Baker's Panel Rules Out Iraq Victory

Thursday, October 12, 2006
According to Eli Lake of the NY Sun, the Baker panel is ruling out democracy as an option and suggesting one of two plans: "Stability First" and "Redeploy and Contain".

More telling, however, is the ruling out of two options last month. One advocated minor fixes to the current war plan but kept intact the long-term vision of democracy in Iraq with regular elections. The second proposed that coalition forces focus their attacks only on Al Qaeda and not the wider insurgency.

Instead, the commission is headed toward presenting President Bush with two clear policy choices that contradict his rhetoric of establishing democracy in Iraq. The more palatable of the two choices for the White House, "Stability First," argues that the military should focus on stabilizing Baghdad while the American Embassy should work toward political accommodation with insurgents. The goal of nurturing a democracy in Iraq is dropped.

Just how did Operation Desert Storm conclude again? What happened in Iraq in 1991? James Baker: Rinse & Repeat.

hat tip: Just One Minute


chuck said...

Strikes me that Baker is maybe twenty years out of date. Beyond that, pulling a Clinton Mogadishu in Iraq is just asking for trouble. *Lots* of trouble. I feel we should repectfully suggest that Baker head off into retirement and take Scowcroft and Carter with him.

Rick Ballard said...

If I wanted something from the Kurds and the Shia that they were hesitating to deliver I might use James Baker - who stood by with his hands in his pockets while Saddam slaughtered thousands after GWI to send an unsubtle message such as "Get your act together or we're gone."

The Iraqis know that Baker is an Arabist quite willing to have them make as many sacrifices as necessary. It's actually not a bad move, if that's the intent.

Barry Dauphin said...

I like your thinking, Rick. But I gotta admit, I'm getting a bit worried when I see stuff like this. If there is a cut & run, there will be a lot of dejection in many quarters.

Fresh Air said...

The more I read about Baker the less I like him. Didn't he do enough damage 15 years ago?

Knucklehead said...

Rinse and repeat is precisely what the Baker generation is all about. Kick the can down the road. Don't even hang in and grind it out until you've actually improved anything.

terrye said...

Lee Hamilton is not much better than Baker. They are both a couple of old farts.

I don't think it is a bad thing to try to bring stability to Iraq first, as long as they do not sacrfice democracy in the long run. Maybe martial law might work.

But I think this is a political move designed to let people know the president is looking at other things and to let the Iraqis know that they need to get it together.

Jimmy Carter, Lee Hamilton...James Baker. Why don't these old farts retire like everyone else?

BTW didn't Omar say something about the conspiracy theory making the rounds in Iraq that Bush was going to bring in a strong man? Maybe this is where it came from.

The Iraqis have elected a government and if one can beleive the po9lls that government is popular with most people there. I doubt they will just give it up.

Barry Dauphin said...

Maybe we need term limits for "elder statesmen" ;>)