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  • Iran: The Conspiracy that Wasn't (Amir Taheri)

    07/20/2007 5:56:29 PM PDT · by nuconvert · 5 replies · 419+ views
    New York Post ^ | July 20, 2007 | Amir Taheri
    Iran: The Conspiracy that Wasn't July 20, 2007 The New York Post Amir Taheri . . . THOUGH IT DOES SEEM A FINE IDEA Esfandiari: Hardly a "foreign plotter." EVER since its creation in 1979, the Islamic Republic in Iran has been obsessed with conspiracy theories, especially "foreign plots" to topple it. This paranoia was demonstrated again Wednesday with the televised confessions of two U.S. citizens of Iranian origin arrested in Tehran and accused of working for the "Great Satan." To most Iranians who watched the sordid show, the two "enemies of Islam" seemed unlikely heroes of an international conspiracy....
  • Baker wants Israel excluded from regional conference

    12/06/2006 12:43:40 PM PST · by West Coast Conservative · 221 replies · 3,412+ views
    Insight Magazine ^ | December 5, 2006
    The White House has been examining a proposal by James Baker to launch a Middle East peace effort without Israel. The peace effort would begin with a U.S.-organized conference, dubbed Madrid-2, and contain such U.S. adversaries as Iran and Syria. Officials said Madrid-2 would be promoted as a forum to discuss Iraq's future, but actually focus on Arab demands for Israel to withdraw from territories captured in the 1967 war. They said Israel would not be invited to the conference. “As Baker sees this, the conference would provide a unique opportunity for the United States to strike a deal without...
  • Jeb Bush Condemned Over Speech at Anti-Israel Conference [Mark Levin]

    03/24/2015 10:22:49 AM PDT · by SJackson · 33 replies
    Washington Free Beacon ^ | March 20, 2015
    Jeb adviser James Baker to keynote J Street conference Leading talk show host and best-selling author Mark Levin assailed Jeb Bush last night over the revelation that one of his top foreign policy advisers, James Baker, will keynote an anti-Israel conference this weekend. The annual conference of the activist group J Street features an array of anti-Israel speakers, including proponents of the Boycott, Sanctions, and Divest (BDS) movement, which seeks Israel’s destruction, and advocates for the terrorist group Hamas. Jeb Bush’s selection of Baker as a foreign policy adviser has sparked concern among conservatives and in the Jewish and pro-Israel...
  • (Jeb)Bush 'Disagrees' With 'Sentiments' Expressed by Adviser at Anti-Israel Conference

    03/24/2015 10:04:43 AM PDT · by don-o · 10 replies
    The Weekly Standard ^ | March 24, 2015 | MICHAEL WARREN
    A spokeswoman for former Florida governor Jeb Bush says the possible Republican presidential candidate "disagrees" with one of his foreign policy advisers who spoke at a left-wing anti-Israel group this week. James Baker, the former secretary of state and GOP foreign policy veteran, addressed the annual conference for J Street this week. An unpaid adviser to Bush, Baker criticized Benjamin Netanyahu for the Israeli prime minister's "diplomatic missteps and political gamesmanship" and expressed his support for a nuclear deal with Iran. As Politico reported, he also said he disagreed that President Barack Obama has hurt the United States's relationship with...
  • Former Iraqi general said to be coordinating attacks

    10/29/2003 6:25:49 PM PST · by TexKat · 11 replies · 95+ views
    WASHINGTON (AFP) - A former Iraqi general, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, is reported to be coordinating attacks in Iraq by foreign fighters and Iraqi regime loyalists, a US defense official said. "There are reports that the al-Douri is coordinating the attacks," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The reports in military channels fingering al-Douri as the coordinator of the attacks probably came from the recent capture in Mosul of a former secretary of al-Douri and two senior members of Ansar al-Islam who were close to the general, the official said. Number six on the US list of 55...
  • Saddam bribed China with oil deals, CIA finds

    10/12/2004 2:22:45 AM PDT · by JohnHuang2 · 5 replies · 276+ views
    Washington Times ^ | Tuesday, October 12, 2004 | By Bill Gertz
    China illegally supplied Saddam Hussein's regime with missile technology and other weaponry and was a major beneficiary of the U.N. oil-for-food program, according to a CIA report. The report by the Iraq Survey Group also stated that China, along with France and Russia, was bribed by Saddam with oil sales and weapons deals into working to end U.N. sanctions. One sale took place in 2001 and involved an intelligence officer in Beijing, Abd al-Wahab, who bought 10 to 20 gyroscopes and 20 accelerometers from a Chinese firm that was not identified by name. The equipment was to be used in...
  • Panetta said Bush living "in another world"?

    01/08/2012 3:35:44 PM PST · by Frankusa · 8 replies
    ... In November of 2011, the Washington Post reported that the Iranian government had mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon after receiving assistance from foreign scientists. The Post went on to say: An intelligence update will be circulated among International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] members... It is expected to focus on Iran's alleged efforts towards putting radioactive material in a warhead and developing missiles... Julian Borger of the Guardian-UK reported in November of 2009: The UN's nuclear watchdog has asked Iran to explain evidence suggesting that Iranian scientists have experimented with an advanced nuclear warhead design......
  • Egypt Found to Have Developed Chemical Weapons For Iraq

    03/15/2005 7:27:51 PM PST · by Nachum · 23 replies · 685+ views
    Arutz 7 ^ | Mar 15, '05 | staff
    As Israel considers allowing Egypt to control the critical Philadelphi corridor along Israel’s border, startling revelations about Egyptian chemical weapons proliferation are coming to light. Egypt secretly helped former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in his chemical weapons program, according to a CIA report. The report, authored by the CIA’s Iraq Survey Group, says that Egypt sent specialists to Iraq in the 1980s to help him manufacture poison gas. Iraq later used the gas against Iranian citizens as well as Iraqi Kurds. The report says that the Iraqi government paid Egypt $12 million, "in return for assistance with production and storage...
  • Iran's Khatami calls for calm heads in nuclear row

    01/26/2007 4:05:03 AM PST · by Schnucki · 2 replies · 227+ views
    al-Reuters ^ | Jan. 25, 2007 | Stella Dawson
    DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami on Thursday called for calm heads to reduce building tensions between the United States and his country over its nuclear program. "I hope that they would be good enough in managing the situation. We deeply need patience and understanding and not to get too emotional," Khatami said at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. Tehran and Washington have collided head-on over Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's decision last February to resume the country's uranium enrichment program, reversing a more than two-year pause under Khatami's government. Iran says it needs nuclear power...
  • Bush special envoy in Iraqi debt controversy: report

    10/12/2004 5:35:28 PM PDT · by TexKat · 1 replies · 665+ views
    AFP ^ | 10/12/04
    LONDON (AFP) - US President George W. Bush's special envoy for Iraqi debt, James Baker, is simultaneously working for a commercial concern that is trying to recover money from Iraq, a British newspaper said. The Guardian said that Baker, a former US secretary of state, has a reported 180-million-dollar (150-million-euro) stake in the merchant bank and defence contractor the Carlyle Group. This consortium, it said, is secretly proposing to collect 27 billion dollars on behalf of Kuwait, one of Iraq's biggest creditors, by using high-level political influence. According to the Guardian, the Carlyle Group claims that Baker will not benefit...
  • Bush's Trumanesque moment

    06/28/2008 5:00:09 AM PDT · by Clive · 40 replies · 202+ views
    Toronto Sun ^ | Salim Mansur
    The weekly Economist for June 12 placed Iraq on its cover once again. The timing of the cover story was significant. Nine days earlier the Democrats had settled on their presidential nominee -- Barack Hussein Obama -- for the November election. The Iraq story had been downgraded by the mainstream media when the Democratic primary contest intensified and when the good news from Iraq, according to the Economist, was "far better than it was only a few months ago." The good news from Iraq is indeed far better than merely good. The military surge President George W. Bush ordered in...
  • KAY,ISG head: "Saddam's regime was the most sophisticated manufacturer of anthrax in the world"

    04/13/2008 3:46:48 AM PDT · by drzz · 2 replies · 124+ views
    "Relying, apparently, on concrete findings, former top U.S. weapons inspector Dr. David Kay said that "the Iraqis had developed new techniques for drying anthrax - techniques that were superior to anything the United States or the old Soviet Union had. That would make the former regime of Saddam Hussein the most sophisticated manufacturer of anthrax in the world." (Washington Post, 16 septembre 2005)
  • ISG (Iraq Study Group - remember them?) moves from consensus to conflict

    04/23/2008 7:36:47 PM PDT · by Libloather · 5 replies · 200+ views
    Politico.com ^ | 4/22/08 | DANIEL LIBIT
    ISG moves from consensus to conflictBy DANIEL LIBIT 4/22/08 4:32 AM EST In December 2006, in an effort to build a national consensus on a “new way forward in Iraq,” the Iraq Study Group painted itself as a portrait of bipartisan chumminess, with all political hackery checked at the door. Sixteen months later, seven of the 10 ISG members are backing presidential candidates with radically different views about how to proceed in Iraq. Republicans James Baker, Lawrence Eagleburger and Ed Meese are supporting Sen. John McCain, who argues that the United States should be sending more troops to Iraq. Democrats...
  • Obama is in bed with the Iraq Study Group

    04/05/2008 6:40:54 PM PDT · by tedbel · 8 replies · 92+ views
    Israpundit ^ | Apri9l 5/08 | Ted Belman
    A number of people have written to me to tell me Brzezinski, either is not on Obama's foreign team or is just one member of it. Ever since Brzezinski introduced Obama last summer, Brzezinski has remained in the background for fear of alienating Obama's Jewish support. It makes little difference because all the others on the team are generally in agreement with his policies. Now Lee Hamilton has officially joined the team. And as you know Hamilton and Brzezinski are joined at the hip. They both were on the Iraq Study Group and they both signed a letter among others,...
  • 5 Ex-Secretaries of State: Close Guantanamo Bay camp, open talks with Iran

    03/28/2008 2:49:08 AM PDT · by Flavius · 54 replies · 1,221+ views
    ap ^ | March 27, 2008 | Associated Press
    ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - Five former U.S. secretaries of state are urging the next presidential administration to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and open a dialogue with Iran. Each says closing the facility in Cuba would bolster America's image abroad. Regarding Iran, they say it's important to maintain contact with adversaries and allies alike.
  • Obama Willing to Talk with Iran - An endorsement for Obama

    02/02/2008 8:28:34 PM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 34 replies · 254+ views
    FARS News Agency ^ | Saturday, February 02, 2008 | FNA
    Obama Willing to Talk with Iran TEHRAN (FNA)- US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said he would favor holding direct talks with Iran and Syria in a bid to stabilize the Middle East if elected president. In an interview with France's Paris Match on Thursday, Obama said, "I want to have direct talks with countries like Iran and Syria because I don't believe we can stabilize the region unless not just our friends but also our enemies are involved in these discussions." He was also quoted as saying he would also hold a summit with leaders of Muslim states...
  • John McCain's Non-Triumphant Conference Call

    01/09/2008 11:32:33 AM PST · by jdm · 27 replies · 56+ views
    Captains Quarters ^ | Jan. 09, 2008 | Ed Morrissey
    We're about to enter another of the regular blogger conference calls held by John McCain. This will, of course, be the first since his surprisingly strong victory over Mitt Romney and the rest of the Republican field. He starts off by noting that he is "obviously very pleased" with the results. McCain credits his straight talk on the stump in New Hampshire. He has nothing much to offer for the Democratic Party result, maybe one of the few who haven't opined on it. McCain tells a story about hardening his resolve in a summer trip to Iraq with Lindsey Graham....
  • In White House, Debate Is Rising on Iraq Pullback

    07/08/2007 9:29:28 PM PDT · by bnelson44 · 30 replies · 915+ views
    NY Times ^ | July 9, 2007 | DAVID E. SANGER
    White House officials fear that the last pillars of political support among Senate Republicans for President Bush’s Iraq strategy are collapsing around them, according to several administration officials and outsiders they are consulting. They say that inside the administration, debate is intensifying over whether Mr. Bush should try to prevent more defections by announcing his intention to begin a gradual withdrawal of American troops from the high-casualty neighborhoods of Baghdad and other cities. Mr. Bush and his aides once thought they could wait to begin those discussions until after Sept. 15, when the top field commander and the new American...
  • Giuliani quit Iraq panel after missed meetings - but he had time for fundraising

    07/02/2007 9:20:59 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 8 replies · 978+ views
    Newsday ^ | June 19, 2007 | CRAIG GORDON
    Rudolph Giuliani's membership on an elite Iraq study panel came to an abrupt end last spring after he failed to show up for a single official meeting of the group, causing the panel's top Republican to give him a stark choice: either attend the meetings or quit, several sources said. Giuliani left the Iraq Study Group last May after just two months, walking away from a chance to make up for his lack of foreign policy credentials on the top issue in the 2008 race, the Iraq war. He cited "previous time commitments" in a letter explaining his decision to...
  • Brzezinski's Latest Blast: 'Whatever Happened to Iraq Study Group?'

    06/26/2007 4:25:35 AM PDT · by governsleastgovernsbest · 27 replies · 1,289+ views
    NewsBusters ^ | Mark Finkelstein
    Mika Brzezinski is at it again. As noted here and here, the daughter of Jimmy Carter's former NSA is inclined to inject her own political views into her MSNBC newsreading role.At 6:10 am EDT on today's "Morning Joe," Mika read an item reporting that Sen. Richard Lugar [R-IN] had called for a change of course in Iraq and expressed support for the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, co-chaired by James Baker and Lugar's fellow Hoosier, Lee Hamilton.Mika couldn't restrain herself. MSNBC NEWSREADER MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Whatever happened to the Iraq Study Group, because I believe President Bush asked for those...
  • Giuliani Skipped Iraq Study Panel for Speeches

    06/19/2007 7:47:22 AM PDT · by jdm · 14 replies · 451+ views
    NewsMax ^ | June 19, 2007 | Staff
    Rudy Giuliani quit an elite Iraq study panel last spring after he failed to show up for a single official group meeting, citing "previous time commitments” – a speaking tour that brought in $11.4 million in 14 months. The 10-member panel, known as the Baker-Hamilton commission, was chartered by Congress and encouraged by President Bush to explore U.S. policy in Iraq. On May 18, 2006, when the panel gathered in Washington, Giuliani gave a $100,000 speech on leadership at a business awards breakfast in Atlanta, Newsday reports. The month before, he skipped another panel session to deliver the keynote speech...
  • (Clinton's senior advisor Leon)Panetta dismayed by party's war debate

    03/03/2007 9:49:32 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 24 replies · 1,292+ views
    The Washington Times ^ | March 2, 2007 | Donald Lambro
    A senior Democratic adviser said yesterday he is disappointed and dismayed by the efforts of House and Senate Democrats to change administration policies in Iraq, predicting they would lead to further division and stalemate in Congress on the war. "If you stand back, the whole debate has been pretty frustrating. The bigger problem is that [Democratic leaders'] proposals are not going anywhere, such as some revised authority for the war," said Leon Panetta, a key Democratic member of the Iraq Study Group whose proposals to stabilize Iraq were largely dismissed by President Bush. "But those efforts are doomed. Either they...
  • New Study Partners [Is Bush Embracing Baker-Hamilton Strategy?]

    03/02/2007 11:06:50 PM PST · by freedomdefender · 3 replies · 456+ views
    NY Times ^ | March 2, 2007 | Craig Crawford
    Now it seems as though George W. Bush might be paying more attention to former Secretary of State James A. Baker III’s Iraq Study Group than he initially let on. For starters, the president’s apparent about-face last week from his earlier rejection of meetings with Iran or Syria falls right in line with one of Baker’s chief recommendations.Baker’s blue-ribbon panel, co-chaired with former Democratic Rep. Lee H. Hamilton of Indiana, unveiled 79 recommendations in December for salvaging Iraq. The 10 members of the group — five from each political party — checked their partisanship at the door to draw a...
  • Realists to the Rescue?

    02/09/2007 11:55:24 PM PST · by neverdem · 3 replies · 402+ views
    Commentary ^ | February 2007 | Bret Stephens
    “Reality therapy,” declared Time magazine’s Michael Duffy with satisfaction. “A chance to think anew,” added Newsweek’s Jon Meacham. These and similarly warm words of welcome from organs of respectable opinion greeted the December arrival of the long-awaited report of the Iraq Study Group (ISG), with its 79 prescriptions for U.S. policy in the Middle East. The sense of relief was palpable. With neoconservatism supposedly repudiated by the “fiasco” of Iraq, the backing of a wise man’s council composed equally of Republicans and Democrats, and a friendly media breeze in its sails, the ISG report was heralded not just as...
  • "Common Elements" In The Iraq Study Group's Report And The President's New Strategy

    01/31/2007 3:01:01 PM PST · by bnelson44 · 3 replies · 205+ views
    For Immediate Release Office of the Press Secretary January 31, 2007 The Rest of the Story: Sec. Baker Outlines "Common Elements" In The Iraq Study Group's Report And The President's New Strategy       Setting the Record Straight "The President's plan makes clear that U.S. forces will be sent to Baghdad to help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods. That means combat operations, including possibly door-to-door sweeps. The Study Group made the assessment that the security of Baghdad is crucial to security in Iraq more generally and while we were in Baghdad at the end of the summer, Iraqi and American...
  • James Baker on Iraq Troop Surge: 'Give It a Chance'

    01/30/2007 4:18:49 PM PST · by bnelson44 · 19 replies · 472+ views
    Fox News ^ | 1/30/07
    WASHINGTON — James Baker, the co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group, on Tuesday endorsed President Bush's troop surge in Iraq, urging the Senate to "give it a chance." "The president's plan ought to be given a chance," Baker told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "Just give it a chance." Baker, a former secretary of state under President George H.W. Bush, said it was wrong for the Senate to confirm Army Gen. David Petreaus to lead the new Iraq mission at the same time it was moving to pass non-binding resolutions opposing the deployment of at least 21,500 U.S. forces to...
  • James Baker Works to Establish Direct USA - Iran Diplomatic Ties

    01/30/2007 12:07:06 AM PST · by FARS · 52 replies · 1,740+ views
    Defense & Foreign Affairs via AntiMullah ^ | January 29th, 2007 | G. R. Copely
    MUST READ - James Baker Works to Establish Direct Diplomatic USA - Iran Ties Former US Secretary of State Baker Attempts to Bypass Bush White House on Iran Defense & Foreign Affairs Analysis. By Gregory R. Copley, Editor, GIS. Former US Secretary of State James Baker, who co-chaired the recent US Iraq Study Group — the main recommendations of which were rejected by the George W. Bush Administration — is working indirectly and behind the scenes to bring about direct diplomatic ties between the US and Iran. This is in defiance of Bush White House policy which essentially has said...
  • Assad inspires 'flip' theories

    12/28/2006 9:44:34 PM PST · by freedomdefender · 21 replies · 865+ views
    Washington Times ^ | December 27, 2006 | Iason Athanasiadis
    Recent visits by Syrian President Bashar Assad to U.S.-allied Yemen and the United Arab Emirates are prompting speculation that Syria is seeking to leave the Iranian orbit and pursue closer ties with the West. Such a move would fulfill a major recommendation of the Iraq Study Group, headed by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III and former Rep. Lee H. Hamilton, which suggested it might be possible through diplomacy to pry Syria away from Iran.
  • Baker sought to cover-up illegal trade with Saddam's Iraq, Israeli charges

    12/27/2006 1:06:32 PM PST · by West Coast Conservative · 22 replies · 1,370+ views
    Insight Magazine ^ | December 23, 2006
    Former Secretary of State James Baker was involved in a cover-up of illegal trading by his law firm with the regime of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, according to a former contractor who did work for Mr. Baker’s firm. Mr. Baker used non-Americans to help acquire funds from Iraq in violation of the United Nations embargo and U.S. law, the former contractor said. Nir Gouaz, an Israeli security veteran, said that in 1999 Mr. Baker's leading deputy at the law firm of Baker Botts ordered him to destroy all documents that detailed how he obtained from Iraq more than $250 million...
  • Troop Push Is Personal For McCain (Senator Calls for Iraq Boost as Son Becomes a Marine)

    12/26/2006 2:31:11 AM PST · by MinorityRepublican · 37 replies · 1,050+ views
    The Washington Post ^ | Tuesday, December 26, 2006 | Elizabeth Williamson
    As the Iraq Study Group issued its long-awaited report on the war, declaring that the United States should not dispatch more troops, Sen. John McCain reacted with his long-held and contrary view: It will take more boots on the ground, or the nation faces "sooner or later, our defeat in Iraq." Then the Arizona Republican discreetly flew to San Diego, where the next day, Dec. 8, he sat under a hot sun to watch a skinny 18-year-old in military-issue glasses graduate from boot camp and become a Marine. His son Jimmy. John McCain's public certainty about Iraq masks a more...
  • Anbar Province and the Iraq Study Group Report

    12/22/2006 6:10:38 PM PST · by Valin · 7 replies · 505+ views
    The Fourth Rail ^ | 12/22/06 | Bill Roggio
    Anbar Province and the Iraq Study Group Report Iraqi Politicians and Tribal Sheihks are concerned about the implications of the Iraq Study Group report The release of the Iraq Study Group report, a 79 point plan to address Iraq, created by a blue ribbon panel lead by former Secretary of State James Baker and Representative Lee Hamilton, has implications far beyond domestic U.S. politics. I've been asked numerous times how this report has effected the U.S. troops serving in Iraq. The answer is very little. Most shrug their shoulders at the news reports, and haven't had time to digest the...
  • Zucker Video-Compares Baker/Iraq Study Group To Neville Chamberlin's "Peace In Our Time"

    12/19/2006 9:31:40 AM PST · by tcrlaf · 39 replies · 1,931+ views
    Youtube ^ | Dec 18 2006 | Zucker
    WELL done video! Zucker says in Comedy what everyone else is afraid to say!
  • The Baker-Hamilton Report: Undoing Kurdish gains

    12/18/2006 4:22:09 AM PST · by BlueSky194 · 5 replies · 663+ views
    The Iraq Study Group Report is the last thing one would have hoped to see in the New World Order. Sadly, it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Gone were the days, we thought, when the fate of a nation was decided by outsiders consulting with everyone and every nation except the one most affected by, and concerned with, the decision. Yet, that is precisely what happened with this commission. The President of Kurdistan received a telephone call from Baker a couple of days before the release of the report assuring him of taking...
  • Baker-Hamilton Gives the Left a Place to Stand

    12/17/2006 5:30:06 PM PST · by FairOpinion · 28 replies · 621+ views
    FrontPageMagazine ^ | Dec. 15, 2006 | Dick Morris and Eileen McGann
    During the 2004 election, it was painfully apparent that the Democratic presidential candidate had no credible response when President Bush and the Republicans asked him the ultimate question about the war in Iraq: “What exactly would you do?” Unable to advocate immediate withdrawal, unwilling to suggest a specific timetable, John Kerry and his party were stuck, able only to grouse about the failure to find WMDs or to criticize inadequate troop levels. But now the Left has been given a built-in response to the question of what should be done. All they now have to say is: “Implement the Baker...
  • Ding Dong: ISG's Dead

    12/16/2006 6:23:40 PM PST · by governsleastgovernsbest · 44 replies · 1,614+ views
    Fox News Watch/NewsBusters ^ | Mark Finkelstein
    How do you know the Iraq Study Group report is dead? When on this evening's Fox News Watch conservative columnist Jim Pinkerton declares its "total evaporation" and the most aggressive liberal panelist doesn't bother to deny it.Said Pinkerton:"I think the most interesting thing has been the total evaporation of the Baker-Hamilton commission as a force in American politics. Of all people Laurence O'Donnell at the Huffington Post had a headline: 'Rush Limbaugh Is Right,' about the report, saying it is a formula for surrender. And whether you like it or not, Neal, Bush is not going to surrender Iraq."View video...
  • The Big Lie About the Middle East,Tell Baker: Arab nations don't care about the Palestinians

    12/16/2006 5:29:28 PM PST · by PRePublic · 24 replies · 943+ views
    Time ^ | Dec, 10, 2006 | LISA BEYER
    The Big Lie About the Middle East,Tell James Baker: Arab nations don't care about the Palestinians No sensible person is against peacemaking in the Holy Land. Applause and hopefulness would seem the reasonable reaction to the Iraq Study Group's recommendation that the Bush Administration "act boldly" and "as soon as possible" to resolve the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians. But as a front-row observer of similar efforts over the past 15 years, I could muster neither response. In lumping the Iraq mess in with the Palestinian problem--and suggesting the first could not be fixed unless the second was too--the...
  • Defying Bush, Specter Plans Syria Trip

    12/15/2006 8:48:47 PM PST · by kddid · 203 replies · 3,144+ views
    NewsMax ^ | Dec. 15, 2006 | Associated Press
    Sen. Arlen Specter, a 26-year Senate Republican, said he will visit Syria despite loud objections by the Bush administration, contending the situation in Iraq is so dire that it is time Congress step up to the plate and see what it can do. Specter, R-Pa., said in an interview late Friday that he is planning a trip to the Middle East that will include Israel and Syria. The senator said he and other Republicans are concerned that the administration's policies in the Middle East are not working and that other GOP members may follow in his footsteps. "I've talked to...
  • Baker-Hamilton Lunacy

    12/15/2006 7:12:49 PM PST · by Biscuit85 · 4 replies · 472+ views
    IranPressNews.com ^ | 15 December 06
    Much ink has already been spilled on the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group report. Welcomed by liberals and condemned by conservatives, more importantly it has been rejected by just every public figure in Iraq. Without a doubt, the report’s most controversial recommendation was the call for direct talks with the governments of Syria and Iran. What has gone unrecognized, however, are the stunning misconceptions underlying that recommendation. (Note: the page references below all refer to the PDF version of the report, which can be downloaded here. All emphasis is my own). Misconception #1: “Given the ability of Iran and Syria to...
  • Panned in Baghdad -- Iraqis reject the Baker-Hamilton report.

    12/14/2006 11:20:04 PM PST · by Zakeet · 9 replies · 486+ views
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | December 15, 2006
    Iraq Study Group Chairmen Jim Baker and Lee Hamilton have spent the past week defending their report against withering criticism here in the U.S. But the more revealing reaction has been from Iraq itself: "Unrealistic," "inappropriate" and "very dangerous" are among the kinder words used by Iraq's leaders to describe the ISG's work. Consider Jalal Talabani. A secular-minded Kurd who has probably done more than any other leader to reach out across the country's sectarian divides, Iraq's President is no doubt sympathetic to the report's calls for "national reconciliation." But he reacted strongly to the ISG's suggestion that American support...
  • Wanted, a Churchillian effort in Iraq

    12/14/2006 4:18:31 PM PST · by RWR8189 · 12 replies · 485+ views
    The Australian ^ | December 14, 2006 | Michael Costello
    THE moment of truth, of decision, has arrived for Iraq. Last week the Iraq Study Group, appointed by the US Congress, made public its report. The bipartisan group, led by former secretary of state James Baker and former Democratic congressman Lee Hamilton and peopled by experienced former political and diplomatic practitioners, gave a sombre view of the state of affairs in Iraq. The group also put forward new proposals for US policy including talking to Syria and Iran, withdrawing US combat troops by the first quarter of 2008, and deploying up to 20,000 US troops to train and advise Iraqi...
  • 'Diplomacy' comes best at gunpoint

    12/14/2006 1:22:09 PM PST · by DogByte6RER · 4 replies · 420+ views
    North County Times/The Californian ^ | Tuesday, December 12, 2006 | JIM HORN
    'Diplomacy' comes best at gunpoint By: JIM HORN - Commentary: President Bush was spanked with the 2006 elections. Many Americans are fed up with the failures in Iraq. Increasing numbers of frustrated Americans want to bail -- a very bad idea that would only encourage Muslim extremists worldwide to stay their course of destroying the United States. Enter James Baker and the Iraq Study Group, an august bunch of mostly has-been political hacks who have no experience -- along with no understanding of the history of Iraq, the cast of characters and the Islamic culture involved over there -- and...
  • Iraq Study Group: Looking for a few good laughs? (Freeper op-ed)

    12/14/2006 9:22:32 AM PST · by Mr. Silverback · 11 replies · 660+ views
    Freeport Ink (Illinois) | 12/14/06 | Me
    I expected the report of the Iraq Study Group (or ISG, known in my home as the Iraq Surrender Group) would be bad, but what they delivered was quite horrendous. Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant James Hanson titled his post on it at the famous BlackFive blog “Group Studies Iraq- Fails to find clue bag.” Actually, he concludes, they can’t even tell you the color of the clue bag. Here was a commission tasked fix a war and almost none of them had even served in the military. James Baker and Chuck Robb both saw combat as Marines, but for...
  • A Day in the Life of President Bush (photos): 12-13-06

    12/13/2006 4:55:03 PM PST · by silent_jonny · 298 replies · 2,732+ views
    President Bush met today with senior Defense Department officials at the Pentagon for a talk about Iraq. Attending the meeting were Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, his soon-to-be replacement Robert Gates, National Security Advisor Steven Hadley and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace along with the Joint Chiefs. After the meeting, President Bush took questions from the press. Click HERE for a complete transcript. Enjoy your visit to Sanity Island
  • Surrender By Any Other Name... [COULTER]

    12/13/2006 3:32:21 PM PST · by Forgiven_Sinner · 72 replies · 1,510+ views
    Human Events ^ | Posted Dec 13, 2006 | by Ann Coulter
    How did we go from winning the war in Iraq to losing overnight? Was this decided by the same committee that changed "Peking" to "Beijing"? These word changes are a fortiori evidence that liberals are part of a conspiracy. On what date did "horrible" and "actress" vanish from the English language to be replaced with "horrific" and "actor"? Who decided that? (Meanwhile, I'm still writing "Puff Daddy" in my nightly dream journal when everybody else has started calling him "Diddy.") When did "B.C." (before Christ) and "A.D." (anno Domini, "in the year of the Lord") get replaced with "BCE" (before...
  • Max Boot to Speak at NYYRC December Monthly Forum

    12/13/2006 2:03:51 PM PST · by rmlew · 1 replies · 795+ views
    The New York Young Republican Club ^ | December 12, 2006 | Ron Lewenberg
    NYYRC December Political Forum Thursday, December 14 Time: 7:30pm - 9:30pm Location: The Grand Hyatt New York, 109 East 42nd Street, in the Alvin Room, which is located on the Conference level Our Guest Speaker: Max Boot Max Boot is a Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He is also a weekly foreign-affairs columnist for the Los Angeles Times, a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard, and a regular contributor to The New York Times, The Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, and many other publications. The award-winning author and former editorial page...
  • The Poisonous Report (ISG)

    12/12/2006 5:55:45 AM PST · by Valin · 17 replies · 472+ views
    MEMRI ^ | 12/12/06 | Omran Salman
    Editor of Arabic Reformist Website AAFAQ Criticizes Recommendations of the Iraq Study Group The following is the translation of an editorial titled "The Poisonous Report" that was posted on the Arabic reformist website www.aafaq.org on December 8, 2006. It was written by website editor Omran Salman. [1] "We may summarize the Iraq Study Group's report chaired by former secretary of state James Baker in one sentence: 'Handcuff the hands and free the tongue.' This conclusion went hand in hand with the common wisdom that says: 'When people sit to talk to one another, they forget their fighting.' This can be...
  • The Naive Idealism of the ISG "Realists"

    12/11/2006 5:22:35 PM PST · by lancer256 · 3 replies · 366+ views
    davidlimbaugh.com ^ | 12/11/06 | david limbaugh
    Upon further study, what strikes me most about the Iraq Study Group report (ISGR) is its profound naivete. The group could better identify its operative philosophy as "unrealism," rather than realism. The modern form of foreign policy "realism" emerged, according to "The Oxford Companion to Politics of the World," in reaction to "idealism," an "approach which held that countries were united in an underlying harmony of interest -- a view shattered by the outbreak of World War II." But there's more: "Rather than study the world as it might be, Realists maintained that a science of international politics must study...
  • THE IRAQ MUTINY? BAKER COMMISSION WOULD LEAVE OUR TROOPS EXPOSED

    12/11/2006 7:01:19 AM PST · by xzins · 24 replies · 881+ views
    New York Post ^ | 3 Dec | Ralph Peters
    December 3, 2006 -- THE proposal to embed more American military trainers with Iraqi units makes sense, but creates a grave danger: the pros pect of a coordinated revolt among Shias in uniform who slaughter or take hostage thousands of our dispersed troops. The best deterrent is the back-up presence of our own Army and Marine combat formations. As long as our cavalry can ride to the rescue, the prospect of a sectarian mutiny to "teach America a lesson" and humiliate us remains low. Now early word has it that The Fabulous Baker Boys (straight from the political boneyard and...
  • Democrats Slow to Embrace Iraq Study

    12/11/2006 4:42:41 AM PST · by IrishMike · 37 replies · 998+ views
    Fox News /AP ^ | Monday, December 11, 2006 | ANNE PLUMMER FLAHERTY
    Democrats aren't scrambling to endorse recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, a tactic that largely leaves President Bush alone to salvage the war. Instead, the party that will control Congress in January plans to focus on stepped-up oversight of Bush's plans for the war. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who will take over the Armed Services Committee, says he'll hold three hearings on Bush's plans for Iraq and is prepared to subpoena documents to review past missteps. Democrats also are eyeing ways to attach conditions to war funds that won't hurt troops and may even attract Republican support. Sen. Robert...
  • ISG must stand for, uh, Inane Strategy Guesswork -- Mark Steyn

    12/10/2006 11:16:09 PM PST · by irv · 32 replies · 1,005+ views
    Chicago Sun-Times ^ | 12/10/2006 | Mark Steyn
    Well, the ISG -- the Illustrious Seniors' Group -- has released its 79-point plan. How unprecedented is it? Well, it seems Iraq is to come under something called the "Iraq International Support Group." If only Neville Chamberlain had thought to propose a "support group" for Czechoslovakia, he might still be in office. Or guest-hosting for Oprah. But, alas, such flashes of originality are few and far between in what's otherwise a testament to conventional wisdom. How conventional is the ISG's conventional wisdom? Try page 49: "RECOMMENDATION 5: The Support Group should consist of Iraq and all the states bordering Iraq,...