Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Iraq Study Group

John Hinderaker discusses a problem with the report - that the governments of Syria and Iran can be reasoned with.

In addition to the five Democrats, there were five Republicans on the ISG panel - James Baker (who has a history of cluelessness about the Middle East), Sandra Day O'Connor, Lawrence Eagleburger, Edwin Meese III, and Alan K. Simpson. I expect the Dems, the party of surrender monkeys, to be pessimistic about the war and optimistic about negotiating with bullies. But did all five Republicans sign on to this wishful thinking that two nations fighting a war through proxy against the United States could be negotiated with?

(For those who don't know, Syria and Iran are supporting Iraqi "insurgents" - see the Hinderaker post - and this March 2005 article by Bill Gertz, whose source was then-CIA Director Porter Goss.)

The report would have been a lot different with more thinking like this. I like item number 6 under the "Tactics" heading:

Announce that the Iranian nuclear program would be acceptable if Iran were to hold truly free elections and accomplish an orderly transfer of executive power away from the radicals (“there are no dangerous weapons, only dangerous men” -- R.A.H.). Make it clear that continued radical leadership imperils the existence of the program and the lives of everyone who works in it.

Update: Rand Simberg has an image of the current NY Post cover page.

In this post he cites our current war with Syria and Iran (emphasis in original):

Here is the real "reality." We are at war with these countries [Iran and Syria], like it or not. They supply the troops and the weaponry that are killing our troops in Iraq, and who fire rockets (and missiles) into Haifa. In the case of Iran, in kidnaping our embassy personnel, they committed an act of war against us over a quarter of a century ago, for which there have never been any consequences against them. This was the beginning of the string of acts of political pusillanimity and weakness--followed by the Beirut Marine barracks, through the first WTC attack, and Somalia, and Khobar towers, and the Cole, that showed us to be paper tigers, encouraged the Islamists and ultimately resulted in drive-through skyscrapers. We've been at war with them since the Carter administration, and who knows how long the war will go on? Afghanistan was one battle in that war. Iraq is another. Where the next ones will be is not clear, but I suspect that they're on the borders of Mesopotamia.

It's of course much easier, and more convenient to pretend that we're at not at war. Harder to get people to the mall when we're at war, don't you know? But this fantasy will only make greater the final reckoning. Right now, they certainly understand that they're at war with us. What's more, they think they're winning. The only effective "negotiations" with the enemy will happen when the bombs are falling on them. Or at least, when they're hurting in some way, and feel truly threatened. Short of that, it's a repeat of the appeasement of the thirties--in Europe, in Manchuria, in China--that ultimately resulted in the sudden sinking of battleships in a tropical paradise on a quiet Sunday morning.

Note that Iran was involved with two of the attacks Rand cites: the US Marine barracks in Beirut (see here and here) and Khobar Towers.

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