Friday, April 11, 2008

Why Jimmy Carter Should Not Go to Syria

Two fools- Neville Chamberlain-Jimmy Carter

As we all now know, Jimmy Carter, America's freelance ambassador is now about to go to Syria to meet with the leader of the terrorist group Hamas. The Administration and State Department have asked him not to go. Israel is upset-with good reason. However, Mr Carter is a stubborn man who always knows best-never mind the mess he made of things when he was president. Since leaving office, Carter hasn't cared much if a sitting president wanted him to go somewhere and conduct diplomacy. Whether it was Haiti, North Korea or now Syria, Mr Carter knows best. He doesn't like George Bush's foreign policy, so he just decides he will conduct his own.

But here is something that Carter perhaps has not considered. Hamas is a terrorist organization that is actively engaged in terrorist acts against Israel. Not only that, the organization has no interest in a peaceful solution. They have no interest in negotiation with Israel. They are not interested in a two-state solution. What they want is the total destruction of Israel.

So what is there to discuss?

Mr Carter, like most Democrats, does not understand that you cannot negotiate with evil, nor can you negotiate with fanatics. That was proven conclusively in 1938, when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain tried to negotiate with Hitler-selling out Czechoslovakia in the process. The lesson still applies.

Did we negotiate with the former Soviet Union? Yes, we did, but there was a difference. The Soviet Union, whatever its faults, was not run by fanatics, at least after Stalin died. They knew that if they went to war with the US, everybody would be destroyed, so they remained rational. We can, in fact, meet and negotiate with adversaries, but not if they are fanatics like Hamas who have no interest in negotiation or compromise. Rationality is not a quality that applies to people like Hamas, Hezbollah and Al-Qaida. They don't care if they die.

For a known fool like Jimmy Carter to go to Syria and meet with Hamas only gives legitimacy to a terrorist organization. It goes against the wishes of the State Department, which is the agency responsible for our foreign relations. Carter of course, is no supporter of Israel. He is a foolish renegade who can only exacerbate an already bad situation. Beware of any "breakthrough" that he may announce. Of course, he has no authority to act in Bush's name, but he could come back and apply public pressure on the administration.

It would be nice if leading Democrats would intervene and tell Carter to stay at home. Barack Obama, when asked what he thought of Carter's trip, refused to criticize the former president-possibly since he was on the verge of getting Carter's endorsement. For Democrats to back the administration's prerogatives would be the responsible thing to do. That's why they won't rein Mr Carter in.

To sum up this fiasco in progress, the policy of not negotiating with terrorists is the proper one, and not just on moral grounds. In the end, it is a fool's errand.

Which is precisely why Carter is going.

1 comment:

Lance Christian Johnson said...

I'm not as studied in this as you are, and I'm usually the type of person who feels that negotiation is never a bad thing.

But there is that one, big problem of Hamas, isn't there? You point out, and I was aware of it, that they don't want to settle for anything less than the destruction of Israel. How do you possibly negotiate with that?

I basically agree with you, but I'm holding out hope (perhaps a vain, naive one) that maybe if people talk with them, Hamas might turn around and see that a peaceful solution is in their best interest as well.

I'm also hoping to finally have a flying car by the year 2010 though.