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Avoiding Armageddon
From the Experts

Voices from - Silent Killers: Poisons and Plagues

Voices from - Nuclear Nightmares: Losing Control
President Jimmy Carter
Joe Cirincione
President Bill Clinton
Dr. Khidhir Hamza
Former Senator Sam Nunn

Voices from - The New Face of Terror: Upping the Ante

Voices from - Confronting Terrorism: Turning the Tide

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From the Experts WMD: A Primer Companion Book
Voices from "Nuclear Nightmares: Losing Control"

President Jimmy Carter

President Jimmy Carter was the 39th president of the United States, serving from 1977-1981. His one term was not considered a political success since President Carter was beset with high inflation, the hostage situation in Iran and rising energy costs. But President Carter has achieved unprecedented recognition - and criticism - for his post-presidency statesmanship. He was awarded the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.

The Carter Center was established in 1982 with the mandate of resolving political conflict and combating disease. The near-total eradication of Guinea Worm Disease is its most successful health effort.

"I think one of the most important things today that's not being done is for the world to be reminded once again of the facts that Brezhnev and I had to face when I was in the White House and he was president of the Soviet Union. That is that [in] an instant, or within 30 minutes, with a misjudgment on either side, or a mistaken assessment of a situation, or an escalation of a conflict, say, in the Middle East, the world could be facing a nuclear holocaust," says President Carter.
"And I think since the Cold War has been ended - there's been a lessening of the urgent reminder of what the world still faces, because the nuclear arsenals are basically still there. And, unfortunately - and I think, tragically - they are still on fairly instant alert. So, I think that's the first thing - is for the world just to be reminded we still  face the possibility of a nuclear holocaust if we don't do something to dismantle, or destroy, or to drastically reduce the arsenals that already exist."
"One of the things I've learned, I would say perhaps more since I left the White House than while I was President, is how attitudes of ordinary citizens can be welded or shaped by leaders, with their rhetoric. You can inspire a nation to want to go to war, to despise another people by the persuasive words of a respected leader, " says President Carter.

"But the thing that gives me hope for the future - in the Middle East, resolution of that conflict, or on a global basis, or to control nuclear weapons - is that the people of every society really want peace. And they need to be guided by their leaders not to an avenue of hatred and animosity and exacerbating differences that are inevitable - religious, ethnic differences, geographical differences - but how do we assuage another people? How do we understand them and offer them an agreement, or resolution of a potential conflict, where both sides come out winners?"
"So, that commitment to a negotiation, or mediation, or dialogue process to resolve problems, and respect for other people who differ from us, I think, is a potential solution to regional conflicts because one that is regional can very well precipitate in an uncontrollable way a much greater war."

   Read more about "Nuclear Nightmares: Losing Control" in the Episode Gallery.
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