Friday, January 27, 2006

Another reason why Jimmy Carter is my favorite President

from the Toronto Star, c/o

Jimmy Carter's Secret Hamas Summit
by Mitch Potter

JERUSALEM - The mood was disaster-in-progress when the unflappable Jimmy Carter stepped into the room yesterday to share a few quiet moments with the Toronto Star.

The official returns were flowing in, showing a Hamas victory almost beyond anyone's calibration.

The hard fist of political Islam didn't just enter the Palestinian parliament. It is the parliament.


As for the death of peace hopes, Carter offered a steely gaze, and unleashed a laundry list of reasons why the question is ridiculous.

"Remember, we're not interrupting a major, successful, promising peace process. There haven't been any peace talks for the last 3 1/2 years. For almost three years, the elected leader of the Palestinian people (Arafat) was imprisoned in two or three rooms in Ramallah and was not permitted to leave his office," said Carter.

"And then once Mahmoud Abbas was elected a year ago, we thought this would open a fairly immediate opportunity for peace talks. But there haven't been any peace talks. There hasn't been any real effort to strengthen Abbas's international stature, or his economic ability to manage his government's needs or meet his people's needs. There hasn't been any willingness on the part of outside forces to equip his security people with the ability to control violence.

"He's been put into a holding pattern. So we're not interrupting a peace process by this election. And it may be that what I consider to be a stalemate could possibly be invigorated. I won't say reinvigorated because there's no vigour there now."


Carter professes no insight into whether Hamas is capable of the challenge of leadership. But he's old enough to have seen many in this region make the transition from terror to power with aplomb."Despite the concerns expressed about the character of Hamas, we have to hope for the best.

My prayer is the Hamas leaders, now serving in positions of unprecedented authority, will lead the Palestinian people on a peaceful, non-violent path toward a two-state solution."


World War One was the consequence of an escalation of feuding allies. It started with the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand (also a great band), drew rivers of blood from the trenches of Europe, and ended with the fall of Baghdad in 1918.

Today's political conflict in the Middle East is the byproduct of countless historical mechanisms. By examining cultural history, we can find that the tendencies of human behavior transcend generational boundaries.

The path of peace is found through the recognition of reason. The culturally imprinted mind that fuels the emotive fires of radical fundamentalism is equally capable of inclusive rationale. The solution to the political conflict in the Middle East must embrace the subjectivity of cultural existence as well as the common nature of human identity. But the question remains, will the citizens of Earth work together to lift up the poor and destitute, or will we fall yet again into a state of World War?


For more on cultural history and human consciousness, please visit:

the synthetic universe