A COUNTERPRODUCTIVE Washington policy in recent years has been to boycott and punish political factions or governments that refuse to accept United States mandates. This policy makes difficult the possibility that such leaders might moderate their policies.
Now, by refusing mandates, what he actually means is an unwillingness to cease lobbing rockets at urban areas and having folks strap bombs and finding an area with a maximum number of civilians before blowing themselves up. This is just one of those mandates that the U.S. will insist before they legitimize the other party with a face to face meeting.
Carter then recounts the events of the last twelve years in Nepal. I will cry ignorance and take him at his word that he somehow got terrorists to change things around. Frankly, I don't much care. That's because Carter focuses most of his energies on dialogue with Hamas. This is a subject I am quite familiar with.
Hamas had been declared a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel, and the elected Palestinian government was forced to dissolve. Eventually, Hamas gained control of Gaza, and Fatah is “governing” the Israeli-dominated West Bank. Opinion polls show Hamas steadily gaining popularity. 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. Here again, United States policy is to ostracize the Syrian
government and prevent bilateral peace talks, contrary to the desire of high
Now, let's take the second paragraph first. There is no dispute over the Golan Heights. Israel won a war and subsequently took the Heights as part of the agreement to end the war. The Golan Heights is a de facto peace agreement because the strategic value of the high ground it provides is its own peace accord. Syria has no means of attacking Israel because it has a decided strategic military disadvantage in any military confrontation. The fact that Israel maintains the high ground in the form of the Golan Heights is its own peace accord. Now, this vital military fact seems to slip Carter's mind.
To him the Golan Heights is equivalent to the plot of grass that you consider part of your yard and your neighbor insists is his. Carter seems to think that Israel's troubles will end if they will only give that insignificant piece of land to their enemies, and trade it for a piece of paper.
As for the first paragraph, Carter seems to think that the U.S. put a bunch of names into a hat and Hamas was simply chosen to be on its list of terror organizations. In his opinion, it wasn't that Hamas has consistently bombed innocent civilians, but that they needlessly wound up on a list that turned them violent.
If there is any doubt about just how much legitimacy, Carter gives Hamas, he then lists out a series of things that he assures the audience Hamas will do to bring peace. He knows this because Hamas representatives told him so. They include disbanding their militia, accepting peace accords, releasing Gilad Shalit, and creating a cease fire.
Keep in mind that Hamas illegally crossed into Israel and illegally fired and killed several soldiers before illegally taking Shalit hostage. It is quite big of them to assure that he be released.
It is shocking and downright sad that this man once held the highest office in the land. He has simply lost whatever marbles he ever had and is now in some sort of alternative universe.