Baker commission to recommend abandoning democracy in Iraq?

posted at 5:25 pm on October 12, 2006 by Allahpundit

According to the New York Sun, they’re going to give Bush two options. Here’s the good option:

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…

The “Stability First” paper says, “The United States should aim for stability particularly in Baghdad and political accommodation in Iraq rather than victory.”…

“If we are able to promote representative, representative government, not necessarily democracy, in a number of nations in the Middle East and bring more freedom to the people of that part of the world, it will have been a success,” [Baker] said [on the Charlie Rose Show].

That distinction is crucial, according to one member of the expert working groups. “Baker wants to believe that Sunni dictators in Sunni majority states are representative,” the group member, who requested anonymity, said…

The other option is “Redeploy and Contain.” I.e., pull out.

Want more?

Both option papers would compel America to open dialogue with Syria and Iran, two rogue states that Iraqi leaders and American military commanders say are providing arms and funds to Iraq’s insurgents.

Bush isn’t going to do any of this, of course. Middle East democracy is the core of his foreign policy; it’d be like FDR repudiating the New Deal on the advice of a panel of economists.

So, what now?

There’s one more bit worth quoting, from the very last paragraph of the piece. I’ll make you click through and find it yourself, though. The whole piece deserves to be read.


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Comments

I don’t necessarily have a problem with the idea of “stability first” (which, admittedly in hindsight, we can see is essential to establishing a democracy), but why that has to be tied to political accomodation with insurgents (according to the commission) is a mystery. In fact, it would seem like any type of accomodation with the insurgents (also known as “appeasement”) would almost be guaranteed to undermine the “stability first” plank of their first option.

thirteen28 on October 12, 2006 at 5:40 PM

Our military has given the politicians in Iraq and here the best opportunity they could to form a peaceful nation. The fact is the politicos and diplos aren’t getting the job done quickly enough. We can’t sustain this level of involvement over there for more than another year, two at the most. Compromise is probably the best option we can hope for and we need to pressure the Iraqi leaders to get something hammered out this winter.

The truth is all this comes down to how you define ‘Victory’. I’ve said all along that the media would call Iraq a defeat no matter how things work out, it’s all just spin. If Iraq doesn’t promote terrorist attacks against us in the next 20 years I’ll be satisfied that we won.

theGimp on October 12, 2006 at 5:45 PM

There’s one more bit worth quoting

Um, yeah, they’re not going to release it they’re just going to leak it. BIIIIIIIIG difference. I mean, it sure as hell will make a difference to Olby.

Editor on October 12, 2006 at 5:48 PM

There is no democracy without security. Bush’s failure is not defining what victory is. We have won a lot just to see it quagmired away. BTW., that defeatist PBS Frontline ad appearing right above the comments about half the time is pissing me off. I keep clicking on it to make it go away. Is that OK?

Valiant on October 12, 2006 at 5:53 PM

So what now?

Wait for the report, harvest whatever advice is useful in bringing democracy to the Middle East, throw out the advice that aims at goals we don’t want to achieve.

After the Democrats complain and start to hit you with the report, tie them to Baker and the his dictator loving strategy and reiterate the disaterous consequences of “stability” and tyranny in the ME over the last fifty years. “Democrats want us to prop up the Muslim dictators of the Middle East and make a truce with our enemies in the region. Why are Democrats opposed to democracy in Iraq? Why don’t Democrats want to win the War on Terror? Why are they so eager to negotiate with the jihadists.” Hammer it all day for two years or until they shut up about the report.

Begin to increase the pressure on Syria again after the election and keep working toward the isolation of Iran from the international community. Draw lines that force countries to make choices, not a final choice or a final red line, but yellow lines at least and build a case for how the world is stacked. Make countries show their true colors through a series of small to medium choices instead of one big dramatic one. Establish a narrative and a track record vis a vis Iran nukes and Iran in Iraq. Continue the pressure on paries in Iraq to negotiate a settlement that can last till their next elections at least. Continue successful ops in Anbar and Baghdad to secure over time. Push Maliki to screw Sadr. Push other influential leaders in the other parties and factions to support Maliki so he can screw Sadr.

I think we’re doing what needs to be done. It just takes time. The Republicans could certainly be making clearer that we’re fighting Iranian and Syrian proxies in Iraq. They could use the Baker report to underline this issue. “Why does Baker want us to negotiate with Iran and Syria over Iraq? Because that’s who we’re fighting in Iraq.” That kind of thing. My sense is that most people don’t realize that’s who’s proxies we’re fighting over there.

The Apologist on October 12, 2006 at 5:55 PM

Bush’s failure is in not fighting aggressively enough.

The U.S. needed to invade with massive force to cow and destroy enemy elements including the initial source of insurgents, the Saddam Feydayeen.

Second, the U.S. needed to engage Iran almost immediately after so that the Iranians couldn’t forment turmoil from behind their secure borders.

The U.S. didn’t so it lost. End of story. Now hopefully my friend in Baghdad will just lose her freedom and not die from this half cocked half hearted attempt.

Christoph on October 12, 2006 at 5:57 PM

*Fedayeen

Christoph on October 12, 2006 at 5:57 PM

Valiant, I find that ad annoying as well.

Catie96706 on October 12, 2006 at 6:06 PM

Both option papers would compel America to open dialogue with Syria and Iran, two rogue states that Iraqi leaders and American military commanders say are providing arms and funds to Iraq’s insurgents. “Stabilizing Iraq will be impossible without greater cooperation from Iran and Syria,” the “Stability First” paper says.

This is nonsense. It is nothing more than appeasement. Working with Iran and Syria to stabilize Iraq? Are they serious? A better option would be regime change in Iran and Syria.

No Asian country achieved prosperity and stability without some type of quasi-dictatorship (e.g. South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, etc.). President Bush attempted to promote democracy before stability, while Iran and Syria were allowing thousands of agents and foreign fighters across their borders.

januarius on October 12, 2006 at 6:10 PM

It’s getting harder and harder to be proud of the country I grew up in and fought for. It’s going to get worse before it gets better and the only consolation I have is knowing that with my health problems I probably won’t be around to see how bad it really gets. I mourn the America I once knew.

Bill Faith
USAF 1970-1974
Viet Nam Vet.

bdfaith on October 12, 2006 at 6:12 PM

Thank you, Bill, for sacrificing for our beloved country. I too grieve for what we are rapidly losing. It makes me physically ill to think that my beloved little grandsons will probably have to fight in the streets to regain the freedoms the Leftist nit-wits are tossing away — freedoms that you and other veterans secured for us, some with their young lives.

Margaret McC on October 12, 2006 at 6:27 PM

How are leftist nitwits responsible for Iraq? Geez louise.

Allahpundit on October 12, 2006 at 6:28 PM

Both option papers would compel America to open dialogue with Syria and Iran, two rogue states that Iraqi leaders and American military commanders say are providing arms and funds to Iraq’s insurgents. “Stabilizing Iraq will be impossible without greater cooperation from Iran and Syria,” the “Stability First” paper says.

This is nonsense. It is nothing more than appeasement. Working with Iran and Syria to stabilize Iraq? Are they serious? A better option would be regime change in Iran and Syria.

You are right. It ties right in with “accomodation with the insurgents”. You won’t get stability in Iraq by appeasing Iran and Syria, nor will you get it by accomodations with their agents and supporters within Iraq.

I’m afraid that those who are hoping that this will cause political damage to Bush are going to be sorely disappointed when they present non-starter options that include accomodations with those that have caused the problems in the first place.

thirteen28 on October 12, 2006 at 6:34 PM

Maybe Margaret is referring to La Raza. But even THAT is Bush’s fault. My GOD! I’m starting to sound like them! HALIBURTON!!!

Gregor on October 12, 2006 at 6:37 PM

How are leftist nitwits responsible for Iraq? Geez louise.

I have five answers for you Allah: CBS, ABC, NBC, AP, and Reuters. They want us to pull out of Iraq just like they made us do in Vietnam. What happened then? A bloodbath in Vietnam and 3,000,000 slaughtered in Cambodia. We can directly thank the Democrats in the American Congress for the slaughter of 3,000,000 innocent Khmers. The domino effect did occur.

We made mistakes in Iraq but it would be moronic to pull out now like the liberals want. What kind of bloodbath would occur in Iraq if we pulled out?

januarius on October 12, 2006 at 6:44 PM

We made mistakes in Iraq but it would be moronic to pull out now like the liberals want. What kind of bloodbath would occur in Iraq if we pulled out?

januarius on October 12, 2006 at 6:44 PM

Well for one, the phrase “Sunnis in Iraq” would only be used in the past tense.

thirteen28 on October 12, 2006 at 6:53 PM

AP,

I’m pretty sure that Margaret had jumped off of the Iraq point for that comment. Perhaps she was thinking in terms of the pro-illegal immigration push by the left. I’ve heard more than one friend ponder how soon we’ll need to hide our guns, because as that issue reaches critical mass there very well could be fighting in the streets, and the leftists know it, so they’ll be certain to try and grab ALL the guns first.

Maybe it’s just a west coast thing.

On topic, any strategy that suggests compromises with identified terror-sponsoring regimes is a violation of the first stated policy of the GWOT, and shouldn’t have been put on paper by an American policy group such as the Baker commission.

Freelancer on October 12, 2006 at 6:58 PM

Ugh. When the Hell are we going to get some good news about Iraq? It was purple fingers and smiling faces for a few weeks, and then months of mosque bombings. Sick of it. These people need to grow the Hell out of it and pull their God forsaken country together. There’s absolutely nothing standing in their way any longer – no oppressive dictators, no imbalance of military power, nothing except their own ethnic religious squabbles.

It was right to remove Hussein from power, but I’m feeling very impatient with the Iraqi people. Air wars from now on, okay?

Savage on October 12, 2006 at 7:31 PM

The option also calls on America to solicit aid and support from the European Union and the United Nations, though both bodies in the past have spurned requests for significant aid for Iraq.

Word is the UN is putting together a secret armor of mighty warriors, in armor of pure unobtainium, who will charge into battle on the backs of magical unicorns and bring peace, prosperity and free healthcare to the whole world.

B Moe on October 12, 2006 at 7:33 PM

I thought, as AP noted, that the third to the last paragraph was actually the real humdinger. Obtain greater cooperation with Iran and Syria? Why would they cooperate with us? They’re terrorist sponsoring enemy states.

But I’m glad to see they won’t release any of this information until after the elections. I’m glad it’s secret until then and won’t find its way out.

see-dubya on October 12, 2006 at 7:55 PM

I’m frustrated with the Iraqis too, but you have to consider their past. 35 years under a dictator breeds habits. Big, bad habits with deep, dark grooves. They’re still in survival mode and getting them to transition to building and defending that which they’ve built is hard work that takes time, especially if they’ve never done that before under their own initiative. The best help we can give that we aren’t yet giving is a more robust, aggresive policy vis a vis Iran and Syria. This can’t happen until after the election in November and it would help if Joe Liebs wins and can begin to peel off a coalition of Dems to support that effort to give Republicans a chance to support that effort without concern for being lynched by the DNC. Their are a lot of small, medium, and large things we can do but most will have to occur after the election, not before.

The Apologist on October 12, 2006 at 7:57 PM

For years my eldest kids fought each other. Fought, fought, fought.

You threaten them, you punish them. You separate them, or force them together. Nothing works. Still they bicker and argue and backstab. You pull your hair out and wonder what can possibly be the magic elixir that will end this damnable, eternal fighting?

And then one day, you glance over and they’ve grown into responsible adults, and the fighting is nothing but a faint memory.

No matter how good a parent you are, some things just take time.

a4g on October 12, 2006 at 8:24 PM

Glorious.
Oh well, no pesky boat people this time.

Stephen M on October 12, 2006 at 8:39 PM

This is old news. Common sense really. We in the West have forgotten the recipe for freedom. Did England come over here subdue the Indians and give the settlers land grants? Freedom and democracy are paid for in blood. Iraqi blood not American blood. Let them sort it out for themselves. The failure of our government was forgetting how we came to be. Heh, the government Senate thinks they can legislate and barter Mexico into the first world, aint gonna happen kids. I wish this country had the spine to tell Mexico to grow up and fix their country and stop using the United States as a relief valve. Illegal alien sympathizers think they are helping Mexicans? They are just killing Mexico.

We are not helping Iraq form a democracy. We are trying to prevent the inevitable. Let Iraq have a civil war, last ideology standing wins. If the Iraqis that want liberty lose then let them move to the west, and let the jihadis drag that country down even further. People can only realize jihadis can not govern until they do so. Lets see how well Hamas does running Palestine with out any foriegn aid and without the international community willing to invest. Their social programs cost money. What will they tell the people when they can’t pay the bills? Umm.. well… Sorry you are starving and we can not afford to maintain the infrastructure, but hey we hate Israel…

The only people capable of bring democracy to Iraq are Iraqis. Sidenote why the heck are we not courting the Kurds?

Theworldisnotenough on October 12, 2006 at 8:48 PM

*without
*bringing

Theworldisnotenough on October 12, 2006 at 8:51 PM

Maybe I am wrong, or off base, but I believe that our efforts to minimize civilian deaths and to “win hearts and minds” has actually cost more deaths and lost more hearts and minds than we have won. We needed to go after the insurgents full force, and quash that right away. If we had, we would not be talking quagmire and losing. We were more worried about PR than in actually winning this thing.

LissaKay on October 12, 2006 at 11:26 PM

I don’t think the Prez will bug out of Iraq without a stable government in place, but his replacement might.

I pledge to riot in the streets jihad-style if our next President invalidates the seven long months I spend over there. Hell, the Hamdan decision was enough to boil my blood.

It’s all so very frustrating.

Kadnine on October 12, 2006 at 11:57 PM

I agree with LissaKay, and support Kadnine.

As I see it, this “10-member commission — headed by a secretary of state for President George H.W. Bush” will soon admit that they cannot find any way to successfully finish up the effort in Iraq. Fine! They have failed in their effort, so let’s move on to the people with a plan for success in the Iraq democracy effort. It isn’t as if the Iraqis haven’t tried to create a democratic government. Heck, they risked their lives to go vote. How many Americans [percentage wise] can even be bothered to register?

When a doctor says he cannot help you, you go find another doctor. Successful people didn’t become successful by quiting when the work got too hard to do. Too many American Heroes have sacrificed to give up just because of a few whiny $&**! liberals.

DannoJyd on October 13, 2006 at 2:34 AM

The way one safely extends liberty is by gradually tiling the entire Earth with states, suppressing theocracy as one goes. I’ve come to think that the U.S.’s approach should be to extend the sphere in which people are either subjects of the U.S.’s territorial rule or else citizens of one of the 51+ United States and, as voters, co-rulers of the U.S.’s territorial subjects. Those territorial subjects, who will be made to understand that they deserve their purgatory, will have one hope of freedom: graduation to statehood and citizenship. In the service of making statehood and citizenship most attractive, it seems the U.S. should make it their policy to gather all good things to themselves. They should aim to gather to themselves everything strong, everything profound, and everything beautiful. They should become the excellent, deeply wicked, strategists of a universal United States.

Kralizec on October 13, 2006 at 3:46 AM

Don’t tell me it really is Vietnam after all.

Pablo on October 13, 2006 at 6:15 AM

How are leftist nitwits responsible for Iraq? Geez louise.

Allahpundit on October 12, 2006 at 6:28 PM

AP, ever hear of a guy named Jimmah Kartar?
Just curious, Tor.

For, IMHO, the quickest explanation of how the government of the US was started see “The Green Berets”.

tormod on October 13, 2006 at 8:03 AM

Does anyone truly expect anything different from a panel chaired by James Baker? He & his ilk (Brent Scowcroft,etc) have always taken a “realpolitik” stance regarding the Middle East. You know, the soft bigotry of low expectations…the kind of thinking that allowed Saddam Hussein a free hand in Iraq, and keeps Mubarak in power in Egypt. Nothing new here..

Abigail Adams on October 13, 2006 at 8:58 AM

This really is just more of the “realist” fetisization with “stability”–all other considerations be damned so long as we get that stability.

While it certainly is an approach, hard to argue that it’s really a good one. (having local Sunni dictators–mini-Saddams–is hardly a recipe for success)

Moreover, there’s no objection to having a political accomodation in iraq (which is what’s quoted as the approach–not as the article claims “accomodation with insurgents”–not all Sunnis are insurgents), even the most hard nosed proponent of the mission recognizes that success requires political accomodation and “dialogue” with Iraq’s neighbors.

It’s just the terms of that accomodation/dialogue that matter.

armylawyer on October 13, 2006 at 8:59 AM

You know, the soft bigotry of low expectations…the kind of thinking that allowed Saddam Hussein a free hand in Iraq, and keeps Mubarak in power in Egypt. Nothing new here.

Right. “Let’s just make sure we get the oil out, and turn a blind eye to the dictators quaint yet brutal repression of those irrelevant brown people.”

That’s the attitude that got us into this position in the first place. How prominent do you suppose Baker’s voice was in the “Let’s leave Saddam in power” chorus of ’91?

How much did our elbow rubbing with totalitarian regimes inspire the creation of al-Qaeda? A lot, I think.

Pablo on October 13, 2006 at 9:36 AM

I think many of us thought that as soon as we liberated Iraq, that the people would rejoice, start their own democracy and live in peace and harmony. Kind of like a hollywood movie, always with a happy ending. it has not happened that way, for reasons we either didn’t anticipate, or didn’t want to admit. It’s time to rethink our direction in Iraq. I’d rather President Bush and republican congress do the “rethinking” than the democrats. One of Bush’s strengths is that he means what he says and does what he says. That’s also his biggest weakness.

It will be interesting to see what comes of the Baker report. I also find it interesting that they are going to wait until after the elections to publish the entire thing. it must contain some bombshells.

pullingmyhairout on October 13, 2006 at 9:38 AM

This whole episode in Iraq shows me just how stupid the Middle Easterners really are. We already knew they were useless, but I thought given the chance, they would step up. Instead, they stepped down.

The good news is that the bloodier this whow mess is, the more stable things should be once the conflict is over. But, Afganistan shows that the muslims thirst for blood is second to none. Those ideots have been fighting for many years and still have not had enough. Maybe in Iraq, the sunis will kill all the wild sheites, and the sheites will kill all the wild sunis. Lets hope.

Shmo on October 13, 2006 at 10:06 AM

Baker commission to recommend abandoning democracy in Iraq?

How can you abandon something you don’t have? Yes, we all know, because we have heard it ad nauseum, that Bush wants democracy in the mid east. Here’s the thing: aspirations are not a strategy.

The military is doing the best it can, but at the end of the day, it’s impossible to execute well a poorly conceived plan. By our own estimates, we have trained 400,000 Iraqis for security. And we are still unable to stem the violence. Judas priest, what does that tell us!

What a fiasco. Medals of Freedom all around.

honora on October 13, 2006 at 10:10 AM

Glorious.
Oh well, no pesky boat people this time.

Stephen M on October 12, 2006 at 8:39 PM

You are my kind of guy–gallows humor better than no humor at all. Rock on Stephen M.

honora on October 13, 2006 at 10:14 AM

How are leftist nitwits responsible for Iraq? Geez louise.

Allahpundit on October 12, 2006 at 6:28 PM

Because it’s easier to blame others for your failure. Was ever thus.

We do need to get past the blame thing. Who really covered themselves with glory here, other than the troops? Pretty short list. God this is discouraging.

honora on October 13, 2006 at 10:16 AM

This whole episode in Iraq shows me just how stupid the Middle Easterners really are. We already knew they were useless, but I thought given the chance, they would step up. Instead, they stepped down.

Hold the phone. There are elements that you could say have stepped down. I’d counter that they just stayed where they are, which is somwhere around 700AD. There are oher elements, very large ones, that have done and are doing what cannot be considered anything other than a very difficult job…which is trying to drag the Neanderthals into the 21st century.

The Iraqis came out in huge numbers to vote for their self determination under credible threat of death from the Neanderthals. The Kurds have done a fabulous job and they love us for the gift of liberty that we have given them. They live well and they live in peace, in Iraq. Of course, they had a head start and they don’t have the faction problem internally.

If you take a barrel of fine wine, and then you take a big dump in it, you then have a barrel of shit. The Neanderthals are the doodoo. The question now is do we throw the whole mess out, or can we find a way to purify it and make it what it ought to be. It’s not impossible to clean it up. We, and more importantly they, just haven’t found the right way to do it yet. Frankly, I think it’s time for Iraq’s mothers to adopt the Lysistrata strategy.

There’s a big fat swath of stupid Americans too, you know. And some of them have turned the streets they live on into battlefields. But we didn’t abandon Los Angeles.

Pablo on October 13, 2006 at 10:49 AM

Who really covered themselves with glory here, other than the troops?

The Kurds.

Pablo on October 13, 2006 at 10:49 AM

so let’s move on to the people with a plan for success in the Iraq democracy effort.

Sounds great!! Now, where do we find these people?

honora on October 13, 2006 at 11:29 AM

Maybe I am wrong, or off base, but I believe that our efforts to minimize civilian deaths and to “win hearts and minds” has actually cost more deaths and lost more hearts and minds than we have won. We needed to go after the insurgents full force, and quash that right away. If we had, we would not be talking quagmire and losing. We were more worried about PR than in actually winning this thing.

LissaKay on October 12, 2006 at 11:26 PM

No, you are not wrong, you hit the nail on the head. And you even sum up why in your last sentence when you note that other things have been given a higher priority than victory, which in war, always leads to more deaths no matter how noble the intentions.

thirteen28 on October 13, 2006 at 11:47 AM

Well it’s nice to think this is all about misplaced effort–too concerned about PR etc. But the fact is that our goal of replacing Saddam with a democracy was always a questionable goal–never a good idea to set as your objective something over which you largely have no control.

honora on October 13, 2006 at 11:57 AM

When I heard that Kissinger was visiting the WH advising our bumbling, stuttering Pres………..I knew it was all over. We have no leaders. We will pull out once these elite politicos get their sufficient dollars out of Iraq.

LZVandy on October 13, 2006 at 12:29 PM

Does anyone truly expect anything different from a panel chaired by James Baker? He & his ilk (Brent Scowcroft,etc) have always taken a “realpolitik” stance regarding the Middle East. You know, the soft bigotry of low expectations…the kind of thinking that allowed Saddam Hussein a free hand in Iraq, and keeps Mubarak in power in Egypt. Nothing new here..

Abigail Adams on October 13, 2006 at 8:58 AM

Amen! Founding Mother!

And I for one am not going back there!!

I think it should be noted that the Bush Administration did not request nor fund this endeavor because I think that many (read Democrats) are going to use it to insinuate that Bush refused to take the advice therein he solicited from a fellow Republican, and family friend because it didn’t suit his agenda.

The Iraqi Parliment has already agreed to set up a process to discuss federalization. A major number of the tribes in Al Anbar have entered into an agreement with the government to fight the insurgency and the terrorists coming in across the border.

I have no problem with negotiation with Iraqi insurgents in order to bring about a political resolution. But I’d be damn if I’d negotiate one twit with Iran or Syria.

Failure in Iraq is not an option, I don’t give a damn how long it takes. I do trust Gens. Casey and Abizaid to make that call.

And Bush has defined what victory is. He defines it every time he speaks on Iraq! You must not be listening!!

Texas Gal on October 13, 2006 at 1:13 PM

Texas Gal, ‘you don’t care how long it takes?’………
Are you insane? How about 40 years, is that ok with you.

Split up the country in three parts. Clean out Falujah. Kill anyone one who opposes in Falujah…women and children with their men.
Then clean up N Korea………..NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LZVandy on October 13, 2006 at 1:38 PM

LZVandy:

How about 40 years, is that ok with you.

Fine with me. Unless one is SO naive as to think you can just up and “country” a place in between commercial breaks.

armylawyer on October 13, 2006 at 1:50 PM

Changing a culture is a difficult thing to do.

Democracy is a hard concept for a society still anchored tribally to grasp. Nevertheless, Democracy in the middle east (or a form of it that tribals can work with) is going to be absolutely essential if Islamofascism is to be defeated.

And Islamofascism is a clear and present danger to the United States and the west.

If we don’t defeat it now, while we still can, the world faces dark days, if not outright anihalation. Bush is right that the best chance to do so is if a form of democracy takes hold in the middle east in a major way. Modern secular states (not dictatorships) in the middle east are the only way to avoid a catastrophic (for the world) end result.

I don’t know what to make of the NY Sun’s report of the Baker commission’s draft report.

“Representative” government as opposed to “democracy” appear to be arguments of the “how many angles can dance on the head of a pin” type in most people’s minds. After all, the United States is a “representative” form of government — not a democracy. That’s what REPUBLICS are, after all.

However, if Baker really does think that Sunni dictatorships in Sunni majority countries are “representative,” he is plainly wrong.

America, by leading the overthrow of TWO dictatorships in the middle east, has begun the process of ending the threat of Islamofascism. If the Sun’s description of Baker’s plan is correct, that it would be exactly the wrong course to take and it will lead to Islamofascism being triumphant in the middle east and a major loss of life on the planet.

The problem of violence in Iraq is caused by sectarian militias (mostly Shiite), undefeated Ba’athists, and Al Qaeda, in that order. The tribal elements in Iraq are already part of the government of Iraq now. The inclusion of the tribals is actually going to be the key to success in the middle east for us.

The sectarian militias (specifically, the Shiites) and the Ba’athists (the Sunni equivalent, including the former Saddamist thugs) are going to have to be put down by force, if they won’t voluntarily put down their arms. Hence, any adjustment in troop levels should be an increase, not a “cut and run” decrease as the Democrats (and possibly Baker) propose.

And we will probably have to confront Syria militarily before too long. We ARE going to be confronting Iran militarily anyway, given the direction they are going. They are complicit in continuing the strife in Iraq an they need to cease, even if we have to overthrow them too.

For the record, it is possible for “sectarians” to put down their arms and talk instead of shoot. It happened in Northern Ireland — though it took 30 years of strife. Hopefully it won’t take as long as that in Iraq. But they have to decide it is in their best interests to do so. Cutting off Syria’s and Iran’s ability to interfere will go a long way towards making the point, IMHO.

One more thing: The situation in Iraq has been deliberately misreported by the media, who are working for an American defeat. They won’t tell you that the majority of the Iraqi people WANT us there to stablize their country. But if you read the Iraq Index at the Brookings Institution, it’s clear.

georgej on October 13, 2006 at 2:06 PM

This may have been written 500 years ago, but it applies perfectly to the situation in Iraq today:

… there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them. Thus it happens that whenever those who are hostile have the opportunity to attack they do it like partisans, whilst the others defend lukewarmly, in such wise that the prince is endangered along with them.

thirteen28 on October 13, 2006 at 2:40 PM

Texas Gal, ‘you don’t care how long it takes?’………
Are you insane? How about 40 years, is that ok with you.

Split up the country in three parts. Clean out Falujah. Kill anyone one who opposes in Falujah…women and children with their men.
Then clean up N Korea………..NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LZVandy on October 13, 2006 at 1:38 PM

No LZV, I’m not insane.

This ain’t a shake ‘n bake.

Texas Gal on October 13, 2006 at 2:41 PM

I was in Vietnam with these loser Generals who were dumb Lts then….they can’t whip 20,000 ragheads in three years….they are a joke.

LZVandy on October 13, 2006 at 3:17 PM

“And Bush has defined what victory is. He defines it every time he speaks on Iraq! You must not be listening!!” -Texas Gal on October 13, 2006 at 1:13 PM

Now now, let’s not let facts get in the way of the truth here.

Cary on October 13, 2006 at 3:36 PM

Actually, the penultimate paragraph posits between the lines that Iran and Syria are meddling in Iraqi affairs to undermine the fledgling democracy. Therefore, what is needed to secure democracy in Iraq is to allow Israel a free hand with Syria and to engage Iran politically and/or militarily.

chsw

chsw on October 13, 2006 at 4:51 PM

Honora, I could easily give you dozens of examples of who we cannot must not trust to manage any war situation, but you wouldn’t like it, and would say I was trying to cast blame. The people to trust are the ones who say we can/must win this war, not those who have been claiming defeat for years. We cannot trust those who claim defeat is a win by just declaring it as a win. An example of that would be Hitlary recently claiming that the liberal party is both conservative, and liberal. Saying it does not make it so.

There has already been a successful effort at democracy in Iraq, but the liberals demand that we turn a blind eye to that fact. Indeed, according to the liberal MSM, America has a broken economy, the housing bubble burst a year ago, and we are incapable of winning any war. Give me a break! If you wish to believe their crud then go buy your burka, hang the local sluts, and kill your neighborhood homosexuals as the terrorists demand.

Allah, you have a hard time believing that liberals are the cause of the difficulties we face in the wars, but you would be the first person I would rely on to give examples of democrats making statements against America’s efforts, thus harming our efforts, and working to protect the enemy combatants [I hate that phrase]. In a nutshell, either you [not meaning just you, Allah] support our war efforts, or you do not. The quickest way to lose these wars is to admit defeat, and I refuse to be that sort of quitter. Apparently, the majority of our armed forces feel the same way I do, and thus I will continue to support them.

Those that can, do. Those that cannot, quit. Do not fall for the liberal line, and thus join the quitters.

DannoJyd on October 13, 2006 at 5:15 PM

My brother the Marine was never for setting up a democracy. He just wanted to get in, shoot bad people, put in a friendly dictator, and get out.

Friendly dictators just aren’t acceptable these days, though.

frankj on October 13, 2006 at 7:16 PM

Pablo, good post up there.

April 19, 1775 – Date of the “Shot heard ’round the world”, considered the commencement of hostilities in the War for American Independence.

July 4, 1776 – Declaration of Independence signed. (1 year, 2 months, 15 days)

Oct 7, 1777 – At Saratoga, the first significant battle victory for the revolutionary army. (2 years, 5 months, 18 days)

Jan 14, 1784 – The Congress ratifies the Treaty of Paris, which was signed on September 3 of the previous year, war officially ends. (8 years, 8 months, 25 days)

Jul 2, 1788 – Upon receipt of Virginia’s acceptance of the Constitution, and being the 9th state to do so, Congress declares the Constitution ratified and in effect. (13 years, 2 months, 13 days)

Arguable two of the most moral nations to ever exist fought for almost 9 years, and more than 13 years were required before the standards for a fully functioning government were set in motion. But in a world of instant coffee, microwaves, satellite/cable/wireless communication and entertainment, it is labeled a failure if we can’t stand up a country out of the dark ages in less than 3 years.

The Iraqi people lived in a state of fear most of us could not claim to understand. During Saddam’s nearly four decades of rule, an average MONTH, not year, saw over 5,000 civilians put to death by the government outside of legal proceedings.

Let me stop there for just a moment. 60,000+ dead each year on average, at the hands of the ruling regime, not in civil war or through criminal prosecution. I call shame on anyone who continues to think that the U.S. presence in Iraq has cost more lives than it has saved.

Back to the larger picture. A society that was under the thumb of it’s leader to such an extent that in his last presidential election Saddam gained 100.0% of the vote, isn’t going to have an easy time pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and believing in the sort of liberty that we presume upon each day. Yes, they want it. But they doubt, due to a lifetime of reality being something so much harsher.

John Kerry commented during the 2004 campaign that democracy is never created by bloodshed. Aside from the fact that “democracy” shouldn’t be the goal, but a representative and freely elected government, Kerry is as wrong as ever. I defy him and anyone else to point to a “democracy” that WASN’T brought about through war.

It is a very good thing people like today’s quitters didn’t have a significant voice during Revolutionary times. We fought for nearly two and a half years before even winning a sizable battle! How would the cut-and-run crowd have responded to that? QUAGMIRE!!!

Iran and Iraq beat each other up for more than 8 years, and it got them nothing but lots of dead people. The residents of the region simply don’t know how to imagine life any other way. As a society, we need to be patient with them. As a nation with an self-interest, and the capacity to act on that self-interest, we need to be steadfast.

Never quit.

Frankj, it might have been the best goal all along to insert someone in power along the lines of the old Shah. But they would (rightly) be viewed as an American puppet, and that wouldn’t do in the most heated region of Earth.

Freelancer on October 13, 2006 at 8:49 PM

It’s the Koran, and Sharia Law, that undermine any illusion of a decent “democracy” in any Muslim country.

At least any kind of “representative state” that means anything like what it has come to signify in the Western world: a Constitutionally-based Bill of Rights and secular rule of man-made laws.

In America’s case, drawing on “inalienable” rights, “endowed” (before any governmental fiats are ever written down) by an unnamed, non-denominational “Creator”. A “Nature’s God” figure invoked to add profound religious “weight” and “cultural” resonance to such an earth-shaking, fundmental statement as: “All men are created equal” and are made “by their Creator” with their essential, inalienable worth. A value that is not something given by any government.

Governments, on the contrary, are the ones to be restrained from exceeding their usefulness (protecting the citizens, etc.), and infringing illegitimately upon the “natural rights” of men and women.

Islamically-schooled peoples will only vote for more Islam. They know nothing else. They are taught nothing else. Their societies honor nothing else. “Democracy”, in their “submissive” world-view, only brings the means for implementing a globally-aspiring, Eternal, Theocratic Police State.

Better known as Hell On Earth to those who have tasted liberty.

And who have read the nauseating history of ‘religious’ wars, from Deuteronomy to the Aztecs, the millenia of terroristic Muslim invasions (-spreading with the Sword the ‘faith’ of Mohammad through North Africa, and into Spain, across the Middle East, up into the Balkans, over into India, down to Afghanistan, and infiltrating and dominating much of Malaysia/East Asia) to the witch-bruning, heretic-hunting European Inquisition.

Put a “holy” man in power, and you soon find a “divine” despot.

Sharia Law must be humanely reformed and the Koran defanged of its terroristic tenets.

Only then can “democracy” not be just a new method of disguised jihad.

profitsbeard on October 14, 2006 at 1:14 AM

This may have been written 500 years ago, but it applies perfectly to the situation in Iraq today:

Thirteen28, you are a Prince. You’re right: it is perfect, almost prophetic.

Going to dig through my old books, now…

bamapachyderm on October 14, 2006 at 2:13 AM

Democracy in the middle east is not going to happen. The shia just do whatever their ayatollahs tell them to do. Profitsbeard is right. On a more positive note, Iraq has opened some huge opportunities for the Shia and Sunnis to start fighting one another!

PRCalDude on October 14, 2006 at 9:37 AM

profitsbeard

Islamically-schooled peoples will only vote for more Islam. They know nothing else. They are taught nothing else. Their societies honor nothing else. “Democracy”, in their “submissive” world-view, only brings the means for implementing a globally-aspiring, Eternal, Theocratic Police State.

You hit the nail on the head. I cannot figure out why people have not figured it out, we are in a religious war with Islam,period.

We will have to defeat them or surrender and submit.

We need to decimate the enemy with overwhelming force like using nukes. I dare say that if the little Hitler in Iran woke up to a mushroom cloud with a statement from our President that we will not tolerate it any longer, we may just win this war.

Everything else is just appeasement.

ScottyDog on October 14, 2006 at 11:27 AM

SCOTTY DOG-

I have two Scotties. (Great minds think alike. From Fala, onward…)

When you have the advantage of strength of arms, and you are fighting for the liberation of humanity (and not their “holy” imprisonment), and you do not act to squash terroristic homicidal maniacs seeking WMD’s, you reveal a catastrophic diffidence at the heart of the confused Western spirit. And self-divided mind/em>.

The Bush Administration’s idealistic folly of “speading democracy” in a place where it is more like neolithic tribes warring over totems, or mafia clans extending the “protection racket” in the neigborhood of a rival “family”, is a damning piece of evidence of the Total Failure of U.S. Intelligence on this issue of The Root of Islamic Imperialism: The Koran.

Is History taught anymore?

Santayana, who?

Maybe people need to gather at the White House gate and throw Korans over the fence (ala Kerry’s VietNam era “medal” toss), while chanting: “Read It And Weep!” over and over and over?

The more the delusional extremelib class of self-loathing, suicidally-soft suckers-of-Sharia and swallowers-of-the-“Religion of Peace” myth in the West dare to crack open the “Recitation” (al-Qur’an) and have the scales fall from their dream-blinded eyes, the sooner this War will be begun in earnest.

And, with our overwhelming military and technological and intellectual advantage, we would win it within a decade.

(If we were deadly serious, as people in battle once were, the War Against Islamic Imperialism could be over in a month… but that level of self-preservational intensity won’t happen until a million corpses lie rotting in the streets of a major U.S. city.)

Meanwhile, give Korans for X-mas.

Knowledge is power.

Spread the dread.

profitsbeard on October 14, 2006 at 7:10 PM

This may have been written 500 years ago, but it applies perfectly to the situation in Iraq today:

Thirteen28, you are a Prince. You’re right: it is perfect, almost prophetic.

Going to dig through my old books, now…

bamapachyderm on October 14, 2006 at 2:13 AM

Thanks bama … and thanks for noting it over at your blog as well ;)

thirteen28 on October 14, 2006 at 8:46 PM

“Stability First”, where was this brilliant concept when Jimmy Carter dithered with Iran?

The military fight will continue, no matter what happens in Iraq. This is not going to end with handshakes and multi-lateral peace negotiations.

If the West is not yet prepared to subdue the enemy, the enemy will continue to grow bolder and bolder. A massive invasion of the Middle East — several times larger than the invasion of Iraq — that would encompass Iran and western Pakistan is almost inevitable.

GWB has been waging a limited war with the hopes of buying time for this broadening war effort. However, there is only so much that any US President can do to prepare the country for an unprecedented clash of this kind. Maybe that was the compassionate approach; yet it has been roundly attacked politically as a disproportionate reaction to the enemy’s attacks.

I think we do need another Truman. A man prepared to do whatever it takes to end the war with victory. And a generation of citizens ready to make that the new reality.

The cost is horrific to contemplate either way. But handshakes will NOT end this.

F. Rottles on October 16, 2006 at 12:38 AM