Skip to comments.Thirty Years after Camp David
Posted on 09/08/2008 10:24:34 AM PDT by forkinsocket
Thirty years ago Jimmy Carter tried to change the world by getting the leaders of nations to agree. The result, in September 1978, was the Camp David Accords. Did it work?
Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin, the respective leaders of Egypt and Israel, did reach some basic agreements and since then Egypt has stopped trying to drive Israel into the sea. After four wars in twenty five years, the Arab-Israeli wars stopped. The accords are universally considered the highlight of an otherwise dismal presidency, perhaps the only good thing that Carter ever did. But the accords also failed.
Establishing an autonomous self-governing Palestinian Authority in Gaza and the West Bank, part of the accords, "worked" in the sense that this happened, but that was the limit of success. The Palestinians hate Israel more than ever. They send women and children to blow themselves up in order that innocent Israelis die.
The normalization of relations with Egypt has "worked." Diplomatic relations, trade, peace between the largest Arab nation and Israel followed the accords. But eighty-seven percent of Egyptians consider Israel "the enemy," long after the end of any war, and Sadat was murdered by Moslem extremists three years after the accords were signed. The vilest sludge of anti-Semitic libels, sometimes found in government media, permeates Egyptian society. Diplomacy has done what it could, but diplomacy can not change bigotries.
When Obama and McCain seek our votes this year, we need to remember that truth. Today much of the world despises America and despises Israel. Why? Not because of diplomatic misunderstanding. Sadat was the government of Egypt. He made peace. His own people murdered him for this crime. His successor, Mubarak, apparently President for Life Mubarak, has not been a real problem in the last twenty-seven years. The venom against Christians and Jews, the contempt for Israel and America in Arab and Islamic society - these have been the problems.
The government of Syria (i.e. Assad) has inched toward less hateful relations with Israel. We should encourage that, but we should also not forget that the hearts and minds of the people, whether owned by secular Baathist allegiance or by some version of radical Islam, are still committed to the proposition that Syrians are poor because Americans and Israelis are rich. They are weak because we are strong. This agitation pushes governments and sometimes destroys good governments.
What was happening in the world when the Camp David Accords were taking shape? Our strongest ally in the Moslem world, the Shah of Iran, was being driven from office by Moslem extremists. The Shah was demonized by the American Left, which like those poisoned minds in other lands, hates America and Israel, hates Jews and Christians, and sees the destruction of these notional enemies as its only real goal.
The hearts and minds of the Iranian people were poisoned, and no diplomatic coup could purge the toxin. Sadat was murdered and the Shah was hounded into exile because hate trumped sense and passion crushed pragmatism. If we forget that, if we fail to see our real foe in the world today, then no treaty will accomplish anything worth possessing. What if, instead of simply signing accords, Sadat had been able to melt the rage of the Egyptian people? Suppose his mission had been to convince Egyptians and to show other people that real friendship with America and Israel brought blessings? The benefits of Camp David would have surely followed, but more than that, real peace instead of a cold war would have followed in the Middle East.
That was the sort of change which the Shah was trying to make in Iran. He sought friendship with America and a working relationship with Israel. The Shah treated religious minorities in Iran with respect and elevated the status of women. Pointedly, he struggled with the militant mullahs who sought to keep Shia Iran in constant war against Judeo-Christian civilization.
The Left, of course, loved to hate the Shah. It is surreal only to those who do not grasp how surreal and how evil the Left is that a man who personified the elusive "moderate Moslem" voice, who liberated more women than any Leftist ever did, who opposed pure and real theocracy, should be viewed as the mortal enemy of Leftism. He was doing what Sadat was not: The Shah was persuading the Persian people that hatred of America, of Israel, of Christians, and of Jews - those who the Left must always hate in order to feel alive - is self-hatred.
In an odd way, the Shad succeeded and Sadat did not. America is wildly unpopular in much of the world, Egypt included. But America is very popular in Iran. The people there, having tasted what decent modernity could bring, have now endured almost thirty years of savage, murderous Islamic literalness. Israel lost a real friend, not a plastic Egyptian official face covering a teeming population which devours copies of The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.
The iron grip which prejudiced bitterness has on the people of the world is our problem. Everything else, including the niceties of governmental agreements, are superficial and weak reeds. We had agreements with Arab leaders fifty years ago. Anti-American colonels threw them out, just as assassins killed Sadat and mullahs led the people to drive out the Shah. The very friendship these leaders had for America and for Israel doomed them. The enemy was not foreign governments, but the misplaced steam of furiously unhappy people.
Our enemy is the twisted mind and frozen heart which dwell inside ordinary humans throughout the planet. The enemy lives in the bodies of millions of Americans, who honestly believe that our country, the land they choose to live in, is the only real obstacle to some Leftist Nirvana. The enemy inhabits the bodies of Europeans - people whose freedom was earned by the blood of America's children and whose prosperity was funded by American tax dollars - yet who fancy that, but for America there would be joy and but for Israel there would be peace. The very shores which felt the blood of dead American liberators, the very lands which once devoured Jewry, honestly sees Christians and Jews, Americans and Israelis, as "the enemy."
The enemy cannot be vanquished by treaties or by governments alone. Our enemy is an infection of the soul. It spreads like a plague through the streets of Cairo, whatever Mubarak may say or think, just like it spreads through the streets of Chicago where the pals of very lucky community organizers preach in churches that America be damned. This global disease destroys the hosts who carry its sickness. Witch doctors tells its victims that black magic causes the suffering of this sickness, and the spell against them has been cast by ordinary people in Texas or Tel-Aviv or by people who pray to Christ or read the Torah.
Somehow we must break the power of these witch doctors or every Camp David will become, over the years, a Munich. We must cure the infection and heal the soul-sickness. Now, today, we celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Camp David. It was supposed to bring peace and, for now, it did - or rather it quarantined a patch of war. Over time, though, Camp David is not enough. It never could be and it never will.
Remember, always, Reagan. We found a way to live with Soviet tyranny, if you can call the Cold War "living." Our greatest president signed treaties and protocols and agreements, just like other presidents, but he did more: He championed truth and he sought to defeat lies. A war we never thought could be won was utterly won in less than a decade, but not through any formal agreement.
Our enemy, the soul sickness which haunts our world, is not Islam or even Marxism, per se. Those who hate us in Europe have no God, much less an Allah. They know the sham of Marx and saw the grim silliness of living Communism. The food for their fever is not the Quran or Das Kapital, but rather a virus which devours their conscience and short circuits their brain. We, the healthy and the sane, must cure them. If Reagan were here now, he would tell us so.
When someone is sick, he thinks that pain relievers like Camp David are cures. Morphine and aspirin have their place in a doctor's bag, but they cannot replace penicillin. And any doctor who mistakes an analgesic with an antibiotic does.
Thanks for posting.