Jimmy Carter’s pathetic need for political rehabilitation following a presidency widely regarded as one of the worst in American history is once again making news. He reportedly will meet this week with Khaled Mashaal, the Syrian-based leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian arm, Hamas – an internationally recognized terrorist organization.
Mr. Carter maintains this is no big deal since he has met with Hamas officials before. Indeed, in keeping with his Carter Center’s self-appointed status as global election monitor, the former president did officiate in January 2006 when the Brotherhood’s terrorists defeated those of Fatah led by Yasser Arafat’s longtime crony, Mahmoud Abbas.
In point of fact, it seems there is scarcely a serious bad actor on the planet with whom Jimmy Carter has not met. He is a serial tyrant-enabler, the very personification of Rodney King’s risible appeal, “Can’t we all get along?” Mr. Carter has come to epitomize the notion that “dialogue” is always in order, no matter how odious or dangerous the interlocutor – or the extent to which they or their agendas will benefit from such interactions.
As Barak Obama (whom Carter has all but endorsed) is as wedded as the former President to the idea of condition-free dialogue with tyrants, it is worth reflecting on just a few of the many example’s of how this Carteresque practice has produced disastrous results:
* In 1979, then-President Carter undermined the Shah of Iran and made possible the Ayatollah Khomeini’s return to Iran and subsequent Islamic revolution. Although the uber-mullah returned the favor with the sacking of Embassy Tehran and seizure of its personnel that assured Carter’s would be a one-term presidency, the regime thus born has ever since been a blight on its own people and a state-sponsor of terror and nuclear wannabe that represents an ever-growing menace to its region and the world.
* In 1994, Citizen Carter made a mission to Pyongyang at a time when then-President Bill Clinton was first confronting evidence of North Korea’s illegal pursuit of nuclear weapons. The former president’s intervention gave rise to a deal that lent invaluable prestige to the regime, perpetuated its hold on power and utterly failed to preclude the North’s acquisition of a nuclear arsenal.
* In 2004, Jimmy Carter ignored abundant evidence of official vote-rigging and election fraud in a Venezuelan referendum, handing victory to Hugo Chavez and clearing the way for the most destabilizing accretion of power in the Western hemisphere since Fidel Castro’s communist revolution in Cuba – a model and inspiration for Chavez.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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