Diplomacy is not the Dr. Phil Show!

The going theory in the world of media psychology is that people need to confront their demons and talk over problems in order to repair relationships. The next logical step is to conclude that what works on the personal level can be applied to the political and that by dialogue, international relations can be brought to a peaceful resolution. So everyone is talking about talking.

Barak Obama promises to launch "a surge of diplomatic talks" and going with the healing relationship theme, the candidate told General David Petraeus that America should "embrace talks with Iran." Talks without preconditions take a page out of the Neville Chamberlain playbook. Chamberlain may have felt that opening his soul to Hitler in Munich cleared the air. On the other hand, Hitler, emboldened by Chamberlain's naiveté invaded Czechoslovakia. Ignoring the historical reality that talks without preconditions lend legitimacy to one's adversaries, that others who have spoken with Tehran were left empty-handed and deceived, and that meeting with no preconditions will leave an American president little to put on the table, Obama persists in his faith in the healing art of conversation.

Obama isn't the only one seeking therapy for the American psyche through engagements with terrorists and thugs. His loyal supporter, Jimmy Carter has never been able to stop talking long enough to take a breath and think. Using his status as former President, he attacks the U.S. while he is overseas, rewrites the Oslo Peace Process to reflect his own prejudices against Israel, rushes to Gaza to sanctify the Palestinian election of Hamas, and now announces he is planning to meet exiled Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal in Damascus. Hamas, labeled as a terrorist organization by the United States, has a clearly stated mission of international jihad, the total destruction of Israel, and Islamic dominion over the world.  Although it is not clear whom Carter thinks he is representing in the negotiations, there will certainly be some photo opts for the less than photogenic Meshal and doddering ex-President.

Carter, the dangerous Dr. Phil on the terror circuit, has also provided those emboldening opportunities for other declared enemies of the U.S. such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. Carter has even spoken to Hamas before at the behest of former PLO leader Yassir Arafat. Other than undermine U.S. policy and embarrass the sitting president, Carter's conversations with thugs and terrorists have produced no positive results.

Sometimes the reasons not to talk are more compelling that feel-good popular psychology. On April 9, 2008, Illinois Congressman Mark Kirk delivered the follow exhortation to President Jimmy Carter:

Madam Speaker:

Yesterday, Al-Hayat reported that former President Jimmy Carter will visit Syria next week to meet with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal.

The U.S. State Department lists Hamas as a foreign terrorist organization.  Hamas terrorists are responsible for the murders of at least 26 American citizens-some of them teenagers, children and infants.

David Applebaum of Ohio; Nava Applebaum, 20, of Ohio;Alan Beer of Ohio;Marla Bennet of California;Benjamin Blutstein of Pennsylvania; David Boim, 17, of New York; Yael Botwin, 14, of California; Dina Carter of North Carolina; Janis Ruth Coulter of Massachusetts; Sara Duker of New Jersey; Matthew Eisenfeld of Connecticut; Tzvi Goldstein of New York; Judith Greenbaum of New Jersey; David Gritz of Massachusetts;Dina Horowitz of Florida;Rabbi Eli Horowitz of Illinois; Tehilla Nathanson, 3, of New York; Malka Roth, 15, of New York; Mordechai Reinitz of New York; Yitzhak Reinitz, 9, of New York;Leah Stern of New Jersey; Goldie Taubenfeld of New York; Shmuel Taubenfeld, 3 months, of New York; Nachshon Wachsman, 19, of New York; Ira Weinstein of New York; Yitzhak Weinstock, 19, of California.

Mr. Carter, these voices from the grave beseech you - do not meet with the man who ordered their deaths.

I would add, "Dear Mr. President and Dear Mr. Would-Be President.  This is not the Dr. Phil Show. There are lives at stake, those who have already perished and those who are in the crosshairs of Hamas attacks at this moment and a nation that dreadfully awaits Iran's acquisition of the means to fulfill its pledge to eliminate Israel. By talking to terrorists and their sponsors, the President of the United States elevates the status of murderers, lends credibility to their ideology of hate, and makes the world a more dangerous place.