Jimmy Carter's Moral Equivalence Laid Bare
Mark Reynolds provides this:
Forget the question of whether or not we should be listening to Jimmy Carter about the Middle East in light of his performance while sitting at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Carter proves that he can not be trusted on this latest crisis by what he ignores in Stop the Band-Aid Treatment.
“It is inarguable that Israel has a right to defend itself against attacks on its citizens, but it is inhumane and counterproductive to punish civilian populations in the illogical hope that somehow they will blame Hamas and Hezbollah for provoking the devastating response.”
Yes it’s inarguable that Israel has the right to defend itself, although I’m unsure why it’s necessary to even state this, except that maybe Carter has the illogical hope that I and other readers may think he’s addressing this issue from a non-partisan view. I also agree that it is inhumane and counterproductive to punish civilian populations, but the punishment of civilian populations is not (as far as I can tell) a goal of Israel as Carter implies. Israel’s goal is too keep their civilian population alive, Hamas’ and Hezbollah’s stated goal is the total annihilation of Israel in what ever way possible including putting civilian populations in harm’s way. No where does Carter mention this little discrepancy in motives.
Carter bemoans Israel’s "deep regret," and other promises and explanations that they expressed in response to the air attack on Qana, which killed 57 civilians, when “(t)he urgent need in Lebanon is that Israeli attacks stop, the nation's regular military forces control the southern region, Hezbollah cease as a separate fighting force, and future attacks against Israel be prevented.”
That’s nice rhetoric, but what Carter fails to mention is that the attack resulted in civilian deaths because Israel was attacking a Hezbollah launch site not because Israel was targeting civilians. Hezbollah launching of missiles from behind a “safe-house” which contained civilians (including children) was in effect using the launch site and “safe-house” as “bait” for Israel’s own missiles, hoping they’d hit the “safe-house”. (see Hezbollah’s Triumph by Alan M. Dershowitz ) The reality is that Israel is defending a civilian population while Hezbollah is not only hiding behind, but also deliberately causing casualties within, the civilian population in order to garner condemnation of Israel’s defensive actions.
Carter complains that “the current conflict is part of the inevitably repetitive cycle of violence that results from the absence of a comprehensive settlement in the Middle East, exacerbated by the almost unprecedented six-year absence of any real effort to achieve such a goal. The fact is that the “repetitive cycle” is Israel giving up land and then getting attacked. Jimmy, as you should know, stating that there should be a comprehensive settlement is an easy thing to say but it’s unrealistic until the terrorist groups are shut down. As for the “unprecedented six-year absence of any real effort to achieve” a comprehensive settlement; I guess convincing Israel to retreat to it’s pre-1967 borders and introducing a UN Security council resolution (and subsequently adopted) which endorsed Israeli and Palestinian states co-existing side by side (the first Security Council resolution to refer to Palestinian statehood) among other meetings and “talks” conducted by the Bush administration, is not a “real effort”.
Carter, taking a lesson from Mel Gibson, further goes on to say that
“There will be no substantive and permanent peace for any peoples in this troubled region as long as Israel is violating key U.N. resolutions, official American policy and the international "road map" for peace by occupying Arab lands and oppressing the Palestinians.”
It’s always Israel that gets in the way of peace, just like Ehud Barak’s offer of a Palestinian state at the Camp David 2000 Summit – which was not acceptable to Arafat because – why? Because the end goal of the PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah, and all other islamofascist groups is the destruction of Israel not peaceful co-existence. Carter makes it sound as if Israel just stops being a “pill” peace will come. In the reality of these terrorists peace will not come until Israel just stops “being”.
Carter further states that a major impediment to progress is Washington's strange policy that dialogue will be extended only as a reward for subservient behavior and will be withheld from those who reject U.S. assertions” and that there should be direct engagement with the Palestine Liberation Organization or the Palestinian Authority and the government in Damascus. Just who is the U.S. asking to behave subserviently and since when is it “strange” that we refuse to negotiate with terrorist supporting organizations and states?
Finally Carter concludes that
“The people of the Middle East deserve peace and justice, and we in the international community owe them our strong leadership and support.”
It’s easy to say that the people of the Middle East deserve peace and justice but what of those people of the Middle East who disrupt the peace? When your goal is the annihilation of a race of people what is your “peace and justice”? Carter doesn’t answer this question.