Friday, December 15, 2006

The Iraq Study Group: A European-Style Recipe for Disaster

Charles Krauthammer in today's Washington Post mocks the ISG report, and rightfully so. Two salient points:

Syria should stop infiltration, declares the report. And Iran "should stem the flow of equipment, technology, and training to any group resorting to violence in Iraq." Yes, and obesity should be eradicated, bird flu cured and traffic fatalities, particularly the multi-car variety, abolished. Such fatuous King Canute pronouncements give the report its air of detachment from reality.

Almost European in its nature, no? I didn't read all 79 of the ISG's proposals (that must be taken as a group, says Jim Baker, and dare not cherry-picked); but was there one that urged more "strongly worded" letters and "condemnations in the strongest terms"?

Well, I'll tell you what is European in the nature of the ISG report - its near-sexual urge to blame the Jews for everything. Was Jimmy Carter a stealth panel member? Krauthammer, again:

A major objective of the New Diplomatic Offensive (as if pompous capitalization makes for substance) is to bring Arab-Israeli peace. Baker thinks that if only the Israelis would surrender to Arab demands, all would be well in the Middle East.

Okay. Imagine that there is peace between Israel and the Arabs. No, imagine an even better solution from the Arab point of view -- an earthquake that tomorrow swallows Israel whole and sinks it (like Santorini, 1650 B.C.) into the Mediterranean. Does anyone imagine that the Shiites stop killing Sunnis? That al-Qaeda stops killing Americans? That Iran and Syria work any less assiduously to destabilize post-Saddam Hussein Iraq? It's these obvious absurdities that made the report so dismissible.

One of the bitter ironies of the ISG Middle East "peace plan" is that it recommends that Israel
not be involved in negotiations regarding an Arab-Israeli peace - yup, you read that right:

According to Thursday's issue of the conservative Washington Times' Insight magazine, the White House was looking into proposal by former Secretary of State James Baker to hold a Middle East peace conference without
Israel .

.....officials said the conference would be promoted as a forum to discuss Iraq's future, but actually focus on Arab demands for Israel to withdraw from territories captured in the 1967 war.
A source in the US government was quoted in the report as saying, "As Baker sees this, the conference would provide a unique opportunity for the US to strike a deal without Jewish pressure.

Yeah, just like the great nations of Europe met in 1938 in
Munich and decided to hand Czechoslovakian territory over to Nazi Germany - without a Czech representative present, of course. And remember how well that worked out? Boy, that Hitler guy sure was appeased by that gesture, huh? Now Jim Baker proposes we do the same thing all over again, this time with Israel as the designated victim that will allow the West perhaps 15 addtional minutes of peace. But perhaps he can sell it to Iran as a "twofor" - we'll get rid of Israel, and all of the Jews therein - then you won't need that "peaceful" nuclear technology, right? How brilliant!

Bush is right to dismiss this Euro-centric, anti-Semitic report out of hand. It offers no more than bad ideas and the rehashing of policies that have failed spectacularly in the past.

Wait; I'll correct myself - it does offer more. It provides us with a glimpse into the soul of the members of the Iraq Study Group - a cowardly bunch, afraid to even ask the Arab leaders to sit down with their "enemies", the Jews (and do the Arab people really have any greater enemy than their own leaders?), and willing to sell out a nation made up of the descendants of the greatest European Holocaust to a sick man who
doesn't even believe this Holocaust even occured?

Democracies like Israel and Jordan (barely even mentioned in the report) be damned; we've got facists to coddle! That's the consensus built by the likes of Jim Baker, Sandra Day O'Connor, Alan Simpson and Vernon Jordan (not to mention plagerist/failed ex-president Jimmy Carter). Thank God we have a president as strong as Bush who is able to reject these absurd recommendations out of hand; and God help us if a liberal Congress, and their "amen!" corner in the mainstream meadia, allows these twisted ideas to move forward...


Shimmy said...

Poor, poor, pitiful Rummy! Someone find him a job already.

Anonymous said...

I know you are an Ayn Rand fan; she often said that the best work is done by individuals; any "consensus" agreed to by a comittee was by nature flawed as key parts of any one vision had to be eliminated in order to gain agreement. Thus, a cobbled-together policy (like the buildings in The Fountainhead)is doomed to be ugly, and unsuitable.
Like the ISG....

Alexander Wolfe said...

Krauthammer is wrong. Period. He attacks the ISG report as "fatuous" for offering suggestions that we have no way of carrying out. Then what does he do? Tells us we need to "double-down" in Baghdad. To what purpose? Where are we getting the soldiers to do this? What about Al-Anbar, which Marine intelligence is conceding that they have practically lost? Are we no longer battling the insurgency? Then he says, we need to sideline Sadr. To that I say, good luck! We couldn't sidline him 3 1/2 years ago in the Mahdi Army uprising, and he's only grown more powerful since then. Sadr is THE face of the hard-line Shiites. How are we supposed to sideline a man who exercises the most powerful political bloc in Parliament? Whose militias have infiltrated the security services? By talking to other parties? Yes, because working Americans really gets them things over there in Iraq. Krauthammer's recommendations are absurd, and he answers none of the questions nor gives us guidelines as to how we're supposed to accomplish any of these goals. In other words, he himself is guilty of what he says the ISG report does.

But at least his worst attack is that the report is hollow. Euro-centric? Can you please explain to me exactly how much success the "American" style of international relations has had, that we can dismiss the Europoeans out of hand? Are the Europeans presently lodged in an unending war in Iraq or Afghanistan?

Anti-semitic? That's absurd. You appear to be one of these people who thinks that anything that favors the Palestinians is anti-semitic, which does horrible injustice to actual anti-semitism. If the ISG report is anti-semitic, exactly what was that Holocaust "conferance" in Iran? Double-plus anti-semitic?

And the historical analogy to Munic? Inapplicable. If you can't see why, there's hardly any point in explaining it.

What boggles my mind truly is how those on the right dismiss out of hand the solutions and recommendations proposed by those they disagree with, and yet have little to offer in return. I haven't read your blog enough to know if you do this, but plenty of right-wing bloggers seem to think the only possible way out of this neverending war in Iraq is more war! War in Iran, war in Syria, etc., etc. Not only is the idea of more war as a solution to an already stupid war immoral, it's absurd. If you see that we cannot undertake more war, that our diplomatic options are likewise limited, you will see as I do that the recommendations of the ISG-or really, anyone how isn't Bush-are our last hope at getting out of Iraq. 20,000 more men in Baghdad isn't going to cut it. It's time to face reality.