Ari Fleischer Writes to Jimmy Carter on Israel / Hezbollah
Jimmy Carter gave an interview in DerSpiegel, a German newspaper, where he blasted Israel for its "unjustified" war in Lebanon and "targeting of civilians"..... The US and Israel Stand Alone
Now Ari Fleischer has written a respectful letter to Jimmy C politely criticizing him.
NOTE - Almost all ex-Presidents are very reserved in ever critiquing or criticizing a sitting President. Bush I, Reagan, Nixon and Ford all complied with this respectful tradition. Clinton has somewhat drifted from that. However, Carter can never get enough attention and even individually takes it upon himself to inject himself into foreign policy situations.
Example: Remember when Jimmy Carter personally called other countries to tell them to vote against UN Ambassador John Bolton's proposed model to rework/improve the makeup of the UN "
A Letter to JIMMY CARTER from ARI FLEISCHER re. Carter Interview
The Honorable Jimmy Carter
The Carter Center
453 Freedom Parkway
Atlanta, Georgia 30307
Dear Mr. President:
I just read the transcript of your interview with the German magazine, Der Spiegel, in which you accuse Israel of launching an “unjustified attack on Lebanon.”
Even after the interviewer reminded you that Israel was the first to get attacked, you charged Israel with lacking “any legal or moral justification for their massive bombing of the entire nation of Lebanon.”
As someone who served in the White House as a spokesman for a President, I am reluctant to criticize another President, but in this instance my conscience compels me to do so.
Mr. President, your words are music to Hezbollah’s ears and your message is a blow to long-term peace.
Just as you underestimated the threat of the Soviet Union in the 1970s, you underestimate the threat of radical Islam today. Your condemnation of Israel, the victim, only encourages Hezbollah, the attacker, to bide its time and attack again.
Ahmed Barakat, a member of Hezbollah’s central council, last week told the Qatari newspaper as-Watan that
- “Today Arab and Muslim society is reasonably certain that the defeat of Israel is possible and that the countdown to the disappearance of the Zionist entity in the region has begun. The triumph of the resistance is the beginning of the death of the Israeli enemy.”
I’m sorry to see you articulate about Hezbollah and its aggression the same weak world-view that encouraged Soviet aggression. As Ronald Reagan showed us, peace through strength is the only formulation understood by those bent on destruction.
I understand your longing for peace and your fond hope that Hezbollah can be reasoned with. However, when you call Israel’s defense “an attack”, when you call what is justified “unjustified”, and when you call morality immoral, I conclude that the pro-defense, strong foreign policy lessons of the 70s and 80s remain unacceptable to you. Also, when you criticize Israel for targeting so-called “civilian” areas in Beirut and other areas where Hezbollah hides its operations, the result would be – if Israel listened to you – the creation of safe havens from which more violence and rocket attacks would be planned and launched.
Sadly, Hezbollah today is planning its next war. For the sake of peace, Israel deserves your praise, not your condemnation.
L. Ari Fleischer