WHY NOT THE WORST? – AT 9:38 P.M. ET: When he ran for president, Jimmy Carter published a book about himself called "Why Not the Best?" It was an omen of the ego to come. If every wife or husband could be loved to the degree that Jimmy Carter loves himself, there'd be no divorce courts.
Now we find that Carter is back in action again, inserting himself into the prickly relationship between the U.S. and North Korea. As usual, it's hard to know which side has Carter's sympathy:
WASHINGTON, March 23 (Yonhap) -- Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter will likely visit North Korea next month to broker rapprochement in U.S. relations with the reclusive communist state, which have chilled over the North's nuclear and missile programs and other provocations, a diplomatic source here said Wednesday.
"It is highly likely that ex-President Carter will travel to North Korea in about a month as the North Korean mission in New York has been arranging for the visit," said the source, who requested anonymity.
Carter is expected to be accompanied by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other prominent figures who are ready to be middlemen in U.S. relations with the impoverished but nuclear-armed state.
Carter visited Pyongyang in August and brought back Aijalon Gomes of Boston, who had been sentenced to eight years in a labor camp and fined about US$700,000 for illegally entering North Korea months earlier.
Carter was expected to play a role in mending U.S. relations with the North at the time, but he could not meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, who had traveled to China for a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao. Kim made the trip in an apparent attempt to seek Chinese support for the unprecedented third-generation power transition to his youngest son.
There is nothing in Carter's record to recommend him. We are still paying for his administration's role in bringing down the shah of Iran and replacing him with hate-filled cleric.
Carter's presence as even an unofficial representative of the United States is an embarrassment, especially as our current president seems to work hard to place himself in the Carter tradition.
March 23, 2011