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International Living

“I Haven’t had a glass of Water in 20 Years…”
By Dr. William Campbell Douglass II

Dr. Richard Benkin  Bio
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terrorism

Jimmy Carter, terrorist leaders in Syria, Barack Obama, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad

What’s the Harm in Talking?

 By Dr. Richard Benkin  Monday, May 26, 2008

What is the harm in talking after all?  We hear that from the political left time and time again.  It is the oft-repeated and “too-oft-implemented” position of former President Jimmy Carter, and it is the sort of thinking that led him to meet with terrorist leaders in Syria recently.  While the talks predictably produced nothing of substance, they encouraged our enemies.  First they indicated that US resolve to oppose them as a moral imperative is weak; second, they suggested that this moral weakness can become US policy with the right occupant in the White House.

But Carter discredits himself more and more every time he opens his mouth.  Of far greater concern is the fact that we hear the same refrain from the man who is about to accept the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, Barack Obama.  In fact, it has been one of the few specifics about which Obama has been consistent.  He has made it clear on numerous occasions that he believes the best way to resolve the world’s problems in the Middle East and with radical Islam is through “aggressive diplomacy,” which translates into direct talks between him and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.  So, what is wrong with talking?

On Sunday, May 25, 2008, a local radio show here in Chicago inadvertently gave us a pretty good answer.  There was a panel discussing—what else—politics, and one of the participants was a democratic operative.  He praised Obama’s intention to “talk with the Iranians” and said it would be “accepted by the rest of the world” as a very positive sign that there was “a new United States” that does not act out of the belief that “it is the greatest nation in the world.” Now to be sure, the statement revealed a basis belief among many of Obama’s supporters that the United States is not such a great place and that we would do better to become more like the Europeans; but that attitude has been characteristic of the left for decades.

The operative said that Obama would be talking “with the Iranians.” But in fact he would not be speaking with the Iranians.  He would be talking with the ruthless dictator who rules an otherwise pro-Western and pro-US people.  He would be talking with an individual who openly and proudly supports genocide and denies one of the most well-documented historical atrocities in the Holocaust; and he identified that man with an old and venerable culture that predates his millenarian version of Islam by millennia.  It should be US policy to encourage those resistance groups in Iran—and there are many; but instead, Obama has cut their legs out from under them.  As someone who works extensively with and in the Muslim world, I can say without the slightest fear of contradiction that such messages and symbols are enormous there.  Moreover, if the point is ever lost on anyone, our enemies will trumpet it to the tune of their modern-day Internacionale.

That is, by “just talking,” we have acknowledged Ahmedinejad as the legitimate representative of the millions of people living under his oppressive rule.  When Carter sat down with Hamas, he stated explicitly that the terror group was a legitimate representative of the Palestinians and needed to be treated as such.  Carter saw no problem with lecturing Israel to acknowledge Hamas’s legitimacy when the latter refuses to return the favor.  And Obama is saying the same thing to Israel about Ahmedinjad.  And it is not just about Israel as both groups have made it abundantly clear that they find the United States no more legitimate than they find Israel.  But in the world of Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, there is nothing harmful to our citizens by paying homage to them as equals—something they will wave successfully in front of every dissident that tries to stand up for freedom in the Islamist world.

That, Messrs. Obama and Carter is “the harm in talking.”

Posted 05/26 at 08:36 AM   Email  (Permalink

 This piece is in Category: American Politics



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