Baker: A face-saving disaster?

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The Baker commission seems to be doing a lot more than just re—thinking Iraq. It appears to be copiously leaking a Vietnam—type cut—and—run plan that will leave the Gulf far more dangerous than it is now. The Vietnam model looks like a "face—saving" retreat by the United States —— just like that one that left Vietnam a Stalinist prison state with tens of thousands of boat people fleeing and dying, and next door in Cambodia, two or three million dead at the hands of Pol Pot.

Baker's press leaks seem designed to test public reaction to the cut—and—run plan.

Conservatives have lost Congress for the next two years, but acquiescing in a disastrous retreat from Iraq would be the worst of all possible worlds. It would empower all the most destabilizing actors: Ahmadinejad, his dangerous guru Ayatollah Yazdi, and Moqtada el Sadr, who wants to turn Iraq into another Khomeinist state. 

Withdrawal would embolden Hamas and Hezbollah and weaken Iran's natural enemies —— the Sunni Arab countries, including the Sunni Gulf states. In Afghanistan, the Taliban would be reinvigorated, and in Pakistan the Al—Qaida—supporting elements in the military and secret services might try —— again —— to launch a coup. A successful Al Qaeda coup in Pakistan would give Islamofascists not just one, but two nuclear—armed states.

The US held on in Vietnam for fourteen years. We gave Vietnamization a chance. The 12 million Iraqis who voted for parliamentary parties deserve a chance to see their elected government work.

James Lewis   11 12 06

The Baker commission seems to be doing a lot more than just re—thinking Iraq. It appears to be copiously leaking a Vietnam—type cut—and—run plan that will leave the Gulf far more dangerous than it is now. The Vietnam model looks like a "face—saving" retreat by the United States —— just like that one that left Vietnam a Stalinist prison state with tens of thousands of boat people fleeing and dying, and next door in Cambodia, two or three million dead at the hands of Pol Pot.

Baker's press leaks seem designed to test public reaction to the cut—and—run plan.

Conservatives have lost Congress for the next two years, but acquiescing in a disastrous retreat from Iraq would be the worst of all possible worlds. It would empower all the most destabilizing actors: Ahmadinejad, his dangerous guru Ayatollah Yazdi, and Moqtada el Sadr, who wants to turn Iraq into another Khomeinist state. 

Withdrawal would embolden Hamas and Hezbollah and weaken Iran's natural enemies —— the Sunni Arab countries, including the Sunni Gulf states. In Afghanistan, the Taliban would be reinvigorated, and in Pakistan the Al—Qaida—supporting elements in the military and secret services might try —— again —— to launch a coup. A successful Al Qaeda coup in Pakistan would give Islamofascists not just one, but two nuclear—armed states.

The US held on in Vietnam for fourteen years. We gave Vietnamization a chance. The 12 million Iraqis who voted for parliamentary parties deserve a chance to see their elected government work.

James Lewis   11 12 06