* Unnecessary. * An unjust war. * Initiated on the basis of false pretenses. * Violence increasing monthly.
While all these things are true, former President Jimmy Carter believes troops should be drawn down within the next 12 months. Even knowing the unfortunate facts listed above (which President Carter referred to in a news conference before a building dedication at the University of Washington yesterday), he says "we can't just pre-emptively withdraw." [source: AP/WaPo]
"..President Bush's belligerent record in the region is a shameful echo of the policies forged by the peanut farmer from Plains." - Patrick Doherty
At TomPaine.com, Patrick Doherty hopes the Democratic leadership will stand by the former President who has been "breaking the unwritten rule that former presidents shall not contradict sitting presidents on major issues of policy." Mr. Doherty says:
The Democratic leadership must stand with our former commander in chief and finally agree: America's current strategic direction is damaging to our national security.
Today at TomPaine.com, Jimmy Carter offered a piece written by himself which says that it's obvious to most Israelis that Israel’s permanent occupation will be increasingly difficult as the relative number of Jewish citizens decreases demographically both within Israel and in Palestine. He believes that the dominant role Israel has played in the region is a distortion of Israeli's ancient moral and religious values. An overwhelming number of both Israelis and Palestinians want a durable two-state solution. He believes that any rejectionist policies of Hamas or any terrorist group will be overcome by an overall Arab commitment to restrain further violence and to promote the well-being of the Palestinian people.
With optimism, President Carter says that we need not give up hope for permanent peace for Israelis and freedom and justice for Palestinians if three basic premises are honored:
1. Israel’s right to exist—and to live in peace—must be recognized and accepted by Palestinians and all other neighbors;
2. The killing of innocent people by suicide bombs or other acts of violence cannot be condoned; and
3. Palestinians must live in peace and dignity, and permanent Israeli settlements on their land are a major obstacle to this goal.
On a much lighter note, Paula Deen, the lovely hostess of the Food Network's Paula's Home Cooking visited the Carters in Plains, Georgia for the taping of an upcoming special cooking segment.