I think ^(link) therefore I err

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

President Carter

I know, I know. He's a senile old man who's opinion should just be taken with a grain of salt. But he's an ex-president and this morning he has me very angry!
The Washington Post this morning has an opinion piece by Carter concerning what's going on in Israel and Lebanon. He starts off with a little history: The Middle East has problems and when Israel arrests someone and puts them in prison, in the past they have exchanged these prisoners for prisoners taken by Palestinians and/or Lebanese.
The Middle East is a tinderbox, with some key players on all sides waiting for every opportunity to destroy their enemies with bullets, bombs and missiles. One of the special vulnerabilities of Israel, and a repetitive cause of violence, is the holding of prisoners. Militant Palestinians and Lebanese know that a captured Israeli soldier or civilian is either a cause of conflict or a valuable bargaining chip for prisoner exchange. This assumption is based on a number of such trades, including 1,150 Arabs, mostly Palestinians, for three Israeli soldiers in 1985; 123 Lebanese for the remains of two Israeli soldiers in 1996; and 433 Palestinians and others for an Israeli businessman and the bodies of three soldiers in 2004.

Ok. Groundwork set. Now here is the solution and the blame. (I'll get to the rest of the crap in a minute)
The 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. Israel should withdraw from all Lebanese territory, including Shebaa Farms, and release the Lebanese prisoners. Yet yesterday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rejected a cease-fire.

These are ambitious hopes, but even if the U.N. Security Council adopts and implements a resolution that would lead to such an eventual solution, it will provide just another band-aid and temporary relief. Tragically, 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.

Why such a major disconnect? "The current conflict is part of the inevitably repetitive cycle of violence that results from the...blah, blah, blah"
In reality, "The current conflict is part of the inevitable cycle of violence when you negotiate with terrorists!!!!!" If you are willing to exchange prisoners, time after time and time, then it can be expected that you will do it again. Israel and the US appears to have said "no more. Lets end this 'repetitive cycle of violence'" and not go with the standard prisoner exchange. It makes logical sense to me.

Clinton had a comprehensive settlement. And I give him an A for effort. But Israel was bombed with regularity after just that settlement. Israel gave up terroritory and was bombed with regularity after doing so. It sounds like a different sort of solution was needed to me.

Moving on in the column:
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. The result instead has been that broad Arab and worldwide support has been rallied for these groups, while condemnation of both Israel and the United States has intensified.
That's nice Mr. Carter but I sinceretly doubt that Israel had a) any expectation of support from the world in anything they do or that b) civilian populations, after having their homes bombed, would blame Hamas and Hezbollah. Israel is doing what needs to be done. And no that does not included bombing civilians on purpose. But if Hezbollah and Hamas are going to fight from population centers then civilians are bound to get killed. Where is the outrage against Hamas and Hezbollah for AIMING at civilians!!?

Traumatized Israelis cling to the false hope that their lives will be made safer by incremental unilateral withdrawals from occupied areas, while Palestinians see their remnant territories reduced to little more than human dumping grounds surrounded by a provocative "security barrier" that embarrasses Israel's friends and that fails to bring safety or stability.

Um, until this war started those traumatized Israelis were traumatized by suicide bombers in their midsts. These suicide bombers were drying up as that "security barrier" was being built. Embarrassing or not it did bring a measure of safety. And once again President Carter has come up with no better solution for the problem of suicide bombers because frankly he hasn't even bothered to mention them.
Here's his answer:
The general parameters of a long-term, two-state agreement are well known. 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.

So Israel is the violator here of key UN resolutions. Please go back and rease Claudia Rossett and see that the the friggin UN is the violator of key resolutions. She is much more eloquent than I.