Carter Rips Cheney's 'Abysmal' Iraq Record

Carter: First of all, to increase our amount of what we call foreign aid. We're at the bottom of all the developed countries in giving to other people. … And then, try to arrange a system whereby the funds don't go to intermediate contractors, who are American corporations that have now been formed in the last 20 years or so. And I would say the third thing is to have confidence in the folks in Africa that are suffering. …

Stephanopoulos: But you've also had to work with governments that have a reputation for corruption...

Carter: Absolutely.

Stephanopoulos: ... and waste, for inefficiency, for bureaucracy.

Carter: Yeah.

Stephanopoulos: What's the biggest challenge you face with these African governments?

Carter: If -- first of all, we know them. You know, we don't just understand the character of a government by hearsay or by reading about it in the news media And to the extent that they are corrupt, we just completely bypass them and take our services directly to the villages where they're suffering. For instance, last year, we treated almost 12 million people with a free medicine that Merck and Company gives us. We don't send it through the government, because those pills are worth a fortune for somebody that has river blindness. They would rather have that little pill than a diamond the same size, if it keeps them from going blind. So we make sure that those pills get right in the mouth of people who are in an area that's endemic to river blindness.

Stephanopoulos: This is probably the most unassailable work you do. You've also been involved in some controversy lately. I see you're smiling. Your latest book has probably gotten you the most intense personal criticism of your career.

Carter: Yes, of my life.

Stephanopoulos: Of your life?

Carter: Yes. Well, you know, I've never before been called a liar or an...

Stephanopoulos: Anti-Semite.

Carter: ... an anti-Semite or a plagiarist or a thief or a coward. These personal epithets against me have been a surprise.

Stephanopoulos: Do you regret writing the book?

Carter: No. The book is necessary. I think this book will make a major -- a little step, I don't want to exaggerate -- toward, first of all, precipitating a debate or an open discussion about what's going on in Palestine. Secondly, I hope it will be a little factor in renewing the abandoned effort to bring about a peace agreement between Israel and its neighbors. …

Stephanopoulos: How do you respond to your critics who say that the book demonstrates that you've hardened your heart to Israel ?

Carter: First of all, my honest opinion is that a strong majority of Israelis agree with me. Secondly, I believe a clear majority of American Jewish citizens agree with me that Israel must exchange Palestinian land for peace. If I have had one burning desire in my heart and mind for the last 30 years, I would put peace for Israel at the top of the list.… And commensurate with that has to be justice and human rights for the Palestinians next door. And I believe this book accurately describes what's going on in the West Bank and I believe it will contribute to accomplishing that goal. …

Stephanopoulos: I know one part of the book you do regret is one sentence where you seem to say that the Palestinians should give up violence only when...

Carter: I didn't use "only," but I did say "when."

Stephanopoulos: "When," yes.

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