November 12, 2006
The Baker commission seems to be doing a lot more than just re-thinking Iraq. It appears to be copiously leaking a Vietnam-type cut-and-run plan that will leave the Gulf far more dangerous than it is now. The Vietnam model looks like a “face-saving” retreat by the United States—just like that one that left Vietnam a Stalinist prison state with tens of thousands of boat people fleeing and dying, and next door in Cambodia, two or three million dead at the hands of Pol Pot.
Baker’s press leaks seem designed to test public reaction to the cut-and-run plan.
Conservatives have lost Congress for the next two years, but acquiescing in a disastrous retreat from Iraq would be the worst of all possible worlds.
Yes, if that's the plan, it's the sort of thing that could make the Republicans a minority party for the next 40 years, and deservedly so.
UPDATE: Reader C.J. Burch emails:
If the White House concedes to this I will be forced to grapple with the fact that John Kerry may, in fact, not have been any worse than GWB. Hell the president might as well ask Jack Murtha to be Sec. Def. Oh, okay maybe it won't be quite that bad, but it will be damned close. And it will be a good reason never to vote for a Republican.
Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves quite yet. But Bill Quick is saying "I told you so." And my speculation that Iran has some method -- nuclear or otherwise -- that has deterred us from taking the kind of action that both Bill Quick and I expected in 2004 is seeming better-founded.
ANOTHER UPDATE: John Hinderaker is very unhappy with this talk. He also thinks that any expectation of a deal with the Iranians is "delusional."
I'll just note that the last time folks in the White House tried to cut a deal with the Iranians, Don Regan characterized it this way: "We got snookered by a bunch of rug merchants."
MORE: Reader C.J. Milner emails:
Agreed, but the Democrats shouldn't get a pass on this. After all, this "cut and run" idea has been their plan all along, and already today they are talking about forcing withdrawals to begin in as little as four months. If the Republicans should spend a couple of generations in the minority for going along with this, they should be joined in political purgatory by the Democrats. The great political struggles of our age will have to be fought out between the Libertarians and the Greens.
You go to war with the political class you have, alas.
MORE STILL: Michael Ledeen thinks talk of a deal with the Iranians is implausible, as the Iranians don't want to deal.