Posted by Joshua on Wednesday, April 9th, 2008
Jimmy Carter to Meet With Hamas Leader in Syria
Tuesday , April 08, 2008
By Joseph Abrams, Fox News
NEW YORK CITY —
Former President Jimmy Carter is reportedly preparing an unprecedented meeting with the leader of Hamas, an organization that the U.S. government considers one of the leading terrorist threats in the world.
The Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat reported Tuesday that Carter was planning a trip to Syria for mid-April, during which he would meet with Khaled Meshal, the exiled head of the Palestinian terror group Hamas, on April 18.
Deanna Congileo, Carter’s press secretary, confirmed in an e-mail to FOXNews.com that Carter will be in the Mideast in April. Pressed for comment, Congileo did not deny that the former president is considering visiting Meshal.
“President Carter is planning a trip to the Mideast next week; however, we are still confirming details of the trip and will issue a press release by the end of this week,” wrote Congileo. “I cannot confirm any specific meetings at this point in time.”
Meshal, who lives in Syria to avoid being arrested by the Israeli government, leads Hamas from his seat in Damascus, where he is a guest of Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
The State Department has designated Hamas a “foreign terrorist organization,” and some groups hold Meshal personally responsible for ordering the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack once said of the prospect of meeting with Meshal, “That’s not something that we could possibly conceive of.”
Some Carter critics called the latest reports typical of the ex-president.
“It’s about par for the course from President Carter, demonstrating a lack of judgment typical of what he does,” said John Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. “To go to Syria to visit Hamas at this point is just an ill-timed, ill-advised decision on his part.”….. Read rest
Syria plays an ambivalent role. We have seen evidence of efforts to interdict some foreign fighters seeking to transit Syria to Iraq, but others continue to cross the boarder. Syria also harbors individuals who finance and support the Iraqi insurgency.
Naji writes in the comment section:
The best commentary on yesterday’s Senate hearings came, as usual, from the inimitable Maureen Dowd in her column in today’ NYT:
Many words hovered Tuesday in the Senate — including some pointed ones by the woman and two men vying to be commander in chief. But the words seemed trapped in a labyrinth leading nowhere.
The Surge Twins were back, but the daylong testimony of David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker before two committees seemed more depressing this time. As the Bard writes in “Macbeth”: “From that spring whence comfort seemed to come, discomfort swells.”
They arrived on the heels of the Maliki debacle in Basra, which made it stunningly clear — after a cease-fire was brokered in Iran — that we’re spending $3 trillion as our own economy goes off a cliff so that Iran can have a dysfunctional little friend.
You know you’re in trouble when Barbara Boxer is the voice of reason.
“Why is it,” she asked, “after all we have given — 4,024 American lives, gone; more than half-a-trillion dollars spent; all this for the Iraqi people, but it’s the Iranian president who is greeted with kisses and flowers?”
She warmed to: “He got a red-carpet treatment, and we are losing our sons and daughters every single day for the Iraqis to be free. It is irritating is my point.”
Ambassador Crocker dryly assured the senator from California that he believed that Dick Cheney had also gotten kissed on his visit to Iraq.