The Pentagon is drafting its own recommendations for how to win in Iraq. Its goal is to provide the administration with a counterproposal in the event the Baker group’s report is unsatisfactory. But the Pentagon’s effort may face a serious complication in the form of the nomination of Robert Gates, who has been working with Baker, to head the Defense Department.
It seems likely that the Baker group, which according to Lee Hamilton has nearly completed its first draft, will produce recommendations that are beyond unsatisfactory. For one thing, as Mona Charen shows (per Michael Rubin), some of its staffers are essentially moonbats (my term not Mona’s). One of them, Raad Alkadiri, “has repeatedly defined U.S. motivation for Iraq’s liberation as a grab for oil.” If that’s truly our interest then indeed we should withdraw pronto. Another staffer, Raymond Close, is a member of Veteran Intelligence Profesionals for Sanity, which has called for Vice President Cheney to resign based on “findings” by Joe Wilson that Cheney conspired to distort intelligence. Close has also accused neoconservatives of fabricating claims of Iranian involvement in radical Shia activity in Iraq.
Moreover, Baker himself was content to leave the Iraqi people at the mercy of Saddam Hussein after the first Gulf War, when we had the overwhelming number of troops in Iraq that critics complain we didn’t send in this time. Reportedly, Baker likes to gloat that the current difficulties vindicate that decision. And, as Israel can attest, he thrives not only on cooperating with our deadly enemies but on brow-beating our friends into cooperating with their deadly enemies.
No wonder, then, that the Baker group seems poised to recommend that we enlist Syria and Iran to pacify Iraq. If Baker was willing to have Saddam do it, then why not Syria and Iraq?
The rumored Baker gambit goes beyond even what the moonbats have demanded. They insist only that we lose in Iraq. They have not called on us to grant further concessions to Iran and Syria in exchange for the privilege of losing. But then, they aren’t realists.
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