Beyond the White House: Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope
NY: Simon & Schuster, 2007, 272pp. pb.
by Jimmy Carter
This is President Carter's new book that the White House noted in a recent blast from Carter about Cheney.(1)
The Jimmy Carter Center lost 14 people(2) in connection to Carter's previous book on Palestine.(3) It was too even-handed for the tastes of Zionists. The controversy helped sell Carter's book and built his reputation slightly in the Arab world.
Beyond the White House builds the image of the Carter Center, in connection to negotiating peace, monitoring elections and combating disease in the Third World. It appears that the Carter Center is much more important than the "Habitat for Humanity" in Carter's life.
Carter does much obligatory cheerleading for multinational corporations. The Carter Center depends on them for donations, especially in the medical program. Although natives play the hands-on role in his medical programs, it still appears from reading the book that Carter Center programs are more effective than programs inside Third World countries. He complains at one point that he could not get $2 million to run a program from the Nigerian government. On the other hand, Bill Gates is giving out money that will make the sums of money Carter talked about look like pocket change. Gates is also giving money to the Carter Center.
Here in this book, we learn an answer to a question MIM has long had. We have wondered why the pharmaceutical monopoly capitalists do not force the government to fund health projects in the Third World and thus expand their own profits. In countries where there are sick people but no money for drugs, the pharmaceuticals can still make money if someone somewhere pays. Here we learn that Carter and others undertake solicitation of aggressive charity efforts. Then the companies and wealthy individuals bask in the beneficient light from charity work. With Bill Gates coughing up billions now, perhaps this strategy has had expanding potential.
In terms of the peace treaties, of course it helps to have someone of instant camera-worthiness like Carter, someone who also keeps himself informed on international affairs. From the book, it looks like Carter shows up in intractable conflicts at the end to reach a quick agreement. Many of these agreements appear not to be secret. There are some details of international affairs in this book that MIM has not seen elsewhere.
Carter says that his life at the Carter Center is even more fulfilling than life as president was. He paints a picture where it is possible to continue life as an imperialist after the presidency.
1. http://www.reuters.com/article/wtMostRead/idUSN1026419120071010; http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/14/AR2007101401168.html?hpid=topnews 2. http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/01/11/carter.resignations/index.html