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Why Is Jimmy Carter So Disastrously Wrong on the Middle East? ^ | May 05, 2008 | Jamie Glazov, Rep. Howard Berman

Posted on 05/05/2008 5:24:38 AM PDT by SJackson

Why Is Jimmy Carter So Disastrously Wrong on the Middle East?  
By Jamie Glazov | Monday, May 05, 2008

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif), the new chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

FP: Rep. Howard Berman, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Berman: Thank you.

FP: You have criticized fellow Democrat, and former president, Jimmy Carter for his recent meetings with Hamas. Update for us the form your criticism has taken.

Berman: President Carter has come under bipartisan criticism – from Republicans as well as Democrats -- for meeting with the leaders of Hamas, which is a terrorist group. Gary Ackerman, the chairman of our Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, and I urged President Carter in a letter to cancel his plans to meet with Khaled Mashaal and other members of Hamas during his visit to Syria . We wrote, “We believe this visit will undermine the Middle East peace process and damage the credibility of Palestinian moderates, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. We also believe it falls far short of the high moral standards you have set as a champion of human rights.” I stand by that view.

FP: Expand for us on the bipartisan criticism of Carter on his Hamas odyssey.

Berman: In the same week that Gary Ackerman and I sent our letter, more than four dozen Republicans and Democrats together signed a letter to President Carter asking him not to press forward with his plans to meet Khaled Mashaal, and they released it to the media. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama also criticized President Carter’s plans to meet the Hamas leadership.

FP: Hamas is a terrorist organization that wants to wipe Israel off the map. What exactly is Carter thinking in this effort of his? Why is he extending an olive branch to Hamas and how and why does he believe in its potential goodness? He has, after all, engaged in a one-man lobbying campaign on behalf of Hamas – despite its terror on its own population and against Israel.

Berman: In recent days, President Carter made use of several opportunities to explain his thinking to the media, including just after his meeting in Syria. He also has an op-ed this week in the Washington Post. He was not persuasive.

FP: What are your thoughts in general on Carter’s view of the Middle East ? What do you think of him referring to Israel as an apartheid state? Why his malice toward Israel ?

Berman: Comparing Israel with Apartheid South Africa is deliberately provocative and demonstrates a very loose grasp on the details of both situations; it is a poor analogy. As to President Carter’s views of the Middle East in general, his concept of the forces at work in the region – who is to blame, who is to be held accountable – is way off the mark, and this undermines any initiative he may undertake there. Unfortunately, it also undermines the very people we want to help in the Middle East – President Abbas and his supporters, on the one hand, and the Israelis on the other.

FP: What policy should Israel and the U.S. pursue toward Hamas?

Berman: Israel can make its own policies, but in my opinion it has made the right choices given the circumstances. Hamas is a terrorist organization that denies Israel’s right to exist and shows no sign of changing. In fact, Israel is fully in synch with the United States and the broader international community in demanding that Hamas recognize Israel, renounce violence, and accept past Israeli-Palestinian agreements. I hope there will be no compromises on this approach; to do so would make a mockery of those Palestinians who reject violence and choose the path of negotiations. The last thing we would want is for terrorists to get the message that violence pays.

Of course, Iran is the number-one problem in the region, and we should keep in mind that Hamas is strongly backed by Iran, which provides training, funding, and probably arms to Hamas, as it does to Hezbollah. The United States needs to push for the strongest possible sanctions against Iran – and if the Security Council won’t go along, we should press our European and other allies at least to join with us in a tough sanctions regime. Our top priority should be to deprive Iran of the funds it uses for its nuclear weapons program, but a successful sanctions regime hopefully would have the additional benefit of reducing Iran’s material support for terrorists.

FP: Rep. Howard Berman, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.

Berman: You’re quite welcome.

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Israel
KEYWORDS: carter; glazov; hamas; hezbollah; howardberman; iran; israel; middleeast
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It's simple, because he hasn't changed and always will be a liberal Democrat.

He was wrong and totally oblivious as President and he STILL is.

It's more complicated than that.

Jimmeh Cahtuh (and the Cahtuh Centah) is owned -- lock, stock & barrel -- by the Saudis.

41 posted on 05/05/2008 4:05:07 PM PDT by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance on Parade)
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To: okie01
Jimmeh Cahtuh (and the Cahtuh Centah) is owned -- lock, stock & barrel -- by the Saudis.

"It's simple, because he hasn't changed and always will be a liberal Democrat".

My statement is my point made. ; )

42 posted on 05/05/2008 4:44:17 PM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: Dick Bachert
Because Carter has been wrong about damn near everything and didn’t want to damage his legacy?

Because Carter has been wrong about damn near everything and didn’t want to damage his legacy?

That's the because.

43 posted on 05/05/2008 4:48:23 PM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: SJackson
I didn't vote for Carter in 1976 (a former Canadian who
became a US citizen in 1974 ... my first oppportunity to vote) because I felt Carter, as a one term Governor of Georgia, didn't have the experience and background to be President. I voted for Gerald Ford who, of course, lost.
Carter was such a abysmal failure as President I'm proud of the fact I've continued to vote Republican these many election cycles since.
44 posted on 05/05/2008 5:00:32 PM PDT by BluH2o
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To: SJackson

...because Jimmy Carter’s head has lodged itself in a very dark, personal space and Ole Rabbit Teeth cannot remove it.

45 posted on 05/05/2008 5:19:09 PM PDT by madison10
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To: Arthur McGowan
Thank you! It should be posted in ten foot letters:

Carter is bought and paid for with Arab petrodollars.

This goes way back. Here's an excerpt from a 1980 Time magazine article about his brother Billy:

"I am just an ordinary citizen from a small Southern community," said the nervous, chain-smoking witness before a Senate subcommittee last week. But little was ordinary about the fact that Billy Carter had come to the ornate Senate Caucus Room, the famed site of the Teapot Dome, McCarthy and Watergate hearings. He was there to testify under oath about his controversial relations with the government of Libya. Soft-spoken and attired in a three-piece suit, he was no longer playing his old role as the Carter family clown. Indeed, in concluding a carefully crafted 27-page opening statement, he said, "I hope this testimony will show in common-sense fashion that Billy Carter is not a 'buffoon,' a 'boob' or a 'wacko,' as some public figures have described him."

In this, Billy appears to have succeeded. And although his judgment in choosing friends and business associates may remain open to question, he performed rather well in responding to the Senate panel's two main lines of questioning: 1) Had he used his position as the President's brother to influence U.S. policy toward Libya, a radical country with which Washington maintains subzero relations? 2) What were the details involving the $220,000 that he had received from a Libyan bank? In nine hours of testimony over two days, the Senators learned little that was new about either matter. Billy confirmed that he had visited Libya in 1978 and again the following year; he had played host, in turn, to a Libyan delegation to Georgia in January 1979; he had tried to arrange, without success, for the Charter Crude Oil Co. of Jacksonville to obtain Libyan crude oil; and he had received one check from the Libyans for $20,000 in December 1979 and another for $200,000 the following April 1.

Throughout the testimony, Billy insisted that there was nothing wrong with these transactions. He conceded that he probably "had been invited [to Libya] because I was the brother of the President," but he maintained that he made it very clear to his hosts that he "had absolutely no influence" on U.S. policies. To show how pointless any such effort would have been, Billy told the Senators that "when Jimmy was Governor of Georgia," the state "repaved the streets of Plains with one exception — the small portion of street in front of my house."

As for the $220,000 from Libya, Billy insisted that it was simply an advance on a $500,000 loan. Senators greeted this claim with understandable skepticism, especially since no loan papers were signed and there was no documentary evidence of collateral.

When Senators demanded proof that the money was indeed just a loan, Billy said that there was "just my word."

46 posted on 05/05/2008 5:26:54 PM PDT by Richard Kimball (We're all criminals. They just haven't figured out what some of us have done yet.)
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To: SJackson
I think the long and short answer is the blames Israel for his loss and failure to get a second term. In his mind if Israel would have done what he wanted there would have been peace and he would have been the national hero.
47 posted on 05/05/2008 5:32:22 PM PDT by engrpat
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Sorry. My bad. Thanks for the correction.

48 posted on 05/05/2008 8:55:26 PM PDT by Dick Bachert (INCENT)
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