There has been much, (mostly right wing inspired) press about former President Jimmy Carter meeting with Hamas. The Bush(ette) mouthpiece Condoleeza Rice has been rather outspoken about the ex presidents effectiveness, and even his usefulness in attempting to bring peace to a part of the ever turbulent Middle East.

The latest ‘go around’ involves a discrepancy of memory. Rice says ex pres Carter was told officially not to meet with Hamas, Carter says that is not so. Who is right? Well, I would be willing to put a ‘Susan B’ on the fact that if he was told not to, there is either a recording, or an email. Richard (Trust me) Nixon got busted by a couple of cassette tapes. I am sure that the technology has improved since the 1970’s. If the ‘Bushette’ told Jimmy, how come it is not on the front page of every newspaper?

More interesting though, is the underlying story. And the best way to understand that, is to talk to people who were there at the time. James (Jim) Heaphey, is probably the best source there is. While many of us dress up as ‘spooks’ on Halloween, he did the reverse. On Halloween he dressed up as a regular guy!

Jim Heaphey who is currently in Cyprus promoting his book Legerdemain had the following to say “During the Camp David Peace Accord thirty years ago, President Carter obviously asked President Anwar Sadat about the makeup and temperament of the Muslim population in the middle-East, a necessary understanding any peacemaker would have to have to pave the way for peace in that area. Sadat surely apprised President Carter of the endless difficulty in dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist forerunner to Hamas,” Heaphey said. ” President Carter must have had this knowledge and one can only wonder why he chose to walk into an impossible situation knowing the Islamist temperament and goals of Hamas. It could only result in failure and an awkward embarrassment.”

James Heaphey, a onetime Intelligence Officer for the United States Air Force had a lengthy meeting in 1952 with Anwar Sadat when Sadat was the Public Relations Officer for President Gabel Nasser of Egypt. In his book “Legerdemain,”which Heaphey wrote in narrative style, Heaphey describes the meeting detailing Sadat’s explanation of the mindset of the radical Islamist and forewarning him of the problems the world would encounter with the radicals.

“It is very possible that former President Carter forgot everything Anwar Sadat told him,” Heaphey said, “just as he may have forgotten any warning he may have received from the State Department. I am sure President Carter was well-intentioned, however, for future events he would do well to recall the words of Anwar Sadat, as we all should. The goals of Hamas will never change.”

Simon Barrett

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