Sunday, April 13, 2008

Carter's Latest Middle East Mess

Former President Carter continues to push towards his trip to the Middle East, complete with a visit to Damascus, Syria to meet with none other than Khalid Meshaal, leader of Hamas. The State Department doesn't want him to meet with Meshaal, Secretary of State Condi Rice expressed her displeasure, and the Israelis have made it known they don't want Carter to meet with Hamas either. In fact, Prime Minister Olmert has said he would not meet with Carter though one has to wonder if that's just a facade since Israel has been engaging in backchannel negotiations of its own with the terrorist group to secure the release of Gilad Shalit. Perhaps they see Carter's trip as undermining their own efforts.

Well, of course Carter feels at ease with meeting with Islamic terrorists. He's had no problem over the years trying to do all he can to improve the terrorists' odds of success. Lending his image and prestige as a former US President does that. It provides legitimacy where none is deserved.

Now that Olmert says that he wont meet with Carter, expect Carter's camp to spin this as though Israel is intransigent and unwilling to compromise.

This despite the fact that the mortars and rockets continue to be fired by Hamas and other terrorist groups and slam into Israel.

The mortar attack was actually against a group of Israeli soldiers touring the Negev, including the Southern Commander of the IDF.
Palestinians in northern Gaza fired three mortar shells at IDF Southern Command Chief Brig.-Gen. Yoav Galant while he was touring the western Negev area with other officials Sunday noon.

One of the mortars landed about 65 feet away from Galant and his entourage, which included head of the Eshkol Regional Council Haim Yalin, but caused no injuries.

When the attack began, the tour's participants rushed to hide in portable shelters placed at the site by the army ahead of the tour, and left the area immediately following the strike.

According to Yalin, "This tour has been pre-planned and was aimed at demonstrating what local farmers had to deal with on a daily basis. This barrage demonstrated very well what their life's routine looks like."
This may also point to the fact that the terrorists may well have been tipped off to Galant's itinerary. This isn't the first time that Palestinian terrorists have sought to kill Israeli military leaders or ministers. This is part of Hamas' threat to target Israeli leaders if Israel goes after Hamas leadership.

For his part, US Presidential candidate Barack Obama doesn't see a problem with Carter's efforts, claiming that Carter is a private citizen. Carter isn't simply a private citizen. He's the former President of the United States, and with that title comes power and prestige. If Carter was a private citizen, his visit would be bad enough - as a former President making a trip to Damascus to visit Meshaal, it's odious.

Obama's campaign expects to announce that Carter will be all but endorsing Obama shortly for all intents and purposes to end the political battle between Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton under the banner of doing what's best for the party. Once again, it's another sign of where Obama stands on the issues of foreign policy. Never mind that Obama isn't good for the country and its strategic foreign policy, it's about the preservation of the Democratic party.

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