Monday, January 30, 2006

cycles

This isn't a dryer post; it's about history.

As Hamas negotiates its new position in Palestine, and the rest of the world decides whether or not to negotiate with them, I can't help but marvel that it was Jimmy Carter who led the team of 950 international election observers.

The same Jimmy Carter who secretly tried to bring Hamas to the negotiation table ten years ago.

The man who negotiated peace accords between Egypt and Israel at Camp David, paving the way for Israel withdrawal from occupied territory. Now the Gaza Strip is part of Palestine, represented in a democratic election by Hamas.

I wonder how the world looks through the eyes of the 81-year-old Carter. To have that kind of perspective and firsthand experience with the region--to have lived through the deaths of Arafat, Rabin--does that make the picture any more clear?

6 Comments:

Blogger Colleen said...

When I teach Carter to my US classes, most of them don't even know who he is other than the Carter center in Atlanta. Isn't that sad? Those that do rattle off mistakes and problems with the Carter admin, but don't even know that he stopped a war between Egypt and Israel. Amazing man. Even more so in his post President years.

5:52 AM  
Blogger James said...

Colleen is right, the man has used his post-presidential years far more wisely than most.

A few years ago, I took a bunch of eighth graders to hear him speak at Southwestern University. He was amazing and the kids - eighth graders! - really listened and hung on his words. They were surprised to find out he had been our president before they were born and wondered how he could have ever lost.

6:15 AM  
Blogger Stormmaster said...

I fear it would take a lot more people like Carter to bring real peace and saftey to the people in that region.

Maybe not: but then we had to get rid of all those Anti-Carters somehow.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Notsocranky Yankee said...

Or how about in 1994 when Carter went down to Haiti and and prevented a military coup? My husband was on the planning team for the anticipated US military operation, and Carter flew in (on Air Force Two flown by a friend of mine)and ended it peacefully.

Unfortunately Haiti is back under military control because they have no oil...

It's amazing how much Carter has done SINCE his presidency!

12:51 PM  
Blogger Col. Dr. said...

Comparative analysis of why Carter would do so much beyond what is expected suggests something very life-changing must have happened post-Presidency to motivate him so.

Personally, I think that the incredible amount of work he put into the first "roadmap" of peace showed him that change comes after great toil, but Sadat's murder showed him that you can work for years and have the fruits of your labour disintegrate with a rifle shot.

Carter's genuine care for humanity sets him apart in my personal regard of American presidents. While I remain a radically socialist, defiant Canadian, I extend the same regards to Carter as I would any person who is sincerely concerned with human quality of life.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Isn't it strange to have a presidential figure who secretly tries to do good, as opposed to evil?

yeharr

1:06 PM  

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