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Bush: More Principled than Carter?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
<a href="http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=105001733" target="_blank">Memo to Mr. Carter: Evil Exists
In attacking President Bush, the ex-president loses his moral sense.</a>

BY NORBERT VOLLERTSEN
Thursday, March 7, 2002 12:01 a.m. EST

As a German physician, I was greatly moved by an inscription quoting former President Jimmy Carter at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington: "We must forge an unshakeable oath with all civilized people that never again will the world stand silent, never again will the world . . . fail to act in time to prevent this terrible crime of genocide. . . . We must harness the outrage of our own memories to stamp out oppression wherever it exists."

It is hard to believe that these words came from the same man who recently lambasted President Bush's "axis of evil" speech, calling it "overly simplistic and counterproductive." Nowhere in Mr. Carter's words did I see the caveat "stamp out oppression wherever it exists (excepting North Korea and/or any other dictatorial regime that rapes, murders and systematically starves its own people)." President Carter wrote those words in September 1979 for his President's Commission on the Holocaust. Twenty-three years later, he seems to have forgotten their meaning.

President Bush has not. He has chosen to speak out; to borrow Mr. Carter's phrase, he will not "stand silent." He has bravely called North Korea "evil"--and he is right. I know, because I have seen the evil with my own eyes. From July 1999 to December 2000, I traveled with the German medical group, Cap Anamur, and gained access to some of the Stalinist country's most remote and secretive regions.

What I witnessed could best be described as unbelievable deprivation. As I wrote last April , "In the hospitals one sees kids too small for their age, with hollow eyes and skin stretched tight across their faces. They wear blue-and-white striped pajamas, like the children in Hitler's Auschwitz."

It became clear to me that Kim Jong Il and his Stalinist regime had made little effort to distribute medical supplies and food to the people who needed it most. I soon realized that North Korea's starvation is not the result of natural disasters or even lack of natural resources. Like the Holocaust in Europe, the horror in North Korea is man-made. Twenty-two million people suffer under a dictatorial regime that uses torture, surveillance and starvation as tools to control its own people. Only the regime's overthrow will end it.

I was eventually expelled from North Korea because of my open criticism of the government. Since then, I have been on a global campaign to raise interest in what I can only describe as crimes against humanity and genocide in North Korea. This is a country where food is used as a weapon against any opposition, Christians are persecuted, women sexually abused and young children forced into labor. Still, the world either doesn't know, doesn't care or doesn't want to believe.

Last month I had the opportunity to interview around 250 North Korean defectors near the China-North Korea border and was truly horrified by their stories. Most had escaped from hidden concentration camps where they suffered and witnessed routine torture, mass execution, baby killing, rape, human biological experiments (including on the effects of anthrax) and, of course, starvation. These people were talking about hell, not paradise. Like Mr. Bush, they call it evil too.

As a German born after the Holocaust, I feel it is my duty to speak out. But strangely, few are willing to listen. In my native Germany and the rest of Europe they speak of "engagement." In South Korea they speak of a "sunshine policy" to help Kim Jong Il modernize and liberalize. What they don't understand is that he is not interested in helping his people; rather he is interested only--like Hitler and Stalin--in clinging to power. In my opinion, "engagement" and "sunshine" are not only synonyms for appeasement, they are synonyms for cowardice.

Now, the very same people who wish to engage a state that starves its own people are calling President Bush a "war monger" for using the word "evil." Ironically, but not surprisingly, it is the "refined" European diplomats, "liberal" American newspapers, and "politically correct" human-rights activists who are most outraged at Mr. Bush's choice of words. They should be ashamed of themselves.

President Bush has rightly identified North Korea as a prison state that uses terrorism against its own people. Moreover, his "axis of evil" has sent a strong message to the North Korean people that they are not forgotten--and they are listening. Every North Korean defector I spoke to over several weeks was delighted by President Bush's words. For the first time in their lives they feel as if the outside world understands the hell they have endured. Moreover, they are full of hope that, like President Reagan's "evil empire" speech," President Bush's "axis of evil" speech will eventually lead to the collapse of Kim Jong Il's brutal regime.

Perhaps those who are outraged with President Bush's choice of words should ask survivors of the Holocaust, survivors of the Soviet gulag and survivors of North Korea's concentration camps what they think of Mr. Bush's use of the word "evil."

Perhaps Mr. Carter should return to the Holocaust Memorial Museum that he helped build and take a look at another inscription there, this one from the book of Genesis: "What have you done? Hark, thy brother's blood cries out to me from the ground!"

Dr. Vollertsen, a physician from Germany, worked in hospitals in North Korea from July 1999 to December 2000.
post #2 of 13
It's effortless to understand that the general disapproval from the democratic party over Bush's recent efforts and policy coining is based on a long history of party politics. If Clinton made the same comments, they would cheer.

The other thing, though, is that it is socially uncouth for democrats (and most everyone) to objectivize anything. Nothing is absolute in the disturbingly unscientific political arena. Thus no one can be evil. I could sense even on the day of Spetember 11th that there would a huge movement encouraging tolerance towards our assailants emanating from the polically correct spectrum.

Some things are not worth tolerating.
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post #3 of 13
From OmniDictionary:

Axis: 3: a group of countries in special alliance [syn: bloc]

What Mr. Vollertsen fails to realize, is that former President Carter did not call Bush's speech "over simplistic" because he pointed out evil in North Korea. He called it "over simplistic" because the phrase "axis of evil" implies cooperation and close ties between the members of the axis, North Korea, Iran, and Iraq. There is no doubt that Kim Il Jong and Saddam Hussein are dictators of the worst ilk, but history and current events will show that these three countries represent three unique cases and they are hardly best friends. Clearly the history between Iran and Iraq alone will show that "axis" was not a well chosen term.

Plus, why lump Iran, who is just starting to open up a little with NK and Iraq? Was Bush worried about dealings with the so-called "axis" when Iran granted us use of their air space after 9/11?
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Oh yea "axis" was the important part of that.

:confused:

Could someone tell me what the meaning of "is" is.
post #5 of 13
Jimmy is just conspued by the joke in spectacles, go easy.
proud resident of a failed state
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proud resident of a failed state
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post #6 of 13
[quote]Originally posted by groverat:
<strong>Jimmy is just conspued by the joke in spectacles, go easy.</strong><hr></blockquote>

post #7 of 13
- One would hope that the president of the United States of America could clearly articulate his(?) ideas on global politics instead of always resorting to, "But you know what I really meant..."

- And if you're talking about an "axis of evil" then the definition of "axis" is important. It doesn't matter if those individual countries are "evil". If there's no "axis", there is no "axis of evil" just three separate countries doing some bad stuff.

- Sure, Clinton took the semantic argument too far. That doesn't mean we should give up clear, concise english. And if you still need a definition of "is", I would whole-heartedly recommend OmniDictionary.

- In the end, what is the issue here? Do you think North Korea, Iran, and Iraq form an "axis of evil", or are you just tired of people nit picking Bush?

[quote]Originally posted by Scott H.:
<strong>Oh yea "axis" was the important part of that.

:confused:

Could someone tell me what the meaning of "is" is.</strong><hr></blockquote>

[ 03-08-2002: Message edited by: Simple Ranger ]</p>
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
You're an idiot. Keep up the hypertechnical evaluation and ignore the important message that Carter forgot.
post #9 of 13
Brilliant rebuttal! I'm sure all your buddies on the playground would be very very impressed.

[quote]Originally posted by Scott H.:
<strong>You're an idiot. Keep up the hypertechnical evaluation and ignore the important message that Carter forgot.</strong><hr></blockquote>

What you fail to see is that Carter was not commenting at all on North Korea, Iran or Iraq in the article you posted. Therefore we can't say whether he has "forgotten" or not. What he did comment on was that Bush's phrase "axis of evil" was "overly simplistic and counterproductive." I for one agree with that statement for the reasons laid out in my "hypertechnical evaluation". If you have reasons why Carter has "forgotten" or why NK/Iran/Iraq constitute an axis, then I'd love to hear them. Even if your only reason is that the Simpons branded Carter as "history's greatest monster." At least that would be funny; as compared to your tiresome and unfounded ad hominen attacks.
post #10 of 13
I love these articles, where DO you get them Scott?
Those who dance the dance must look very foolish to those who can't hear the music
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Those who dance the dance must look very foolish to those who can't hear the music
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post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by The Toolboi:
<strong>I love these articles, where DO you get them Scott?</strong><hr></blockquote>


Click the link. Read something different for a change? Think Different.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Simple Ranger:
<strong>Brilliant rebuttal! I'm sure all your buddies on the playground would be very very impressed.



What you fail to see is that Carter was not commenting at all on North Korea, Iran or Iraq in the article you posted. Therefore we can't say whether he has "forgotten" or not. What he did comment on was that Bush's phrase "axis of evil" was "overly simplistic and counterproductive." I for one agree with that statement for the reasons laid out in my "hypertechnical evaluation". If you have reasons why Carter has "forgotten" or why NK/Iran/Iraq constitute an axis, then I'd love to hear them. Even if your only reason is that the Simpons branded Carter as "history's greatest monster." At least that would be funny; as compared to your tiresome and unfounded ad hominen attacks.</strong><hr></blockquote>

So you are an idiot. Read Carter's words again.

"We must forge an unshakeable oath with all civilized people that never again will the world stand silent, never again will the world . . . fail to act in time to prevent this terrible crime of genocide. . . . We must harness the outrage of our own memories to stamp out oppression wherever it exists."

Now? Who is not being "silent"? Also can we guess that Bush is "outrage"d. And who stamp(ed) out oppression this year?

He should be more polite with his outrage. So we don't hurt any evil dictator's feelings.
post #13 of 13
[quote]Originally posted by Scott H.:
<strong>You're an idiot. Keep up the hypertechnical evaluation and ignore the important message that Carter forgot.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I chuckled after reading this. There's very little that annoys me more than a person who ignores the larger picture in favor of the specific. Of course, in general this is the way politicians behave. Perhaps it's why I hate politicians.
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