To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the “Arab Spring”


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Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Ruthie Blum, a twice weekly columnist for Israel Hayom (the English website of Sheldon Adelson’s daily Hebrew paper). For two decades she was a senior editor and regular columnist at the Jerusalem Post. She moved to Israel from the United States in 1977 and resides in Jerusalem. She describes herself as a “right-wing bohemian,” a term she invented to distinguish her politics from those of neoconservatives, paleo-conservatives, and libertarians — because she is a bit of all three. She has four children (three boys and a girl), all of whom served in the IDF. She is the author of the new book, To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the “Arab Spring.”

FP: Ruthie Blum, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Let’s begin with what inspired you to write this book.

Blum: Thanks Jamie.

I began researching the book exactly two years ago, shortly after Jimmy Carter published his appalling book, “Peace Not Apartheid.” I was commissioned to write it by David Azrieli, a renowned Canadian-Israeli architect and philanthropist, who had lost his family in the Holocaust, and who had spent his teenage years escaping the Nazis by the skin of his teeth.

Originally, the book was supposed to be a kind of indictment of the Carter presidency. The idea behind it was to show Carter’s responsibility for the fall of the Shah of Iran, the rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini, the mishandling of the American embassy takeover, and hence the current situation in which the mullocracy in Iran is soon to be in possession of nuclear weapons.

Four months into my research, the so-called “Arab Spring” erupted, when a Tunisian street vendor set himself on fire. Suddenly, everything I had been reading and discussing with my interviewees for the book came to life again — only this time it was President Obama at the helm.

FP: Why were you pessimistic about the “Arab Spring” from the very beginning?

Blum: Partly because I actually live in the Middle East, and don’t tend to translate the statements and actions of Arabs into some watered-down version of America-speak. When Tunisians, Egyptians, Lybians and Syrians take to the streets and scream for blood, it doesn’t ring like the desire for freedom and democracy. Rather, it is an expression of rage at being “the abused,” as opposed to “the abuser.” It is not an expression of a desire to end a reign of terror; it is an expression of the desire to be the ones at the helm of that terror.

FP: Why is Jimmy Carter still relevant today?

Blum: As an ex-president, Carter is no more relevant than any elder statesman who once held a high office. But his legacy in the Democratic Party is going strong. It is a form of knee-jerk radicalism veiled in phony “human rights” terminology.

FP: You hold Obama responsible for the rise of radical Islam that is becoming more and more evident in the Middle East. Tell us why.

Blum: When Obama took office, he made it clear that his first order of business would be to reach out to the Muslim world, to prove that America was no longer going to be the “sheriff in town.” So he went to Cairo, and made a very groveling speech to an audience filled with members of the Muslim Brotherhood (which is why Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak decided not to attend at the last minute).

Another thing Obama did was to summon the head of NASA and instruct him that his main mission would be to make Muslims feel good about their contributions to science and math. He also abolished the word “terrorism.” But his most blatant act of encouraging radical Islamists was his shameless abandonment of the Iranian counter-revolutionaries, who took to the streets, after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stole the June 2009 election.

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  • mlcblog

    Wonderful. A breath of fresh air.

  • Cuban Refugee

    Ruthie Blum speaks from my heart. Thank you for this excellent interview, and preview of my next book purchase.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    jimmy carter, WORST US PRESIDENT EVER.

    As a spiteful America hater, Jimmy can't forgive the American people for kicking his socialist ass out of the White House.

  • ★FALCON★

    In the liberal mind – poor behavior is rewarded and humanity oppressed. Liberals think giving incentives will change behaviors when in fact it has the opposite effect.

    Liberals are learning challenged.

  • Mike

    Ruthie, we need more courageous people like you to voice the truth and to stand for what you believe. Thank you and God bless America/Israel!

  • MikeWood

    "It also perpetuates a false and dangerous notion that the cultures, ideologies, and religions of others would miraculously change if only countries like the United States and Israel would alter their own behavior. This is nonsense that has been proven, time and again, to have no basis whatsoever in reality." This is really true. This notion really does pervade vast swathes of the left, both secular and religious. It is possibly the most idiotic notion that they hold.

  • ★FALCON★

    Arabs Muslims feel empowered by the lack of worldwide leadership willing to confront them. However, Western Society didn't chew it's way to the top of the food chain to simply let these 8th century neanderthals take over the world and launch the bloodiest chapter in human history.

    A major confrontation is coming.

    • jemaasjr

      >> A major confrontation is coming. – That is what I am thinking. The terror business is really just a side show. With Europe allowing so many Muslim's in and so little integration taking place it would seem only a matter of time before things get crazy. The Arab Spring may turn out to be a bad business for Israel, but I doubt it will effect the rest of the world much. The big blow up, I speculate, will come when things get so crazy in Europe that the populations upchuck the current leadership.

  • Marty

    We'll get to see radical and violent muslims appear in substantial number at the upcoming democratic convention. Good. Perhaps the very visual expression of these genocidal sociopaths will persuade at least some on the fence voters that carter and obama are anti-semites, appeasers, and cowards. In particular, one can resonably hope that Jewish voters in particular will realize that voting for a party allied with creatures who want Israel detroyed and all Jews on the planet slaughtered is decidedly not in their self-interest.

    • Jim_C

      So, when we don't see radical and violent Muslims appear in substantial numbers at the upcoming democratic convention–and we won't–will you come back here, Marty, and say "Geez, Jim C–I was delusionally wrong?" Will you have the character and intellectual honesty to do that?

      • fiddler

        Was Occupy Wall Street a delusion? Were the rapes and murder, defacation, and vandalism a delusion? Were the lack of such with Tea Party rallies a delusion? One thing that people understand now, even if some don't is the main stream media is definately not about information; it is about influence. It is NOT dispassionate not neutral. To somehow believe otherwise is naive in the extreme.

        Why are police gearing up for — a personal appearance of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck? Do you think they are not aware of OWS antics earlier this year, or were we all delusional about that too?

        • Jim_C

          Fiddler, keep up: he was talking about violent radical Muslims, not OWS.

          Why do police gear up for EVERY convention, ever? to keep the peace.

          So, yes, unless we see "substantial numbers of violent and radical Muslims" at the convention, I'm calling "delusional."

          • fiddler

            I'm talking about misinformation in the media. I'll be watching, both now and after more shakes out. I don't trust YOUR media.

  • Soloview

    Did you hear that the DNC is to start with Muslim Jumah prayers ?
    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/dnc-announces-2-h

    It's getting crazier than anyone can imagine.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      DNC is doing an outreach to the Muslim Brotherhood.

      That will look good right before the 9/11 anniversary.

  • Schlomotion

    I wonder who decides that a spate of articles and books shall be reviewed outlining the alleged appeasement strategy of the United States and the UN. I know that these two-bit authors can't crank out these books fast enough for their bosses and commissioners, but the actual instructions/orders to showcase these writings as accredited works of nonfiction is so ham-fisted. It's like watching Larouchians shove a merchandise desk full of wares as it groans and squeaks across a student-union floor.

    Where is the tie-in to the Dinesh D'Souza movie?

    Ms. Blum says "The worse possible attitude that a US president can have is to 'understand' why others hate his country. This conveys the message that they are right to harbor such feelings."

    The worse possible attitude? Leaving that aside for a minute, that this is a book publisher, the glaring phrase is people don't have a right to harbor feelings and need to be reprogrammed with the correct views. That is totalitarian. Worse, it's Stalinist. "Right-Wing" Bohemian my foot. Maybe squatting in a school-less illegal settlement is what satisfies the bohemian part? I don't know.

    • Jim_C

      Not to mention that understanding the enemy has been a time-honored tactic for victory since recorded time–even more so now that the name of the game is intelligence.

    • fiddler

      I know that these two-bit authors can't crank out these books fast enough for their bosses and commissioners

      Oh, I see, it's all about money right. I figured that was one of your first thoughts.

      Barack Obama is like a man without a country who somehow took advantage of bad feelings in America as an opportunist and got elected. Now there are an increasing number of folks who have buyer's remorse. They believed the hype and they were convinced (or rather shamed into believing) that we were a big meanie nation, and so throw the baby out with the bathwater when it came to our values. A shamed person, if shamed enough can be made to jettison rightly-held, even superior views, because feeling guilty, feels so "right". It is this confused state that motivates the unthinking into voting for an inept (however charismatic) "leader".

    • fiddler

      "Where is the tie-in to the Dinesh D'Souza movie?"

      So you can't resist in concluding this is all collusion, right? No independent thinkers here!

      • Schlomotion

        Certainly no independent thinkers. Not when Frontpage is hyping up several Im Tirtzu donors and their spawn, including Mr. Azrieli, Ms. Blum, Mr. Torossian and John Hagee, all of whom seem to misconstrue the words of Theodor Herzl to mean "bulldoze buildings, sell blood diamonds, buy the press."

        Oooh, look at the bill for all that Hasbara:
        http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/magazine/major-isr

        • SCREW SOCIALISM

          It's something you call a couter revolutionary NAKBA.

          Happy Eternal Nakba!

        • SCREW SOCIALISM

          You seem to prefer your buds who hijack planes and fly them into buildings, charge $100 per barrel of oil, buy universities and Eurabian press, stone women to death, behead captives…
          .

    • Ghostwriter

      Jew hatred,thy name is Schlomotion.

  • fiddler

    Barack Obama is like a man without a country who somehow took advantage of bad feelings in America as an opportunist and got elected. Now there are an increasing number of folks who have buyer's remorse. They believed the hype and they were convinced (or rather shamed into believing) that we were a big meanie nation, and so throw the baby out with the bathwater when it came to our values. A shamed person, if shamed enough can be made to jettison rightly-held, even superior views, because feeling guilty, feels so "right". It is this confused state that motivates the unthinking into voting for an inept (however charismatic) "leader".

  • flowerknife_us

    Fundamental change = changing sides.

  • 080

    Let's not forget the theories of Zbigniew Brzezinski. How do we handle terrorism? Well, don't do what George W. Bush proposed: prevention and pre-emption. What you have to do is understand the terrorists and what motivates them. Then you have to do what is necessary to remove their complaints. And what is so terrible about terrorism after all? Didn't we have terror in the sixties in Western Europe and most particularly Ireland? We solved that by diplomacy and bringing both sides together. Same with the Red Brigades in Italy and Germany. So we must do the same thing with Iran. Above all let's not have anything like pre-emption and prevention a la Bush. And so we have a Soviet-Muslim-Chinese break-out across the Middle East and Africa.

    • fiddler

      "Didn't we have terror in the sixties in Western Europe and most particularly Ireland?"

      The question you should ask is: can we really paint with a broad brush and say that all "terrorists" can be understood? Can we really equate people who strap bombs onto themselves and even their children with the IRA, or for heaven's sake Timothy Mc Veigh or Bill Ayers? Really? What motivates a terrorist? What motivated Ayers? Jihad? uh no. Intergenerational hatred of Jews and having "holy" writ that openly supports it? No. Envy? Jealousy? Yes. What comprises hatred? What sustains it and moves it toward justifying murder? Is the guy who shot up the theatre in Aurora the same as a Jihadist? One is crazy you say; and the other? Deceived? Brainwashed? In order to understand someone brainwashed must you become brainwashed yourself? Japan was fanatical and VERY regrettably they had to be humbled. We all wish the lengths we went to were not in place to do that but heaven knows what would have otherwise happened with such people as would commit Hari Keri than to surrender. I think Jihadists are a rare breed of terrorist; they openly embrace death to achieve an end.

  • Ghostwriter

    Great,080. Let's not defend ourselves against terrorists. Let's put them on the couch or try to hold hands with them and sing "Kumbayah." That's what we should do. There are those who do evil things because they want to,080. We should do all we can to stop terror. Using psychobabble against lunatics like Bin Laden isn't going to help us.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mladen.andrijasevic Mladen Andrijasevic

    Avoiding another Hiroshima while Obama keeps supporting the Muslim Brotherhood http://www.madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/avoid