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Fighting to win in Iraq [Stone Cold Must-Read With Revelations of Past Baker Failures]
Boston Globe ^ | Jeff Jacoby

Posted on 12/03/2006 2:27:57 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest

AS SECRETARY of state from 1989 to 1992, James Baker was involved in some of the worst foreign-policy blunders of the first Bush administration.

One such blunder was the stubborn refusal to support independence for the long-subjugated republics of the Soviet Union, culminating in the president's notorious "Chicken Kiev" speech urging Ukrainians to stay in their Soviet cage. Another was the appeasement of Syrian dictator Hafez Assad during the run up to the 1991 Gulf War, when Bush and Baker blessed Syria's brutal occupation of Lebanon in exchange for Assad's acquiescence in the campaign to undo Iraq's occupation of Kuwait.

When Chinese tanks massacred students in Tiananmen Square, Bush declared: "I don't think we ought to judge the whole People's Liberation Army by that terrible incident." When Bosnia was torn apart by violence in 1992, the Bush-Baker reaction was to shrug it off as "a hiccup."

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


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iraq; jamesbaker
I urge you to read this.
1 posted on 12/03/2006 2:28:01 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest
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To: Behind Liberal Lines; Miss Marple; an amused spectator; netmilsmom; Diogenesis; YaYa123; MEG33; ...

If-you-read-only-one-thing-today ping to Today show list.


2 posted on 12/03/2006 2:28:35 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest (Watching the Today Show since 2002 so you don't have to.)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
This "Study Group" is a rude joke.

L

3 posted on 12/03/2006 2:30:26 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: Lurker

bump


4 posted on 12/03/2006 2:31:28 AM PST by malia (President Bush - a man of honor!! clinton as President a man of horror)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
But I would wager that countless Americans are upset with Bush, not because he isn't skedaddling from Iraq quickly enough, but because he seems to have no serious strategy for winning

Bingo Mr. Jacoby.

L

5 posted on 12/03/2006 2:34:12 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: governsleastgovernsbest

First off, copies of the ISG report should be sent to Tehran and Damascus on the top of an ICBM.


6 posted on 12/03/2006 2:36:06 AM PST by Prince Charles
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

I remember him well when he was Secretary of State- didn't trust him then, trust him even less now. I find it very unsettling that one of his pals is about to become Secretay of Defense.

The old guard is being brought back- and I fear the results.


7 posted on 12/03/2006 2:38:19 AM PST by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: Prince Charles
Maybe engraved on a MIRV?
8 posted on 12/03/2006 2:41:09 AM PST by Pontiac (All are worthy of freedom, none are incapable.)
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To: Lurker
and pretty much the same political garbage as the so-called "9-11 commission".
9 posted on 12/03/2006 2:48:27 AM PST by prophetic
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
AS SECRETARY of state from 1989 to 1992, James Baker was involved in some of the worst foreign-policy blunders of the first Bush administration.
10 posted on 12/03/2006 3:17:07 AM PST by PGalt
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To: All

Over at NewsBusters, I've now blogged on Jacoby's column, juxtaposing with Frank Rich's column of today.

http://newsbusters.org/node/9406


11 posted on 12/03/2006 3:20:10 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest (Watching the Today Show since 2002 so you don't have to.)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
The conclusion is exactly why the President lost the election: he failed to lay out to the American voters a strategy for victory. Its not too late to save the day. But only if the President is resolved to win rather than appease the enemy.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." -Manuel II Paleologus

12 posted on 12/03/2006 3:21:08 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: All

Over at National Review online, Jonah Goldberg yesterday sounded a theme similar to Jacoby's. See "We're Not Losers: It's not the war we hate":
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MjY2NzM3MGExNmQzMjBhZjBlMzExYWMzM2JiYjlkNWU=


13 posted on 12/03/2006 3:30:13 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest (Watching the Today Show since 2002 so you don't have to.)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

From now on, it should be referred to as "The Baker Cut and Run Commission." Shame on America for squandering the blood of brave young soldiers, only to have the likes of James Baker and Lee Hamilton and Leon Panetta wave the white flag of surrender. Shame on Pres. Bush, for ordering this fig-leaf, size Small, to hide the naked truth that the US does not have the will to win. Our enemies all over the world are rejoicing.


14 posted on 12/03/2006 3:47:46 AM PST by kittymyrib
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
Baker is not a friend of Israel. I do not like to see him called in to do anything. I don't care how experienced he is or what is credentials may be, for this man is to never be trusted.
15 posted on 12/03/2006 4:49:08 AM PST by Paige ("Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism." --George Washington)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

BTTT


16 posted on 12/03/2006 4:51:41 AM PST by Right_in_Virginia
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To: Paige
Baker doesn't seem to be a friend of the United States.

He was masterful in the 2000 Bush v Gore matter but that doesn't mean he ought to be the de facto Secretary of State.

Bush needs to put these commission types in their place.

17 posted on 12/03/2006 5:16:35 AM PST by OldFriend (FALLEN HERO JEFFREY TOCZYLOWSKI, REST IN PEACE)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

Someone refresh my memory, please.
Is this the Baker who denigrated us simple folks out in the Hinterlands as "Joe Sixpack?"


18 posted on 12/03/2006 5:17:39 AM PST by MadJack ("Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet." (Afghan proverb))
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
That is why "they have turned to their own sectarian armed groups for the protection the Bush administration has failed to provide," Robert Kagan and William Kristol write in The Weekly Standard.

They aren't doing it because of Bush .. they are doing it because of all the Democrats & Liberals talking about pulling out

They are scared history will repeat it's self ..

19 posted on 12/03/2006 5:22:39 AM PST by Mo1 (Thank You Mr & Mrs "I'm gonna teach you a lesson" Voter ... you just screwed us on so many levels)
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To: goldstategop
Which enemy should President stop appeasing? Watching all this unfold over the past 20 + years, we seem to always appease liberalism first that requires US to appease the rest of the world.

We have to start at home first, and this past election was about the concerned with appearance crowd thinking they needed a new wardrobe change.
20 posted on 12/03/2006 5:28:52 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Mo1
William Kristol is a trouble maker, I really thought he would be in Nirvana after finally getting his long campaign wish of Rummy's head.
21 posted on 12/03/2006 5:31:27 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: OldFriend
He was masterful in the 2000 Bush v Gore matter but that doesn't mean he ought to be the de facto Secretary of State

I agree .. I wasn't a fan of his when he was Secretary of State

As for 2000 ... He was good at putting together a group of lawyers ..

But IMO .. it was the people that really made a difference ..

it was the conservatives that took to the streets and demanded the doors in FL stay open to the public during the recounting .. No hiding from behind close doors

it was the people who stood and yelled Get out of Cheney's House that made the difference .. and stood on every corner across the country

The media couldn't ignore us .. in fact the media was shocked by it all because conservatives never did that before

Just like they were shocked at the out puring of love at Reagan's funeral

22 posted on 12/03/2006 5:40:31 AM PST by Mo1 (Thank You Mr & Mrs "I'm gonna teach you a lesson" Voter ... you just screwed us on so many levels)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
I respect Jacoby tremendously, but his column contains some dangerous garbage.

First, no number of troops can stop the sort of violence that is going on in Iraq, and the violence will not be stopped without a legitimate government which includes all sides working together. As far as I can tell, that is not going to happen. Perhaps an American military dictatorship would work, but that is not going to happen either.

Second, the increase in violence is NOT because of the belief that America is going to withdraw, as much as that plays a part.

The violence started the day after mohammed died, when Ali was not made leader. It continues to this day, and will always continue until islam dies, as it must die. In Iraq, you are simply seeing true, authentic mohammed-worship in action. To the shia, sunnis are infidels, and vice-versa. Where there is islam, there is violence, and always be violence, because that is what islam requires, with the promise of eternal sex orgies devoutedly believed by the idiotic jihadis.

It is amazing that even conservative writers do not yet grasp this fact.

23 posted on 12/03/2006 5:46:44 AM PST by Urbane_Guerilla
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

Why is everyone so worried about the study group? President Bush isn't going to do what they say. He's going to thank them for their wise council and then go ahead and do what he planned to do all along.


24 posted on 12/03/2006 5:52:16 AM PST by McGavin999 (Republicans take out our trash, Democrats re-elect theirs)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
The "Baker Commission" boils down to: 'How to negotiate a surrender with Iran/Syria on Iraq. What they want us to do / give them in order for them to stop supporting the violence there.'

Its pathetic.
25 posted on 12/03/2006 6:05:35 AM PST by FreedomNeocon (Success is not final; Failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts -- Churchill)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
The article is an excellent reminder of what's wrong with the realists school of foreign policy; it's good that we remember that Baker's policies put the US on the side of the dictators nearly every time. It may help assure stability, but it undermines liberty. It may make us popular with cynical old Europe, but it will make us even more unpopular with those who sufferer under the gangster statesman that the perpetually-grinning Baker is so willing to accommodate. It also saps the morale of our forces. How many Americans will fight and die for stability? Americans will fight to protect their nation, to protect freedom, and so their children won't have to do it. But they won't fight so Assad's safe.
26 posted on 12/03/2006 6:22:37 AM PST by elhombrelibre (Iraq: the next country Liberals want to abandon just before Israel.)
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To: goldstategop
The conclusion is exactly why the President lost the election: he failed to lay out to the American voters a strategy for victory. Its not too late to save the day. But only if the President is resolved to win rather than appease the enemy.

Maybe because he didn't have one

The democrats are insane and the GOP including Bush seem to be spinning their wheels

We are headed for a bloody future
27 posted on 12/03/2006 7:05:19 AM PST by uncbob
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To: Urbane_Guerilla
It continues to this day, and will always continue until islam dies,

That is why in 91 when we still had a LARGE military we should have seized the ME oil fields and let the muslims go at each others throats
28 posted on 12/03/2006 7:08:00 AM PST by uncbob
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To: McGavin999
Why is everyone so worried about the study group? President Bush isn't going to do what they say. He's going to thank them for their wise council and then go ahead and do what he planned to do all along.

That is true BUT what has he planned all along and why wasn't that explained to the American Public instaed of letting the democrats frame the issue
29 posted on 12/03/2006 7:10:34 AM PST by uncbob
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

I am not going to sweat a lot of the crap, like the Baker Commission. The fact is we are in a 20 to 100 year war with Islam that isn't going to be changed by anything short of a brutal extermination of Mecca. So, the left can retreat all they want, it means nothing in the long term.


30 posted on 12/03/2006 7:16:03 AM PST by FastCoyote
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To: uncbob
What you see happening is Iraq is what the plan has been all along. It takes time to change a country from being totally ruled by a despot, where the people are punished for thinking for themselves, to a democracy where the people fully understand that they hold their future in their own hands.

The plan from the beginning was to turn the country over to the people, the problem is, that plan takes time and is a rocky road. I don't think that President Bush expected the media to actually be on the other side, nor did he expect the politicians here in the US to put their success ahead of the country.

As to why he hasn't told us the plan, he has, we just keep expecting things to be resolved faster then they can possibly be resolved. We live in a world of instant gratification and are fighting a war that will require long term resolve.

31 posted on 12/03/2006 7:47:57 AM PST by McGavin999 (Republicans take out our trash, Democrats re-elect theirs)
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To: FastCoyote

How true

Too bad our military has been so weakened especially in ground force make up


32 posted on 12/03/2006 7:54:12 AM PST by uncbob
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
But I would wager that countless Americans are upset with Bush, not because he isn't skedaddling from Iraq quickly enough, but because he seems to have no serious strategy for winning. It is losing that Americans have no patience for -- not casualties or a protracted war. Let Bush make it clear that he is serious about victory, and that he will do whatever it takes to achieve it, and the political support will follow.

This is the crux of dissociating good leadership from bad in the midst of a national or international crisis. Responsibilities cannot be abandoned simply because the effort to live up to them is uncomfortable. Great post.

33 posted on 12/03/2006 8:09:20 AM PST by humint (...err the least and endure! --- VDH)
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To: Mo1

It was a decsion by the Court to albore insisting only certain counties ought to have a recount that sunk his case.


34 posted on 12/03/2006 8:21:29 AM PST by OldFriend (FALLEN HERO JEFFREY TOCZYLOWSKI, REST IN PEACE)
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To: McGavin999
The ISG gives the media months of Bush bashing. I don't know how the man withstands the unending onslaught of hate directed at him.

It emboldens our enemies at home and abroad as well.

35 posted on 12/03/2006 8:23:25 AM PST by OldFriend (FALLEN HERO JEFFREY TOCZYLOWSKI, REST IN PEACE)
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To: uncbob; McGavin999
McGavin999: Why is everyone so worried about the study group? President Bush isn't going to do what they say. He's going to thank them for their wise council and then go ahead and do what he planned to do all along.

uncbob:That is true BUT what has he planned all along and why wasn't that explained to the American Public instead of letting the democrats frame the issue

humint: In today's complex communications matrix, grabbing the microphone and keeping an audience's attention is extremely difficult. The expectations of the crowd leave little if any room for leadership. By observation, a free minded citizenry is in fact prone to rejecting authority. My guess as to why we do this – it’s for the sake of building within us a perception of independence. It’s not uncommon for smart people to test the waters of dissent. Some never graduate past that phase of their politics. But what if the logical conclusion of a type of dissent is corrosive to freedom in general? If responsibility is not married to freedom in society, anarchy will ensue. To quell anarchy, the same authority that couldn’t encourage responsibility will have to restrict freedom to protect the society from itself.

If the POTUS and other influential figures continue to feed into this trend without correcting it, the situation is going to get messy. But what if it cannot be corrected? Leadership will never disappear completely. Play the logic out - if a free citizenry collectively concludes that their independence can only be achieved by rejecting authority – for leadership to function, at best it must hide the fact that it is leading – at worst, it must be deceptive. To make progress on the economy or national security the POTUS will have to develop a strategy for success and then commit to the exact opposite strategy. In so doing, the public will predictably reject it and independently conclude that the secret strategy of the POTUS is the correct one.

It's something to think about, but not too hard. I'm no conspiracy theorist, so I'll stop here.

36 posted on 12/03/2006 10:18:49 AM PST by humint (...err the least and endure! --- VDH)
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To: humint
It's a bit more simple than that. When you start down a road and it starts raining, there are always a certain number of people who think taking a trip was a bad idea. Most know that eventually the rain will stop and you'll reach your destination and the trip will be a great idea after all.

I'm one who believes it will eventually stop raining, there are many who think nothing was worth leaving the warmth and comfort of home.

Kids learning to walk fall down, and sometimes they get hurt, but that doesn't mean you never teach a kid to walk.

Ummmmmmm, OK, that's enough analogies for one day. :o)

37 posted on 12/03/2006 10:33:49 AM PST by McGavin999 (Republicans take out our trash, Democrats re-elect theirs)
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To: McGavin999
It's a bit more simple than that. When you start down a road and it starts raining, there are always a certain number of people who think taking a trip was a bad idea.

Excellent analogy. Cognitive imprecision in the time domain is what you're talking about. You've astutely pointed out an interesting pattern. Beyond the time domain - individuals often make bad decisions due to other forms of cognitive imprecision. But the mechanics "wrong or right" tend to lead back to personal responsibility and respect for individual liberty. It's an age old problem that the founding fathers of the United States nearly solved. They did the hard work - Lincoln did a little more - Wilson did a little more - GWB is doing a little more - and so on.

In history diverse societies have demonstrated incredible resilience. Just like a free market has self correcting properties, so too do free societies. No, the sky is not falling. It's being held aloft by philosophical genius.

38 posted on 12/03/2006 12:23:39 PM PST by humint (...err the least and endure! --- VDH)
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To: elhombrelibre
Well said. George W. Bush's national honor restoring shift in our foreign policy will stand as his greatest achievement.

I didn't vote for him in 2000 but when he did that he sure had my vote the next time.
39 posted on 12/03/2006 2:48:21 PM PST by Blue State Insurgent (Those who know the truth need to speak out against these kinds of myths, and lies, and distortions..)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
Let Bush make it clear that he is serious about victory, and that he will do whatever it takes to achieve it, and the political support will follow.

There was a lengthy timeframe when this would have been true, but I doubt it now. Bush has lost the momentum and the initiative in the WoT, precisely because our tactics have not conveyed decisiveness since Saddam's statue fell. If he tries to go through that window now that it is closed, all he will gain is broken glass and a headache from the 'rat Congress.

We need to continue to strengthen the Iraqis as much as possible, and be in no hurry to go home, but ready or not, it really is up to the Iraqis now.

40 posted on 12/03/2006 3:12:09 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: Mo1
They aren't doing it because of Bush .. they are doing it because of all the Democrats & Liberals talking about pulling out

That's just it though--if Bush had remained decisive in actions, crushing the insurgents, capturing or killing the fat boy Sadr and demolishing his Mahdi Army when it was little more than an armed gang, patrolling the Iran/Iraq border with A-10's and attack choppers and annihilating a few dozen caravans of Iranian cockroaches, likewise with the Syrian border, nobody over there would even notice what the 'rats are talking about. They'd all be too busy trying to prove to Bush that they were our longlost stalwart friends.

41 posted on 12/03/2006 3:22:57 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
Someone should shout at Baker "Your a racist and an anti-Semite".

Or is it, "Your indifferent to the racism and anti-Semitism that is Islamofascism?"

42 posted on 12/03/2006 8:07:05 PM PST by AmericaUnite
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

Mark


43 posted on 12/03/2006 8:09:49 PM PST by DonnerT ("GIG" is the only way to win the GWT. (Global Idiologic Genocide!))
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

bump


44 posted on 12/03/2006 10:48:41 PM PST by malia (President Bush - a man of honor!! clinton as President a man of horror)
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
If you'd like to be on this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.

High volume. Articles on Israel can also be found by clicking on the Topic or Keyword Israel, WOT

..................

45 posted on 12/06/2006 12:48:01 PM PST by SJackson (had to move the national debate from whether to stay the course to how do we start down the path out)
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