(Jerusalem, Israel, April 21, 2008) -- Confession: I once regarded Jimmy Carter as one of America's best ex-President's, due to his work with Habitat For Humanity, his compassion for the poorest and neediest in our country, and his passion for mobilizing others to turn their faith into action to care for those in need.
Correction: I was wrong.
While Mr. Carter's humanitarian relief instincts and efforts have been laudable, they do not begin to compensate for his series of disastrous foreign policy moves over the years, up to and including meeting with senior Hamas leaders in Damascus and embracing senior Hamas leaders from the West Bank, and suggesting publicly that Hamas leaders really do want peace with Israel when they repeatedly, regularly, and so clearly state that they do not.
This week, Mr. Carter clinched the title of worst ex-President in American history. Worse than Clinton. Worse than Nixon. Worse than Hoover. The former peanut farmer from Georgia conclusively demonstrated this week that he has absolutely no ability to discern evil from good.
Hamas (an acronym for the "Islamic Resistance Movement") is a radical jihadist organization of the worst kind, dedicated to the utter annihilation of the Jewish State and the Jewish people. Read the Hamas charter, its founding, governing document. It states clearly that Hamas rejects all forms of peace treaties. Violent jihad, they believe, is the only way.
"[Peace] initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement. For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion; the nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its faith, the movement educates its members to adhere to its principles and to raise the banner of Allah over their homeland as they fight their Jihad."
Since 1989, Hamas has launched more than 100 terrorist operations against Israel, resulting in the deaths of more than 500 Israelis. What's more, Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups have also fired at least 6,000 missiles, rockets and mortars from Gaza at innocent Jews and Christians in southern Israel since the summer of 2005 when Israeli military forces withdrew from Gaza.
On February 3, 2006, Hamas leader Khaled Mash'al delivered a sermon at a mosque in Damascus, directly threatening the national security of the United States, the European Union, and Israel.
"America will be defeated in Iraq," Mash'al declared. "Wherever the [Islamic] nation is targeted, its enemies will be defeated, Allah willing. The nation of Muhammad is gaining victory in Palestine. The nation of Muhammad is gaining victory in Iraq, and it will be victorious in all Arab and Muslim lands. 'Their multitudes will be defeated and turn their backs [and flee].' These fools will be defeated, the wheel of time will turn, and times of victory and glory will be upon our nation, and the West will be full of remorse, when it is too late....We say to this West, which does not act reasonably, and does not learn its lessons: By Allah, you will be defeated. Israel will be defeated, and so will whoever supported or supports it.… I say to the [European countries]: Hurry up and apologize to our nation, because if you do not, you will regret it....Before Israel dies, it must be humiliated and degraded. America will be of no avail to them. Their generals will be of no avail to them. The last of their generals has been forgotten. Allah has made him disappear. He's over. Gone is that Sharon behind whose back they would hide and find shelter, and with whom they would feel relatively secure. Today they have frail leaders, who don't even know where our Lord placed them. Allah willing, we will make them lose their eyesight, we will make them lose their brains."
What is it about evil that Mr. Carter doesn't understand? He didn't understand the threat of radical Islam back in 1979 when his policies helped topple the Shah of Iran and bring to power the Ayatollah Khomeini. Nearly thirty years later, he doesn't understand the genocidal, apocalyptic ambitions of Khomeini's jihadist disciples.
Sadly, he is not alone. I don't believe that Sens. Barack Obama or Hillary Rodham Clinton understand the magnitude of the threat from radical Islam. Indeed, there are millions of Americans asleep to the threat. And this is the central theme of my current novel, Dead Heat: "to misunderstand the nature and threat of evil, is to risk being blindsided by it." America was blindsided by Pearl Harbor. We were blindsided by Auschwitz. We were blindsided by al-Qaeda on 9/11. We were blindsided by evils we didn't see or didn't fully appreciate. But in the age of the rising threat of nuclear terrorism, can we afford to be blindsided again?