Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Iraq Study Group - move along, nothing to see here!

The Iraq Study Group is an interesting study in a lot of fuss about nothing, both for its content and the character of the people who put it together.

The initial idea is one made for the media - a `bi-partisan' group of prominent public servants who would offer President Bush what they termed `a last chance to get it right' with 79 recommendations on Iraq and the Middle East.

There are lots of places where you can read the report for's one of them: TigerHawk which will give you a 160 page PDF version. Or you can go to The Truth Laid Bear for a page by page HTML version.

Of course, you can actually buy this `bestseller' if you like - it's already for sale.

Save yourself the money and effort. I'll give you the gist of it, and what it really means.

Essentially, this is an exit strategy, mostly penned by people who were against the Iraq war in the first place,and are of like mind with the Sunni autocracies like Saudi Arabia and the UAE. They are also almost unanimously against any sort of action against Iran and a matter of fact, Lawrence Eagleburger, who's a member of the group even suggested that President Bush should be impeached if he took any steps of that nature.

The one thing the report gets right is that things aren't going well there..but aside from recommendations to pull all of our troops out by `08 and the farcical suggestion that Iran and Syria, the countries with a vested interest in turmoil in Iraq, can be negotiated with to help in stabilizing that situation!

"Given the ability of Iran and Syria to influence events within Iraq and their interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq," the report says, "the United States should try to engage them constructively."

Oddly enough, there's reason to believe that the study group may have been the victim of deliberate Iranian sponsored disinformation.

Now, lessee...Iran and Syria are pretty much largely responsible for destabilizing Baghdad and Iraq, and Iran controlss Moqtada al Sadr and the Shiite militias.. Meanwhile, Syria and Iran simultaneously using Hezbollah to overthrow the elected Lebanese government. So...why would Iran and Syria want to `stabilize' Iraq, give their avowed enemy the Great Satan an exit and create a free democratic nation as an example for their own oppressed populations to look up to?

Baker is correct that Iran was `somewhat helpful' after the fall of Afghanistan. He neglects to mention that a lot of al Qaeda fighters were given refuge and free passage through Iran, and that the Mullahs had just seen the US military take out the Taliban with relative ease and might have had a sneaking suspicion they might be next.

Which goes to prove that negotiating from strength is one thing with these people. and negotiating from weakness is something very different.

And of course, there's a lot on Israel, somehow the magic source of all the Middle East's problems!

Here's another bit, straight from James Baker's (and his Saudi master's) litany:

"The United States cannot achieve its goals in the Middle East unless it deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict and regional instability." Among other things, that means "a commitment to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine."

If Israel magically disappears, does that mean that al Qaeda, the Sunni death squads and the Shiite militias are going to disband? Are they going to stop killing one another? Is the Iraqi government going to be less ineffectual and corrupt?

President Bush has given more support to the idea of a Palestinian state than any previous administration. Did that change anything?

This approach has been tried, over and over again...Oslo, land for peace, more land for peace,money, more money, more concessions..and it has always failed, for one simple reason: The only formula the Arabs will accept is one that obliterates the state of Israel.

That's the unpleasant core issue that `realists' like Baker and company simply refuse to grasp, the whole enchilada - the unwillingness of Arabs to live in peace and equality next to Jews, to simply accept them as part of the neighborhood. Solve that little problem and the rest of the Arab-Israeli conflict gets real simple to work out.

So that's the important parts of the ISG report...let's leave before the next presidential election, let's bribe Iran and Syria so we can leave, and let's bribe the Sunni and Shite factions to stay quiet long enough to make it look good. And while we're at it, let's give Iran and Syria the Jews as part of the price for allowing us to withdraw gracefully.

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