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Jimmy Carter on Gulf and Energy

December 09, 1990

In his interview with Nelson, Carter displayed a refreshing understanding of the Kuwait crisis, especially in contrast to the black-and-white bluster that has been coming from the current resident of the White House. Evidently, after much bloodshed and devastation, President Bush plans to deliver the charred remains of Kuwait back to its emir. It is doubtful if anyone considers the emir to be deserving of this misguided generosity.

The population of Kuwait in 1945 was estimated to be 50,000. This means that the last four decades has seen its population explode by more than 2 million, largely due to the immigration of foreign oil workers, making it essentially an international gas tank. Despite the incongruity of the United Nations becoming a member of OPEC, a proposal to turn Kuwait into an international country similar to Antarctica might lead to a compromise with Iraq and would avoid returning it to its former rulers.

JAMES KOHFELD, Santa Monica

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