Very interesting (long read) - I’ve taken a clip from it below and made my own emphasis. Its amazing a POTUS made the effort for peace at all …
… Jimmy Carter is to Republicans what George W Bush is to Democrats: their very names make their enemies foam at the mouth. And the reassessment is working both ways. For years Carter was considered a failure because he was a single-term president, because he was perceived as weak, and because he refused to take action against America’s newly minted enemy, Iran. But, at this distance, the three great achievements of that single term seem even more of an achievement today: he forced through the Camp David Accords, one of only two peace treaties that Israel has ever signed, isolating Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin at Camp David for 13 days until he gradually wore them down; he also forced through the Panama Canal Treaty, a deeply unpopular move that returned the canal to Panama, but which prevented, many believe, a difficult and nasty war in Latin America; and he brought in an energy policy that saw him reduce America’s dependency on imported oil by half. He was mocked – three decades before global warming became a fashionable concern – for walking around the White House, turning down the thermostats.
What he’s most proud of, though, is that he didn’t fire a single shot. Didn’t kill a single person. Didn’t lead his country into a war – legal or illegal. “We kept our country at peace. We never went to war. We never dropped a bomb. We never fired a bullet. But still we achieved our international goals. We brought peace to other people, including Egypt and Israel. We normalised relations with China, which had been non-existent for 30-something years. We brought peace between US and most of the countries in Latin America because of the Panama Canal Treaty. We formed a working relationship with the Soviet Union.”
It’s the simple fact of not going to war that, given what came next, should be recognised. “In the last 50 years now, more than that,” he says, “that’s almost a unique achievement.” He was bitterly opposed to both Iraq wars. “Iraq was just a terrible mistake. I thought so in Iraq 1, and I was against it in Iraq 2.” And it’s not just George W Bush who has blood on his hands, he says, but Tony Blair too: “I don’t know what went on in private meetings when Tony Blair agreed to it. But had Bush not gotten that tacit support from Blair, I don’t know if the course of history might have been different.”