Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. I was a political columnist for (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the Algemeiner, Daily Caller, Washington Examiner, Independent Journal Review, American Thinker, FrontPage Magazine, Jihad Watch, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, Jewish Press, J-The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California, and many others.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Jimmy Carter's Legacy of Failure

My new column at SFGate:

Jimmy Carter's Legacy of Failure

As expected, this one's stirring up a lot of controversy, and also a lot of agreement.

That's the beauty of it all.


Blogger Tanya said...

Your commentary on Jimmy Carter is biased, one sided and not well researched. Carter and his wife started such wonderful organizations as Habitat for Humanity and The Carter Center! He is a Nobel Peace Prize winner! I suggest you travel to the occupied territories and witness for yourself the economic, social and RACIAL discrimination faced by Palestinian Muslims and Christians on a daily basis, you will realize how true Carter's book is. Throughout the entire book he supports Israel's right to exist, their right to self govern and their so called "democracy." Arabs are semites, they comprise more than half of the semitic population of the world. Educate yourself and stop being an anti-semite yourself. When a population is forced to defend their homes from bulldozers and a wall is being built which causes high malnutrition amongst infants and children, there is something gravely wrong. The Palestinians are the victims here. I want you to be told to evacuate your home fo NO compensation and to move into a refugee camp. This is documented fact. Innocent, peace abiding families are kicked out of their homes on a daily basis for NOTHING, just because Israelis want their land. How is this just or fair?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Ray C. said...

I haven't read Carter's book but I do know that many of the quotations and other facts cited in your SFGate article were taken out of context and/or misquoted. It's ironic that that you would accuse Carter of sloppy attention to detail then do the same yourself. I think it's time to tone down the vitriol and, with an open mind, have a constructive discussion with people you may disagree with on these issues.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Fazeel said...

One of your article's criticisms of Carter's book is that it is 'replete with factual errors'.

But in the final paragraphs, you write "And how quickly Carter's fans forget the malaise that gripped the nation under his presidency.

My own childhood memories of the time consist mostly of long lines snaking around gas stations due to the Arab oil embargo of 1973

I looked up in wikipedia - Jimmy Carter was President from 1977-1981. Is wikipedia wrong or does your article have a factual error ?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Fazeel said...

Wow ! I am not a trained researcher or journalist or writer, but I just found something else very wrong with this article. In your chapter on 'Strengthening Israel's Enemies' you write:

'At some point, one has to come to the logical conclusion that a peace treaty that inspires hatred is not worth the paper it's printed on.'

and your supporting evidence that the peace treaty inspired hatred is a pointer to '' which talks about some Arabic film. The article specifically mentions two reasons the main actor gave for making film : the 'London Convention' and a book by an Egyptian author.

Note... no mention of the Peace treaty.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

Great article on Carter Cinnamon.

"a wall is being built which causes high malnutrition amongst infants and children, "

What a bunch of crap. And btw, Palestinian Christians are victimized by Palestinian Muslims, not Israelis.

What kind of people choose to live in "refugee camps" for 50 years? There isn't even a playground in Jenin but that may be because the Palestinians, who overwhelmingly elected terrorists as their "government" care more about being victims than they care about their children.

They got a state in '48 but they were too stupid to take it. They preferred British colonialism. What about reparations for the Jews who were forced to leave Arab countries?

What did giving up Gaza do for Israel? Greenhouses which could have made a living for those "poor Palestinians" were destroyed because they'd rather kill Jews than work and build something for their children. What kind of people are on welfare for 50 years?

Carter isn't concerned about the Muslim lobby in America. Say one word about Muslims and CAIR is ready to sue. But then they're not Jews so it's a whole different "lobby." It's a great Catch 22. If Jews speak up they're part of AIPAC

Carter is a despicable man and the worst president in history.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 1:20:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hack is right. and a johnny come lately one at that; your chosen "style" has been beaten to death by so many, frankly I can't see why you'd choose it. Or why the Chron would publish it. I won't be reading another of your rants.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 1:23:00 PM  
Blogger Cinnamon said...

Okay, Fazeel, I'll concede that my "1973 Arab embargo" reference was incorrect. I should have referenced Carter's embargo on Iranian oil in 1979, which set off the second oil crisis of the 1970's (I experienced both of them). The column has been corrected accordingly.

But as for your other "correction," no go. I used a link about a popular Egyptian TV show based on the forgery "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" to demonstrate the level of anti-Israel/Jewish sentiment in Egypt today. There are many more examples via this Daniel Pipes link included in the same paragraph:

The point is, that's what "peace treaties" have brought Israel. More hatred.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 1:36:00 PM  
Blogger Freddy said...

An article that accuses Jimmy Carter's book of having factual errors while itself having abundant factual errors and misrepresentations is, at best, hypocritical.

But then that's what conservatives do, don't they?

Just so you know, it was NIXON's (one of your buddies) policies towards the Yom Kippur war that triggered Saud King Faisal (a Bush family buddy) to reach a secret accord with other Arab nations to attempt to HARM western economies with the "oil weapon". It happened in 1973. Jimmy Carter was governor of Georgia, and certainly had little influence or impact on this event.

So while you write about Jimmy Carter being unable to distinguish between allies and enemies, think about Bush's collusion and coordination with the Sauds, who not only have links to sponsorship of terrorism, but were the instigators of this oil embargo of 1973.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 1:37:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

If you want the real truth about how Zionist control Israel I suggestyou read Norman G. Finkelstein's book:

Beyond Chutzpah: On the misuse of anti-Semitism and the abuse of history (University of California Press, August 2005).

Dr. Finkelstein's parents survived the concentration camps, he is a Jew, and he is NOT a Zionist. jewish

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 1:50:00 PM  
Blogger FrankLee said...

Your bias is showing.

You state:
"Benjamin Netanyahu, Ariel Sharon or now Ehud Olmert (who's practically falling all over himself to give away Israeli land)"

It's not Israeli land it's occupied Palestinian land. They're not giving away anything. They're giving it back.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 2:09:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Great article in SFGate! I'm the only person I know who had the clarity of mind to vote for Ford in '76. I was a long-haired hippy freak musician in those days, but also a student studying economics and politics. A little education goes a long way. One of my happiest memories is standing on a side street near the capital in downtown Sacramento to see Jerry Brown introduce Jimmy Carter during a campaign stop and then saluting them proudly with a middle-finger salute while making eye contact with both of them. Wish I had the video! I also wish my fellow American's were a lot smarter. And that applies equally to "both sides of the aisle"!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 2:55:00 PM  
Blogger Swami said...

You are right, Frank Lee, it's Palestinian Land, and it has been that way Arabs won it in bloody conquest, unfair and square. And the hundreds of thousands of Jews who were thrown out of Arab nations in the 40's and 50's? Serves them for trying to be an ethnic minority in land ruled by Muslims. How dare they! And Tanya, let's meet in one of the many churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia, and discuss how bigoted and racist the Jews are. For fun, why don't you prominently wear a non-Muslim holy symbol of some kind? I'm sure the tolerant and open minded Arabs would grasp the irony and humor!

There is nothing more evocative of dark laughter than a Muslim declaring that Israelis are bigoted, when their own "Holy Land" does not even allow one to exist as a non-Muslim. If the Jews had a fraction of the sheer racist intolerance of the Muslims, there wouldn't be a single Mosque within sight of Jerusalem. What kind of scum actually think it is acceptable to prohibit people from entering an entire nation based on their religion, despite that religion having historically existed in that land longer than the current cult has ruled? Such people truly deserve no land.

So, Frank, here's a question for you: When do the Arabs start talking about giving back Jewish and Christian land? And until then, who the hell cares about what their own land demands are? What, those claims are too old? Well pardon me, but when is the expiration date again? Isn't it the Arabs always saying "never"? How long must Israel hold the territory before it is as legitimate as the Arab occupation of Berber, Coptic, and Jewish North Africa? When do the Jews of Arabia get their lands in Medina and Mecca back? How about Yemen?

And the idea that a wall causes food shortages. What's the matter, all the good smuggling tunnels used up for rockets and bombs? All the money gone for to the Mercedes and BMW dealers and none left for falafel? Or are you whining that wall makes it too hard to get a clear shot at those rotten Jews on the other side?


Wednesday, December 13, 2006 3:03:00 PM  
Blogger accountablevta said...

This type of neo-con talk places all the blame to Carter, and by extension Clinton too.

So how effective are the rest of the neo-con policies? No any better.

I would just like to ask. What is your alterate vision for the Arabs? What would you want them to live and believe? You obviously showed that you don't care for the Arab neighbors, then how can you expect respect from the Arabs in return?

Neo-con ideas that encourage sectarian division don't deserve a place in this world.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 3:42:00 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

Get the popcorn...
KHAN YUNIS, Gaza Strip (AFP) - A prominent member of the Palestinian ruling movement Hamas was gunned down in the Gaza Strip, stoking internecine tensions ahead of an eagerly awaited address by president Mahmud Abbas on how to end a spiraling political crisis.

It's the Jews fault.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 3:58:00 PM  
Blogger diurnalist said...

"What is your alterate vision for the Arabs? What would you want them to live and believe?"

Let's see, how about they concern themselves with liberating their own oppressed masses from despotic governments. True equality for women. Freedom of religion. Stop killing homosexuals. No more "honor" killings. Stop teaching hatred of Jews and Christians to their children.

That would be a good start.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 4:08:00 PM  
Blogger racist country said...

Jimmy Carter hits the nail on the head, big time, just as former Cong. Paul Findley did in the same fashion as he was drummed out of Congress after more than 10 terms.

Isreal is, bar none, THE most racist country I've ever visited or lived in (out of 30 countries, 10 in the Middle East). But we're supposed to look the other way as they slaughter men, women and children in the name of 'protection.' The iiof (israeli illegal occupation force), one of whose members in the early 1990's was our democratic ballerina and "you can run for congress, and you can't" rahm emanuel.

Crissakes, how asleep can Americans be? It's one thing to not know both political parties cater to aipic and all things israel, or else, but it's another to have a former President called an anti-semite (forget not that Arabs are semites, but Ashkenazi Jews are NOT, and they make up the majority of israel's population).

Wake up, America!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 4:19:00 PM  
Blogger Cyndita said...

Gee, Cin - bigoted much?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 4:32:00 PM  
Blogger Christopher Estep said...

Excellent, article. Remember, Cinnamon, liberals are the tolerant ones. :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 6:04:00 PM  
Blogger Swami said...

Yeah, RC, pull the other one.

Name one Middle Eastern nation other than Israel that has treated its Jewish minority like Human Beings. Name one that has taken in black refugees from Ethiopia and Sudan. Arab citizens of Israel have it much, much better than Jewish citizens of Saudi Arabia, who, you should know, lack some basic Human Rights like breathing.

Why do you think we have no rush of Arab Israelis immigrating into the USA? Hint: When a place on this planet actually does suck, they come here. We have them from Rocketbase Gaza, and the West Bank, but not so many Arabs from Israel. Must not suck.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 6:35:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Last time I checked, Ashkenazi jews were NOT the majority in Israel, but SEFARDI jews (ARABIC-speaking Jews from ARAB and North African countries, as well as Spain).

Get you facts straight before making a fool out of yourself!

(I'm not even commenting on the "racist" slur - you may call them that only in the day the synagogues of Medina (Saudi Arabia), an originally JEWISH town, are rebuilt)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 7:01:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dear Cinnamon:

You know, you journalists plainly have your head where the sun don't shine simply to make a point.

You site that the book has factual problems. What are they?

You make it sound like Carter is soundly allied with dictators. Who believes that?

You site Hayward's "Our Worst Ex-President." Who believes Hayward?

Why would a man of marked intelligence brush up against popular opinion time and again? Because he has a point to make that is worth making. Israel has done irreparable harm in its relationship with Palestinians. Palestinians have done irreparable harm to Israel.

What on earth is wrong with someone saying, "Look the Israeli / Palestinian issue still needs to be a central focus of our attention." …even if it means using a cheesy title on a book?

Lay off President Carter. He is one of the great minds of our time whether YOU think so or not, Cinnamon.

Publish something worthwhile, will you?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 9:34:00 PM  
Blogger Itinerant Bob said...

Cinnamon, You're a benighted, bias idiot. Before you write an article like this.. pack your bags and travel to Palestine. See for yourself. Then review your article and you'll concur with my first sentence.

Thursday, December 14, 2006 2:10:00 AM  
Blogger polytician said...

Cinnamon, thanks for your columns and opinions! They sure to stir up the hornet's nest don't they? As a center-right originally from the Bay Area, I know what you're up against -- KEEP IT UP! If you're ticking this many people off with factual stuff, yo're doing something right!

Thursday, December 14, 2006 8:07:00 AM  
Blogger AMR said...

Why is it that anytime anyone says anything negative about the policies of Israel they are immediately labeled at anti-Semites?

Can we not disagree with a country's policies without this sort of inflammatory rhetoric?

Shame on Ms. Stillwell for toadying to the politically correct police.

Thursday, December 14, 2006 9:34:00 AM  
Blogger ms said...

Are you sure you're not a hack? The article you've constructed radiates partisanism.

"When an author concedes that his chosen title is inaccurate, it calls into question the entire premise of his book." Why is this true? What are the valid logical, reasons this is not another cum hoc ergo propter hoc?

The assumptions your article furthers ride perilously close to the election campaign tactics that enable fewer and fewer voting citizens to understand the issues that really DO face the United States in this modern world. What difference does it make if Jimmy Carter writes a book with the word "Apartheid" in the title? Is he in any position to make political decisions? Hes an EX-President, not the decider.

So Nice work. You've further obfuscated the United States' citizenry by postulating and propagating ridiculous assumptions about everything from US International Relations to critical theory in one hacked story arc. Your article leads it's readers to believe that deprecated presidents' ideals still somehow influence public policy decisions. And worst, you've given tacit approval to the system of careering politics, and their maneuvering around core, important issues.

Thursday, December 14, 2006 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Wil Robinson said...

Isn't a "former liberal turned post-9/11 neo-con" simply a mindless drone that bought into the propaganda?

The only thing more appalling than your flawed and ignorant defense of the ethnically exclusive state of Israel is the fact that SFGate would print it.

You might do well to look at history for your facts instead of relying on other pro-Israeli apologists to back up your statements. Quoting someone else that simply "thinks" the same way is not factual support.

As for the use of the word apartheid - you might want to check into how Ronny Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Bush the father referred to Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress right up until 1990 - as a "terrorist group."

Where are the defenders of South Africa's apartheid now? In the same place that those who defend Israel's current policies will be - on the wrong side of history.

You need to distinguish between anti-Semitism and anti-colonialism/anti-Zionism. Zionism has little to do with "Jewish" and everything to do with land acquisition, imperialism and nationalism. The most similar group to the Zionists in America (of which call for an ethnically and religiously exclusive Jewish state) are the KKK and the neo-Nazis - those that wish to see America become a "white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant" country.

Intolerance for other religions and furthering the propaganda and hype does nothing for peace - but apparently you're not interested in that, since you so obviously point to the Camp David Accords and the peace deal between Egypt and Israel as a "failure," yet offer no proof for such a statement.

I could go on, but closed minds make poor listeners.

Thursday, December 14, 2006 3:44:00 PM  
Blogger Abe Miller said...

Jimmy Carter's legacy of failure extended from foreign to domestic policy. Unfamiliar with the workings of Washington as well as the international community, Carter tasked two Georgia State University graduate school dropouts to be his liaisons to the Hill. Flush with arrogance and self-importance, they managed to totally alienate the leadership of the Democratic party. Carter's "malaise" speech blamed everyone but himself for the failures in domestic and foreign policy but his unbridled hubris and self-righteousness did him in within both political arenas. Since leaving office, Carter has labored as assidiously as Richard M. Nixon to rehabilitate himself. His first book on the Middle East focusing on the theme of the "Abrahamic" religions was so badly written that many reviewers spent more time crying for a copyeditor than talking about the substance of the book. The latest screed has caused the resignation of the executive director of the Carter Center because of the book's lack of documentation and its plagiarism. Even ex-presidents are not entitled to simply rant. Carter's greatest disaster was his unwillingness to see the rise of radical Islam in Tehran for what it was and his refusal to support a military coup against the Ayatollahs. Most of those who have written to the blog appear intellectually incapable of evaluating the book or the man. If the book says what they think it should say then it is "true." The point of any non-fiction book is whether the thesis is substantiated by the authors' research, not whether we agree with the author. Carter's book falls short, as Mitchell Bard notes in excruciating detail. (Bard's analysis is readily found on the web.) Carter proved himself to be a much better carpenter than a president. Now he fancies himself a scholar. It is testimony to the greed of publishers that his tripe was published. Yes, Carter's work for Habitat for Humanity is praise worthy. One can only hope that he will put down his pen and grab a hammer and nails and do something commensurate with his real talents. Carter will no more escape his failures as a leader than Richard Nixon escaped his. Nixon was smart enough to hire a great ghost writer, while Carter, ever driven my incompetence and hubris, did his own research and writing. It shows.

Friday, December 15, 2006 1:51:00 PM  
Blogger Jack Steiner said...

I haven't read Carter's book but I do know that many of the quotations and other facts cited in your SFGate article were taken out of context and/or misquoted.

If you haven't read the book how do you know that things were taken out of context.

Monday, December 18, 2006 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Ellie said...

Keep up the good fight Cinnamon. You are pissing off the liberals and their intolerant views are being broadcast here for all to see.

When there is real Apartheid in countries all over the world, they choose to focus on Israel? Who do they think they're fooling?

As a side note, we MUST stop using the term anti-Semitism and replace it with Jew-hate. If I hear one more parrot mention that original line that"Arabs are Semites too" I'm going to scream.

Monday, December 18, 2006 6:22:00 PM  

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