||[Dec. 7th, 2006|12:30 pm]
The New York Post, the last bastian of respectable journalism SURRENDER MONKEYS!|
THE COUNSEL OF COWARDS
December 7, 2006 -- After nine laborious months, the Iraq Study Group yesterday recom mended that there be peace in the Middle East.
Well, of course.
But how to achieve it?
One word: Surrender.
Surrender in Iraq - and, in due time but inevitably, beyond.
Not in so many words, of course.
The 10-member group, headed by Republican Jim Baker and Democrat Lee Hamilton, wants to pull out U.S. combat troops within 16 months.
It wants Washington to ask those fomenting violence in Iraq - Iran and Syria - to be good fellows and stop it.
And it wants Israel to begin another "dialogue" in pursuit of peace. (Translation: It wants Israel to surrender, too.)
"The situation is grave and deteriorating," the much-hyped report begins, adding: "There is no path that can guarantee success" and "There is no action the American military can take that, by itself, can bring about success in Iraq."
Of course there are no guarantees.
There are never guarantees.
The report decidedly avoids using the word "victory." Rather, it sees only the possibility of somehow improving the odds of "success."
But that's just putting lipstick on this pig of a report.
The fact is, the study group offers 79 recommendations adding up to a cowardly exit from Iraq - and the abandonment of tens of thousands of Iraqis who took America's promises at face value.
Also to be tossed overboard are regional allies who believed America has the will to finish the fight it began.
Does it? That is the question.
President Bush has said quitting the fight "simply has no realism to it at all."
Here's hoping he means it. Because Iraq is a key theater in the broader War on Terror. And anything short of a win there doesn't mean the larger war is lost - but it makes ultimate victory immeasurably harder to achieve.
The group's solution?
Talk to Tehran and Damascus.
But those regimes are already talking: Iran is actively supporting the Shia insurrection in Iraq, and Syria is murdering members of the freely elected Lebanese government.
Which brings us to the study group's focus on a new peace process for Israel and its enemies - which represents utterly breathtaking disregard for decades of failed earlier such efforts.
Israel has made every manner of concession, fruitlessly. To this day, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran vow only to erase Israel from the map.
But the group wants more diplomacy, because it sees the Arab-Israeli conflict as central to the Middle East puzzle.
Which is nonsense: Israel, in fact, is a vivid symbol of the broader clash between Islamic fundamentalists and jihadis, and Western civilization.
Ending the conflict there can come only with victory in the War on Terror - not the other way around.
Why - absent a strong threat - would Iran, Syria and their puppet dispensers of terror quit, when their efforts to spread their power seem to be succeeding?
Why would they agree to help their enemies - America and Israel?
The answer: They wouldn't.
Baker himself all but admits it: "We didn't get the feeling Iran is champing at the bit to come to the table with us to talk about Iraq," he said. "And in fact we say they very well might not."
Call it anything you like, but this latest prescription for Iraq is nothing more than a plan for surrender. Notwithstanding the disaster that would surely follow.
President Bush should thank the ISG for its work - and promptly toss the report in the trash.
The president has a lot to answer for, but Operation Iraqi Freedom, while badly mismanaged, was a noble - and necessary - undertaking.
The war is not yet lost, nor need it be.
Bush needs courage right now.
The Iraq Study Group counsels cowardice - and, ultimately, a shameful defeat.