Eye on the Middle East Mar/Apr 2009

As 2008 slipped off the stage into history, former American President James Earl “Jimmy” Carter was off on a mission to aid Arab countries and terrorist organizations by monitoring elections and helping initiate (so he thinks) an environment for peace.

On his visitation list were Syria and Lebanon. Carter met with Syrian President Bashar Assad and agreed with him that there should be no peace until Israel returns the Golan Heights to Syria. His offer to meet for chats with the terrorist Hezbollah in Lebanon was spurned, so he had to settle for meeting again with senior Hamas terrorists—including the organization’s main man, Khaled Mashaal.

Turning a deaf ear to complaints that America lists Hezbollah and Hamas as outlawed, terrorist organizations to be rejected until they change their ways and join civilized society, the former president proceeded on his one-man diplomatic foray anyway.

In addition to conferring an odious credibility on these merchants of terror, Carter has unfortunately stepped into a matter with more serious dimensions. Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas are all surrogates of Iran where Mahmoud Ahmadinejad presides, preparing a sufficient stock of weapons of mass destruction to arm his crusade to wipe out Israel and then go after the West.

If this fact is a concern to Jimmy Carter, he doesn’t seem to register it. One might suppose that he swims with the growing school of philosopher-diplomats who believe that what the world needs now is more conversation—time-outs, perhaps—that will politely convince this band of killers to be reasonable and love their neighbors.

But while the path to palaver is being paved, take a moment to hear what Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has to say about the situation. In early December 2008, Mubarak stated what he construes to be Ahmadinejad’s intentions. In a report aired on Israel Radio and then picked up by The Jerusalem Post, Mubarak took the Iranians to task: “The Persians are trying to devour the Arab states,” he said.

His comments came after Egypt had recalled its diplomatic envoy from the Iranian capital following a rise in tensions between the two countries.

And why wouldn’t Mr. Mubarak have his hackles raised? More than once demonstrators in Iran have demanded that the Egyptian leader be hanged. That, of course, didn’t go down well in Cairo. But the people of Tehran were not finished. They marched to the Egyptian diplomatic mission in the city, chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” and torched an Israeli flag.

Not surprisingly, when the state controls the news media with an iron fist, the press jumps on the bandwagon to join the fray. In this instance, it piled on Mubarak a mountain of insults and criticisms of his policies and leadership.

As if it weren’t enough to have the murderous Muslim Brotherhood on the prowl against him at home, President Mubarak is now being forced to watch his back for the Iranian Hitler who wants to devour him along with the Arab world, Israel, the United States, and Europe. The little Persian has put a lot on his plate, and he doesn’t need naïve politicians on our side of the table giving him help and encouragement.

Events engulfing the planet seem to be turning from the ridiculous to the bizarre. It is no longer a rare phenomenon to hear friends and acquaintances ask, “Where is common sense?” Now they’re also asking, “Where can leaders be found who will exercise it?”

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