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Revealed in the "White House Diary"

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I've been examining Jimmy Carter's "White House Diary." I wanted to see what he had to say about Iran's Shah, the Israeli collaboration with South Africa, the infamous Zbigniew Brzezinski interview about Afghanistan, and the massacre in Kwangju, Korea. The first matter is of special importance now in the face of charges that the allegedly weak, human-rights oriented Carter let Iran get taken over by anti-American extremists.

Originally the Diary was made up of 5,000 pages of typed entries. The published book does not contain all the entries, but Carter says of what he did publish he decided "not to revise his original transcript." He does add short paragraphs here and there to add context or to reflect from the vantage point of 2010.  

The neo-cons these days are floating the story that the U.S. must stick by its "allies" no matter how tyrannical, and should not repeat the mistake of the allegedly human-rights obsessed Carter who deserted the Shah. In the Diary I can't find a shred of evidence backing this notion. In fact, Carter not only stood with the Shah to the bitter end, but urged him on when he appeared to be "weakening."

On November 15, 1977, Carter writes about the Shah -- "He's concerned abut the public image of Iran, very proud of what has been accomplished and, in my opinion, has done an excellent job.   Now, though, he's strong enough to do some overt things on the human rights issue."

The next day Carter writes that he "talked about the human rights issue. He [the Shah] was quite embarrassed, but shared my concern." The Shah tells him the law makes it illegal to be a communist, and that alleged communists get military trials, but the Shah generously was allowing the accused to have civilian lawyers. Carter adds a 2010 note that the Shah's secret police had just fired into a crowd of demonstrators, killing many.

On October 26, 1978, Carter wrote that there were large demonstrations and strikes in Iran all through 1978 -- "Iran is running into serious trouble because of strikes preventing shipment of oil to foreign markets. The shah will have to take action soon." [emphasis added]

Then, on November 2, 1978, he wrote, "The shah expressed deep concern about whether to set up an interim government, a military government, or perhaps even to abdicateWe encouraged him to hang firm and count on our backing." [emphasis added]

And, on November 6, 1978 -- "Over the weekend, I sent the shah a message that whatever action he took, including setting up a military government, I would support him. We did not want him to abdicate, which he had threatened to do. He is not a strong leader but very doubtful and unsure of himself."

Carter added this note in 2010. "We were in an increasing quandary with respect to the shah. He had been a dependable ally of the six presidents who preceded me, and the revolutionary forces opposing him were completely unpredictable. After much thought and discussion, I decided to give him as much support as possible without directly interfering in the internal affairs of Iran."

On December 25, 1978 -- "We instructed [Ambassador William] Sullivan to tell the shah that if he couldn't form a civilian or military government that would restore peace and reduce bloodshed to consider a regency council -- which means he would have to abdicate. He responded fairly well to this suggestion. I asked if he could find asylum in the United States. Sullivan replied affirmatively."

On January 4, 1979, Carter writes that Iranian officers talked of staging a coup and keeping the Shah as head of state. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance "wanted to stop any such move, but I insisted that we retain our relationships with the shah and the military -- our only two ties to future sound relationship with Iran. We are sticking with the shah until we see a clear alternative."

Back in the 1977 section, Carter added a 2010 reflection: "This is what I wrote at the time. Later entries will reveal the shah's serious mistakes and fallibilities." 

This is the sum and substance of Carter criticism of the Shah. Carter never considers what that monster of torture and vanity meant for the people of Iran. Recall at one point Carter tells him to "hang firm." How many Iranians were hung from ceilings as a result of such advice?

Covering Up the Israeli Nuclear Test?

It's ironic considering today's perspective of uniform hostility to Carter from the Jewish establishment, but Carter did enormous service for the Israel regime. In his first months in office he created a law making it a crime for a business to obey the Arab states' boycott of Israel.(p.44)  Seemingly, half the diary is about his attempt to broker peace with Egypt. By finally arranging a treaty between Israel and Egypt, he eliminated Israel's only real military opponent. But all that is forgotten by today's hyper-Zionists. His authentic sympathies for Palestinian rights shown after he left office have enraged them, particularly his use of the word "apartheid" in a book title when referring to the Occupied Territories.

Carter's diary entries suggest he did the Israeli government another service -- he helped to cover up nuclear ties with the murderous South African apartheid regime.

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Stanley Heller writes about the Middle East at www.TheStruggle.org. He writes about the economy, teaching, politics and labor at EconomicUprising.com

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