December 09, 2006
As ever, Matthew Parris kicks their arses
Mr Baker knows very well that Mr al-Maliki must fail. Prepare for the spectacle of Uncle Sam the organ-grinder storming from the stage in a huff, shouting abuse at his monkey. Reach for the sick bags as the puppeteer starts throwing punches at his puppet. Weep, as the ventriloquist indicts his dummy.
by Eurof at 08:07 AM GMT
Baker's a clown. The ISG report was dead on arrival and is largely irrelevant. U.S. troops will not be leaving Iraq any time soon.
The real problem is that all this sniping at Bush by people like Baker and others may have robbed him of his resolve to keep Iran from going nuclear. One of the larger strategic goals of going into Iraq in the first place was to increase the U.S.' ability to put military pressure on Iran - so Bush's reluctance to do that is a big problem.
Posted by: Sterling on December 10, 2006 07:36 PM
Whose ass is Parris kicking? His piece reads quite persuasively but he may well be mistaken about Bush's reaction to the report.
I'm not sure Baker's such a clown or even a sniper. The initial interpretation of this report has been strangely one-sided. But have you seen Niall Ferguson's reaction today? (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/12/10/do1002.xml&sSheet=/opinion/2006/12/10/ixopinion.html)
Posted by: Claude de Bigny on December 10, 2006 08:02 PM
Ferguson reads the report as saying "stay in Iraq, increase troop numbers and investment, and expose Iran's true ambitions to isolate them" - which is the direct opposite of what Parris/Eurof and all the others are saying.
The very fact that such wildly divergent interpretations of tthe ISG report are even possible is evidence that Baker is a fucking clown.
Posted by: Sterling on December 11, 2006 01:04 AM
I wouldn't call Jim Baker a clown. But I would say that the Baker-Hamilton report has received so much publicity, and that Baker and Gates have been so pumped up as the wise men of the Bush I presidency, that George Bush Junior will be hard pressed to ignore the ISG report.
Matthew Parris is right: the ISG report is a bipartisan conspiracy to pull out American troops and blame the sectarian violence on the Iraqis.
So is that pathetic, superficial last-minute memo by Rumsfeld, which unfortunately seems typical of his intellectual depth. (Soldiers? We don't need no stinkin' soldiers! Chaos in Baghdad? What chaos? It's like Shay's Rebellion!)
I think a pull out would compound a series of awful mistakes with yet another. It shows no respect for history, for the malicious force of a power vacuum. And it would be the final let-down for most Iraqi people. Putting a date on it - end 2008 - is even worse.
The greatest fallacy of the ISG report, one that Parris does not mention, is achieving "milestones" etc while at the same time withdrawing America's sole means of leverage.
"OK, you Iraqis, we've cut our troop levels in half and stopped patrolling your streets. Now do what we say...or else!"
Posted by: Jame on December 11, 2006 03:38 AM