Nation: The Final, Extra Mile

Carter tries a bold peace mission—and encounters lots of obstacles

WELCOME KARTER read one of the hand-painted signs that were held above the cheering crowd lining the streets of Cairo. Some of the others called him Kartir, Caytar, and Cahtah. Many of them said PEACE, and some said, in honor of his own faith, WE BELIEVE IN GOD. And in Jerusalem it was much the same: WELCOME, SHALOM, and PEACE.

Jimmy Carter's bold flight to the Middle East last week was one of the most startling and swiftly executed diplomatic initiatives in years. Just 72 hours after he telephoned Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to invite himself to Cairo, Carter was...

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