Wednesday, December 6, 2006

"No easy solutions"

Very interesting. The Iraq Study Group has said what a lot of people have been saying for months: The United States needs to re-establish full ties to Syria and Iran; and a comprehensive Middle East peace must be negotiated including a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. Beyond that, the States also has to get other countries involved, including the European Union and Russia. (PDF of recommendations here.) Jim Baker III and Lee Hamilton were pretty blunt about it, there are "no easy answers" in their words.

Trouble is, if Dubya and Tony had heeded precisely that four years ago when the mess all started and had gotten NATO onside to deal firmly with Saddam Hussein, the US and the UK would not be in the pickle they are in right now. Matter of fact, there might not have even been a war. But America made its choice and they're stuck with what Gen. Colin Powell called the Pottery Barn, you break it so you buy it. Interesting the ISG isn't calling for either an immediate pullout or a mass mobilization of new troops but rather a phased withdrawal with some brigades moving back to the States as early as 2008.

From what I see, they're going to need a massive UN peacekeeping and peacemaking force the size of which has never been seen before -- at least a hundred thousand or more. And the key will be making the peace, as much as it in Afghanistan -- or at least trying.

Naturally, the televangelists are going to pounce on anything that appears to be even a slight amount of appeasement to the Muslims they hate so much. For once, I'd like to see Bush stop listening to the false teachers and listen to some common sense. This report may not be the be all and end all, but the recommendations should at least be taken seriously.

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