Jimmy Carter: The Consummate Diplomat?

Former US president Jimmy Carter got slammed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today following his controversial meeting with militant group Hamas yesterday. Following a meeting with Iraqi officials, Rice said that Carter’s meeting might give the wrong impression as the US pursues peace in the Middle East.


"I just don't want there to be any confusion," Rice said. "The United States is not going to deal with Hamas and we had certainly told President Carter that we did not think meeting with Hamas was going to help" further a political settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Apparently there is confusion over whether or not the State Department gave Carter clearance to go to Tel Aviv for the meeting. The US is one of Israel’s strongest supporters; however, many observers feel that its support is so blind that it is interfering with having transparent and fair policies in the region. Because of its perceived blind support for Israel, it is believed that most US politicians reject having any balanced conversations with the Palestianians and allies about their grievances. Because of this, in the United States one is considered to be anti-Semitic is they question US/Israeli policy.

Carter's book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, was quickly chastised following its publication for alleged anti-Israeli sentiment. While he stated in his book that Arabs and Israelis were entitled to equal rights, he also criticised Israel's current policies in the Palestinian territories constitute "a system of apartheid, with two peoples occupying the same land, but completely separated from each other, with Israelis totally dominant and suppressing violence by depriving Palestinians of their basic human rights."

Nonetheless, Jimmy Carter has always been one of those people who would go against the grain to do what he thinks is the right thing to do. When he was President during the late 1970s, Carter made many controversial decisions while in office that left both good and bad effects on the international stage. During his presidential tenure, he brokered a peace deal with Israel and Egypt in 1979, which still stands today. However, the Carter administration is best remembered for Iran hostage crisis, which many believed led to him not being reelected.

However, many would agree that Carter has been a better ex-president with his initiatives through the Carter Center to discuss human rights and public policy. He notably spoke out against President Bush on the onset of the Iraq War.

While it is questionable what Carter's legacy is going be, shouldn't he be praised for taking a stand, which is more than I can say for other people? Maybe the current presidential candidates should take notes.

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At Wednesday, April 23, 2008 11:39:00 PM, Blogger techadvisor2thedead said...

Iran Contra Timeline, uh dude...where's the Carter administration?

o Oct. -According to unproven allegations, the Reagan-Bush campaign makes secret pact with Iran to delay release of the Embassy hostages until after the November election, in return for future covert arms sales. This theory is known as the 'October surprise.'
o Jan 20 -- Hostages held in the American Embassy in Iran released. Reagan takes oath of office.
o July -- An Israeli official suggests a deal with Iran to then-national security adviser Robert McFarlane, saying the transfer of arms could lead to release of Americans being held hostage in Lebanon. McFarlane brings the message to President Reagan.
o Aug. 30 -- The first planeload of U.S.-made weapons is sent from Israel to Tehran. Two weeks later the first American Hostage is released.
o Dec. 5 -- Reagan secretly signs a presidential 'finding,' or authorization, describing the operation with Iran as an arms-for-hostages deal.
o Jan. 17 -- Reagan signs a finding authorizing CIA participation in the sales and ordering the process kept secret from Congress.
o April -- Then-White House aide Oliver North writes a memo outlining plans to use $12 million in profits from Iran arms sales for Contra aid.
o Nov. 5 -- Bush records in his diary "On the news at this time is the question of the hostages ... I'm one of the few people that know fully the deatails ... it is not a subject we can talk about ...."
o Nov 13 -- Bush's diary: "I remember Watergate. I remember the way things oozed out. It is important to be level, to be honest, to be direct. We are not saying anything."
o Nov. 25 -- Attorney General Edwin Meese III discloses to the public that $10 million to $30 million in arms-sale profits were diverted to the Contras. Bush's diary: "The administration in disarray -- foreign policy in disarray -- cover-up -- who knew what when?..."
o Jan 1 -- Bush's diary "These so-called findings on Iran -- I'll be honest -- I don't remember any of them, and I don't believe that they were even signed by the president, frankly. But sometimes there are meetings over in the White House with Shultz, NSC guy [McFarlane? -ed], Casey and Weinberger, and they make some decisions that the president signs off on. ... And the facts are that the Vice President is not in the decision making loop."
o May 11 -- McFarlane testifies to Congress that Reagan instructed his staff in 1984 to find ways around the congressional ban on U.S. military aid to the Contras.
o Jan -- Just before Reagan leaves office, the White House computer is purged of data, which is backed-up to tape. About two-dozen tapes mysteriously disappear once the aides have finished.
o July 25 -- U.S. District Judge Harold Greene dismisses theft and wire fraud charges against Poindexter. Poindexter remains charged with conspiracy, two counts of obstructing Congress and two counts of making false statements.
o Feb. 5 -- Greene orders Reagan to give a unusual videotaped testimony and immediately turn over 33 excerpts from his diaries. The former president invokes constituionally questionable doctrine of executive privilege, made famous by Richard Milhous Nixon. On the videotape he says he never had "any inkling" that his aides were arming the Contras.
o April 7 -- Poindexter is convicted of all five charges.
o Feb. 28 -- Poindexter appeals all five convictions.
o June 16 -- Former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger is indicted on five felony counts of obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements.
o Aug. 26 -- Because of a hung jury, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth declares a mistrial in the case of CIA officer Clair George, accused of concealing from Congress his knowledge of the Iran-Contra affair.
o Nov. 26 -- Duane Clarridge, ex-head of the CIA's Western European Division, is indicted for allegedly lying about his knowledge of Iran-Contra.
o Dec. 9 -- George is convicted of lying to Congress about the affair in 1986. He becomes the highest-ranking CIA spook yet convicted of felonies committed in the name of duty.
o Dec. 24 -- President Bush grants pardons to Weinberger, former assistant secretary of State Elliott Abrams, Clarridge, Fiers, George and McFarlane.

At Thursday, April 24, 2008 7:46:00 AM, Blogger Global Wire said...

My bad! I meant to say the Iran hostage crisis.


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