Jimmy Carter - a great president?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by ivanotter, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. TripleCitizen Well-Known Member

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    Really? I would think that just giving a 24 hour ultimatum and going with the whole “we don’t negotiate with terrorists” shtick would be much more popular than months of negotiation. Attacking an embassy is an act of war, so I wouldn’t think that there’d be much protest to it outside of a few countries.
     
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  2. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    The whole point of an intervention would be saving the hostages. Even if the initial bravado is popular with voters, were the hostages to die as a direct result then Carter would be blamed for their deaths. The political fallout of such a blunder would be catastrophic. If it happens in 1979, then Kennedy likely beats Carter for the 1980 nomination. Instead of a mediocrity, Carter would go down in history as one of the worst ever American Presidents for letting the hostages die.

    So it's a good thing that he didn't.
     
  3. TripleCitizen Well-Known Member

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    What would you assume Reagan would do if a similar situation happened during his administration?
     
  4. V-J Resources From Westminster

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    Man, I'd love a timeline where Reagan is criticising Carter as a 'mad bomber'...
     
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  5. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    Not so sure it was that badly planned. One or two of the helicopters went down due to sand. But sometimes here in discussions we act like every single helicopter was doomed due to the very fine sand in the area, and that simply was not the case.

    Another helicopter went down due to a refueling accident. And typically, when two separate things go wrong, that is going to be the end of the operation.
     
  6. Ricardolindo Well-Known Member

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    No offense but as others have pointed out, this is a gross distortion of the term "genocidal war criminal".
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
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  7. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    When we are waging war or cold war against a nation and the most vulnerable are dying, I think it is healthy to raise the question and with the g word at that.

    In my moral universe, and with any doctrine short of total war, an electrical generating plant is not a legitimate military target.

    And most of all, especially for my fellow liberals and progressives, I really want us to question whether long-term sanctions are in any way preferable to war. I'm going to pull a reference on "Oil for Food" and the very fact that such a program was necessary, and thankfully got enacted during the later Clinton years, well, it should both give us pause and maybe also help us feel a little good that on this one our government largely got it right.

    But, from the end of Gulf War I in Feb. 1991, how many years to the beginning of Oil-For-Food?
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  8. Alternator Devil's Advocate

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    And this is morally equivalent to an intentional effort to erase a population group...how, exactly? Well meaning, but poorly to incompetently implemented, policies are not gleefully evil acts of mass murder.
     
  9. TripleCitizen Well-Known Member

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    So bombing an electrical plant is genocide?
     
  10. marathag Well-Known Member with a target on his back Kicked

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    Just when the USA does it, and not when the Russians did a far better job of it to Georgia
     
  11. fasquardon Cosmonaut

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    You do know what war is right? I'm not aware of a single instance where "the most vulnerable" (especially economically deprived civilians who are often also women or children) have not died as collateral damage.

    You can surely make the argument that all war is evil, but that doesn't mean that all evils are the same or even equivalent. And genocide is a specific term for a specific evil.

    Churchill did some pretty evil things in WW1 and WW2, but he surely was nothing like Hitler.

    OK, making an argument for a powerplant being an illegitimate target is completely different from making the argument that targeting power plants is genocide though.

    Sure, "sanctions" are really economic warfare, and like all ways of waging war war have an irreduceable element of brutality and messiness to them (at least if they are going to be effective in hampering the target's freedom of action). But 1) this is still not genocide, though you could certainly use "sanctions" as a tool of genocide - you can use machetes as tools of genocide too, that doesn't make all people who use machetes genocidal, most machetes are used against plants odds are if you ever see a man with a machete he will be using it to harvest sugarcane - 2) in the situation that Bush I and Clinton faced, would an invasion and conquest of Iraq been allowed to succeed? I rather suspect that Congress would have other priorities (and Iraq wouldn't be a top priority for either president even if they'd decided to invade and oust Saddam).

    fasquardon
     
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  12. ivanotter Well-Known Member

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    Evaluating Eagle Claw as something thought up by amateurs is based on a few things.

    It is not a matter of sand in rotors etc. The entire planning comes across as ''Hollywood'

    - A CIA agent was tasked with driving several trucks out in the desert to pick up parts of the team
    - the trucks were supposed to 'bluff' their way into Teheran by a few Farsi speakers
    - Helicopters would land at the stadium and transport everyone to the nearby air base (which conveniently would have been invested by another team
    - Then the C-141's would arrive and everyone would be flown out

    Not even Spielberg would have been able to come up with this! Even I can see a few 'challenges' in this scenario.

    That is why it can look like a 'conspiracy' to have Carter look like a fool for authorizing something like this.

    Attempt number 2 - planning only - was to involve a full battalion, 50 jet fighters, a 12-ton bulldozer and a lot more. A bit more ambitious, really.

    Comparing this to the Bin-Laden operation is not even possible.

    The Bin-Laden operation was executed with minimal fuss and (despite the helicopter crash) a great success.

    Imagine if the Bin-Laden operation had been planned by Carter's people? The mind buckles. They might have involved the space shuttle as well!
     
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  13. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    Well, . . .

    And when you're talking about that kind of numbers, in this case half a million, the question, Are we committing genocide?, is a very reasonable question, and whether or not that they are children. Although it's certainly not helped by the fact that they are children.

    Now, if you read through the article, the Iraqi leadership (that is, Saddam Hussein, the guy we say is a moral monster) at least twice rejected offers of oil for food. That makes it a lot trickier, but it doesn't entirely let us off the hook.
     
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  14. Ricardolindo Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for replying again after almost 2 months but it should be noted that Carter's term was so bad that, the liberal, Eugene McCarthy endorsed, the conservative, Ronald Reagan in 1980.
     
  15. NHBL Long Time Member, CMII

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    I'm bookmarking this thread, since there's a lot about Carter here that has already proven very useful--doing some research based on what's been said here. (I've just turned over to 1978 in my timeline, "The Masquerade," so Carter is a key figure.
     
  16. Mysterion Alterninaut

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    Carter was a good man who was not a great President. He would, IMO, have made a really fantastic Secretary of State for another President though.
     
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  17. TripleCitizen Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn’t he be better suited as the Secretary of the USDA?
     
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  18. Richard V Well-Known Member

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    Carter’s biggest mistake was running for President in 1976. Post Vietnam the economy was ruined, the country polarized, the military hollowed out, and American influence challenged by fourth rate powers. It was a poisoned chalice.

    A Democrat presidency is doomed to be a placeholder for a populist Republican. At best he could get a second term but the outcome will not be very different. Just ask Obama.
     
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  19. Electric Monk Does Your Believing For You

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    Even McGovern voted Ford, Carter was a despised weasel by his own party before he set foot in office.

    You can take the Presidential nomination if you’re lucky and good, you can’t make the party like you if you spend your time merrily burning bridges without any thought to the consequences.