Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Jimmy Carter's Mid East Jaunt

While partisans and nudists spoiled the day for people who came to watch the running of the Olympic torch in San Francisco, former American President Jimmy Carter is planning a trip to the Middle East.

He's got a right to do so, of course. On the other hand, as a former American president, Mr. Carter's actions carry greater weight that the run-of-the-mill citizen's.

The State Department says that they know about former President Jimmy Carter's planned visit to Syria. And, that it's an unsanctioned diplomatic trip. Former President Carter plans to visit Israel, too, on April 12: and will visit Syria and Saudi Arabia while he's in the neighborhood.

A State Department spokesman said that "the State Department has expressed our concerns and advised President Carter that past engagement with the Syrian regime has not produced positive results." (FOXNews (April 9, 2008))

The Hamas connection comes from an Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat, saying that Carter was going to meet Khaled Meshaal on April 18. That would be a very big deal. Khaled Meshaal is the exiled head of the Palestinian terror group Hamas. Everyone involved is being very quiet.

Including traditional mainstream news. I'm not sure whether ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, The New York Times, and all, don't have the resources that newer organizations have, or if there's something else going on.

If Carter-Meshaal meeting actually happens, Carter's meeting with Hamas would be record-breaking. He'd be the highest-level American official, present or past, to meet with Hamas: and the first significant contact with America's government since Meshaal and Clinton officials met in the 1990s.

A Carter-Meshaal meeting might have positive results. Former President Carter didn't quite win the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize, and didn't win one until 2002. This would be an opportunity for the former president to make his prize a pair.

That's probably unfair, but if former President Carter is planning to meet with a terrorist leader, I think that the prudence of his plan could be questioned.

More, at:

Related posts, on Individuals and the War on Terror.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.