The ISG Report


So the Baker report (PDF) is out finally and what do we get for it?  (Html version here)

"Given the ability of Iran and Syria to influence events within Iraq and their interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq, the United States should try to engage them constructively. In seeking to influence the behavior of both countries, the United States has disincentives and incentives available. Iran should stem the flow of arms and training to Iraq, respect Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and use its influence over Iraqi Shia groups to encourage national reconciliation. The issue of Iran’s nuclear programs should continue to be dealt with by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany. Syria should control its border with Iraq to stem the flow of funding, insurgents and terrorists in and out of Iraq.

A recommendation that we talk to two of the worst of the worst in our war on terror.  Sounds like the Baker version of the Neville Chamberlain approach to me.  We should NOT, in any way, negotiate with the enemy unless its over their complete surrender in this war.  The very fact that this group suggests it brings the whole report into question.  Jeff Jacoby gives us a history lesson:

As things stand now, however, negotiating with Iran and Syria over the future of Iraq is about as promising a strategy for preventing more bloodshed as negotiating with Adolf Hitler over the future of Czechoslovakia was in 1938. There were eminent "realists" then too, many of whom were gung-ho for cutting a deal with the Fuehrer. As Neville Chamberlain set off on the diplomatic mission that would culminate in Munich, William Shirer recorded in "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," Britain’s poet laureate, John Masefield, composed a paean in his honor . When the negotiations were done and Czechoslovakia had been dismembered, the prime minister was hailed as a national hero. The Nobel Committee received not one, not two, but 10 nominations proposing Chamberlain for the 1939 peace prize.

Chamberlain and his admirers had been certain that Munich would bring "peace in our time." Instead it helped pave the way for war.

How many times does the lesson have to be relearned? There is no appeasing the unappeasable. When democracies engage with fanatical tyrants, the world becomes not less dangerous but more so.

Think about this.  They want us to negotiate with those our State Department has deemed vital to our enemy in this war:

Libya and Sudan continued to take significant steps to cooperate in the global war on terror. Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria, however, continued to maintain their ties to terrorist groups. Iran and Syria routinely provide unique safe haven, substantial resources and guidance to terrorist organizations.

As Bush said, either you stand with us in this war against terror or you stand with the enemy.  Negotiating with the enemy should not be part of the plan.

And to go one further.  Iran and Syria is our Hitler and Hirohito in this war.  We tried to appease them both in the 30’s and where did that get us?  Do these liberals really believe that Iran and Syria are more level headed then Germany and Japan was?

Meanwhile the Baker report gives us even more brilliant advise:

"The primary mission of U.S. forces in Iraq should evolve to one of supporting the Iraqi army, which would take over primary responsibility for combat operations.

Really?  We needed this group of appeasers to tell us that?  Bush has set this as the primary mission since the friggin beginning you yahoos.

By the first quarter of 2008, subject to unexpected developments in the security situation on the ground, all combat brigades not necessary for force protection could be out of Iraq. At that time, U.S. combat forces in Iraq could be deployed only in units embedded with Iraqi forces, in rapid-reaction and special operations teams and in training, equipping, advising, force protection and search and rescue. Intelligence and support efforts would continue. A vital mission of those rapid reaction and special operations forces would be to undertake strikes against al-Qaida in Iraq."

Good to hear they don’t want to surrender quickly but this whole report smacks of ways to lose gracefully to me.  But to those who do want us to cut and run, Andrew McCarthy gives us another history lesson:

He knows, because the enemy constantly reminds him, that we drew down from Lebanon after Hezbollah murdered 241 marines in 1983; a decade later, we redeployed from Somalia after the “Black Hawk Down” incident.

The result of such phased withdrawals? They bought us a more robust jihadist network, swelling with confidence and recruits because Americans didn’t seem to have the stomach for a fight. Because America appeared to be bin Laden’s “weak horse.” They bought us Khobar Towers, the embassy bombings, and the Cole. They bought us 9/11.

So, no, says the president. We are staying in Iraq until we win.

And we can win.  But appeasing to our worst enemies is not the answer.

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