Friday, December 08, 2006

Two East Indian Journalists Make The Point: Baker Commission Has Sold Out the U.S.

From two east Indian journalists, friends for the last 37 years, comes a highly pertinent comment by e-mail on the Baker Commission report on Iraq and the Middle East:

"On all sides," they write, "people are advising the Bush Administration to try diplomacy in Iraq/Iran etc. Can they be serious? Who is going to make concessions -- which is what a diplomatic solution is all about -- when they know the Bush Administration is weak and besieged by domestic opposition? Can you see the insurgents in Iraq or Ahmadinejad or Bashir Assad being sweetness and light now? It is absurd."

This reasoned judgement convinces me that my first impressions are correct -- that not since Neville Chamberlain went to Germany three times to beg Hitler to take only half of Czechoslovakia have we seen a more dangerous approach to appease Fascist enemies as we have in the Baker Commission report.

It is highly fortunate President Bush has already brushed off key parts of the report, specifically both its foolish advocacy that we go hat in hand to the Syrians and Iranians in an attempt to find an Iraqi settlement, and also that we set a schedule for withdrawing U.S. combat units from Iraq.

It is, as I wrote the other day, a prescription for total failure in Iraq and the creation of new, fatal dangers in the Middle East.

I agree that the President has to explore a new strategy in Iraq, since it's obvious that as the commission says, the situation has been deteriorating there. He is now making those explorations and promises an outline by the end of the year.

But just because the war is difficult does not mean we can afford to bail out of it.

There is dangerous nonsense abroad in the U.S. these days -- that we can temporize with the evils that afflict us and sell out our allies in the Middle East without devastating consequences here at home and throughout the world.

Already, this morning, there are dangerous signs in Lebanon as to what such a policy would mean. A lengthy AP story begins, "Prime Minister Fuad Saniora denounced Hezbollah and its leader on Friday in an unusually personal attack, a day after the guerrilla group's chief renewed his pledge to bring down the U.S.-backed government." This and other reports show the tremendous pressures that are being brought by the Fascists against the lawfully constituted government of Lebanon.

What is happening in Lebanon is of critical importance, and it is clear what it is: Iran and Syria with their stooges in the terrorist organization, Hezbollah, are trying to take over Lebanon. It is an attempted power grab such as we have to fear in many places should the U.S. retreat in the Middle East.

Baker and his commission are as dangerous to the U.S. as the appeasement policies that brought on World War II. The President has made mistakes, but in this instance he must stand fast.

There are all kinds of people who are trying to roll him over. We see it in Time magazine this week, where Michael Duffy writes he thinks the President will give in.

I have more confidence in Bush and his stubbornness than to believe he will. For the good of America, he simply cannot afford to.

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