- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 27, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

So much for Jimmy Carter’s triumphal Middle East peace mission. Like everything else he has done on foreign policy, the world’s biggest tool for jihad propaganda created yet another bloody mess.

Quick review: After proclaiming Hamas terrorists were willing to accept Israel as a “neighbor next door,” Mr. Carter’s Hamas hug buddies flipped him the bird. They gladly accepted the diplomatic legitimacy Mr. Carter’s visit conferred upon them, while clinging bitterly to their insistence on destruction of the Jewish state.

After laying a wreath in honor of the murderous Yasser Arafat, Mr. Carter dutifully agreed to deliver a letter from kidnapped Israeli soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit to his parents on behalf of terrorists holding him hostage. Cpl. Shalit’s father rightly jeered Mr. Carter as nothing more than a postman for Hamas.

After Mr. Carter asserted that the State Department never clearly opposed his trip, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pointed out that she had explicitly warned him against meeting with Hamas. Not to mention all those bold-faced, unequivocal headlines before the trip announcing “State Department opposes Carter meeting with Hamas chief” (USA Today) and “Rice criticizes Carter for reported meeting planned with Hamas” (Fox News). What part of “Don’t meet with the Jew-hating killers, you idiot,” didn’t Mr. Carter understand?

Article 13 of the Hamas charter is also as clear as day: “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

Jimmy Carter’s thick skull and moral myopia are an American embarrassment and an American problem. But more precisely: Jimmy Carter is a Democratic problem. He casts a long, feckless shadow over the party — and it will haunt the party through the Democratic National Convention in August and beyond.

Mr. Carter is a Democratic Party superdelegate who will undoubtedly seek a prominent role at the convention this August. But the party can ill afford a diarrhea-of-the-mouth moment from their elder terror apologist. The world is watching and listening.

Though he has not formally endorsed Barack Obama, Mr. Carter has made enough positive noise about the campaign to send Iranian TV into euphoria. The regime’s media arm led with an item earlier this week headlined, “Carter: Obama favorite worldwide.” The news item quoted Mr. Carter as saying that Obama is supported by “many people in Ghana, Nigeria and Nepal…. World opinion is strongly supportive of Obama, that’s all we hear.” (Left off the list of legitimate world opinion, of course: Israel.)

Despite Mr. Obama’s milquetoast protestations of Mr. Carter’s visit and his technocratic disavowal of Hamas, Mr. Carter and Hamas are giving Mr. Obama two thumbs up. (Mr. Obama’s associations with anti-Semites like the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the Louis Farrakhan-cheerleading Rev. Michael Pfleger give him all the cred he needs.)

Conservatives have mobilized to protest Mr. Carter’s terrorist shilling. North Carolina Republican Rep. Sue Myrick called for his passport to be revoked; Michigan Republican Rep. Joe Knollenberg wants $19 million in taxpayer funding to be withdrawn from Mr. Carter’s Georgia-based scholarly institution.

But the Sick-Of-Jimmy-Carter Coalition isn’t just a Republican club. The Jewish Daily Forward reports “some liberal observers… worry that the elder statesman may create headaches for the party at its nominating convention in Denver.”

Their angst is well-placed. The question is: Will exiling America’s top Hamas apologist from the convention podium be enough to dispel the shadow of surrender? Or, to paraphrase Mr. Obama, can the Democrats no more disown Jimmy Carter than they can disown the softheaded liberalism at the party’s ideological core?

Michelle Malkin is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of “Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild.”

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