Saturday, December 12, 2009

Carter List

For what it's worth, and contrarily to what is often said, the Carter administration started cutbacks in social programs, the deregulation of business (esp. the airlines and telecommunications industries), and military budget hikes during the late 70's. Carter also appointed Volcker at the Federal reserve where he intentionnally provoked the recession that caused the highest unemployment since the great depression (up to >10% in 82). In fact, a great many Carter political appointments were, like Volcker, on the trilateral commission which was the first planning committee by multinational corporations.

Jimmy Carter got the ball rolling. One of the first tenants of neoliberalism is deregulation. He first deregulated the airline industry. That may have been a good thing, but my point is he set it in motion which made Reagan's deregulation easier because he could point to Carter.

The president did have success with his own program to deregulate the airline, trucking, and railroad industries,

The deregulation movement started when Carter signed the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. Later, as it spread from energy to trucking to telecommunications to financial services, the rallying cry was the same: Less regulation, more growth.

But the implosion in financial services — until recently seen as the shining example of U.S-style free market capitalism — is the definitive sign that deregulation has lost its allure. In areas ranging from food safety to airlines to trade, increased government supervision is becoming acceptable to business as well as to voters.

Take oil deregulation,
First, he announced gradual decontrol of oil prices and the phasing out of the
government allocation system
Full decontrol was scheduled to take place in the spring of 1981,
Reagan upon taking office lifted controls almost immediately, thus
receiving credit for what was mostly the action of his predecessor
It was the Carter Administration that also pushed the antitrust suit against AT&T,
The Carter Administration also gave greater power to the Federal Reserve System through the Depository Institutions and Monetary Control Act (DIDMCA) of 1980 which otherwise was a necessary first step in ending the harmful New Deal restrictions placed upon financial institutions.
However, Carter actually made it easier for Reagan to take the actions he did.

“The break came in 1979 when they deregulated natural gas. Our last national stand was for the Consumer Protection Agency
We lost it because Carter
did not lift a finger compared to what he did to deregulate natural gas
Tony Coelho taught the Democrats, starting in 1979 when he was head of the House Campaign Finance Committee, to start raising big-time money from corporate interests

Carter also appointed Volcker. Neoliberalism has to run on a monetarist economic policy. This shifted the policy from creating jobs to containing inflation.

He also provoked the Soviets into invading Afghanistan. Zbiegnew has bragged that this was the intent and the result.

Carter also enunciated the Carter Doctrine. This was the first step toward the Bush Doctrine.

Recall when Carter said America would not stand idly by while Nicaragua tried to set forth on a different path after the Sandinistas threw out Anastasio Somoza? Carter told them they had to retain the National Guard, which had been Somoza's elite band of US-trained psychopathic killers. The Sandinistas said no. So Carter ordered the CIA to bring up the officers and torturers running the Argentine death squads to train a force of Nicaraguan exiles in Honduras scheduled for terror missions across the border. They called them the contras.
El Salvador? In October 1979, a coup by reformist officers overthrew the repressive Romero dictatorship and pledged reforms, including land reform. But within weeks, it became clear that the reformers among the new rulers had been outmaneuvered, so they resigned en masse as the real leaders stepped up frightful repression in the countryside, killing close to 1,000 people a month. Some 10,000 were killed in 1980, most of them peasants and workers.

The Carter Administration sent millions in aid and riot equipment to the Salvadoran military, dispatched US trainers and trained Salvadoran officers in Panama. The Administration cast the conflict as one between the "extremes" of left and right, with the junta trying to steer a "moderate" course. In fact, 90 percent of the killings were carried out by the army or paramilitary death squads acting under army or government supervision. The Carter Administration continued to push this line throughout 1980, not suspending aid until the killing of four Maryknoll nuns in December. It's all coming back to you? Yes, it was the Carter Administration that restored the Khmer Rouge to military health after the Vietnamese kicked them out of power in Cambodia.
Carter presided over the dispatch of arms to Indonesia, fresh from its invasion of East Timor,
sponsoring genocide in Asia.
he started the covert CIA operation in Afghanistan, rallying the mujahedeen to fight the Soviets.
Soon the CIA would bring the Saudis, and Saudi cash, to Afghanistan, not least among them Osama bin Laden.
As Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, who's just finished a history of the first years of the Nicaraguan revolution,
"'Benign' Carter was the source of so many bad things, including the rise of the Christian right (his endless public pronouncements of his faith and his sister's leadership in the actual Christian right gave the movement a new legitimacy), the erosion of the UN, the destruction of the New International Economic (and Information) Order, etc. And no one seems to recall that he led a campaign to free Lieutenant Calley [of My Lai infamy] when Carter was governor of Georgia."
That whole initiative for readjustment of the economic relationship of North and South came to nought. We headed into the Reagan 1980s, when the deregulatory philosophy embraced by Carter came to full flower,

At home, too, the post-Nixon/Ford years were times of hope. Carter presided over their demolition. Neoliberalism won the day on his watch.

The Afghan mess, now about to get messier, was set up in the late 1970s, when the Carter administration supervised the overthrow of Afghanistan’s one shining moment of hope, the left reformist governments that took power in 1978. That’s when Osama was ushered onto the stage of history, as one of the CIA’s men. Israel, the Palestinians? Rewind the decades back to Truman and beyond.

by Peter Dale Scott
Those of us convinced that a war machine prevails in Washington were not surprised. The situation was similar to the disappointment experienced with Jimmy Carter: Carter was elected in 1976 with a promise to cut the defense budget. Instead, he initiated both an expansion of the defense budget and also an expansion of U.S. influence into the Indian Ocean

As I wrote in The Road to 9/11, after Carter’s election

It appeared on the surface that with the blessing of David Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission, the traditional U.S. search for unilateral domination would be abandoned. But…the 1970s were a period in which a major "intellectual counterrevolution" was mustered, to mobilize conservative opinion with the aid of vast amounts of money…. By the time SALT II was signed in 1979, Carter had consented to significant new weapons programs and arms budget increases (reversing his campaign pledge)

I noted further that the complex strategy for reversing Carter’s promises was revived for a new mobilization in the 1990s during the Clinton presidency, in which a commission headed by Donald Rumsfeld was prominent ----


In 1979, in one of the more absurd episodes of the Cold War, a minor upsurge in fighting along the former border led to a major US military mobilization in response to what the Jimmy Carter administration called a Soviet-sponsored act of international aggression. In March of that year, South Yemeni forces, in support of some North Yemeni guerrillas, shelled some North Yemeni government positions.

In response, Carter ordered the aircraft carrier Constellation and a flotilla of warships to the Arabian Sea as a show of force. Bypassing approval of the US Congress, the administration rushed nearly $499 million worth of modern weaponry to North Yemen, including 64 M-60 tanks, 70 armored personnel carriers, and 12 F-5E aircraft. Included were an estimated 400 American advisers and 80 Taiwanese pilots for the sophisticated warplanes that no Yemeni knew how to fly.

This gross overreaction to a local conflict led to widespread international criticism. Indeed, the Soviets were apparently unaware of the border clashes and the fighting died down within a couple of weeks. Development groups were particularly critical of this US attempt to send such expensive high-tech weaponry to a country with some of the highest rates of infant mortality, chronic disease and illiteracy in the world.

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