April 15, 2008
Jimmy Carter, 'Tyranny's Enabler'Topics: Political News and commentaries
In a Center for Security Policy brief yesterday, Jimmy Carter is described as a man to be "best remembered by history as a man whose time in and out of high public office was almost unblemished by success." This is just about the most accurate description I've seen for a guy that has done his utmost best to harm his own country and further the cause of its enemies. As is pointed out in the brief, notwithstanding a Nobel Peace Prize that was given by an awards committee avowedly anxious to rebuke President Bush, and assorted good works on behalf of Habitat for Humanity, his role as a tyrant-enabler will be an object of scorn and derision rather than the vindication he so transparently, and desperately, seeks:
Jimmy Carter's pathetic need for political rehabilitation following a presidency widely regarded as one of the worst in American history is once again making news. He reportedly will meet this week with Khaled Mashaal, the Syrian-based leader of the Muslim Brotherhood's Palestinian arm, Hamas - an internationally recognized terrorist organization.
Mr. Carter maintains this is no big deal since he has met with Hamas officials before. Indeed, in keeping with his Carter Center's self-appointed status as global election monitor, the former president did officiate in January 2006 when the Brotherhood's terrorists defeated those of Fatah led by Yasser Arafat's longtime crony, Mahmoud Abbas.
In point of fact, it seems there is scarcely a serious bad actor on the planet with whom Jimmy Carter has not met. He is a serial tyrant-enabler, the very personification of Rodney King's risible appeal, "Can't we all get along?" Mr. Carter has come to epitomize the notion that "dialogue" is always in order, no matter how odious or dangerous the interlocutor - or the extent to which they or their agendas will benefit from such interactions.
As Barak Obama (whom Carter has all but endorsed) is as wedded as the former President to the idea of condition-free dialogue with tyrants, it is worth reflecting on just a few of the many example's of how this Carteresque practice has produced disastrous results:* In 1979, then-President Carter undermined the Shah of Iran and made possible the Ayatollah Khomeini's return to Iran and subsequent Islamic revolution. Although the uber-mullah returned the favor with the sacking of Embassy Tehran and seizure of its personnel that assured Carter's would be a one-term presidency, the regime thus born has ever since been a blight on its own people and a state-sponsor of terror and nuclear wannabe that represents an ever-growing menace to its region and the world.In short, thanks in no small measure to Jimmy Carter's proclivities and meddling, the world is a considerably more dangerous place. Following his lead now will make it more so, for three reasons:
* In 1994, Citizen Carter made a mission to Pyongyang at a time when then-President Bill Clinton was first confronting evidence of North Korea's illegal pursuit of nuclear weapons. The former president's intervention gave rise to a deal that lent invaluable prestige to the regime, perpetuated its hold on power and utterly failed to preclude the North's acquisition of a nuclear arsenal.
* In 2004, Jimmy Carter ignored abundant evidence of official vote-rigging and election fraud in a Venezuelan referendum, handing victory to Hugo Chavez and clearing the way for the most destabilizing accretion of power in the Western hemisphere since Fidel Castro's communist revolution in Cuba - a model and inspiration for Chavez.
irst and foremost, "talking" to tyrants legitimates them. Dictators go to great lengths to conjur up the perception of authority and permanence. They are particularly anxious to do so for domestic consumption, to ensure their continued rule. To the extent that outsiders recognize, to say nothing of embrace, them, it enhances their stature at home and validates their misconduct on the world stage.
Second, such efforts generally have the effect of emboldening these thugs. After all, they are being rewarded for bad behavior. The result is predictable: even worse behavior. That can mean redoubled efforts to: acquire nuclear weapons, destabilize their neighbors, raise the price of oil and engage in other activities inimical to U.S. interests.
Third, it is ironic but true that - even as Carter-style enabling of tyrants makes matters worse - it typically encourages in this country the impression that vexing problems with those regimes have been made more tractable. Diplomatic placeboes reduce the perceived need and popular support for more effective, albeit more difficult, alternatives.
Continue reading: Tyranny's EnablerJust as Greg Strange asks in his piece titled "Jimmy Carter: Will you please get a clue and remove yourself from the world stage?", is there simply no way of preventing a hopelessly misguided ex-president from traveling the world and thwarting current American policy whenever he pleases?Apparently not. That would be Jimmy Carter, by the way, whose current Middle East tour is slated to include a "very important" meeting with Hamas, an organization which is universally considered a terrorist group and with whom, therefore, American policy says no negotiations should be conducted.Unfortunately, Jimmuh Carter is far too removed from reality and far too obsessed with his own ego, to do anything other than meddle in America's foreign policy affairs and give credence to terrorists. The best place for Carter is in an old folks home for the criminally insane (isn't treason during a time of war still a crime?), or the federal pen at Leavenworth.
No worries, says Carter, it's not a negotiation, it's just a friendly little meet-and-greet for the purpose of information sharing and he feels "quite at ease in doing this." The problem with having such a meeting between a bloodthirsty band of terrorists and an American ex-president is that it lends a certain degree of legitimacy to Hamas and says that, hey, they're just like any other elected government and we ought to deal with them even though we don't think they're particularly swell.
In Carter's own words: "I think that it's very important that at least someone meet with the Hamas leaders to express their views, to ascertain what flexibility they have, to try to induce them to stop all attacks against innocent civilians in Israel . . . and things of this kind."
It all sounds so beguilingly commonsensical-unless you know anything at all about Hamas. Carter certainly does, but in his ego-stoking quest for peace he apparently has an amazing ability in his brain to compartmentalize away any information -- such as reality, for instance -- that would deter his mission. Someone ought to stick a copy of the Hamas Charter in his face anyway and beg him to avoid a humiliating and possibly damaging trip to Hamasastan.
Posted by Richard at April 15, 2008 11:01 AM
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- Jimmy Carter, 'Tyranny's Enabler' - Apr 15, 2008