Everything we thought we knew was wrong, Sis.
[Shaking head sadly.]
Everything. We. Knew. Was. Wrong:
One would hope that the son of one of the Iranian hostages, writer of the May 22 Letter of the Day, might have a little clearer view of former President Jimmy Carter. He mentions the Panama Canal, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iran Embassy hostage crisis as examples of that administration's failures.
***WARNING - HACKNEYED AFFECTATION IMMINENT***
Hmmm, let's see now. As far as I am aware, the biggest issue currently facing the canal operators is how to design and finance their enlargement. Fortunately, Panama will have the opportunity to chase those funds on the world's banking markets, rather than relying on the American taxpayers to carry the bill. So I guess the "We built it, we own it" crowd had that one completely wrong.
Next, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan is routinely referred to as that former nation's "Vietnam." Nearly every historian I've ever read cites the colossal folly and expense of that adventure as one of the primary reasons for the Soviet Union's weakening and ultimate implosion. Would the letter writer have preferred that President Carter declared war and tried to fight the Russian army on its very border? Perhaps Carter "watched as the Soviets invaded," because he knew that some problems can't be solved by ordering paper armies to march across maps.
Finally, and the writer should appreciate this, all 66 original hostages were returned home, safe and alive, following their ordeal. Yes, it was a miserable situation for the entire country. But in the end, the hostages and their families were reunited and were able to continue on with their lives. This is a luxury that will not be available to the thousands of lost and ruined lives as a result of the current president's reckless use of force.
CHRIS BONERSMITH, MINNETONKA
And let's not forget Carter's genius energy conservation programs. Like the price controls on gasoline? Inspired! As I recall, hardly anyone could buy gas!
And let's not forget how Carter, at least temporarily, beat back America's notorious culture of greed. With runaway inflation, and bargain mortgage rates starting at 15%, nobody could afford to buy stuff.
And then there was the aforementioned masterful handling of the Shah's ouster in Iran. We haven't had any problems from that part of the world since!
I feel like such a tool! I must make amends for my wrongheaded judgement on the best president since Lincoln - nay - Washington. I shall make a glorious new header to honor the heroic man that not only made America the greatest place on earth, but also faced down a psychotic rabbit and lived to tell the tale.