Jimmy Carter: Still on the prowl

By Steve Farrell
web posted January 10, 2000

(Note: Sections of this article rely heavily on documentation provided in "Nicaragua Betrayed," by former President Anastasio Somoza of Nicaragua and Jack Cox, Boston and Los Angeles, Western Islands, 1980)

I had almost grown to admire some qualities about the man, but when senior citizen, former President James Earl Carter showed up in Panama on December 14 to gleefully hand over our vital strategic resource, the Panama Canal, to the leftist Panamanian government, possessing full knowledge that bellicose Red China was hiding in the jungle, it was a grim reminder that even handsome, globetrotting, Bible-thumping senior citizens are capable of committing senseless, dangerous acts against the best interests of their country and the cause of liberty.

Jimmy Carter has always had a knack for this.

One "holy" but foolish cause he championed as President and continues to champion today in Panama is the right to self determination - which shouldn't be a bad thing.

Self determination as traditionally understood - meaning freedom within the law for individuals and complete sovereignty for nations (over their internal affairs) - is a noble cause. It is a solemn recognition that man possesses agency, and that each man is equal in the sight of God to govern that agency both as men and as nations of men.

Defending this cause is a good thing.

But Carter's interpretation of self determination presents a flagrant departure from the traditional model. His version goes like this: If an individual, organization, or nation leans hard to the political left, that person, group, or state, deserves the right to choose. If an individual, organization, or nation leans to the political right, then that person, group, or state does not deserve the right to choose. Or as put into practice by Carter - You good guys on the left get money, arms, positive media bites, and international favor - You bad guys on the right get no money, no arms, but however you do merit villainous media reviews, and harsh international sanctions.

Defending this cause is a bad thing.

And just in case you haven't caught on, this second interpretation of self determination reflects the Marxist model, the establishment model, and the U.N. model, but whichever, donEt call it the American or true model.

Thus when it came to the Panama Canal, the communist government of Omar Torrijos merited the right to self determination; and the United States, the bullying capitalist, colonialist overseer, did not.

However, in this case, few money and defense machinations against the United States, were necessary, just blabber about democracy, about us being an "occupying army" (Communist Agent Alger Hiss started that one), and then throw in the dishonest and illegal use of two different treaties by Carter - one for Panama, which gave the communists everything they wanted - and one for the U.S. Congress, which hid the betrayal of American interests and property to a Communist regime.

Two decades later, in the presence of a new generation of citizens who knew little of this treachery, Carter has finally gotten his way, and shown up to bask in the bleakness of his diabolical victory: Self determination for leftist Panama, but really for Communist China; and betrayal of self determination to the United States, who now has one more major defense concern for the future imposed upon her.

Never mind that the Panama Canal did not belong to Panama but to the United States (for nearly a century). We had purchased the Canal (free and clear) with U.S. money. We had built the Canal with U.S. money (and considerable loss of life). We had maintained the canal with U.S. money. We had paid exorbitant and unnecessary annual fees with U.S. money. We had for a long time bolstered the Panamanian economy via the purchasing power of US soldiers, creating, in essence, a welfare zone in Panama. And never mind, that Communism is the archenemy of true self determination.

Law, loyalty, national defense, common sense - none of that mattered.

Stupidity or Design?

But Carter didn't limit the damage to Panama. His foreign policy plan during his four years in office led to many other similar "victories" for self determination. Thirteen nations fell into the Communist camp under his watch, or as some claim, with his aid.

Was it ineptitude?

Liberal Democrats, it seems, are always forgiven for their sins, no matter how dark. The scripted line on Jimmy Carter, which sounds like truth because it has been trumpeted so many times, was that Jimmy Carter was a good man who got in over his head. This may be so.

But not everyone agrees; especially Former Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza, whose nation, he declared, was betrayed intentionally to communism by Democrat Jimmy Carter.

Anastasio Somoza was known as the United States strongest ally and supporter of Western values in Latin America. During his presidency, for instance, he insured that Nicaragua never cast a vote contrary to that of the United States at the United Nations. One reason: although he was Nicaraguan born, Somoza was American educated. He attended school at St. Leo School in Florida, La Salle Military Academy in Long Island, New York, and finally at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where he graduated in 1946. That's right his entire education was in the United States back in a time when it was still in vogue to unabashedly love the United States, and this describes Somoza's feelings precisely.

Thus, in Somoza's Nicaragua, unlike Communist Daniel Ortega's Nicaragua (who Carter helped into power), free markets, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and free elections were the order of the day. Even as revolutionaries abused these privileges to get at Somoza's throat; Somoza, yet, stood by these American ideals.

Why did he do this? Somoza answers: "Like so many Americans, I have stood on the parade field and saluted Old Glory as she passed. I, too, have thrilled to the sight of the Stars and Stripes as the flag was raised at sunrise, and I have felt the melancholy that can touch a man's heart at the sound of "Taps." You see, I know the true meaning of the United States, and I thank God for that privilege. The United States has been, and is, the hope and inspiration of free men everywhere."

President Somoza, also, permitted his enemies to roam freely because he could just not bring himself to believe that an American President would ever betray a free people and zealous friend of the United States to Communism, especially if that President was presented with clear-cut facts. He felt sure, with the United States standing behind him, that Nicaragua would remain free, and that the United States would wake up, step in, and save the day.

The Carter Administration took the position that Somoza's opposition was from within, and thus the United States should not interfere, for that would hinder the democratic choice of the people the right to self determination.

Somoza countered with mountains of evidence, which provided indisputable proof that his enemy was not an internal one, but an external one. The Soviet Union, Cuba, Panama, Costa Rica, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and the PLO, were all busy providing men, arms, and equipment, which were used to cause strikes, riots, terrorism, military assaults, assassinations, libelous presses, and in general, political chaos in Nicaragua.

The evidence was clear, and it was out there for Mr. Carter to see. Conservatives in the US House of Representatives hosted a display of captured Sandinista weapons, with each weapon sporting the source of their manufacture, and the trail of their sale, all pointing the finger at the outside Communist sources Somoza warned of. But the Democrats, who held majority power, and especially President Jimmy Carter, were not.

What did Jimmy Carter do for our ally as they struggled for survival against outside communists, whom Somoza believed they might have easily defeated even only the US, from the start, had remained neutral on the issue? Here is only part of the list Somoza supplied (directly quoting from his work "Nicaragua Betrayed"):


  • "After one week in office, Mr. Carter cut off all military assistance to Nicaragua
  • "By Executive Decree, Mr. Carter prohibited the sales of military hardware to Nicaragua.
  • "Due to U.S. pressure, an Israeli ship destined for Nicaragua, and loaded with lifesaving arms and ammunition, was forced to return to Israel.
  • "Mr. Carter successfully closed all markets where Nicaragua could purchase arms and ammunition."


  • "Mr. Carter's representative on the International Monetary Fund twice blocked badly needed standby credit for Nicaragua.
  • "When financing for Nicaragua's hydroelectric dam project was obtained through other nations, President Carter pressured those nations to cancel these financing arrangements.
  • "When dollars were badly needed, Mr. Carter successfully pressured all shipping companies to boycott Nicaragua so that the coffee crop could not be exported.
  • "Under orders from the White House, the U.S. Department of Agriculture arbitrarily gave instruction to beef inspectors to shut down Nicaragua beef exports to the United States.
  • "The U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua called and advised businessmen of the opposition political party to transfer their dollars from Nicaragua to the United states. this was done so as to liquidate the dollar supply in Nicaragua and, thus, dollars would not be available to purchase arms and ammunition."

International Pressure

  • "The Carter's appointed U.S. ambassador to Nicaragua was advised to distance himself from Somoza, and promptly cozied up with the communist Sandinistas.
  • "Under the guise of the Human Rights Commission, public support was given to the Sandinista movement, while deprecating the democratic government of Nicaragua.
  • "The United States was successful in negating all treaties and mutual defense pacts which would have saved Nicaragua from a Marxist take-over."

To Somoza's list, must be added, President Carter's IRS Decree that donations to the freedom fighters in Nicaragua were not tax deductible, while donations to the Communist Sandinistas were.

Quite a nice package! This is self determination . . . Carter style. Anastasio Somoza was exiled - prohibited from staying in the United States - put under orders to stay away from Presidential Candidate Ronald Reagan - given what was in essence a death threat that if he dared to contact Reagan, he would promptly be placed into the hands of the Sandinistian Authorities - and was later assassinated; shortly after his book against Jimmy Carter, "Nicaragua Betrayed," was published. Strangely enough, not too many months later, Jack Cox, Somoza's coauthor, and U.S. Congressmen Larry McDonald, who published the book, joined Somoza in death when they were shot out of the skies by "reformer" Mikhail Gorbachev's Soviet Air Force, along with all the other passengers on board Korean Airliner Flight 007. Ironically, these men were on their way to participate as honored guests, in the celebration of South Korea's Independence from Communist North Korea.

Somoza's final testimony against Jimmy Carter, is something to behold and remember.

He wrote: "The betrayal of Nicaragua was not perpetrated out of ignorance, but rather by design. This I know for a fact. One could go down a long list of U.S. allies and ask why Carter turned against these anti-communist nations. Pinochet of Chile could give you an answer - by design. And how about Korea, Taiwan (The Republic of China), Pakistan, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Rhodesia, South Africa, and Argentina? No, a plea of ignorance will not suffice. Carter might have been able to plead ignorance once, but not over and over again.

"One might have asked the late Shah of Iran if he thought Carter's betrayal of Iran was by design or through ignorance. The Shah said it himself, ‘I should never have listened to Jimmy Carter.' Carter's ignorance didn't topple the Shah. In Iran, Carter used the same pretext he used in Nicaragua, and that pretext was ‘human rights.' As I know so well, Mr. Carter can exert tremendous pressure and that pressure was dumped on the Shah of Iran.

Perhaps an Iranian diplomat in Washington said it best, ‘President Carter betrayed the Shah and helped create a vacuum that will soon be filled by Soviet-trained agents and religious fanatics who hate America.'"

Somoza continued: "Upon assuming office in 1976, Mr. Carter set about to dismantle the U.S. military machine. He did this while the Soviet Union went on a war production basis. That course of military action coupled with the betrayal of steadfast anti-communist allies places Mr. Carter in the company of evil worldwide conspiratorial forces. I repeat, the treacherous course chartered by Mr. Carter was not through ignorance, but by design."

And then he concluded:

"The United States has been, and is, the hope and inspiration of free men everywhere. May that torch of liberty, symbolized by the Statue of Liberty, burn ever so brightly -- now and always. For I know for certain, that should that torch be extinguished, the dreams of free men everywhere die at that same moment. Like the people of Nicaragua, for those freedom - loving people there would be no tomorrow; ‘for their tomorrow was yesterday.'

"My country, my people, and I were betrayed. That betrayal does not rest with the American people, but with the President of the United States. My love for the United States and her people is as great as it ever was. My prayer is that those who now lead the United States will not betray humanity. If that happens, God help us all, for then it would be the entire free world, and not just Nicaragua betrayed."

So maybe it makes sense, after all, that Democrat, international "humanitarian," self determination advocate, Jimmy Carter should show up to gloat and finish the dirty deed he began more than two decades ago, handing on a silver platter, with that familiar and disarming smile, the Panama Canal, to a country, Panama, which smuggled Cuban weapons to the Communist Sandinistas in Nicaragua, and who now has leased (for 50 years) the entry ports on both ends of the canal to the avowed enemy of the United States, Communist Red China.

It makes perfect sense, just ask dead President Anastasio Somoza!

Steve Farrell is the former Managing Editor of Right Magazine, and a widely published research writer who serves on the staffs at Liberty Caucus, Enter Stage Right, and Ether Zone. His current projects include his upcoming book, "Democrats In Drag: Another Look at the Republican Party."

Please e-mail your comments and/or media requests to Steve at Cyours76@hotmail.com

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