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All alone by the telephone: former U.S. president Jimmy Carter never hears from Obama

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/24/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Carter expresses sadness that current chief executive doesn't seek advice from him

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter waits in vain for current U.S. President Barack Obama to call him. Carter expressed sadness during an interview on "Meet the Press" that Obama doesn't ever call him for advice.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in the interview suggested that the long, uneasy silence between him and Barack Obama may have to do with their differing views on how to best achieve peace in the Middle East.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in the interview suggested that the long, uneasy silence between him and Barack Obama may have to do with their differing views on how to best achieve peace in the Middle East.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
3/24/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, advice


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - When asked if Obama ever consults with him about international affairs, the 89-year-old Carter sadly admitted, "Unfortunately, the answer is no.

"President Obama doesn't, but previous Presidents have called on me and the Carter Center to take action," Carter added, listing situations in which former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and even Ronald Reagan asked for his help or opinion.

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Carter in the interview suggested that the long, uneasy silence may have to do with their differing views on how to best achieve peace in the Middle East.

"That's a hard question for me to answer with complete candor," Carter said. "I think the problem was that in dealing with the issue of peace between Israel and Egypt, the Carter Center has taken a very strong position of equal treatment . and I think this was a sensitive area in which the President didn't want to be involved.

"But I can understand those sensitivities and I don't have any criticism of him," he added.
Carter, who was President from 1977 to 1981, also expressed fear that the federal government is "probably" spying on him.

"I have felt that my own communications are probably monitored," Carter, who has frequently criticized the National Security Agency in the past, said. "And when I want to communicate with a foreign leader privately, I type or write the letter myself, put it in the Post Office and mail it, because I believe if I send an email, it will be monitored."

At the present time, there are some uncomfortable parallels with both the Carter and Obama administrations. During the Carter era, Russia invaded Afghanistan, plunging the world into another cold war. Carter responded with draft registration and a beefed-up military budget. The American public was not impressed, and Carter relinquished the reins to Republican rival Ronald Reagan. Obama now sees a re-ignition of the Cold War with Russian President Vladimir Putin's incursion into Crimea. Both Carter and Obama were taken to task for weak, indecisive action. Will history repeat itself?

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