Daniel Pipes on the Iraq Stupidity Group. Click the title for the whole thing.
James Baker’s Terrible Iraq Report
The Iraq Study Group Report, cobbled together by ten individuals lacking specialized knowledge of Iraq, dredges up past failed U.S. policies in the Middle East and would enshrine them as current policy.
Most profoundly, regarding the American role in Iraq, the report moronically splits the difference of troops staying or leaving, without ever examining the basic premise of the U.S. government taking responsibility for the country’s minutiae, such as its setting up public works projects. Instead, the report unthinkingly accepts that strategic assumption and only tweaks tactics at the margins.
A preposterously lengthy list of 79 recommendations lies at the heart of the report. These include such gems as bringing in the (Saudi-sponsored) Organization of the Islamic Conference or the Arab League (no. 3) to decide Iraq’s future. Another creates an “Iraq International Support Group” that includes Iran, Syria (no. 5), and the United Nations secretary-general (no. 7).
Other brilliant recommendations call for the UN Security Council to handle the Iranian nuclear problem (no. 10) and for the support group to persuade Tehran to “take specific steps to improve the situation in Iraq” (no. 11). Right. The Iranian regime, whose president envisions a “world without America,” will save Washington’s bacon. Such counsel smacks at best of what the Jerusalem Post calls “staggering naïveté” and at worst of ghastly foolishness…
In all, the Iraq Study Group Report offers a unique combination of bureaucratic caution, false bi-partisanship, trite analysis, and conventional bromides.
Pipes did not comment on recommendation 19, which was apparently inserted in order to waste paper, and which pretty much sums up the wisdom of the elite panel:
RECOMMENDATION 19: The President and the leadership of his national security team should remain in close and frequent contact with the Iraqi leadership. These contacts must convey a clear message: there must be action by the Iraqi government to make substantial progress toward the achievement of milestones. In public diplomacy, the President should convey as much detail as possible about the substance of these exchanges in order to keep the American people, the Iraqi people, and the countries in the region well informed.
78 must not have been enough. Emphasis mine.