Jimmy Carter is at it again.

This time he told the Council on Foreign Relations here in New York that he hopes the world's members of the United Nations defeat the United States on an upcoming U.N. proposal.

The issue is the U.N.'s utterly discredited Human Rights Commission, which boasts a sorry history of being either run or overly influenced by notorious human rights abusers like Cuba, Libya and Sudan.

The new U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton wants to clean up that mess, and he recently proposed that the so-called P5 — the permanent members of the Security Council — should form the core of a new Human Rights council.

Seems innocent enough. What could be wrong with that? Sounds like Bolton is doing his job.

But Carter told the Foreign Affairs Council that he had promised — he had promised — certain prominent members of the U.N. — namely Egypt, Pakistan and Cuba — that this precise thing would not happen.

"One of the things I assured them," Carter is quoted by The New York Sun, "was that the United States was not going to dominate all the other nations of the world on the Human Rights Council."

And when Bolton made his otherwise sensible proposal on how the Human Rights Council should work, Carter said Bolton "subverted exactly what I have promised them."

Carter seems to have forgotten he is no longer president. It's not for him to promise Egypt, Pakistan and Cuba anything but more free houses.

Carter then says he called Condoleezza Rice to complain that Bolton was not following the Carter dictates.

The call did no good. Bolton's proposal is American policy and even The New York Times declared in an editorial, "When it comes to reforming the disgraceful United Nations Human Rights Commission, America's ambassador, John Bolton, is right."

Nonetheless, Carter says he is hoping the United States will be defeated in the U.N. on this issue.

The Human Rights Commission at the U.N. has been a joke. Flagrant human rights violators run it, and it produces tragic but laughable proposals.

Bolton's plan does not keep the nutjobs off the human rights panel, but it installs a group of grown-ups to watch over the miscreants and make sure they play nice.

The best solution is to blow it up and start over, but Bolton's is a good compromise.

The fact that Carter hopes Bolton's plan is defeated, in fact, says much more about him than anything else.

Carter has been trying to clean up his image for history. If he keeps this up, history will doubtlessly make the correct assessment. Americans were wrong to elect him at all, but wise to stop the bleeding at one term.

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