Wednesday, December 06, 2006
You can download a pdf file of the Iraq Study Group report, about 160 pages, here.
I continue to be booked solid at the day job until well into the evening (suggesting that it is more than a day job). However, I encourage our vast and brilliant readership -- especially those without day jobs or who live in parts of the world where it is not day -- to start reading and erupt their howls of derision or subtle insights into the comments.
MORE: That was fast. Andy McCarthy is not happy.
STILL MORE: Power Line is reductionist:
Thus, the ISG report lives up to its advanced billing. The best the "wise men" can come up with is to have our worst enemies try to help us stabilize Iraq. And, apparently, the primary inducement will be to pressure Israel into creating a Palestinian state (as if Iran really cares about that). It's difficult to say which is more pronounced, the craven nature of this recommendation or its lack of realism.
I actually think Iran does care about creating a Palestinian state, but not enough to compromise its own objectives in Iraq, which is much closer to home.
Andrew McCarthy thinks "stabilizing" Iraq is overrated. He's more concerned with winning the greater war on terrorism:
Iraq is but a single battlefield in that war. It is not “the war.” Stabilizing or even — mirabile dictu! — democratizing Iraq is not winning the war. It is the overseas equivalent of rebuilding the World Trade Center. The hard reality is that war exacts a terrible toll and its fallout must be addressed. This is why we hate war and resort to it only in the face of greater evils. But cleaning up war’s unavoidable messes is not the same as winning.
Winning the war means taking on the regimes and factions that are waging it. That is what the president promised to do after 9/11. “You’re with us or you’re with the terrorists.”
Fight the Real War
According to Dick Morris, James Baker wrote his doctoral paper asserting what a tradgedy it was when H.S. Truman backed the founding of Israel. Additionally he was the aythor of failed policies which resulted in Oslo Accords. Now he is the hero of the consensusists and cowards, who believe Israel must be pressured into more concessions to really solve the middle east problem. Do you need to know more?
I've been thinking for a while that the best way to bring (relative) quiet to Iraq would be to export some mayhem to the streets of Tehran and Damascus. Nothing big, just the random IED blast that destroys a police station or Revolutionary guard base. All very casual and ordinary, but every time something goes bang in Bagdad, something bigger needs to go bang elsewhere. It is unfortunately exactly the sort of robust covert activity that our friends in the press and the gov'mint seem to find most objectionable, but I have a hunch that it would rapidly reduce the problems that we face in Iraq to a niggling manageable level. No need to talk to our friends in Tehran, no real need for words, non-verbal communication says so much more sometimes....
i really love the left. We couldn't invent guys like Lanky Bastard no one would believe us.
Here he is giving us a lecture, a scolding, about using what he calls "terrorism" against our enemies.
My oh my. Honestly the pathos coming from the American left is simply stunning.
JackH: There's an obvious ethical argument against the targeted killing of non-combatants, but if that's not sufficient there are practical ones too.
Globally, we're in a culture war. We win when people prefer our culture to that of the hardliners. Tiger's written volumes on the importance of turning the Arab street against the jihadis. This would have the opposite effect, turning moderates into extremists and isolating us from our allies.
I understand my credibility here has been shot ever since I predicted Iraq would turn into a clusterfuck, but I'm sure there's a good solid conservative argument against that course of action. Maybe someone will even provide it.
Lanky B. Our friends in Iran and Syria behave as they do because they know we don't want a shooting war with them. But equally they don't want a shooting war with us! Take some defused I.E.D.s add some plausible denialbilty and see what happens. They are the guys that started an undeclared war with us. If that is what they want, let them have it, in their own capitals targeted at their chief mechanisms of repression. I think that you would find that they can afford the chaos much less than we can, and far from making us an enemy, a little destruction among their secret policemen would probably make us quite popular....
Now Lanky will define the terms to suit his argument.
A culture war?
Again, one can't make this stuff up, no one would believe it.
If we weren't in an ACTUAL war LB's position would be a source of amusment.