(thnx Joshua Landis)
“… Perhaps the only thing Carter hadn’t found time for, of late, was an epic e-mail from Jeffrey Feltman, the State Department’s envoy to Syria—“It’s this long,” Carter said, spreading his hands wide as if he were taking measure of a prize fish. Carter, who has been outspoken in his support for more American engagement with the Syrian regime, and groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, which are on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations, has a particular disdain for Feltman, who as Ambassador to Lebanon during the Bush Administration, consistently antagonized Syria. “For some ungodly reason, when Hillary decided to send some representative to Syria they picked out Feltman,” he said.
Carter praised Obama for his recent speech in Cairo but stopped short of agreeing with those who claimed it had helped March 14 win the election. Instead, he credited much of the progress to Obama’s “general attitude toward this region” and “the favorable attitudes that people now have toward the United States.
As for the future of Hezbollah, Carter said, “Oh, I don’t think Hezbollah’s going to create any problems for Obama, or for Lebanon. I think they’re satisfied to maintain the status quo.” This may be optimistic. Carter said, “We’ve met with Hariri, we’ve met with other leaders today, and I think that withdrawing weapons from Hezbollah is out of the question. I don’t think they’re going to even bring it up. And that’s the main thing that Hezbollah wants.”