When it comes to describing the unfortunate periodic reappearances of Jimmy Carter in the Middle East several characterizations come to mind but none more so than these two: a basket case of self-delusion or venal anti-Semitism masquerading as compassion. In either case, Carter is destined to continue his encouragement of the outlawed terrorist organization Hamas to pursue its murderous policies aimed primarily at civilians.
During his recent foray into Gaza -- where Carter publically called upon the US to remove the Iranian backed Muslim Brotherhood affiliated Hamas from the list of known terrorist organizations -- he managed to be the only observer of Mid-East politics to believe the absolutely phony and poorly staged “falling out” between Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and his deputy Moussa Abu Marzook. What Carter interpreted as a sign of Hamas’s moderation was in fact a clumsy tactical move to make that organization appear “moderate” by spinning off its terrorist operational arm into a subsidiary organization so that when the next series of terror attacks occur they will have a degree of deniability for the actions they launch. This is an old tactic taken directly from the terrorist playbook of the late Yassir Arafat during the course of his murderous existence. It also comes at a time when multiple reports, and statements by his own advisors, have indicated that Obama intends to negotiate with Hamas, in fact some reports say that Carter was delivering that message from Obama.
Then came the staged “roadside bomb” incident where Hamas announced it had discovered and neutralized a bomb along Carter’s motorcade route. Of course he was deeply grateful for their vigilance, professionalism, concern for his safety. Again he stood alone in being so gullible as to defy belief among virtually all observers of his trip. Everyone else was convinced that Hamas planted the “bomb” themselves to then act as hero by finding it. Hamas literally saw Carter coming.
Let us not forget that Carter also urged Hamas to recognize the right of Israel to exist. Can we now get Carter to urge Obama to recognize Israel’s right to exist? To his chagrin Hamas categorically rejected Israel’s right to exist when a senior Hamas official announced: “Recognizing Israel is completely unacceptable.” Undaunted by these obvious facts concerning the violent and implacable nature of his Hamas friends, Carter is still insisting that US and UN sanctions against Hamas be lifted and they be rewarded for their vile rejectionist stance – after all the people in Gaza who freely elected them are suffering under their policies. Alas, it is such a pity that Carter’s favorite terrorist organization has the bad taste to actually do what they say they believe in.
Carter’s penchant for believing his own rhetoric and seeing the World as he would like it to be rather than for what it is makes him the incarnation of what Vladimir Lenin termed a “useful idiot,” in Obama’s case a more accurate term would be “pernicious idiot.” Unfortunately, multitudes of innocent people pay the ultimate price for the delusional machinations of such people throughout history. The self-righteous weaklings who periodically appear on the world stage have caused much tragedy. Carter himself and his failed one-term presidency was largely responsible for the mismanagement of political change in Iran that saw Muslim fundamentalists seize power in 1979. His intervention that forestalled a military coup ensured the successful power grab by Islamic militants and the waves of murders and assassinations around the world of pro-Western Iranian leaders. These same Islamic militants went on to seize the American Embassy and develop Terrorism as the primary instrument of their foreign policy. Two of their most dangerous and infamous creations were Hamas and Hezbollah.
There is a certain symmetry to Carter’s unwavering support for organizations like Hamas. How much is a result of his underlying guilt as the unwitting mid-wife of modern day Islamic terrorism and how much is sheer buffoonery is difficult to discern and may never be known. Unfortunately, his misplaced compassion for Hamas and the Gazans who installed them in power and still give them their unwavering support despite the depredations they have wrought may also mask a long-suspected underlying anti-Semitism that distorts his ability to rationally approach issues in the Middle-East.
Neville Chamberlain saw the world as he wished it would be in 1938 when he signed the Munich Agreement with Hitler and doomed the innocent citizens of Czechoslovakia, and eventually much of Europe, to Nazi tyranny and genocide. Unfortunately he lived to see his 76th birthday. Jimmy Carter has now seen his 85th birthday but his legitimization of terrorist organizations such as Hamas will ensure that untold numbers of innocent civilians will never be blessed with such longevity.
Scott Wheeler and Peter Leitner are co-authors of the upcoming book, “Hamas in America.”