Jimmy Carter Criticizes Trump’s N. Korea Response: ‘Treat Them With Respect’

/// For BC-US--Jimmy CarterCAPTION:Activists, peacemakers and community leaders from 31 countries joined President Jimmy Carter on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, for the annual Human Rights Defenders Forum at The Carter Center in Atlanta to discuss the rise in authoritarianism and the protection of human rights. (AP Photo/Alex Sanz)[unknown.png][unknown_1.png]ALEX SANZASSOCIATED PRESS TELEVISION NEWSASANZ@AP.ORG[cid:9C7A948F-B087-46B5-8B2C-5D092666A45E] [cid:B9675EFD-0439-4946-B525-D658ECECC905] 101 MARIETTA STREET NWATLANTA, GA 30303(404) 353-5439ASSOCIATED PRESS TELEVISION NEWS IS THE INTERNATIONAL TELEVISION DIVISION OF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, THE WORLD'S OLDEST AND LARGEST NEWSGATHERING ORGANIZATION. VIDEO CAPTURED BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CAN BE SEEN BY OVER HALF OF THE WORLD’S POPULATION ON ANY GIVEN DAY.CLICK HERE TO SEND NEWS TIPS, DOCUMENTS OR OTHER FILES SECURELY AND CONFIDENTIALLY TO AP.
In this image taken from video, former President Jimmy Carter gestures at the annual Human Rights Defenders Forum at The Carter Center, Tuesday, May 9, 2017, in Atlanta. Carter says he's concerned that the Trump admi... In this image taken from video, former President Jimmy Carter gestures at the annual Human Rights Defenders Forum at The Carter Center, Tuesday, May 9, 2017, in Atlanta. Carter says he's concerned that the Trump administration's approach to foreign policy will hasten declining support for human rights in other countries. (AP Photo/Alex Sanz) MORE LESS
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ATLANTA (AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter offered a damning indictment of U.S. foreign policy and domestic affairs Tuesday, saying money in politics makes the nation more like an “oligarchy than a democracy” and casting President Donald Trump as a disappointment on the world stage.

Carter’s criticisms, offered at his annual presentation to backers of his post-presidency Carter Center in Atlanta, went beyond Trump, but he was particularly critical of the nation’s direction under the Republican president’s leadership.

The 39th president, a Democrat, offered this advice to the 45th: “Keep the peace, promote human rights and tell the truth.”

Carter, 92, did not mention explicitly Trump’s threatening exchanges this summer with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, but the former president said the U.S. should engage directly with the insular leader and discuss a peace treaty to replace the cease fire that ended the Korean War in 1953.

“I would send my top person to Pyongyang immediately, if I didn’t go myself,” Carter said, noting that he’s been three times to the country, even as successive U.S. administrations have refused to deal with the regime.

The North Koreans, Carter said, want a treaty that guarantees the U.S. will not attack unless North Korea attacks the U.S. or an ally, particularly South Korea. “Until we talk to them and treat them with respect — as human beings, which they are — I don’t think we’re going to make any progress,” Carter said.

He also dismissed Trump’s optimism that he can engineer Middle East peace. Trump has tasked his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, with handling the issue that has vexed U.S. administrations for generations, but the president notably backed off the long-held U.S. position calling for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.

Carter said he is “practically hopeless” that anything Trump comes up with would give “justice to the Palestinians.”

“I don’t think Trump or his family members are making any process in that respect,” he said. Carter criticized both Israeli and Palestinian leaders for a lack of flexibility, but he singled out Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu, a Trump ally, for having “no intention at all of having a two-state solution.”

The former president and his wife, Rosalynn, largely steer clear of partisan politics, long having yielded any active role in the Democratic Party. But they maintain their high-profile advocacy through the Carter Center, which focuses on human rights, public health and democratic elections.

Carter on Tuesday defended the center’s role in monitoring the August presidential elections in Kenya that the country’s Supreme Court later discarded. The court has ordered a new election.

The Carter Center’s monitoring team, led by former Secretary of State John Kerry, said days after the vote that the process of casting paper ballots was fair, but that the electronic tabulations were “unreliable.” Carter said Tuesday that international monitors were not allowed to observe the counting process.

The center also remains engaged in trying to end the Syrian civil war, Carter said. He noted that he and others from the center have engaged Russian President Vladimir Putin and others trying to broker peace.

Carter touted a program at his center that tracks social media usage in the war-torn nation. By identifying the locations of individual posters with known political and military affiliations, Carter said, analysts can discern which factions control various cities and provinces. Carter said the center shares that intelligence with the Pentagon, the State Department, various media outlets and foreign allies of the U.S.

Carter made no mention of ongoing inquiries into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign or potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

At 92, Carter is second eldest living U.S. president and fourth longest-lived president in history. His birthday is Oct. 1. George H.W. Bush, the eldest living president, turned 93 on June 12, putting him 92 days into his 94th year. Ronald Reagan was 120 days beyond his 93rd birthday when he died in 2004. Gerald Ford died two years later, having lived 165 days beyond his 93rd birthday.

Carter already has the longest post-presidency, having been out of office for 36 years and almost 8 months.

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Notable Replies

  1. Carter to Cockholster: “Keep the peace, promote human rights and tell the truth.”

    Comedy is not dead.

  2. Avatar for tao tao says:

    Decency is not dead either.

  3. I’ve thought the same thing for a while. I know N. Korea is also run by a egomaniac, but it seems like it would be so easy to ignore his BS, help him out so his country ran better and maybe he’d calm the fuck down. I just don’t get the point of poking a bees nest. Sure you might be able to kill most of the bees but there’s a good chance you’ll get a few stings and you might find out too late you’re allergic.

  4. Avatar for imkmu3 imkmu3 says:

    If South Korea or China can’t “calm North Korea down” why would you imagine that the United States would have any influence on them?

  5. Help them develop infrastructure, food and water, healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, pollution control, trade…you know they things that help keep folks alive and happy. Granted the folk running our country don’t seem to give a shit about getting those things working well in our country.

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