Coming from the lips of Jimmy Carter this is a real mouthful. My personal respect for Carter has never been high and it went into the toilet after he published his latest anti-semitic diatribe, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid. But, that being said, Carter’s conclusions here may be partially right.He comes down hard on George II for his policy of pre-emptive war in the case of Iraq. The disastrous results in Iraq after causing the collapse of the Saddam government were predicted during his father’s Gulf War in the early 90’s. George I stopped short of going straight to Baghdad when he clearly could have done so so as not to destabilize the country. George I’s son just wasn’t that smart.
Carter’s view of the Middle East, however, is generally tainted by his latent, though certainly not vocal until recently, anti-semitic Baptist foundations. Baptists tolerate Jews so long as they need Jews to gather again in Israel to hasten the second coming of the Messiah. Carter, actively sought peace in Israel, I would argue to hasten this ingathering of the Jews, where George II seems to be more willing to let the Israelis address the issue of war and peace on their own.
As Iraq proves, one cannot interfere in essentially local disputes by forcing compliance from afar. We tried this in Iraq and found that it simply didn’t work. Carter tried this in Israel and found that it didn’t work either.
Israel and the Palestinians must solve their own problems. I do not believe that will happen so long as either side has not had enough of war, death and destruction. No amount of outside interference or help will move the process forward until both sides have simply had enough. That is not yet the case. But we also know that it is possible in that one need only look at the recent developments in Northern Ireland to witness the results of exhaustion.