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December 7, 2006

ISG Report Seen By Arab World As Evidence Of American Weakness

Even worse, they see it as evidence that America is exactly how Osama bin Laden described us - a paper tiger:

... The bipartisan study, written under the leadership of former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III and former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, painted a dire picture of the situation in Iraq more than three years after the war started.

[...] Many Arabs on Thursday interpreted an American advisory panel's bleak assessment of President Bush's Iraq policies as proof of Washington's failure in the Middle East.

But others worried about the consequences if the U.S. follows the Iraq Study Group's suggestions, warning that the report could fuel insurgents and others vying to fill Iraq's security vacuum.

"This report is a recognition of the limitation of American power," said Abdel Moneim Said, head of Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic studies in Cairo. "In the short term, America will highly suffer the loss of its reputation and credibility in the region." ...

Mustafa Bakri, an outspoken critic of the U.S. and editor of the Egyptian tabloid Al-Osboa, told a state-run television show that the report indicated "the end of America."

Bakri, who supports Syrian President Bashar Assad and the former regime of Saddam Hussein, urged Arab countries to "capture the moment as America now is in its weakest period."

... The Iraq Study Group's report was the top headline in many Arab newspapers on Thursday, including the Egyptian opposition daily Al-Wafd, which declared: "Bush confesses defeat in Iraq."

... others warned that insurgents and countries including Iran were taking advantage of Bush's failures and the spiraling violence, and their influence would increase if the U.S. leaves.

... Al-Qaida must smell victory, but its a negative victory that comes from the defeat of America in Iraq," Said of the Al-Ahram center said.

And we should expected them to see it any other way? Should the U.S. follow the ISG's suggestions, the insurgency will be fueled, chaos will breakout in Iraq, the Middle East will rise up in further turmoil, and Iran will immediately move to capitalize on the situation by increasing the violence in the region and, regardless of any agreements with the international community or the U.S. (following the ISG suggestions), develop nuclear weapons anyway - leaving us in a hell of a mess.

Think about it, just think. A nuclear Iran with a wide open door for al-Qaeda in Iraq = nuclear-armed terrorists = Iran's 12th Imam psychonoids perpetuating disaster across the globe. Sound far fetched? Look back from 9/11 to today, look at the evolution of events from 1979 to today. I really wish I was wrong, but patterns are patterns, and our world is spiraling ever-faster out of control - towards a very dangerous all out war with radical Islam. If we fail to act far more forcefully than we have up to now - let's just say that we have no guarantees that our grandchildren will grow up in a free society, or even in a civilization that we'd recognize.

Other opinions:
Ralph Peters writes: THE difference between the child-killers in the Middle East 2,000 years ago and those today is that Herod's men rode into Bethlehem to preserve a threatened political system, while the terrorists we face in Iraq seek to destroy a government in their god's name.

Fred Kaplan writes: The report's authors try to make a case that Iran and Syria will want to cooperate. They write in the executive summary, "No country in the region will benefit in the long term from a chaotic Iraq." Yet the key phrase here is "in the long term." In the short term, Iran and Syria are benefiting quite nicely from an Iraq that's mired at least somewhat in chaos.

Robert Tracinski

...It's amazing that no one ever thought of these ideas before the Iraq Study Group came along. But no, don't thank them. It's all in a day's work for Captain Obvious.

... Few have recognized the empty banality of the ISG report because they have focused on a few seemingly radical recommendations. But all of these recommendations are conditional on events that are unlikely to happen.

[...] he basic fact is that the conflict in Iraq, from the very beginning, has been stoked by Syria and Iran. These dictatorial regimes are stoking the conflict because the success of the American mission in Iraq is an obvious threat to their very existence. They can't afford the example of a free nation in the region, nor can they afford the example of a successful exertion of American power on their doorsteps.

That's why all the debate over whether Iraq is in a "civil war" is beside the point. Calling Iraq a "civil war" has the effect of narrowing our focus, making the conflict look like a purely internal fight between Iraqi factions. But the real picture is regional. The civil strife in Iraq is just the instrument of a regional fight for dominance between Iran and the United States.

Recognizing this reality would produce some truly interesting and radical recommendations.

Since Iran and Syria are the most important source of the chaos in Iraq, then we need to topple those regimes. They won't agree to help us, because doing so does not and never will serve their interests. So we have to replace them with governments that do share our interests--or at least, with governments that will stay out of our way.

... Instead of pointing to the bad results in Iraq and simply declaring that we must achieve better results--which is all that the ISG report really amounts to--we have to identify the real root of the problem: the regimes in Iran and Syria, and the Shiite militias they support. And then we need to dig up that root.


Originally posted at Hyscience

Posted by Richard at December 7, 2006 11:41 AM

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