When the history of our times is written, this week will be remembered as the week that Washington decided to let the Islamic Republic of Iran go nuclear. Hopefully it will also be remembered as the moment the Jews arose and refused to allow Iran to go nuclear.
With the publication of the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group chaired by former US secretary of state James Baker III and former congressman Lee Hamilton, the debate about the war in Iraq changed. From a war for victory against Islamofascism and for democracy and freedom, the war became reduced to a conflict to be managed by appeasing the US's sworn enemies in the interests of stability, and at the expense of America's allies.
Baker and his associates claim that the US cannot win the war in Iraq and so the US must negotiate with its primary enemies in Iraq and throughout the world - Iran and Syria - in the hopes that they will be persuaded to hold their fire for long enough to facilitate an "honorable" American retreat from the country.
Like his unsupported assertion that the US cannot win in Iraq, Baker also asserts - in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary - that Iran and Syria share America's "interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq." Because of this supposed shared interest, Baker maintains that with the proper incentives, Iran and Syria can be persuaded to cooperate with a US withdrawal from Iraq ahead of the 2008 presidential primaries.
The main incentive Baker advocates offering is Israel.
Baker believes that Iran will agree to temporarily hold its fire in Iraq in exchange for US acceptance of Iran as a nuclear power and an American pledge not to topple the regime. Syria will assist the US in exchange for US pressure on Israel to hand over the Golan Heights to Syria and Judea and Samaria to Hamas.
Obviously, if implemented, the Baker-Hamilton group's recommendations will be disastrous for Israel. Just the fact that they now form the basis for the public debate on the war is a great blow. But it isn't only Israel that is harmed by their actions. The US too, will be imperiled if their views become administration policy.
Although Baker - and incoming Secretary of Defense Robert Gates who served on his commission until Bush announced his appointment last month - believes that there is a deal to be done that will end Iranian and Syrian aggression against the US, its vital interests and its allies, the fact of the matter is that there is no such deal. Contrary to what the Baker report argues and what Gates said in his Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday, Iran is not analogous to the Soviet Union and the war against the global jihad is not a new cold war.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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