December 14, 2006

"Fuck the Iraq Study Group. They Don't Support Us Anyway"

I paraphrase James Baker himself in giving my impressions of the Iraq Study Group report, which I sat in a bookstore and read in its entirety last week (that's an hour I'd certainly like to have back.)

The report consisted of little more than soft suggestions of things that everyone would like to see happen, but are, shall we say, easier said than done. When the idea of solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a prerequisite to solving the matter at hand, you know you've got quite a dilemma on your hands. In TNR, Yoav Fromer points out the absurdity of putting the onus on Israel to solve the Iraq problem:

"Its true that, from Yitzhak Rabin through Ehud Barak, many Israeli prime ministers have agreed to settle the Syrian conflict by trading land for peace; but solidifying this as the result of any future dialogue kind of defeats the whole purpose of negotiations. After all, without any quid pro quo, what exactly are Israelis supposed to hold as leverage--falafel?... if anyone believes that the Shia and Sunnis are blowing themselves up to free Palestine or avenge the Arab defeat of 1967, they are conveniently forgetting the fact that they had been at it well before Zionism ever came into being."
Not that there are any easy answers on the question of Iraq, but Baker, Hamilton, and Co. don't seem to have contributed much concrete to the debate, other than "we should try to get everyone to stop fighting."

Posted by Stephen Silver at December 14, 2006 12:20 PM
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