- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 27, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

So former President Jimmy Carter can’t stand John Bolton as national security adviser — and that’s supposed to be a concern?

Listen up. Any member of government who deals with foreign policy who receives a thumbs-down from Carter is golden.

It’s only when Carter approves that we should worry.

Carter, of “free the Americans, you dang Iranians, or I’ll cry” fame, is not exactly the — shall we way — strongest on foreign affairs. Just look at the Iran hostage crisis. For 444 days, 52 U.S. citizens sat holed up in Iranian capture — 444 days of Carter pleading, diplomacy-walking, sanctioning, and pretty much pretending he was doing something behind the scenes that would actually save these poor Americans from their fate. In all fairness, Carter did launch a rescue mission — Operation Eagle Claw — but it resulted in the deaths of eight U.S. military members, after two planes collided. Another check in the “weak” column for Carter’s administration.

The hostages were finally freed on Jan. 20, 1981, at the very same time Ronald Reagan was being sworn into the presidency. They were actually loaded on a plane in Tehran as Reagan was delivering his inaugural remarks.

Why?

‘Cause the Iranians knew Reagan wasn’t going to play the same negotiating game as Carter.

That’s the difference between weak leadership and strong leadership.

And now Carter says this about Bolton, a no-nonsense patriot who doesn’t mind taking on the U.N. interests and anti-American foreign powers — same as his boss, President Donald Trump?

“Maybe one of the worst mistakes that President Trump has made since he’s been in office is his employment of John Bolton, who has been advocating a war with North Korea for a long time and even an attack on Iran, and who has been one of the leading figures on orchestrating the decision to invade Iraq,” Cartersaid to USA Today, also characterizing Bolton as a “warlike figure” and a “disaster for our country.”

Hmm. Everybody’s entitled to an opinion.

But here’s the thing: Anyone tied to foreign policy who is criticized by Carter ought to smile a bit broader.

It’s basically a badge of honor because it shows they’re probably on the path to success.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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