...former president Jimmy Carter is planning on meeting Hamas's exiled political leader, Khaled Meshal, in Syria next week. Last week, Meshal reiterated his previous statement that Hamas would accept a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with Israel. Carter's plans immediately came under criticism from all three leading presidential candidates. Senator John McCain called on Senator Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton to condemn the meeting. In statements, both Clinton and Obama said they disagree with Carter's plans. The meeting comes as Israeli public support is growing for talks with Hamas. A poll in February found that 64 percent of Israelis support Hamas's call for a ceasefire.

Democracy Now!

I don't agree with everything former president Carter does or says, but I agree with much of it. One thing is for sure, Jimmy Carter did more than any other president in the history of the United States to put human rights on the map.

Franklin D. Roosevelt did a lot by pushing for the U.N. with its Declaration of Human Rights. However, FDR died early. His wife, Eleanor (1884-1962), deserves a great deal of the credit, maybe more. They weren't perfect though, far from it. FDR was the consummate compromiser. He pushed socialism as far as he could to save capitalism. The capitalists never really see it that way though.

Jimmy Carter worked to be a peacemaker. The Israelis have short memories. Carter's deal making between Egypt and Israel was the most progress any president ever made in the area, as flawed as the deal was.

Many people had been saying that Carter is the best former president the country has ever had. That change when the lying neocons gained power by way of George W. Bush. Now when Carter speaks pretty much as he always did, he's savagely attacked as if he's some kind of racist or ethnic bigot, which he most certainly is not.

Being president of the U.S. and being a Christian are incompatible. I don't know whether or not president Carter has come to realize that yet. Perhaps he never will. God the Father alone knows at this point.

Many have been saying for years and decades that one ought never to talk with so-called terrorists. The idea is that talking with them encourages terrorism, since terrorism is the vehicle whereby attention was sought and gained if dialogue ensues. That of course has always been a wrong-headed position. All grievances ought to be addressed even long before people are driven (tempted) to acts others may label terrorist acts. Even the founders of Israel, who used many acts of terror, should have been listened to long before. Their ancestors should have been listened to. Their ancestors should have listened to others.

Blessed are the peace makers. That's a fact. Jimmy Carter is trying very hard to promote peace. He's taking a lot of abuse and frankly guff about it from many people who aren't fit to tie his shoes and certainly couldn't fill them, as small as Mr. Carter might be in the mundane flesh sense. His stature is much greater than the vast majority of his critics who clamor for war without even trying to hear grievances let alone address them in earnest and righteousness.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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