Jimmy Carter was at one time my boss. I served in the US Air Force between 1976 and 1980; as quietly as you could arrive at and/or take off from Dobbins AFB north of Atlanta, Carter did. He was often accompanied by either Anwar Sadat or Menachem Begin, as this was the runup to the Camp David peace accord. In fact, one day we heard Air Force One was coming in and I asked my supervisor (not the President) for a little time so I could observe the motorcade. No problem, except that when I got to the side of the road I was completely alone, a security no-no even then. So an air-cop stood there with me as the black Lincolns started down the hill past the BX, then past us.
I had to salute, being in uniform, but that was no problem either. Hell, I was excited. So the car with the Presidential flags arrived, I popped the salute, and there was the President sitting behind the driver. He waved, I dropped the pose and waved back. Beside Carter was Sadat, smoking that long Sherlock Holmes pipe; he studied me for a second and waved as well, then went back to lighting his pipe. That was unforgettable. Yes, Sadat played a role in bringing about al-Qaeda by jailing the people whose brethren would finally take their revenge on October 6th, 1981; but this was also the man who with three simple words—”No more war”—set the peace process in motion.
But now we hear from Dubya, saying this about Carter. Dubya, this child of privelige, who’d not lift a finger to help anyone unless it would somehow benefit himself, who would have been nothing without that already stained last name now made utterly infamous. As though he has any right to say a word about a man who does more for humankind in an average day before lunch than Dubya has in his entire life (OK, his decisions re: HIV/AIDS in Africa have been noteworthy but considering his evangelical beliefs we all know there was a Christian message involved as well, because that’s simply how the man rolls; good deeds are still good deeds, but even in this instance his motives are at best suspect—why Africa, why Dubya of all people?). Well, Dubya just presumes he does. Consider for a second that passage where he imagines himself on a board of ex-Presidents who tell “the currents what to do.” Pay special attention to that; it tells us a lot about the mechanics of his thought process insofar as one could be said to exist in his case.
He also says he wants to return to anonymity. I know where he could find the anonymity he craves. That place is prison, with adjoining cells for Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, et al, with bin Laden and company just across a narrow corridor.
That’s my dream. I hope it comes true. Go to jail, Dubya. And take your entire alumni association with you. Carter was right about you, every word.