Saturday, 20 December 2008 09:19 Investor's Business Daily Latest
Mideast: Our worst ex-president and confidant of thugs and terrorists everywhere will monitor upcoming Lebanese elections, part of Hezbollah's ongoing attempt to swallow Beirut whole. Is he going as a monitor or a cheerleader for terror?
Former President Jimmy Carter recently paid a visit to Lebanon to assess whether his Atlanta-based Carter Center will take part in monitoring parliamentary elections set for next May or June. The vote will be hotly contested between the terrorist group Hezbollah and rival pro-Western groups struggling to preserve Lebanon's democracy.
Carter made the offer during a Beirut meeting with Lebanese Interior Minister Ziad Baroud, who said he welcomed the offer but that it must be approved by the Lebanese Cabinet. Earlier this year, Hezbollah obtained veto power in the Lebanese Cabinet as part of a siege of the Lebanese government that stopped short of a new civil war.
Obtaining this veto power was Hezbollah's key demand that triggered a year-and-a-half-long crisis as Lebanon struggled to select a new head of state to replace the pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud, who finally left office on Nov. 23, 2007.
The upcoming parliamentary elections, which by law must be held between April 20 and June 20, involve the Western-backed anti-Syrian groups trying to maintain their majority in the 128-seat parliament against a Hezbollah-led coalition backed by Iran and Syria. Carter offered to meet with Hezbollah leaders but they refused, saying it's their policy not to meet with current or former U.S. presidents.
Carter did meet with members of various parliamentary blocs, including Gen. Michel Aoun, a maverick Maronite Christian who has openly allied himself with Syria and the Lebanese branch of the Iranian-created and -supported puppet, Hezbollah.
Hamas has no qualms, however, and in April, before visiting the grave of the patron saint of terrorism, Yasser Arafat, Carter hugged and kissed senior Hamas leader Nasser Shaer in Ramallah. Carter's world terror tour culminated in Damascus, Syria, where he met with exiled Hamas chieftain Khaled Meshal.
The recent conflict between Israel and Hezbollah began when Meshal gave the order from Damascus, the Club Med for terrorist groups, to attack an Israeli patrol near Gaza, killing two Israeli soldiers and kidnapping another, Gilad Shalit. Hezbollah followed suit in the north with an apparently coordinated incursion into northern Israel.
Meshal, who lives in Syria to avoid arrest — or worse — at the hands of Israel, runs Hamas from Damascus as a guest of the brutal Assad regime. Steve Emerson, director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, says: "I'm not surprised Carter would do this, as he has been supporting Palestinian extremism for many years."
And not just Palestinian extremism. Carter has made a career of supporting terrorists and creating or embracing the world's habitats for inhumanity. On taking office in 1977, he declared that advancing "human rights" was among his highest priorities. America's ally, the Shah of Iran, was one of his first targets, with Carter chastising him for his human rights record and withdrawing America's support. The far-worse mullahs soon took power.
Carter has never met a thug or terrorist he didn't like.
In 1994, Carter jetted off to the last Stalinist regime on Earth to broker a deal whereby North Korea would forgo its nuclear weapons program in exchange for a basket of goodies that included oil, food and, amazingly, nuclear technology.
Along the way, Carter praised North Korea's mass-murdering dictator as a "vigorous and intelligent man." And of North Korea itself, Carter said of this inhumane prison state: "I don't see they are an outlaw nation."
As an election monitor, Carter has been found wanting. Sent to observe a rigged referendum on whether Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez should be recalled in 2004, Carter let Venezuelan officials pick out the boxes he could count to validate the election. Then he certified it, ending democracy and creating a human-rights nightmare and another threat to the U.S.
Carter has hardly made the world safe for democracy, and his offering to monitor another election in which democracy is at stake does not reassure us.