Saturday, April 26, 2008

Carter bitch-slaps Bush on Middle East

It is not a good sign when the business of a nation must be carried out on a volunteer basis by ex-statesmen who have not held office in over a quarter century. Nevertheless, Jimmy Carter's meeting with Hamas leaders in Syria this week was the most constructive development in the Mideast "peace process" since the Bush administration adopted the crisis as its pet cause.

In talks with Carter, Hamas consented to respect any agreement negotiated between rival faction leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israel, provided such an agreement was ratified by Palestinians in a referendum.

The Bush administration reacted with wrath at Carter's initiative, as it undermined the ongoing US/Israeli narrative that "there is no partner" for negotiations in Gaza, a popular justification for the ongoing military and economic embargo there. Mideast scholar Juan Cole writes that up to a million Palestinians now face starvation as the UN has been prevented from distributing food aid by the blockade.

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