Tuesday, August 01, 2006


More from our Mideast Guru

Former President Jimmy Carter continues to instruct us why the resounding election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 was such an important moment in our country’s history. Today’s lesson is his Op-Ed in the Washington Post where he courageously calls for peace in the Middle East because “We Need Policies for a Real, Lasting Middle East Peace.” Stop the Band-Aid Treatment

“It is inarguable that Israel has a right to defend itself against attacks on its citizens, but it is inhumane and counterproductive to punish civilian populations in the illogical hope that somehow they will blame Hamas and Hezbollah for provoking the devastating response.”

I don’t believe anyone within the powers-that-be in Israel seriously thinks that their recent responses would ever lead to condemnation from within the Arab populace – that would be a nice added benefit but I have never heard it expressed as the guiding principle at work here. He goes on:

“The urgent need in Lebanon is that Israeli attacks stop, the nation's regular military forces control the southern region, Hezbollah cease as a separate fighting force, and future attacks against Israel be prevented. Israel should withdraw from all Lebanese territory, including Shebaa Farms, and release the Lebanese prisoners. Yet yesterday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rejected a cease-fire.”

Way to cut through all the clear skies and identify the obvious. The Israeli attacks will certainly cease if Lebanon ever decides to act as a state, disarms Hezbollah and provides Israel credible assurance that attacks against the Israeli state will cease originating from within the Lebanon borders. All of this should have been done before this latest round of conflicts. Can Mr. Carter point to one iota of evidence that Israel can rely on for assurance that a unilateral cease-fire would result in the rest of his identified needs in Lebanon being realized? Hell, can he identify anything that would indicate any one of those three other needs has a chance of being realized?

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Jimmy Carter column if there wasn’t a gratuitous slam at our current President:

“Tragically, the current conflict is part of the inevitably repetitive cycle of violence that results from the absence of a comprehensive settlement in the Middle East, exacerbated by the almost unprecedented six-year absence of any real effort to achieve such a goal.”

“…the almost unprecedented six-year absence of any real effort to achieve such a goal.” - The man can sure turn a phrase. Of course, to do so, he had to ignore the facts that within the last six years, ISRAEL left Lebanon (2000) and Gaza (2005). Then he intones this piece of pablum:

“The general parameters of a long-term, two-state agreement are well known. There will be no substantive and permanent peace for any peoples in this troubled region as long as Israel is violating key U.N. resolutions, official American policy and the international "road map" for peace by occupying Arab lands and oppressing the Palestinians.”

Seriously, I am embarrassed this guy was ever my president (and my Commander-in-Chief). Echoing the idea that Israel is somehow “oppressing” the Palestinians is just so much cliché that you know the author is just too lazy to add anything of substance to the conversation.

Any (remote) chance that Mr. Carter ever has of being considered even a mediocre president probably rests on the historical treatment of his Mid-East work - revisionists can do wonders. But his constant need to highlight his remarkable lack of understanding of what goes on in the area will only make their job more difficult. Obviously, there can be no road map to peace as long as one side has as its goal the destruction of the other. Jimmy Carter addressing Israel as the party that’s lost its way is like looking for a lost item only where the light is good - a visible but ultimately mis-directed effort…and in this case one deserving of all the scorn and disdain it inspires.

Carter is an embarrassment to the country and should be an embarrassment to himself. He has been dining out on his Camp David Accords for over 25 years. The only problem is that the reason they have lasted is that Israel has so scared Egypt that Egypt won't attack Israel. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Camp David Accords themselves.

The man has so far hit a home run every time he goes out to bat, if you consider supporting every dictator who runs for election as a home run. When you think that his son is now running for office in Nevada, we can only hope that he loses. If he wins then we can only hope that he is not as stupid as his dad. The man is ridiculous and it is only because of people like Bill Moyers and Larry King that anyone pays attention to him at all.
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