in the streets.

Only Jimmy Carter could successfully negotiate to end this turmoil and unrest. Under Carter's leadership, it might be possible to save France from itself and pave the way to a future just as bright and attractive as that found in present day Iran.

If Mr. Carter he refuses to go, perhaps another world figure beloved by the French might step forward to intervene; what is Jerry Lewis doing until next Labor Day?

(My apologies to Jerry Lewis, a genuine humanitarian.)

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