What is Jimmy Carter up to? Has he lost his mind?

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Meeting with Hamas and honoring Arafat? These people are/were terrorists. What would happen if they decided to kidnap him and pressure the U.S. for release of some of those thugs at Guantanamo?

I'd let them keep him, but having a former President in captivity would get a lot of attention and reaction.

Seems to me Bush could pull his passport and demand that he act like an American out in public.

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Submitted by wheeljc on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 10:12am.


Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 10:25am.

Here's your Carter / Hamas Link WheelJC - CLICK HERE

Carter has a strange characteristic: He finds it easier to make friends with dictators. If a person's companions testify to his personality and character, then here is a partial list of people with whom Carter has gotten along well: Saddam Hussein, Yasser Arafat and Kim Il Jong.

Ouch! That one gets you to thinking. Kind of like some of our blogger friends that come to the defense of abortionists, terrorists and child molesters instead of the innocent victims that prey on. Shocked


The Sissy And The Word Defined

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 7:56am.

Robert, I'll try and answer the Hamas question at the risk of being called a terrorist sympathizer.

Like everything else in the middle east, the answer is complex. Hamas was initially funded years ago by our good buddies the Saudis and, incredibly, Israel's Mossad intelligence service. They did that to counter the influence of Arafat's PLO, which was the biggest Israel-hating organization at the time.

When Hussein invaded Kuwait, Arafat was virtually the only world leader who supported him, and public support for the PLO evaporated...every radical middle easterner went over to Hamas.

Hamas grew so big that, no unlike the IRA in Ireland, it evolved into two separate factions, the political brigade and the militant brigade. At first the two factions were roughly the same size, but in 2006 the political wing of Hamas won a huge majority of the legislature in the PNA (the official government of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip).

Since they acquired power in the PNA, they have been working hard, spending money on public projects like guaranteed health care and free hospitals in an attempt to clean up their image from their earlier terrorist roots (and to be sure, most of the Hamas leaders, even those in the political wing, have terrorist backgrounds). Essentially, they are buying respectability.

Both the political and militant wings of Hamas pay lip service to the destruction of Israel, not unlike the US Republican party's lip service to a balance budget. In other words, all talk, no action. They say it because it's expected to be said.

Jimmy Carter met with the political wing of Hamas. There was zero chance of him being held hostage, that would have upset the political gravy train in the West Bank. The political wing is trying to marginalize the militant wing of Hamas, going so far as to declare a unilateral cease-fire with Israel, which frustrated the militants. (The militants attempted to sabotage the cease fire by smuggling arms into the West Bank, goading Israel into air strikes).

The Middle East is a complicated place, and there are no easy answers. Carter meeting with Hamas is little different from Nixon going to China in the 1970s, at the time we didn't considered Red China to be an illegal government.

If President Carter's visit helps to diffuse the hostilities in the Middle East even a little bit, then I'd consider it a success. The world defies black-and-white categorization.

In any event, I believe a diplomatic solution is infinitely preferable to a chest-thumpin' military posturing so often favored nowadays.

Feel free to disagree!
Diagnosing Denise

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 8:43am.

Obama came out yesterday and clearly stated that he disagreed with Carter meeting with Hamas, like any good politician who really needs the Jewish bloc to not desert the Dems for the more pro-Israel Repubs:

"We must not negotiate with a terrorist group intent on Israel's destruction," Obama said. "We should only sit down with Hamas if they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel's right to exist, and abide by past agreements."

So, how does that jibe with what Obama already stated about sitting down and meeting with Iran who has made numerous statements about the annihilation of Israel, denied the Holocaust, blames Zionism for about everything, and continually ignores anything from the UN like agreements they entered into?

It was reported in Newsweek that Obama made the "let's sit down with Syria and Iran" comments without running it by his campaign advisers first and they all went ballistic over the remark. What do you think of Obama's foreign policy at this point? Is it based on simply getting elected? Based on hope? He has a team of over 200 foreign policy advisers already....is it based on a muddled consensus? He's coming across as really being over his head on the issue and McCain and company will club him with it over and over.

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 4:35pm.

I agree with the Pope. I fyou don't talk to your enemies, you gain nothing. You may even lose (people, property, capitol). If you do talk to them, you may broker peace, hash out some level of understanding, but it doesn't harm to try. Our current "don't talk to anyone" policy has gotten us the square root of nothing to the Nth power. What do you suggest?


Kevin "Hack" King

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 6:35pm.

I am pretty sure there is always some talking going on between the US and any country, even if it is not "official" and on a low channel. I'd suggest the approach of diplomacy where possible, like most people I think would. I don't think laying a wreath at Arafat's grave and meeting with people who are daily launching missiles at civilians to be a situation where public diplomacy is much of an option. I don't believe you can legitimize groups/countries with your presence until certain basic conditions and understandings are present, one of which would be some basic respect for humanity, something the Hamas do not possess.

My question though was why is Obama for sitting down with Israel-hating Iran but so opposed to Carter talking with Hamas? The reasons and prerequisites he mentions about Hamas would seem to apply to Iran also.

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 9:18am.

You've illustrated an interesting dichotomy in the Middle East. The US can, and does, throw its weight around in backwater countries like PNA (which is now technically a "country"). Long story short, there's not a lot that the PNA can do.

Iran is the proverbial horse of a different color. The have a standing army, a noted penchant for Mid East meddling, and worst of all, the potential to go nuclear in the next 10 years.

Going nuclear is what scares the west...you see it already in Pakistan. Even George Decider Bush, who never met a law he didn't feel was advisory in nature, had to beg the Pakistani president's permission to go search for Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan.

Why? Because Pakistan has a small, but still lethal, nuclear arsenal. We have the best fighting force in the world, but had we sent in say, one brigade of the 82nd Airborne, and Pakistan would have vaporized them with a single well placed nuclear airburst...and they would have claimed they were defending their country. Not even Bush could have survived that political fallout.

So instead we pursue what Henry Kissinger termed a policy of realpolitik in Iran, conveniently overlooking the excesses of Iran towards Israel in hopes of acheiving some greater good.

In this case, we also need to neutralize Iran's growing presence in Iraq. Americans hear about the military meddling Iran is doing, but what they don't hear is the millions in infrastructure aid that Iran is funnelling into Iraq's devastated infrastructure via the Red Crescent (Islam's version of Red Cross). Whether we choose to admit it or not, Iran is becoming more and more widely admired in Iraq every day, which is astounding considering these two countries were at war 20 years ago.
Diagnosing Denise

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 10:04am.

That's pretty much the US(and a lot of others) foreign policy. It leads to the unsavory aspect of sometimes financially and militarily supporting the perceived lesser of two evils, which is a big reason the US has had problems post-Shah with Iran and a host of distrust in substantial parts of Latin America.

The Middle East is a quagmire on so many levels that only varies with who has the upper hand at the time. Right now, the US has broken the existing barriers between Iraq and Iran that stemmed from the aftermath one of the most violent, longest and destructive wars of the modern era, a war where the US armed Saddam heavily and ignored his use of chemical weapons on Iranian troops. Now, Iran simply wades in and plays "good guy" in Iraq and one has to ask what has been accomplished in Iraq besides the death of Saddam and his insane sons(who were of a threat potentially than Saddam)? forecast: very cloudy with chance of hurricanes.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 2:19pm.

are ill gifts that politicians of the past have given us.
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 3:39pm.

Dating back several thousand years ago.


The Sissy And The Word Defined

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 4:46pm.

Elenore Roosevelt to President Truman

November 20, 1945

The question between Palestine and the Arabs, of course, has always been complicated by oil deposits, and I suppose it always will. I do not happen to be a Zionist, and I know what a difference there is among such Jews as consider themselves nationals of other countries and not a separate nationality.

Truman Library

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 7:40pm.

If he were still around. Harry!


The Sissy And The Word Defined

Mike King's picture
Submitted by Mike King on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 8:40am.

...if it helps in any small way, it will be worth his effort. However, I can not side with any faction that consistently hurls rockets indiscriminately into populated areas just because they can.
Both sides have blood on their hands with no intent to escape the spiral each has created.
Wonder if it would be worse if all funding/aid be eliminated from the area?

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 8:54am.

I think you are right, I wonder if they would try harder if we butted out. It couldn't be worse. I feel if Carter wants to try, he isn't hurting anyone, but we are putting money there when it could better be used at home. I have no dog in that fight and I'm afraid for our boys, afraid of another Viet Nam.

Submitted by skyspy on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 7:29am.

When I first heard about this I was stunned. What in the....???

When our seniors start showing early signs of dementia we need to pull their passports for their own safety.

On the one hand we have the Jimmy Carter who is a good honest man, and a great humanitarian.

On the other hand we have an ex-president who defies all reason and logic, and hurts our country with another bonehead move.

Mike King's picture
Submitted by Mike King on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 7:58am.

I would have thought the early signs occured between 1977 and 1981, what he's doing now only has an effect on newsprint.
For those who can not remember back to 1979-1980, mortgaging one's home resulted in double digit interest-for the best of credit. Misery Index, I believe it was called.

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 7:56am.

I agree with some of what he does, but I think he is good man with a good heart.

Many years ago, he went to the Middle East to try to make them kiss and make up. He wanted to make a permanent peace. I was very puzzled cause if you read your Bible, it says that in the very end, the Arab and Jews will be at it and throwing the last punches. It is something you can't stop, my feeling is, we should stay out of the middle and let them go at it. Of course we won't cause of the oil. I think Carter went cause he is a good man rather than the oil. But, if he pulls off some kind of understanding between the US and these nut cases, then he is a wonderful man and has probably saved many lives by doing this. He is an good old man with time on his hands who must think it worth a shot. He won't hurt anything. It is innovative, I must say.

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