The Iraq Study Group

On this Pearl Harbor Day, we offer our gratitude to those who fought and died for the future of those they loved, those they didn’t know and those not yet born.

On this Pearl Harbor Day, we offer our gratitude to those who fought and died for the future of those they loved, those they didn’t know and those not yet born.

There was a bad odor at the Iraq Study Group’s press conference; the stench of rancid ideas, delivered with the self-satisfaction available only to people with no responsibility for the execution of their conceit. How is it possible that people who look like they have collectively some 49,000 years of government toil under their belts could do no better than a rehash of already failed pronouncements? If it weren’t for their age, we would blame hallucinogens. Too harsh? Hardly.

“Given the ability of Iran and Syria to influence events within Iraq and their interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq … 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 … Syria should control its border with Iraq to stem the flow of funding, insurgents, and terrorists in and out of Iraq.”

Iran SHOULD? Syria SHOULD? Why should they? Because Baker purses his lips and says so? Another phantasm. What interest has either in “avoiding chaos”? Chaos works. Iran lives for chaos in rival countries as surely as it suppresses political diversity at home. Its government is successfully spreading its version of THE TRUTH by fear, politics or the sword, which are, for it, all the same. Iran correctly understands that the Baker Boys value nothing so much as stability and have no stick to punish non-compliance, having taken the nuclear question off the table.

So what does Baker offer Iraq? An ultimatum complete with punishment.

“The U.S. government must make it clear to the Iraqi government that that U.S. could carry out its plans, including planned redeployments, even if the Iraqi government did not implement their planned changes.” And, “If the Iraqi government does not make substantial progress toward the achievement of milestones on national reconciliation, security and governance, the U.S. should reduce its political, military, or economic support for the Iraqi government.”

So, if Iran and Syria continue to undermine stability and make political reconciliation impossible in Iraq, we will punish the Iraqi government! Genius.

There are two lessons here. For our enemies: Give Americans of the Baker mode some chaos and they will flee, leaving behind the REAL realpolitik – the limited and ugly political choices available to the people who have to stay. For our friends: Don’t be our friends. The Iraqis were stupid to have gotten in bed with us twice. Tens of thousands of them died when Papa Bush told them to overthrow Saddam in 1991 and left them in the lurch when they did. How many tens of thousands who proudly waved their purple fingers after voting will die for hoping that freedom and simple quiet could be theirs?

Never mind – rigor mortis is about as quiet and stable as you can get.