Jimmy Carter, loathsome old man

The New York Times again gave a forum to Jimmy Carter. This time Carter defends his immoral, illegal decision to consort with terrorists, something that would be objectionable if the ordinary private citizen were to do it, but that rises to outrageous levels of indecency when a former President does the same thing.

Carter’s most recent column is worth fisking because it either shows the thought process of a senile immoral old man or, more scarily, the thought processes of a liberal immoral old man:

A COUNTERPRODUCTIVE Washington policy in recent years has been to boycott and punish political factions or governments that refuse to accept United States mandates. [That’s cute. Hamas, which (a) took over Gaza by war, (b) announced its intention to destroy Israel, (c) terrorizes its own citizens, and (d) routinely and purposely attacks civilian targets, especially children, is just a “political faction[] or government[] that refuse[s] to accept United States mandates.” This is truly an Orwellian perversion of language.] This policy makes difficult the possibility that such leaders might moderate their policies.

Two notable examples are in Nepal and the Middle East. About 12 years ago, Maoist guerrillas took up arms in an effort to overthrow the monarchy and change the nation’s political and social life. Although the United States declared the revolutionaries to be terrorists, the Carter Center agreed to help mediate among the three major factions: the royal family, the old-line political parties and the Maoists.

In 2006, six months after the oppressive monarch was stripped of his powers, a cease-fire was signed. Maoist combatants laid down their arms and Nepalese troops agreed to remain in their barracks. Our center continued its involvement and nations — though not the United States — and international organizations began working with all parties to reconcile the dispute and organize elections. [I can’t comment about this, knowing nothing about it. Any information from others who do would be helpful.]

The Maoists are succeeding in achieving their major goals: abolishing the monarchy, establishing a democratic republic and ending discrimination against untouchables and others whose citizenship rights were historically abridged. After a surprising victory in the April 10 election, Maoists will play a major role in writing a constitution and governing for about two years. To the United States, they are still terrorists. [Considering that Maoists are arch communists, and considering that arch communists have invariably enacted arch repression, I rather wonder about Carter’s sanguine view of these guys as just good old liberal style Democrats. After all, the original Maoist — that would be Mao himself — was a psychopath who oversaw the death of 70,000,000 of his people. Again, information on this subject would be appreciated.]

On the way home from monitoring the Nepalese election, I, my wife and my son went to Israel. My goal was to learn as much as possible to assist in the faltering peace initiative endorsed by President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Although I knew that official United States policy was to boycott the government of Syria and leaders of Hamas, I did not receive any negative or cautionary messages about the trip, except that it might be dangerous to visit Gaza. [Who are you going to believe — Rice or Carter? Given that Carter has been caught in lie after lie over the years, while Rice has not been shown up as a liar even once (one may disagree with her, but she doesn’t lie), I have absolutely no doubt but that this is a blatant lie.]

The Carter Center had monitored three Palestinian elections, including one for parliamentary seats in January 2006. Hamas had prevailed in several municipal contests, gained a reputation for effective and honest administration and did surprisingly well in the legislative race, displacing the ruling party, Fatah. [Except for that little fact that it eventually took over leadership from Fatah by a small civil war, complete with atrocities. Apparently things like that just don’t bother Carter, the cheerleader for leftist oppressors. Bad as Fatah is, Hamas is worse.] As victors, Hamas proposed a unity government with Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah as president and offered to give key ministries to Fatah, including that of foreign affairs and finance.

Hamas had been declared a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel, and the elected Palestinian government was forced to dissolve. [Aside from the fact that it took over and rules Gaza by terror, there is that little problem of Hamas’ stated policy of destroying Israel, one dead child at a time. Frankly, if Carter doesn’t consider that a terrorist, what is a terrorist? George Bush? Cheney? That lying skank Condi Rice (Carter’s theory, not mine, of course)? I’d really like him to set down his definitions so we can get an insight into his Orwellian use of language.] Eventually, Hamas gained control of Gaza [care to explain how, Mr. Carter, or would that raise too many twisted linguistic difficulties?], and Fatah is “governing” the Israeli-dominated West Bank. [You ,appreciate, I’m sure, all the deep meaning behind those quotation marks. Gaza is “real” government, Fatah is a puppet government. We know which Carter prefers.] Opinion polls show Hamas steadily gaining popularity. [Because a terrorist organization is liked by a population raised to hate and kill, does that mean it’s no longer a terrorist organization? Apparently in Carter-world it does.] Since there can be no peace with Palestinians divided, we at the Carter Center believed it important to explore conditions allowing Hamas to be brought peacefully back into the discussions. (A recent poll of Israelis, who are familiar with this history, showed 64 percent favored direct talks between Israel and Hamas.)

Similarly, Israel cannot gain peace with Syria unless the Golan Heights dispute is resolved. [There’s not much of a dispute. When Syria held the Golan Heights, it used that advantage to kill Jews. It will do the same again. Of course, since Carter has no problem with the Jews — he did want to “f**k them” in 1980, blaming them for his defeat — I can see where he thinks there might be a dispute: dead Jews versus not dead Jews. Hmmm.] Here again, United States policy is to ostracize the Syrian government and prevent bilateral peace talks, contrary to the desire of high Israeli officials. [The US might be ostracizing the Syrian government for a few other little problems, such as the fact that it’s a shill of Iran and Hezbollah, that it sponsors world-wide terrorism, and that it’s planning to go nuclear. Silly stuff like that, you know. Even in Carter-land, is it really possible for everything to be caused only by Jewish conspiracies?]

We met with Hamas leaders from Gaza, the West Bank and Syria, and after two days of intense discussions with one another they gave these official responses to our suggestions, intended to enhance prospects for peace [Please keep in mind as you read this that Hamas had the last laugh by denying all the agreements Carter purported to make on its behalf]:

Hamas will accept any agreement negotiated by Mr. Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel provided it is approved either in a Palestinian referendum or by an elected government. Hamas’s leader, Khaled Meshal, has reconfirmed this, although some subordinates have denied it to the press. [I notice that Meshal hasn’t gone out of his way to repudiate those denials. In any event, given that Palestinians by a vast majority have announced their intense desire to murder all Israelis, I don’t see many of them passing this referendum. Same for the “elected” Hamas government.]

When the time comes, Hamas will accept the possibility of forming a nonpartisan professional government of technocrats to govern until the next elections can be held. [Pardon me while I laugh myself sick. These are the people whose only skill is sucking up world dollars and turning them into bombs.]

Hamas will also disband its militia in Gaza if a nonpartisan professional security force can be formed. [Only someone truly naive or deeply evil would believe this given Hamas’ history. It’s like speaking with Hitler in 1942, and then writing an op-ed saying he’ll be pleased to disband the Gestapo, or at least to rename it to something with fewer negative connotations, such as the “Friends of the Jews” organization.]

Hamas will permit an Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian militants in 2006, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, to send a letter to his parents. If Israel agrees to a list of prisoners to be exchanged, and the first group is released, Corporal Shalit will be sent to Egypt, pending the final releases. [This is truly obscene. Hamas has held in captivity for two years a young man who was merely standing guard duty. In exchange for his freedom, they except the release of hundreds of convicted killers. Not guards, killers. Aside from how disgusting this is, I’d like to remind all of you that Israel has frequently released killers in return for promises from the Palestinians. None of the promises have been kept, but the killers have done what killers will do: killed again.]

Hamas will accept a mutual cease-fire in Gaza, with the expectation (not requirement) that this would later include the West Bank. [I believe this promise. The cease fires usually last one or two days while Hamas/the Palestinians regroup, and then, having enjoyed a breather, the cease fire magically terminates. I believe the technical term for this strategic little breather is hudna.]

Hamas will accept international control of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, provided the Egyptians and not the Israelis control closing the gates. [Hamas apparently hopes that it will have the fox guarding the hen house. Or at least Carter hopes that’s the case. More cynically than the American fool, Hamas probably hopes that Egypt, which is less then thrilled by having radical Islamic guerrillas stream into the country, will be less adept than Israel at preventing incursions.]

In addition, Syria’s president, Bashir al-Assad, has expressed eagerness to begin negotiations with Israel to end the impasse on the Golan Heights. He asks only that the United States be involved and that the peace talks be made public. [1938, 1938, 1938, 1938, 1938, 1938….]

Through more official consultations with these outlawed leaders, it may yet be possible to revive and expedite the stalemated peace talks between Israel and its neighbors. In the Middle East, as in Nepal, the path to peace lies in negotiation, not in isolation.

Now that I’ve fisked what Carter has to say, I feel confident concluding that he manages to be both a fool and entirely evil. This is a very, very bad man, and the US should muzzle him with every weapon in its arsenal of laws against treason and consorting with enemies.

Syria — spoiler or saviour?

My view of the Annapolis talks has been that they will turn into something of a gang bang, with Israel, led by the inept Olmert, as the victim. I just know that Israel is going to concede and concede and concede, with nothing to show for the experience except a ruined reputation and some serious problems down the line. However, it turns out that Syria, of all countries, has stated that its purpose is to make sure that Israel leaves Annapolis with her national virtue intact.  Okay — I admit it.  Syria doesn’t actually use that language, nor does Syria intend for anything good to happen to Israel.  Nevertheless, Israel might benefit from Syria’s stated goal going in, which is to make sure that nothing whatsoever comes out of Annapolis:

It really would be something if the Syrian delegation could find their own road to Damascus on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. But that would require something approximating good faith. The Syrians’ decision to be represented at Annapolis by their deputy foreign minister–his bosses evidently having more important things to do–is one indication of the lack of it. So is the Assad regime’s declaration (via an editorial in state newspaper Teshreen) that their goal at Annapolis is “to foil [Israeli Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert’s plan to force Arab countries to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.” And lest the point hadn’t been driven home forcefully enough, the Syrian information minister told Al Jazeera that Syria’s attendance would have no effect on its relations with Iran or its role as host to the leadership of Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups.

Of course, things are never quite so simple. Because Syria seems more adept at this Machiavellian game than either America or Israel, there’s a strong likelihood that it’s not simply going to ensure that Annapolis doesn’t change the status quo (because I’m sure Olmert, unfettered, will make things worse), but instead it will actually use subtlety and nuance to drive both the US and Israel into positions that are untenable and even dangerous over the long term.  Thus, as Bret Stephens says in the article from which I quoted above:

At best, then, Syria will attend Annapolis as a kind of non-malignant observer, lending a gloss of pan-Arab seriousness to the proceedings. At worst, it will be there as a spoiler and unofficial spokesman of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran. If it’s clever, it will adopt a policy of studied ambivalence, with just enough positive chemistry to induce the administration into believing it might yet be prepared for a real Volte face, provided the U.S. is also prepared to rewrite its Syria policy. Recent attestations by Gen. David Petraeus, that Damascus is finally policing its border with Iraq to slow the infiltration of jihadis, suggest that’s just the game they mean to play.

What price will the U.S. be asked to pay? Contrary to popular belief, recovering the Golan is neither Syria’s single nor primary goal; if anything, the regime derives much of its domestic legitimacy by keeping this grievance alive. What’s urgently important to Damascus is that the U.N. tribunal investigating the 2005 murder of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri be derailed, before the extensive evidence implicating Mr. Assad and his cronies becomes a binding legal verdict. No less important to Mr. Assad is that his grip on Lebanese politics be maintained by the selection of a pliant president to replace his former puppet, Emile Lahoud. Syria would also like to resume normal diplomatic relations with the U.S. (which withdrew its ambassador from Damascus after Hariri’s killing), not least by the lifting of economic sanctions imposed by the 2003 Syria Accountability Act.

The Watcher’s results are in, and they are good

I have to say that, this week, when I was casting my votes for the Watcher’s Council, I had a really hard time.  The caliber of articles that the council members submitted this week — both their own and someone else’s — was incredibly high.  I kept going back and forth between articles, practically parsing sentences in an effort to rank the top two in each category (Council and non-Council).  For that reason, I am incredibly honored that, with the votes counted, my post called “The MSM’s Rush Limbaugh Horror Story,” ranked first.  First is always nice, of course, but first in such an august field is something that really gets my day jump started.

(Let me say here that I know that two Weasel members couldn’t vote at all, and one only voted a little, so there was some serious vote discounting going on under the Council rules.  Nevertheless, since I’m not a math person, and don’t fully understand the complexities behind the vote count, I’m going to bask in my victory however it comes my way.)

To make things even nicer for me, the non-council submission that I nominated won too, as it should have.  That was Michael Yon’s Resistance is Futile, a truly important post about the difference between America’s Iraq coverage and the situation on the ground in Iraq — and the way in which the former has the potential to destroy everything good that’s happening regarding the latter.   (As you can see, my Weasel theme for the week was media manipulation and malfeasance, something that clearly struck a chord with other Council members.)

The second place (and third and fourth and fifth, etc) winners in each category were equally good, I thought.  On the Council side there was a tie for second.  One of the second place positions went to Big Lizard, with whose writing I’m becoming ever more enamored, for An Inconvenient Demographic Truth.  In this post, he took apart Obama’s idiotic cry of racism when it came to a DoJ official’s statistically accurate statement that, because minorities tend to die younger, systemic inequities that affect the elderly actually have less of an effect on minority elderly — because there are fewer of them.  It was a garbled and inelegant statement, but as Dafydd explains, it does not reflect racism but, in fact, its opposite, which is an almost overly strong sensibility about the situation of minorities.

The other second place went to Soccer Dad for Walking Back the Cat x 2, a lucid and fascinating analysis of the Israeli strike into Syria.  The title comes from the fact that intelligence analysts can check for internal dissension in another country by examining what was said in that country before an event and comparing it to revealed facts.  Often, this type of analysis exposes who is disaffected, who is out of the loop, who is close to power, etc.  Soccer Dad used this type of before and after comparison to expose a lot of interesting information about the Israel incursion.

On the non-council side, there was also a tie for second place.  One second place went to Daled Amos for The Niggers of Palestine, a really strong entry that shows the fallacy of equating Palestinians to African-Americans during the slave era — a fallacy that Condi Rice, herself a victim of Jim Crow segregation, seems prone to make.  The other second place went to The Pakistan Policy Blog for The Massacre at Karsaz Bridge: Analysis of the Bhutto Blast (Part 2), the title of which is self-explanatory.
The above are the top six winners, but let me say again that this was an unusually strong week of submissions.  If you’re at all looking for something to read, this is definitely the place to start.