Carter’s at it again. You’ve got to respect the man. Damn the American government, screw the public will, and to hell with scruples. Carter, as most of you already know recently returned from a trip to Nepal, and stopped by Hamas headquarters in Damascus on his way in. Deliberately defying the Bush administration’s and Israel’s stated policy of delegitimization and isolation, Carter met with Hamas leadership to play mediator. Upon his return he published an opinion piece in the New York Times criticizing the current American and Israeli policy, and calling for direct negotiations.
Carter’s recklessness and lack of responsibility are staggering. He intentionally worked against American foreign policy goals and deliberately weakened the government’s position. The whole goal of an isolation policy requires just that: isolation. Carter should feel free to argue out the wisdom of the policy in the press and public forum, but to undercut the policy is, quite simply, traitorous. One longs for the days when the 1799 Logan Act (the federal law that prohibits private citizens from conducting their own unauthorized diplomacy) was enforced and Carter would have gotten his 3 years in the clink. As Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Dan Gillerman, put it: Carter “went to the region with soiled hands and came back with bloody hands” after shaking those of Hamas arch terrorist Khaled Mashaal.
The content of the article itself was also extremely disturbing. The former president seemed to call for a release of Hamas prisoner in exchange for a letter from Israeli captive Gilad Shalit. Carter’s characterization of Hamas may also raise some eyebrows. In an article where he praises Hamas for developing “a reputation for effective and honest administration,” he fails to concede any of their faults – like the occasional suicide bombing. And while offering an analysis of American foreign policy in the region, he feels to read Hamas, or their responses, with the slightest degree of nuance.
I’ve never been a member of the rag on Carter crowd. I think its counterproductive and disrespectful to a well-meaning man and the office he once held. But now he’s even making me gag.
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