news from ekklesia

By staff writers
March 22, 2004

Carter attacks Bush and Blair

-22/3/04

Former President Jimmy Carter, well known for both his Christian faith and work for peace, has attacked both George Bush and Tony Blair.

In remarks to Andrew Buncombe of The Independent newspaper, Carter, 79, accused Bush of going to war in Iraq "based on lies and misrepresentations," and Blair of following the president's lead against his "better judgment."

"There was no reason for us to become involved in Iraq recently," Carter said in the interview. "That was a war based on lies and misinterpretations from London and from Washington, claiming falsely that Saddam Hussein was responsible for [the] 9/11 attacks, claiming falsely that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. And I think that President Bush and Prime Minister Blair probably knew that many of the allegations were based on uncertain intelligence ... a decision was made to go to war [then people said] 'Let's find a reason to do so.'"

Four years ago Jimmy Carter, said he could "no longer be associated" with the United States' largest Protestant denomination the Southern Baptists, who subsequently gave support to President Bush's position on Iraq.

As a candidate in 1976 he introduced the term "born again" into the political lexicon and as a president he was criticized for witnessing to world leaders.

But the ferocity of Carter's comments is virtually unprecedented in the annals of presidential protocol, but they are far from the first criticisms he has leveled at the current White House. The former president, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, has been highly vocal in his scrutiny of the Bush administration.

During his Nobel acceptance speech, Carter warned of "uncontrollable violence" when countries seek to solve problems without the participation of the United Nations.

Before the current war in Iraq, the former president made it clear that he believed the United States had no right to take unilateral action against the Saddam Hussein regime.

While Carter singled out both Bush and Blair for his latest round of criticism, he made it clear that he believes the pressure to go to war came from Washington. He also implied that the reasons for invading Iraq were personal.

"I think the basic reason was made not in London but in Washington," Carter told Buncombe. "I think that Bush Junior was inclined to finish a war that his father had precipitated against Iraq. I think it was that commitment of Bush that prevailed over, I think, the better judgment of Tony Blair, and Tony Blair became an enthusiastic supporter of the Bush policy."

Carter's remarks came on the heels of allegations by former White House anti-terrorism coordinator Richard Clarke, who accused Bush of disregarding the pre-9/11 threat of Al-Qaeda. Clarke also claimed that the president was defiant in this desire to blame the attacks on Saddam Hussein, despite assurances to the contrary by senior intelligence advisors.

Carter attacks Bush and Blair

-22/3/04

Former President Jimmy Carter, well known for both his Christian faith and work for peace, has attacked both George Bush and Tony Blair.

In remarks to Andrew Buncombe of The Independent newspaper, Carter, 79, accused Bush of going to war in Iraq "based on lies and misrepresentations," and Blair of following the president's lead against his "better judgment."

"There was no reason for us to become involved in Iraq recently," Carter said in the interview. "That was a war based on lies and misinterpretations from London and from Washington, claiming falsely that Saddam Hussein was responsible for [the] 9/11 attacks, claiming falsely that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. And I think that President Bush and Prime Minister Blair probably knew that many of the allegations were based on uncertain intelligence ... a decision was made to go to war [then people said] 'Let's find a reason to do so.'"

Four years ago Jimmy Carter, said he could "no longer be associated" with the United States' largest Protestant denomination the Southern Baptists, who subsequently gave support to President Bush's position on Iraq.

As a candidate in 1976 he introduced the term "born again" into the political lexicon and as a president he was criticized for witnessing to world leaders.

But the ferocity of Carter's comments is virtually unprecedented in the annals of presidential protocol, but they are far from the first criticisms he has leveled at the current White House. The former president, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, has been highly vocal in his scrutiny of the Bush administration.

During his Nobel acceptance speech, Carter warned of "uncontrollable violence" when countries seek to solve problems without the participation of the United Nations.

Before the current war in Iraq, the former president made it clear that he believed the United States had no right to take unilateral action against the Saddam Hussein regime.

While Carter singled out both Bush and Blair for his latest round of criticism, he made it clear that he believes the pressure to go to war came from Washington. He also implied that the reasons for invading Iraq were personal.

"I think the basic reason was made not in London but in Washington," Carter told Buncombe. "I think that Bush Junior was inclined to finish a war that his father had precipitated against Iraq. I think it was that commitment of Bush that prevailed over, I think, the better judgment of Tony Blair, and Tony Blair became an enthusiastic supporter of the Bush policy."

Carter's remarks came on the heels of allegations by former White House anti-terrorism coordinator Richard Clarke, who accused Bush of disregarding the pre-9/11 threat of Al-Qaeda. Clarke also claimed that the president was defiant in this desire to blame the attacks on Saddam Hussein, despite assurances to the contrary by senior intelligence advisors.

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