Carter and Obama, lost in the woods

Halfway through the course of my life I found myself in a dark woods. — The Divine Comedy

Jimmy Carter was president of the United States between 1977 and 1981. Exactly halfway through his tenure, starting Feb. 11, 1979, it began to unwind for him when (from Wiki): “guerrillas and rebel troops overwhelmed troops loyal to the Shah [Mohammad Reza Pahlavi] in armed street fighting. Iran voted by national referendum to become an Islamic Republic on April 1, 1979, and to approve a new theocratic constitution whereby [Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomeini became Supreme Leader of the country, in December 1979.”

The parallels between Carter and President Obama have been startling, but the timing of the Egyptian uprising, exactly halfway through Obama’s term and rising on the same date, is, for those who follow historic cycles, striking. From Wiki: “On 11 February, Vice President Omar Suleiman announced that Mubarak had resigned as president and transferred authority to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces following 18 days of protests challenging his nearly 30 years of rule. On February 13, 2011, the Egyptian military, heeding protester demands, dissolved the Egyptian parliament.”

This is bad news for President Obama. The Egyptian uprising, celebrated and egged on by the irresponsible American MSM, is spreading already to danger zones. But it might have been expected. Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama are similar psychological types. They were both brought in as novel distractions to relieve the intensity of the previous historical periods: the tension of the war in Vietnam, which brought America, in Henry Kissinger’s phrasing, almost to the moment of civil war, and for Obama, relief from the accumulated anxiety of the divisive war on Iraq. Carter and Obama were/are presidents the people in the outside world who didn't like America could like. They were/are presidents Americans who didn’t like America’s role in the external world would like.

But that would only go so far. Two years, apparently. The same external forces, like the radical Islamists who came to power in Iran during the Carter administration, would recognize when it was halfway over that they had a window of opportunity. The cat was sleeping. It was time to act. They had two years to make progress. No more Mr. Nice Guy.

Visit Mr. Quigley's website at http://quigleyblog.blogspot.com.

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