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By Micah Halpern

Tuesday December 12, 2006


The wise men and woman of the Iraq Study Group have come forward with their recommendations. The findings of this group of erudite, experienced, senior thinkers, jurists, advisors and policy makers leaves me just plain dumbfounded.

I am reminded of a popular olde-English nursery rhyme.
Three men in a tub;
And who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick maker;
They all jumped out of a rotten potato,
Turn 'em out, knaves all three!

It perplexes me how ten serious American leaders signed off on this preposterous plan to solve the problem of Iraq. Where are they living? Better yet, what are they smoking? I am not in dispute with their assessment and neither will I paint a rosy picture of a very difficult reality. The situation certainly is rotten in the state of Iraq, but Jim, Lee, Sandra, Vernon - where did you come up with this prescription for remedying the situation.

How can you conclude that the ills of Iraq can be cured by the witch doctors of the Middle East?

Suggesting that the United States expand training teams from 2,000 - 3,000 personnel to 10,000 - 20,000 is a very good idea, even if it was a waste of time to form a committee to come up with that simple suggestion. As a matter of fact, most of the good suggestions and recommendations written up in the report have been around for some time.

But talking to Iran and talking to Syria. How can the United States talk to either Iran or Syria about anything, let alone about Iraq when both Iran and Syria are deeply committed to defeating the United States in Iraq? Iran and Syria are the major sponsors of the insurrection against the United States. These two rogue nations should be spoken to only on one of two conditions. Only after they give up their mission to vanquish the United States in Iraq or only after they are defeated in their mission by the United States.

Iran and Syria are a big part of the problem, they are not part of the solution. Those who say you make peace with your enemies not with your friends simply do not understand the situation. Iran and Syria have no intention of making peace. They have other intentions. They want to destabilize Iraq. Iran and Syria want to take advantage of the turmoil in Iraq to twist and turn the dagger in the back of the United States and to distort and destroy U.S. policy. And they want to use the situation in Iraq to further fuel the internal disputes between Muslims, specifically, between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.

And what about this ridiculous notion that Israel is intertwined with the Iraqi conflict?

Come on committee, to suggest that if the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians was resolved then the situation in Iraq would be easier to control is not only myopic, it is downright irresponsible. There are no dots to connect. This bi-partisan group of respected Americans has either sold out or bought into the conspiracy theory that purports that the problem in the Middle East is Israel.

The problem is not Israel, the problem is Iraq. Even if there were no Israel, Muslims would still be killing other Muslims.

The problem is Syria. Syria needs to butt out. Syria needs to be removed from the business of Lebanon and Syria needs to be kept out of Iraq. And the problem is Iran. Iran needs to be removed from the business of Lebanon and Iran needs to be kept out of Iraq. So if Syria should be kept out and Iran should be kept out, why does the eminent United States of America deserve to meddle in Iraqi affairs? Because the United States has no hidden agenda. The United States has nothing to gain and only the lives of too many military personnel to lose. Because the United States is fighting for freedom and democracy. And the people of Iraq deserve freedom and democracy.

By the way, Syria was very happy with the report. Of course Syria was happy. This report is the support Syria needs to pressure Israel to give them the Golan Heights. Syria may claim to help the United States in Iraq in exchange for the Golan but the reality is that Syria will not live up to the deal. To entertain the idea of trusting Syria is laughable and ludicrous.

You know who else was happy with the report? Jimmy Carter.

The Queen of Hearts,
She made some tarts,
All on a summer's day;
The Knave of hearts,
He stole those tarts,
And took them clean away.
The King of Hearts
Called for the tarts,
And beat the knave full sore;
The Knave of hearts
Brought back the tarts,
And vowed he'd steal no more.

Enough said.

4 June 2017 12:14 PM in Columns

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