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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Dhimmi Carter: Make prisoner exchanges not war

Continuing its policy of giving voice to heinous politicians who ought to be put out to pasture, this morning's Washington Post features an article by former President Dhimmi Carter, who argues that Israel should be carrying out 'peaceful prisoner exchanges' with Hamas and Hezbullah rather than trying to disarm them and in Hezbullah's case push them north of the Litani River.
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.

This stratagem precipitated the renewed violence that erupted in June when Palestinians dug a tunnel under the barrier that surrounds Gaza and assaulted some Israeli soldiers, killing two and capturing one. They offered to exchange the soldier for the release of 95 women and 313 children who are among almost 10,000 Arabs in Israeli prisons, but this time Israel rejected a swap and attacked Gaza in an attempt to free the soldier and stop rocket fire into Israel. The resulting destruction brought reconciliation between warring Palestinian factions and support for them throughout the Arab world.

Hezbollah militants then killed three Israeli soldiers and captured two others, and insisted on Israel's withdrawal from disputed territory and an exchange for some of the several thousand incarcerated Lebanese. With American backing, Israeli bombs and missiles rained down on Lebanon. Hezbollah rockets from Syria and Iran struck northern Israel.
If Carter wants to argue that we should kill the imprisoned terrorists rather than holding them, I am all in favor. Unfortunately, giving them away in 'exchanges' of the type advocated by Carter just leads to more kidnappings.

While Carter claims to acknowledge that Israel has a right to defend itself, he says that "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." Carter conveniently ignores the fact that both Hamas and Hezbullah play the game of hiding among the civilian population. Carter would never do anything that would admit that there is something wrong with turning the most infirm members of the civilian population into human shields for the terrorists.

Carter argues:
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.
But without Israeli attacks, there is no chance that Lebanon's army will control the southern region (it has failed to do so for the last six years) nor that Hezbullah will cease to be a separate fighting force. As to the Shebaa Farms, Carter can take that one up with his friends at the UN.

Carter then returns to restating old mantras about the "two-state solution:"
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. Except for mutually agreeable negotiated modifications, Israel's official pre-1967 borders must be honored.
Of course, this totally ignores the fact that Lebanon has no border dispute with Israel and is not one of the two states involved in the discussion. As to the 'Palestinians,' their behavior since a Judenrein Gaza was surrendered to them last summer shows clearly to anyone who is willing to open his eyes that the 'Palestinians' do not seek a 'two-state solution,' nor even to build their own state, but rather to destroy the State of Israel and to massacre its people.

The people of the Middle East deserve 'peace and justice' as Carter states. We do not deserve to commit suicide by becoming dhimmis as he has become.


At 3:25 AM, Blogger Dave in Pa said...

As an American, I'm really embarrassed that Jimmy Carter was a President of the United States.

Equal to my embarrassment is my annoyance with many of my fellow Americans who fail to remember what a disaster this archetypal liberal idiot's Presidency was.

For those people who reason rather than emote, who attempt to remember and learn from history, they understand well that Jimmy Carter has no business lecturing any country, least of all Israel, on state morality.

His intellectually and morally flaccid dealings with the Iranian revolutionary regime are a large reason for the growth in power and malignity of that regime.

When Carter makes a pronouncement, proceed on the assumption that he's 180 degrees wrong. That's almost always the case. I can only suggest to my Israeli friends that you do what most of America does-ignore the fool.

At 5:16 AM, Blogger Kranky (in the civilized world) said...

So Carl, maybe we can trade Dhimma "Lust in my heart" Carter for some IDF prisoners.

At 8:33 AM, Blogger Dan said...

"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."

RRGGH... This kind of statement has been tossed around so much lately and it is driving me nuts.

Why is Israel always expected to slavishly pander to the popular opinion of its neighbors??? Lebanese popular opinion is the *least* of Israel's problems right now.

Has Jimmy Carter forgot that a hundred rockets are raining down on Israel every day? *That* is the urgent problem that Israel is trying to solve. Arabs will go on hating Israelis for centuries maybe. Israel can live with their scorn, but it cannot live with 100 rocket attacks every day.

So many liberal writers start with the conceited belief that they understand "Israel's goal" in this war. They think Israel's goal is to make its neighbors love them. And then they proceed to explain why Israel is not achieving that goal. What they somehow miss is the terror that is killing Israelis and driving them from their homes. Maybe if Jimmy Carter were sitting in Nahariya he'd understanding what the actual goal of the war is...

At 2:45 AM, Blogger Alexander Wolfe said...


Bush is in office and you have time to be embarassed by Carter?
And if you want to check your history books, you'll know that Iran largely hates us because of our tinkering with their democratically elected government.


I don't know any liberal writers who think Israel's goal is to make anybody love them. This campaign in Lebanon is proof that their goal is to make themselves secure. Unfortunately, they are killing hundreds of Lebanese and inflaming the Arab world against them (and us incidentally) which in the long-term is counter-productive, especially given their seeming inability to destroy Hezbollah's capability to launch rockets into northern Israel. Even the security zone that they are attempting to carve out won't stop that.

Also, let's not forget that those rockets didn't start dropping on Israel in this recent fight until after Israel started the bombing campaign in response to the kidnapping of their soldiers.

At 5:19 AM, Blogger soft_guy said...

No country can ever win a war when its enemies are allowed to define the context of the conflict.

Israel's problems are caused by its being too moral and too accomodating to the arabs.

World War II was not won by wishful thinking, "limited action", or precision bombing. In order to change people's thinking in Germany and Japan, it was necessary for the people of these countries to suffer.

It is now necessary for the Lebanese and probably many other people in the middle east to truly suffer. This suffering would teach them that there are real consequences to harboring terrorists.

The US wouldn't be having the problems we have in Iraq if we had used carpet bombing techniques instead of "precision" bombing techniques.

Israel should attack more forcefully and they should deport all of the arabs from their country.

Let's reserve decent treatment for people who can appreciate it, not muslims.


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