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Unanswered Prayers: Will the Baker/Hamilton Commission get this war right?(Michael Ledeen)
Jewish World Review ^ | Nov. 17, 2006 | Michael Ledeen

Posted on 11/20/2006 8:39:07 AM PST by kellynla

The Baker/Hamilton Commission has a chance to dramatically reshape our thinking about American foreign policy, if only it will ask the right question. They should follow the guidance of one of the last century's most brilliant thinkers, Ludwig Wittgenstein. In the Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein asks an apparently straightforward question: what do all games have in common? He ties himself in mental knots trying to get the answer, but nothing works. Finally he realizes that the question was posed wrongly. It should have been: Is there anything all games have in common? That's the real question (and the real answer is "not much"), but the language of the first question tricked him into searching for an answer that does not exist.

Our strategists are constantly asked, how can we win the war in Iraq? But it is the wrong question, and therefore has no correct answer. Read Reuel Gerecht in Friday's Wall Street Journal: "(The Baker/Hamilton Commission) cannot escape from an unavoidable reality: We either declare defeat and withdraw completely tout de suite, or we surge troops into Baghdad and fight. The ISG will surely try to find some middle ground between these positions, which, of course, doesn't exist."

Instead of trapping themselves in an imaginary quagmire, the commissioners can help us face the real war. What's going on in Iraq is not "the war," which is raging over the entire world. The real question — the life and death question — is: How can we win the war in the Middle East, which now extends from Afghanistan to Lebanon, Iraq, Israel, and Somalia?

(Excerpt) Read more at jewishworldreview.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: bakerhamilton; iraq; war

1 posted on 11/20/2006 8:39:08 AM PST by kellynla
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To: kellynla

Will the Baker/Hamilton Commission get this war right?

I hope so...but I've got a bad feeling.


2 posted on 11/20/2006 8:41:49 AM PST by Valin (Rick Santorum 08)
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To: Valin

I have the same bad feeling and I am getting tired of people from Bush #41 showing up to give advice or be on commissions.


3 posted on 11/20/2006 8:43:06 AM PST by PhiKapMom ( Go Sooners! Rudy 2008)
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To: PhiKapMom

I'm not too impressed either. I'm also concerned that we are in a conflict in which the people who running it can't figure out how to win without the CYA charade of hiring a commission to tell them what to do.

What chance have we against the overall WOT if this insurgency boggles us?


4 posted on 11/20/2006 8:47:25 AM PST by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com)
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To: kellynla

How 'bout we just wait for the report before getting negative?


5 posted on 11/20/2006 8:48:34 AM PST by HelloooClareece (Support the CinC during WARTIME or get outta my way.)
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To: kellynla

Why isn't the commission a military one, with some outside expert opinion brought in, instead of the other way around?

It's a war, we need the best military minds.


6 posted on 11/20/2006 8:52:12 AM PST by bordergal (There is no curse in Elvish, Entish, or the tongues of men bad enough for this treachery)
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To: HelloooClareece

how 'bout you address your posts to whom they should be...Clareece. LOL


7 posted on 11/20/2006 8:54:08 AM PST by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots. Semper Fi)
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To: kellynla
Bad premise. There is something that all games have in common... and it's the same in warfare:

There are winners and there are losers.

If you wish to be the winner, play like it.

8 posted on 11/20/2006 8:55:34 AM PST by pgyanke (Gay marriage does to real marriage what counterfeit money does to real money. - Hemogoblin)
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To: kellynla
Bad premise. There is something that all games have in common... and it's the same in warfare:

There are winners and there are losers.

If you wish to be the winner, play like it.

9 posted on 11/20/2006 8:55:37 AM PST by pgyanke (Gay marriage does to real marriage what counterfeit money does to real money. - Hemogoblin)
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To: pgyanke

Oops.


10 posted on 11/20/2006 8:56:39 AM PST by pgyanke (Gay marriage does to real marriage what counterfeit money does to real money. - Hemogoblin)
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To: Valin
"Will the Baker/Hamilton Commission get this war right?"
No. Samuel Huntington would, but AFAIK he's not on the commission.
11 posted on 11/20/2006 8:57:13 AM PST by GSlob
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To: GSlob

I can't wait to hear what Sandra Day O'connor thinks. Talk about activist judges! sarc/


12 posted on 11/20/2006 9:05:19 AM PST by ClaireSolt (Have you have gotten mixed up in a mish-masher?)
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To: kellynla

No, they will not get it right.


13 posted on 11/20/2006 9:06:44 AM PST by edsheppa
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To: ClaireSolt

Also, I get tired of the foment a revolution in Iran idea. Do you know what the aftermath of revolution often looks like? It looks like Iraq today.


14 posted on 11/20/2006 9:07:58 AM PST by ClaireSolt (Have you have gotten mixed up in a mish-masher?)
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To: kellynla
No, they won't.

And they'll deny it's terrorism when some mook goes shaheed in the Bangor Mall.

Keep your powder dry, folks.

15 posted on 11/20/2006 9:20:36 AM PST by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: kellynla
"A free Iran would most likely become an instant ally in the war against terror..."

I wish I could suppose this was true, but it seems far more likely that any government with wide popular support in Iran would be "Islamic", as a oil exporter fundamentally opposed to our long-term economic interests, and fundamentally opposed to current or likely foreseeable US policy on the Israeli - Palestinian confrontation.

So IMO unless we have both the means and the will to indefinitely occupy Iran and impose a regime more to our liking, Ladeen's vision - as it was in Iraq - is a pipe dream, and we would do better to start thinking about a realistic long-term policy for containment.

16 posted on 11/20/2006 9:23:14 AM PST by M. Dodge Thomas
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To: pgyanke

I favor the Attila the Hun school of diplomacy...


17 posted on 11/20/2006 10:13:25 AM PST by talleyman (Kerry & the Surrender-Donkey Treasoncrats - trashing the troops for 40 years.)
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To: kellynla
They should have set up a commission to study how to win the "War on Drugs" (now over 30 years old) or the "War on Poverty" (over 40 years old). Or maybe they should investigate an "Exit Plan" for getting our troops out of Korea (over 50 years deployed) or Germany/Italy/Japan (over 60 years deployed). May be they could use the "Exit Plan" that was used to get the troops out of the Philippines (only took a volcano and almost 100 years).
18 posted on 11/20/2006 10:14:37 AM PST by Trunk 71-74 (A god that needs man to carry out his dirty work is impotent!)
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To: PhiKapMom
I have the same bad feeling and I am getting tired of people from Bush #41 showing up to give advice or be on commissions.

Let's just be thankful that Dick Darman wasn't brought in to advise Dubya on economic policy.

19 posted on 11/20/2006 10:20:19 AM PST by Night Hides Not (Closing in on 3000 posts, of which maybe 50 were worthwhile!)
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To: Night Hides Not

No kidding! Although we still have two years!


20 posted on 11/20/2006 5:13:08 PM PST by PhiKapMom ( Go Sooners! Rudy 2008)
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To: GSlob

I am not sure they could find their way across the street. They probably think they are already on the other side.


21 posted on 11/20/2006 5:19:39 PM PST by mulligan
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To: Trunk 71-74
A god that needs man to carry out his dirty work is impotent!

It is made quite clear that in the Bible that God's followers are "laborers together with Him." In other words, he doesn't need us to do anything, but He does afford us the privilege.

22 posted on 11/21/2006 12:45:57 AM PST by Mr. Silverback (Welcome Freepers! Pull up a groove and get fabulous!)
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To: Valin

I've got a feeling the commission is political cover for a dressed up version of cut and run.

I sure hope I'm wrong. I was very sure, prior to this and the appointment of Gates, that Bush would never go wobbily. I'm starting to rethink that, unfortunately. Again, I desperately hope I'm wrong. Frankly, we need more troops, not to withdraw. McCain is right on about that.


23 posted on 11/21/2006 1:49:02 AM PST by zbigreddogz
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To: kellynla
Mr. Ledeen is a very, very smart man.

Sadly though I think this 'Commission' will give the President enough political cover to cut and run.

L

24 posted on 11/21/2006 3:46:56 AM PST by Lurker (Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.)
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To: Mr. Silverback

By "dirty work" I explicitly mean the killing in the name of God (or Allah). ;-)


25 posted on 12/04/2006 5:41:53 PM PST by Trunk 71-74 (A god that needs man to carry out his dirty work is impotent!)
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To: Trunk 71-74

Ah, sorry about that.


26 posted on 12/05/2006 9:31:10 PM PST by Mr. Silverback (We will need to crush the Iraq Study Group like we crushed Harriet Miers. Be ready.)
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To: kellynla

If 41 had done the job right in the first place, this trip would not be necessary.


27 posted on 12/07/2006 8:55:43 AM PST by sono (Ted Nugent For UN Ambassador)
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To: Mr. Silverback

Thanks. Just remember: Keep your stick on the ice, and we're all in this together. ;-)


28 posted on 12/19/2006 4:56:26 PM PST by Trunk 71-74 (A god that needs man to carry out his dirty work is impotent!)
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