In an interview posted Wednesday, former President Jimmy Carter said, “We waited too long,” referring to fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and asserted President Obama is hard to figure out. The 39th President also inferred that Republicans in the south are racist.
After six years of observation, President Carter told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Tuesday that it “has been hard to figure out what exactly [President Obama’s] policy is.”
“Well you know President Obama, it’s been hard to figure out exactly what his policy is. It changes from time to time. And I’ve not been there, I haven’t been inside the councils, I don’t have secret intelligence and that sort of thing. But I noticed that both of his secretaries of defense, after they got out of office, have been very critical of the lack of positive action on the part of the President.
“He’s been delayed, sometimes he draws red lines on the sand… and when the time comes he doesn’t go through with it. And I really object to the killing people, particularly Americans overseas that haven’t been brought to justice and put through a trial. To me that violates our Constitution and a basic principle for human rights.
“Well we killed four Americans overseas with American drones. I just don’t think that’s the proper thing to do.”
He also was critical of the Obama Administration’s approach to fighting ISIS:
“We waited too long. We let the Islamic State build up its money, capability and strength and weapons while it was still in Syria.
“Then when [ISIS] moved into Iraq, the Sunni Muslims didn’t object to their being there and about a third of the territory in Iraq was abandoned.”
Carter, who served one term as President between 1977-1980, told the Star-Telegram that “a lot” of the criticism President Obama receives is based on racism, and even took a jab at his successor, President Ronald Reagan.
“I think a lot of it is based on racism. As you know, Lyndon Johnson espoused and promoted the civil rights legislation, the Voting Rights Act, which I think was a wonderful thing.
“The south under Nixon and others pretty well began to emphasize the race issue, and that’s what’s made the Republicans so strong in the south, is aversion to being having all the races equally treated. I think that’s the case in Texas and all the way across the south to some degree.
“I don’t mean to insinuate that every Republican is a racist, I don’t mean that at all, but it’s kind of the underlying thing when you talk about you know, welfare queens, and that sort of thing. It’s understood.
“And I remember that when President Reagan kicked off his Presidential [campaign] he went to Philadelphia, Mississippi. That’s a little tiny county seat in Mississippi where the three black boys were buried in the dam, you may remember. That’s where he went to kick off his campaign. So it sent kind of a quiet signal and then he could say, ‘Well I’m not a racist but you get the message.’ So I think some of that still goes on.”
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