Monday, May 12, 2008

With any luck

Here's a simply superb op-ed that appeared last week in (amazingly enough) the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., has asked the State Department to revoke Mr. Carter's passport to keep him from abusing the privileges it bestows in order to traffic with terrorists. President Carter is entitled to his distortions, inaccuracies and hostile opinions, but not to a passport, or so the reasoning goes.

Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Mich., has introduced the Coordinated American Response to Extreme Radicals Act (the CARTER Act), that would prevent the federal government from giving taxpayer money to the Carter Center, which has received more than $19 million since 2001. "America must speak with one voice against our terrorist enemies," Mr. Knollenberg said. The act further stipulates that the money instead would go to U.S. victims of terrorism.

Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Johnstown, has introduced a resolution stating that Congress "disapproves of former President Jimmy Carter's freelance diplomatic efforts in the Middle East, which contradict the stated foreign policy position of the current administration." It calls on Mr. Carter "to cease all diplomatic efforts with recognized terrorist groups" and catalogs the long list of Hamas atrocities.

There are even calls to indict Mr. Carter under the 1799 Logan Act, which bans private citizens from unauthorized negotiation with foreign governments.

Mr. Carter counters that he was merely on a "fact-finding mission." However, all reports of his visit clearly indicate that he tried to usurp government powers and broker diplomatic deals regarding Syrian peace negotiations with Israel and a Hamas cease-fire.

With any luck, Mr. Carter will start to wonder if his Middle East meddling was worth the trouble. After all, he could have used his stature to effect change in many distressed parts of the world where his presence would not violate American law or bring censure on himself. Instead, he chose to reward an Islamist, Iranian-backed terror group which has killed hundreds of people, including Americans, over the last 20 years with a major PR coup. In return for eroding the boycott of Hamas at the international level, Mr. Carter managed to achieve ... nothing.
Deborah Fidel is executive director of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Zionist Organization of America. She's good. She's very, very good. And you definitely want to read the whole thing.