|By Philip Klein|
|Published 12/7/2006 2:18:35 AM|
|By Philip Klein|
|Published 12/7/2006 2:18:35 AM|
Appeasing the Nazis of the Middle East – Thursday, December 07, 2006 5:30 PM
I have been distracted by other agendas of late, but not enough that I don’t notice that the appeasers and the Saudi crowd are ascendant in our political firmament these days and that this means a lot of Americans, Jews and all those generally in the way of the Islamic crusade are going to die because of it. The happy warriors these days are the Jim Bakers, the Jimmy Carters and all those who sold Israel and the Iraqis and the Lebanese down the river after the 1991 Gulf War, invited the terrorist Arafat into the West Bank, gave him an army and launched the terrorist jihad in earnest in the Middle East. The news is sickening to every decent soul except to the Islamic Nazis and their friends in the international left and the delusional folk who think that if America leaves Iraq the terrorists will leave too (Speaker Pelosi actually made that precise comment this October). Talking to the Hitler in Teheran and the Arab Mussolini in Damascus makes perfect sense to the contemporary Chamberlains — Baker, Hamilton (he of the capitulate to the Sandinistas crowd). I never thought I would live to see a day when the last years of the Thirties would be repeated, let alone by Americans. But there it is.Andrew McCarthy has a terrific piece on the Iraq War in National Review, and our own Sean Daniels has a lead story in today”s Frontpage about the white paper proposing “Peace In Our Time” that Baker-Chamberlain and his Saudi patsies are waving at Achmadinejad.We are in a war and the enemy is the Taliban, al-Qaeda, the Madhi Army, Hizbollah, Hamas, Syria, Iran, the PLO and the Saudi Wahabbis. Victory will be acheived by the bloody defeat of most of them or some of them and the surrender of the rest. Those who expect more from these Islamic fanatics are sellers of a toxic illusion. The victims will be the vulnerable. The anti-Syrian Lebanese, the pro-democracy Iraqis, the Jews most of all.
Liberal Idiots have been disputing President Bush’s often repeated assertion that “we fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here” as fear-mongering and that the fighting in Iraq is nothing more than native Iraqis fighting for power and turf. But now read this from WND’S JERUSALEM BUREAU – Terrorists rejoicing over new Iraq ‘plan’, Excerpt:
Reaction to Study Group: ‘Allah and his angels’ responsible, ‘era of Islam and of jihad’ declaredA high level U.S. commission’s recommendations for an eventual withdrawal from Iraq and for dialogue with Iran and Syria proves “Islamic resistance” works and America can ultimately be defeated, according to senior terrorist leaders interviewed by WND.
The militants, from the largest Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, welcomed the policies outlined by the Iraq Study Group, which they claim recognizes Islam is the “new giant of the world.”
The group is led by former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker.
“The report proves that this is the era of Islam and of jihad,” said Abu Ayman, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad in the northern West Bank town of Jenin.
“[With the Iraq Study Group report], the Americans came to the conclusion that Islam is the new giant of the world and it would be clever to reduce hostilities with this giant. In the Quran the principle of the rotation is clear and according to this principle the end of the Americans and of all non-believers is getting closer,” Abu Ayman said.
According to Abu Abdullah, a senior leader of Hamas’ so-called military wing, Baker’s report is a victory for Islam brought about by “Allah and his angels.”
“It is not just a simple victory. It is a great one. The big superpower of the world is defeated by a small group of mujahedeen (fighters). Did you see the mujahedeens’ clothes and weapons in comparison with the huge individual military arsenal and supply that was carrying every American soldier?” exclaimed Abu Abdullah, who is considered one of the most important operational members of Hamas’ Izzedine al-Qassam Martyrs Brigades, Hamas’ declared “resistance” department.
“It is with no doubt that Allah and his angles were fighting with them (insurgents) against the Americans. It is a sign to all those who keep saying that America, Israel and the West in general cannot be defeated on the ground so let us negotiate with them,” Abu Abdullah said.
Abu Abdullah said following a withdrawal from Iraq, the U.S. will be defeated on its own soil.
“The Iraqi victory is a great message and lesson to the revolutionary and freedom movements in the world. Just to think that this resistance is led by hundreds of Sunni fighters who defeated hundreds of thousands of Americans, British and thousands of soldiers who belong to the puppet regime in Baghdad. What would be the situation if the Shiites will decide to join the resistance?” commented Abu Nasser.
The Al Aqsa leader said his group learned from the “Iraqi resistance” that jihad will ultimately destroy Israel.
Islamic Jihad’s Abu Ayman said after the U.S. “defeat” in Iraq is finalized, insurgents there should move to the West Bank and Gaza to help destroy Israel.
“We hope that after chasing the occupation from Iraq, these jihad efforts and experiences will be transferred to Palestine, and yes, I mean that we expect these fighters will come to Palestine as part of a big Islamic army.”
The Iraqi Study Group’s report called the U.S. position in Iraq “grave and deteriorating,” and recommended the withdrawal of most combat troops from Iraq by 2008.
“It is the dawn of the real Islam what we are seeing now, young people who are leaving everything in their countries and are coming to fight in Iraq,” said Abu Ayman.
By The Editors
Who can disagree with the report of the Iraq Study Group? It says, “Iran should stem the flood of arms and training to Iraq,” and “Syria should control its border with Iraq to stem the flood of funding, insurgents and terrorist in and out of Iraq” (emphasis added). It would be wonderful if Iran and Syria did those things, but unless some reasonable means of making them do so is advanced, saying that they “should” is airy wishfulness rather than strategy.
Welcome to the non-reality-based world of bipartisan commissions. Even commissions flying under the banner of realism, such as the James Baker/Lee Hamilton–led ISG, inhabit that world.
The ISG doesn’t recommend any plausible way of making Syria and Iran behave the way they “should.” Instead, it advocates talks that will magically convince the Iranians and Syrians to stop pursuing their interests in Iraq. The report argues that none of Iraq’s neighbors, including Iran and Syria, favor a breakup of Iraq, and posits a common interest with the U.S. on that basis. But there is a wide range of outcomes in Iraq short of a breakup. And the outcome sought by Tehran and Damascus is very different from the one preferred by the United States. Those two governments want to defeat us in Iraq and foster the creation of an Iraqi government that is part of their geopolitical bloc in the Middle East rather than ours.
Just talking will not paper over these big differences unless we are willing to give the Iranians and Syrians serious incentives. Accession to the World Trade Organization, one of the ideas floated by the report, is just not going to cut it. Nor will it be possible, as recommended by the ISG, to broker an Israeli-Arab peace deal that will make Iraq’s neighbors behave. Realistically, Syria would want immunity from the consequences of its assassination campaign in Lebanon, and perhaps renewed suzerainty over that country. Iran would want a tacit acceptance of its nuclear program. If the ISG thinks Iranian and Syrian cooperation in Iraq is worth this price, it should say so. But it doesn’t, making its diplomatic recommendations utterly unserious.
In fact, the report acknowledges that Iran would probably rebuff an American diplomatic outreach. It cites Libya as an example of constructive engagement with a rogue state. But Libya gave up its weapons of mass destruction because it was frightened of the United States, right about the time Saddam was crawling from his spider hole. Iran and Syria have nothing to fear from the United States as long as it is in a downward slide in Iraq.
That is one of the reasons why improving conditions in Iraq is so important. Here too the report fails to offer any realistic advice. It recommends increasing the number of U.S. troops embedded in Iraqi army units. This is fine as far as it goes, but the report also calls for steadily reducing the number of American combat forces in Iraq. Since those troops are the only credible security force in the country, pulling them out is a recipe for even more chaos.
“By the first quarter of 2008,” the report says, “subject to unexpected developments and the security situation on the ground, all combat brigades not necessary for force protection could be out of Iraq.” The weasel language is meant to give President Bush flexibility, but there would be nothing “unexpected” in developments in the security situation — it would get worse, predictably, inexorably. The report retails the common fantasy that remaining U.S. forces in Iraq “would be available to undertake strike missions against al-Qaeda in Iraq when the opportunity arises.” What would such a strike mission be? Reinvading Anbar Province after it is taken over by al Qaeda in our absence?
The report’s recommendation on troops is premised on the notion that the Iraqi government is not performing mostly because it is dependent on our military. The Iraqi government certainly can be usefully pressured, and the sort of deadlines for political progress recommended by the ISG could make sense. But the Iraqi government suffers at the moment simply from an absence of reliable, functioning security forces. All the jawboning in the world won’t make up for the deficit, and as long as it exists, the U.S. military has to fill the breach.
For all these reasons, the ISG report is an analytic embarrassment. But President Bush can still make political use of it by emphasizing its responsible aspects. The report opposes timetables or deadlines for withdrawal. It warns of a precipitate pullout: “The near-term results would be a significant power vacuum, greater human suffering, regional destabilization, and a threat to the global economy. Al Qaeda would depict our withdrawal as a historic victory. If we leave and Iraq descends into chaos, the long-range consequences could eventually require the United States to return.”
Just so. The report also pours cold water on the fashionable idea of breaking up Iraq along sectarian lines: “A rapid devolution could result in mass population movements, collapse of the Iraqi security forces, strengthening of militias, ethnic cleansing, destabilization of neighboring states, or attempts by neighboring states to dominate Iraqi regions.”
There is no good alternative to succeeding in Iraq. The report notably avoids talking of an outright U.S. victory. But, between the lines, it thinks victory is still possible. Its definition of success in Iraq is reasonable enough: “an Iraq with a broadly representative government that maintains its territorial integrity, is at peace with its neighbors, denies terrorism a sanctuary, and doesn’t brutalize its own people.” And right at the beginning, the report stipulates, “We believe it is still possible to pursue different policies that can give Iraq an opportunity for a better future, combat terrorism, stabilize a critical region of the world, and protect America’s credibility, interests, and values.”
Bush should take all of this and run with it. His most important task is to secure Baghdad, which will take more troops. Even the report is open to this idea, noting that the ISG could “support a short-term redeployment or surge of American combat forces to stabilize Baghdad.” This will probably take up to 50,000 more U.S. troops in the city, and will probably require new commanders on the ground, since Generals Abizaid and Casey are so determinedly Rumsfeldian in their orientation, favoring a light “footprint” over classic counterinsurgency tactics.
A move to send more troops and replace those generals should be packaged with an increase in the size of the U.S. military, accelerated and expanded training of Iraqi security units, and a greater U.S. intelligence effort on the ground in Iraq. (This last recommendation is included in the ISG report, and is one of many smaller ideas in it that are worth adopting.)
It is too much to expect that any bipartisan commission be bold and creative. That is the president’s job, and he still has an opening to do it. Adopting the major ISG recommendations would amount to managing our defeat in Iraq. Since he’s not prepared to do that, Bush has to work on his own to try to save our position there, and he must do it by acting in the real world that it is always the great luxury of bipartisan commissions to ignore.