The Iraq study group released their report today. (No link, since I suspect it's pretty easy to find info on it). One of their suggestions is to try and negotiate with Iran and Syria to settle things down in Iraq, and if it doesn't work, then (one would assume) withdraw.
Are these people complete morons? First off, Iran and Syria are a sizeable part of the problem with Iraq. Iraq is unstable now largely because the neighboring countries are at best allowing arms and terrorists across the border, at worst directly supplying the terrorists with money and arms.
This is akin to (using a historical example) asking the North Vietnamese government to help negotiate a peace treaty between South Vietnam and the Vietcong. Sure, on paper the VC and the NVA were separate entities, but in reality they were one and the same. (Actually, I guess it would be better to say they were allies. But I'm not inclined to split hairs).
So these "statesmen" and "diplomats" want us to talk to the enemy to see if they can help us stop the fighting. Sure they can. But they won't. The chaos in Iraq serves their purpose. That's why they're playing such a big role in the fighting. And make no mistake, Bush and the US Military know it.
However, let's play a game of Pretend. We talk to these terrorist governments, and they make the demands on us that they obviously will: allowing Iran to get nuclear weapons, pushing Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians (because we know how well that's always worked), and giving Syria a free hand in Lebanon (again). Do we give in? Well, probably not. If we do give in, then we have blessed Iran's hegemony in the Mideast. And shown the rest of the region, along with everyone else in the world, that we aren't willing to stand up to them. Here's a newsflash: every concession we make, regardless of the reason for it, is held up by the Islamofascists as a surrender, and as proof of our weakness and fear.
So nothing comes of the negotiations, since at this point we're approaching them from a position of weakness (again, perception is the key). We need their help, so we have to give up more than we can demand in return. US weakness vs. Iranian strength. Once we make concessions to a country which since 1979 has been essentially at war with the US, everyone notes it, and we're hosed. We have no credibility in the Mideast- or anywhere else, for that matter. Osama would work openly with Iran, I suspect. Yes, there are problems between the Wahhabis, the Sunnis, the Shia, etc., but in the end they all want the US humiliated and defeated. Ally with the winning side- reality 101.
At that point, the US has no choice but to withdraw from Iraq. There would be no purpose in our presence there, since we can't stop the violence (unlike Iran). Once we're gone, then who's the big kid on the block? Why Iran, of course. And since they stared down the Great Satan, then everyone has to accept that they are the Major Power in the Gulf- and only Israel has any chance to face them down. Assuming of course that we haven't negotiated away Israel's existence. All the other countries in the area would have to accept that Iran calls the shots: they would control much of Iraq (if not all of it), Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinian areas.
So it would be a huge defeat for the US. Not the "Oh we withdrew from Somalia because it wasn't worth the trouble" type of defeat. The "OK, we'll give you the Sudetenland, and the rest of Czechoslovakia, the Rhineland, Austria and Poland" type of defeat. And the neighbors- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, etc- would have to either openly fight Iran (which they can't do), allow the US to base large forces there (politically difficult at that point), or come to an arrangement with them. Guess which is easiest, safest, and most high-percentage? And if they don't allow us to base troops there, we're limited in our ability to project force into the region. Which would make any hypothetical US war with Iran that much harder to win. If we have no troops there, and few options for deploying them in a timely fashion, what would stop Iran from invading Kuwait or Saudi-land?
Their inherent goodness, I guess.
Oh, and recall that Europe is pretty useless when it comes to standing up against Iran anyhow. So don't look for a lot of help from the Surrender Monkeys, for instance.
Ah well. The good news is that the dumb Iranians know none of this, right? It's a big secret that the geniuses on the Panel suggest negotiating with them and then, if unsuccessful, pulling out. So it's not as if their negotiation plan will be to delay and obfuscate. Heck, we know they would never do that- they're certainly not doing it now. No sirree. Nope, they'll negotiate in good faith, using their good offices to help the Great Satan- oops, I mean the US- out of a tough spot. With no thought to wasting time until the collective will of the American people gives out. And there's certainly no way they would ever conceive of the idea that the US media would work against Bush and any hard-liners.
God, sometimes I despair. Why don't we just mention to the Iranians that they either knock off their support for the Shia in Iraq, or we'll start sending patrols across their border to see what we can accomplish on their turf? A few "accidental" bombings of their military bases, and a warning that they're really pushing their luck with the constant "acts of war" they are committing, and perhaps they'll figure it out. If not, then let's see if they understand it when Tehran is a smoking hole in the desert.
Ah well, the democrats won't allow any of this. After all, it might be good for Bush and/or the US. Can't have that, can we? We must be more like France after all.