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SPIEGEL INTERVIEW WITH JIMMY CARTER
"The US and Israel Stand Alone"
Former US president Jimmy Carter speaks with DER SPIEGEL about the danger posed to American values by George W. Bush, the difficult situation in the Middle East and Cuba's ailing Fidel Castro.
Carter: Under all of its predecessors there was a commitment to peace instead of preemptive war. Our country always had a policy of not going to war unless our own security was directly threatened and now we have a new policy of going to war on a preemptive basis.
We've never had an administration before that so overtly and clearly and consistently passed tax reform bills that were uniquely targeted to benefit the richest people in our country at the expense or the detriment of the working families of America.
I don't think that Israel has any legal or moral justification for their massive bombing of the entire nation of Lebanon. What happened is that Israel is holding almost 10,000 prisoners, so when the militants in Lebanon or in Gaza take one or two soldiers, Israel looks upon this as a justification for an attack on the civilian population of Lebanon and Gaza. I do not think that's justified, no.
This administration has not attempted at all in the last six years to negotiate or attempt to negotiate a settlement between Israel and any of its neighbors or the Palestinians.
The (christian) fundamentalists believe they have a unique relationship with God, and that they and their ideas are God's ideas and God's premises on the particular issue. Therefore, by definition since they are speaking for God anyone who disagrees with them is inherently wrong. And the next step is: Those who disagree with them are inherently inferior, and in extreme cases -- as is the case with some fundamentalists around the world -- it makes your opponents sub-humans, so that their lives are not significant.
after Sept., there was an outburst in America of intense suffering and patriotism, and the Bush administration was very shrewd and effective in painting anyone who disagreed with the policies as unpatriotic or even traitorous.